Audio Recording "I try to buy little calico prints."

About this Item

"I try to buy little calico prints."
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 tops
-  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: Well, the way I buy my fabric, I just uh, I try to get well, I'll tell you what I try to do. I try to watch and if, used to, you could get it on sale. I'd go through the whole thing, and pick out the colors that I thought would be nice for quilts, you know, maybe several different colors, maybe then when I got ready to do a quilt there wouldn't be any of that that I could use. It takes, you invest an awful lot in it. And, maybe then, you'll get some of it and it will be just what you need but you need something else to go with it. Well, you'd go to town and try to pick that up. Well, maybe if you started another one, this color that you already had would go into that quilt. And that's the way you work it. So, it's a lot of, you have to use a lot of imagination, and so on with it. / GJ: When you get printed fabrics, do you try to get certain kinds of prints? / ZT: Well, I try get the little, print, little, the little prints, you know. Calico prints. Well it's just, it looks better. It's prettier. Uh huh, the smallest prints you can get. / GJ: Do you try to mix solids with prints? / ZT: Oh yeah, yeah, you mix solids and prints. But you kindly mix the color, like if you have a, a print with a blue background with white and red or green little flower or something in it? Well, you'll want to use a solid color to match some of those colors that's in that. Makes it, to make it come out to look real pretty, you know.
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Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R101
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. "I try to buy little calico prints.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Todd, Z. & Todd, Z. (1978) "I try to buy little calico prints.". Ennice, North Carolina. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Zenna Todd, and Zenna Todd. "I try to buy little calico prints.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.