Audio Recording "I got to using different thread to quilt with."

About this Item

"I got to using different thread to quilt with."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Interviewee)
Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Creator)
Created / Published
Ennice, North Carolina
Subject Headings
-  Quilting
-  thread
-  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: Oh, yeah, I used that black, but I'll have long stitches, and then, this thread that I used then had, was real old coarse thread, you know, big thread. And where I'd tied the knot, oh it looked just like, the whole back looked like it was covered up with flies. But oh, when she come back. I had the thing rolled up, you know, and I seen it, and I said, Oh my god, what have I done. And when she come in, she looked up under that, and oh, did she ever rave. And I said, well you didn't tell me. She says well you supposed to pull them knots through that under, that lining, and let it go in between. But I'd made long stitches, you know, and... But she didn't say anything about the stitches. It was them knots. And you know what she had me to get. She had me to get this, uh, it was in balls, little old balls. Oh, they was about like a hen egg. And you got two for a nickel. And I said to her, I said, well what kind of thread should I use on that. She says oh, just go out here to this little stores, a Wagoner woman run it you know, and she says go out there and just get you, says, two balls will be all you need to do it with. Well I went and got it and I thought that black looked awful bright on that, oh, it was kind of a rusty rose color, you know, and I don't remember the top was, several different dark colors, you know in it, and she thought, you know, just so the top looked good, it didn't matter about the bottom. So, I told her when she come looked at it, I said, well, them knots does look awful. Looks like the flies has swarmed on it, but, I said them stitches don't look too good. But she didn't say anything about my stitches, just the knots. But I didn't, I didn't use that too much. I kindly used my own idea about it, and, and used something different, you know. And as I kept making 'em, I changed. I didn't go like she'd teach me. / GJ: How did you change? / ZT: Well, I got to using different thread, to quilt with, and, and altogether, you know. And then I got to wanting to learn how to do a more, uh, by a pattern, you know, quilt by a pattern, and also cut out and piece by a pattern. Course, that quilt was cut out and pieced by a pattern. But I wanted to, you know, step up a little. [laughter]
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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 got to using different thread to quilt with.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Todd, Z. & Todd, Z. (1978) "I got to using different thread to quilt with.". Ennice, North Carolina. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Zenna Todd, and Zenna Todd. "I got to using different thread to quilt with.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.