Audio Recording "The craft shops won't take polyester quilts."

About this Item

"The craft shops won't take polyester quilts."
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
-  aesthetics
-  income
-  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: GJ: What kinds of fabrics do you like to use for the tops of quilts? / ZT: Well, I like all cotton. Cotton, particular. I've never done but one or two of polyester quilts or anything like that. I just don't use that at all. And the shops don't want it, they want all cotton. Well, the other works better. It sews better, it works better all the way around. Your polyester sometimes will, you know, it'll pull a little bit, it gives, and your cotton don't. You got to learn all these things when you, you know, if you make it to sell in craft shops, because they just won't hardly take polyester quilts at all. I noticed they had just a few at the Trading Post, but they don't, they don't do that down here at the Roof Top. I don't believe I've seen one in there. They might have one in there. Course, when I go down there to take something, I really, sometimes I'll look over their stuff, but that's, that's a big place to look over. Just to tell you the truth, the Trading Post has got a, has got a big, good stock of everything, and a variety of things, but they've got a good variety of things down there. I like to put my stuff in there, because it looks nice, and it, you know, you like to go in a shop where it looks nice, and you're going to sell something, you don't want to take it and have it pretty when you take it and then go back and look at it and it be crumpled up or, or soiled or something like that. I like for it to stay pretty and look nice and quilt. And I want to put it out clean and nice, and then I want it to stay that way when I get it out. Because nobody's not going to buy anything dirty or it not neat. The neater your work is, the better it sells.
-  For rights information please contact the Folklife Reading Room at
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

Rights & Access

Rights assessment is your responsibility.

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.

The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

This collection includes materials from the "All-American Quilt Contest" sponsored by Coming Home, a division of Lands' End and Good Housekeeping. The quilt contest winning entries from 1992 to 1996 are displayed with the permission of Coming Home which retains its rights.

Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance. 

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. "The craft shops won't take polyester quilts.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Todd, Z. & Todd, Z. (1978) "The craft shops won't take polyester quilts.". Ennice, North Carolina. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Zenna Todd, and Zenna Todd. "The craft shops won't take polyester quilts.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.