Audio Recording "I couldn't let nobody have my pattern."

About this Item

"I couldn't let nobody have my pattern."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Interviewee)
Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Creator)
Created / Published
Ennice, North Carolina
Subject Headings
-  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: ZT: Well, Mrs. Yates has talked about it and also at the Rooftop, and I've had people up at the Trading Post talk about it. You know they like for you to, and I'll tell you something else about a lot of your craft work. If you can get a design or pattern or something that you can do, and you don't need to let everybody else have it. Now this swan pattern that I crocheted by, I've had that I guess for twenty-five years. I've had that, yeah, and I ordered the thing and made it, and I never did make another one. And then I got to thinking about it, and I thought, well, I'll make another one. And, I couldn't find the thread, couldn't find the heavy thread. And, Mrs. Berry come up here and I, I finally run on to enough thread to make one. And I said, do you think you can sell this? She says, well I don't know why not. She says, crocheting is coming back. People's a-looking for that. She took it down there and she sold it, and she called me and had a order for five or eight more. And, I said to her, I said, The thread's going to be my problem. I said, I've been a long time trying to find thread to do that. You have to have heavy thread, you know, real heavy. And, she says, well if you can get the thread, says, now we want that many. And, so I kept a-trying and I got hold of some more and kept making. Now then she wants about a half a dozen more. And that's, and said to me, she says, well now if you can't do 'em, would you mind letting me have the pattern? Says, I know a lady, that could do 'em. I said, no, I couldn't let nobody have my pattern.
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Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R102
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 couldn't let nobody have my pattern.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Todd, Z. & Todd, Z. (1978) "I couldn't let nobody have my pattern.". Ennice, North Carolina. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Zenna Todd, and Zenna Todd. "I couldn't let nobody have my pattern.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.