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Audio Recording "I make just as little a binding as I can make it."

"I make just as little a binding as I can make it."

About this Item


  • "I make just as little a binding as I can make it."


  • Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
  • Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Interviewee)
  • Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Creator)

Created / Published

  • Ennice, North Carolina


  • -  Quilting
  • -  aesthetics
  • -  quilt binding
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  Interviews
  • -  United States -- North Carolina -- Ennice


  • Ethnography
  • Interviews


  • -  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: How do you like to finish off your quilts? / ZT: When you get it done? Uh huh. Well, when I get it done, I lay it on the bed and a go around it and trim it. I cut top, padding, the lining, and I'll trim it. Then sometimes I take it to the sewing machine and I stitch it close to the edge to hold, hold it good. And then I take, my bias, if I don't have, the, if I use the unbleached muslin for the lining, I cut me enough of inch, bout a inch, or inch-and-a-fourth or inch-and-a-half, bout a inch-and-a-fourth, I guess. I cut that, and cut it bias. And then I bind it with that. I'll sew it on one side and turn it back on the other, and then I'll do the finishing with my fingers. I'll sew it on the bottom side and do it with my fingers on the top. And I make it just as little, a little binding as I can make it. Makes it look more, looks prettier, looks better. / GJ: Is that the way you've always done it? / ZT: Well, I have, I've done it different ways. If I've, if I'm making it for myself, just to use for, what you'd say, to keep the bed warm, I have just hemmed my lining up over the top, the top back on the lining. And you know. But if I'm make it especially for a real fancy, nice quilt, I, I try to do it, you know, real nice.
  • -  For rights information please contact the Folklife Reading Room at


  • 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

  • audio

Rights & Access

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Credit line: Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project collection (AFC 1982/009), 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 make just as little a binding as I can make it.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Todd, Z. & Todd, Z. (1978) "I make just as little a binding as I can make it.". Ennice, North Carolina. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Zenna Todd, and Zenna Todd. "I make just as little a binding as I can make it.". Ennice, North Carolina, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.