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Audio Recording "And that was what we called the crazy quilt."

"And that was what we called the crazy quilt."

About this Item


  • "And that was what we called the crazy quilt."


  • Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
  • Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Interviewee)
  • Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Creator)

Created / Published

  • Sparta, North Carolina


  • -  Quilts
  • -  patchwork quilts
  • -  recycled fabrics
  • -  crazy quilts
  • -  string quilts
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  Interviews
  • -  United States -- North Carolina -- Sparta


  • Ethnography
  • Interviews


  • -  Mrs. Todd started making quilts for her family to use when she was 25. She teaches quiltmaking and makes quilts to sell through a local shop to supplement her income. Geraldine Johnson described her as "a bubbly, enthusiastic person who would be a natural à interpreter of Blue Ridge quilts." This interview includes good information on the economics and practice of making quilts to sell, criteria for selection of materials to use in quilts, and how quiltmaking has changed over time.
  • -  Transcription: GJ: Those early ones that you pieced together, you made what you said crazy quilts? / ZT: Uh huh. / GJ: Did you usually make paper patterns that you / ZT: No, I usually took, uh, take an old bed linen sheet, and tear it in squares, and then just sew this, sew this material on that, and that give it a little extra hold. It'd last, you know, better. And that was what we called the crazy quilt. And we'd find different ways to put 'em together. We'd start at one corner and sew on a little strip and then go, you know, and then we'd have so many blocks and sew them together and we'd have one turned one way and one the other, and that way it give it a kinda little different design. And then sometimes we would take, after we, we'd tear the blocks about six-by-six or eight-by-eight, square, and we'd take four and put 'em together and put a little two-inch strip or inch-and-a-half, in between the four, you know, and then put 'em together with a bigger piece, about two inches or something. And that made 'em real pretty in a way. And then it, you know, it was something to keep you warm.
  • -  For rights information please contact the Folklife Reading Room at


  • Sound tape reel : 7 in.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R99

Source Collection

  • Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1982/009)


  • American Folklife Center

Online Format

  • audio

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress believes that some of the materials in this collection are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions, and are therefore free to use and reuse. For example, the fieldwork in this collection is in the public domain in the United States.

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Credit line: Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project collection (AFC 1982/009), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Zenna Todd, and Zenna Todd. "And that was what we called the crazy quilt.". Sparta, North Carolina, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Todd, Z. & Todd, Z. (1978) "And that was what we called the crazy quilt.". Sparta, North Carolina. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Zenna Todd, and Zenna Todd. "And that was what we called the crazy quilt.". Sparta, North Carolina, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.