Audio Recording "My first quilt was a Monkey Wrench."

About this Item

"My first quilt was a Monkey Wrench."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Interviewee)
Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Creator)
Created / Published
Ennice, North Carolina
Subject Headings
-  Quilt patterns
-  recycled fabrics
-  monkey wrench quilts
-  Ethnography
-  Interviews
-  United States -- North Carolina -- Ennice
-  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: ZT: That was my first quilt, was a Monkey Wrench quilt. And I don't remember what the next one was that I did, by a pattern. But I got to piecing 'em by a pattern. I thought they was prettier, you know, and I wanted to kinda get educated in the quilting business. [laughter] / GJ: Were you doing all of them by pattern about that time? / ZT: Well, pretty much, but you didn't do all of them, because the way that I would do it, I would cut out, say, I sewed a lot, made my clothes, you know, and done sewing for other people, just, you know, and you didn't have too many mat, scraps, pieces to go with. You had to just do with whatever you had. Well, I would, say, maybe one winter, I'd, what I'd have, my scraps that I'd have leftover from making things through the summer, I'd keep 'em till that winter, and I'd think, well, I've got enough, I think I can piece me up one quilt by a pattern, then all the little scraps, I went back to this crazy quilt, and I'd do one with the little ones. You had to, you had to save every little scrap, you couldn't throw anything away, you had to and if it wasn't big enough to cut out by a pattern, you passed it on down, and put it in a box, and used it for the crazy quilts.
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Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R100
Source Collection
Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1982/009)
American Folklife Center
Online Format

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Credit line

Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:

Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project collection, 1977-1981 (AFC 1982/009), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Lands' End all-American quilt collection, 1992-1997 (AFC 1997/011), 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. "My first quilt was a Monkey Wrench.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Todd, Z. & Todd, Z. (1978) "My first quilt was a Monkey Wrench.". Ennice, North Carolina. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Zenna Todd, and Zenna Todd. "My first quilt was a Monkey Wrench.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.