Audio Recording "It takes a lot of room for a quilting frame."

About this Item

"It takes a lot of room for a quilting frame."
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
-  quilt frames
-  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: When you get ready to quilt, where do you put up your quilting frames? / ZT: I do it in the bedroom. No, yeah, the ones that comes from the ceiling. I have to move, uh, move around and move a lot of things out to do it. That's the reason I dread to start on it. You know. It takes a lot of room for a quilting frame. / GJ: And how long do you leave them up? / ZT: Well, when I start, I usually leave 'em up till I get through with whatever I'm, ever how many I'm going to do. So I've got about three or four tops there, and when I put 'em up, I'll do them before I take 'em down, and get 'em down, and get 'em out. I hate to, I hate to do it in the house. I could do it in my building up here, but, it's awful big and you have to have heat when it gets, I've got a couple of rooms upstairs that I could do it in, but, I have to run backwards and forth, up and down the steps, somebody comes and rings the doorbell or something Course, I had me a phone put in up there so I wouldn't have to do that, but it's, you don't know what's going on up there, and you, and I just put it up in that bedroom right there And when I get through, I just roll it up, roll it up to where I can walk in under it. When I get ready to quilt, I just let it down So it's not too bad. Only thing is just, just if you was to have sickness or something, you'd just have to take it down and take the quilt out until it was over with. But, I, I have strings, ropes, you know that comes down, and I just wind them around the thing, and roll it, I'll roll it up maybe to six inches to the ceiling. And you got all kinds of room down here to walk under it. Well, I usually move maybe a dresser or the stand or something. Slip the bed over again the wall just as far as I can get it. [laughter] And it makes it kindly tight, quilting, I mean it's, course, if there's more than one that worked on it, you'd have to do more moving than that. But I'll just work from one side and roll my quilt from one side. And that way it don't take too much room, just for me. / GJ: Where did you get your frames? / ZT: Had 'em made Let's see. They're about two-and-a-half inches by two-and-a-half each way. And then I had my husband to put the holes in them, to hold them together. You peg 'em together on the corners, you know. And, you put your lining in. And I usually have my lining, you know, about four inches bigger than the top. And some people laces it in, with thread, but I don't. I just tack mine in. Take little tacks and tack it in, my lining. Then I put my filling on. Then I put my top on. And I stretch my top, but I let my lining be big enough so that it won't come out to where I've tacked it. That's cut off and throwed away. And then I stretch my lining, stretch, stretch it in real tight. And put my padding in, or my batting. Then I put my top on it, and I pull that top as tight as I can get it. And pin it. And you pin it all the way around. Pin it good and close, about two-inches, two-and-a-half inches apart. It takes you, well it takes you half a day to get one in. There's a lot of work to it. Yeah, there's a lot of work.
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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. "It takes a lot of room for a quilting frame.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Todd, Z. & Todd, Z. (1978) "It takes a lot of room for a quilting frame.". Ennice, North Carolina. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Zenna Todd, and Zenna Todd. "It takes a lot of room for a quilting frame.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.