Audio Recording "To piece with, a soft thread is better."

"To piece with, a soft thread is better."

About this Item

"To piece with, a soft thread is better."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Stanley, Lura (Creator)
Stanley, Lura (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Laurel Fork, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  Quilting
-  thread
-  aesthetics
-  Ethnography
-  Interviews
-  United States -- Virginia -- Laurel Fork
-  Lura Stanley was interviewed on September 28, 1978, at her home. Geraldine Johnson described Mrs. Stanley's quilts as "truly exquisite." She grew up on a farm and learned to quilt as a child, worked as a school teacher, and now makes quilts for herself and her family. She also has some older quilts which she bought at auctions. The highlights of this interview include Mrs. Stanley's comments on individual quilts as they were photographed.
-  Transcription: GJ: What kind of thread do you use when you're quilting? / LS: Well I use regular quilting thread, myself. To quilt with, but to piece with, a soft thread, if you can get a hold of it, is better. A kind of a soft thread to make, that holds the stitches better than a sewing, but you can use, some people use number 20 sewing, uh, just spool thread. But, two strands of embroidery cotton is good, for piecing quilts. I have done that. Embroidery, you know, embroidery cotton, that you get at the stores. Course that would add to the expense. / GJ: Why is that particularly good? / LS: Kind of soft. It's not stiff. And, it, I like something kind of soft to piece with. But I use regular quilting thread to quilt with. If I can get the color that will match it. I, I don't, I ignore my lining when I'm, quilting. And I quilt for the top of the quilt, the color that the material is. If I'm quilting brown, I use brown quilting thread. If I'm using orange, I use orange quilting thread, and ignore the, the lining. Cause it's not supposed to be seen as much as the top, anyway. And it doesn't look bad on the lining. So I use different colors according to my colors of the top of the quilt. / GJ: So you quilt the color, the top of the quilt, the color that matches it. / LS: That's right. If it's red, I quilt with red. / GJ: Huh. Isn't that interesting. I don't think I've talked with anybody who's done that before. / LS: Well, if you had one of my quilts, I think we would see that. Now, I ignored this lining. I looked everywhere for a lining that I liked better than this. And I quilted this during the winter. And it was, the roads were bad and it was hard to get out to town to get lining. So I ignored this light green lining, and, / GJ: Quilted the top / LS: Well, here, I quilted by my white, you see, on the cream. And here, I quilted red. So there's the red thread and here is the white. Now if I'd a gone in here to have quilted that, I'd have used red. And why did I quilt on the cream here instead of the red? Quilting here made this flower show up more. You know what I mean? It kindly puffed it out. If I'd quilted here it would of held it down, so that made it kindly puff up, you see. But I didn't use green on the green here, because I wasn't quilting on the green. You see I didn't quilt on the green. I purposely couldn't get green / GJ: So then this part will be, there'll be red on this part? / LS: See, I ignored this lining completely, and I couldn't, if I'd have quilted this with the green, I'd have ruined the top of the quilt, so you have to ignore the lining. I like figured linings. I do, I like figured linings. Some people don't, but I do. It doesn't show up your quilting on the back as, and I always have longer stitches on the back than I do on the front. There's my stitches on the front and when you turn it over here, they are larger. And, you learn to make short stitches, if you want short stitches. The thinner your pattern, the shorter your stitches, but, you can, you get the knack, knack of it, if that's the word. You get the knack of, and you can make three or four stitches at a time, and, and you can learn it, if you want to. That, now and you can learn to make smaller stitches. And, that's, I work to make small stitches. I don't always, but. Well, I think long, basting stitches don't look well in a quilt, and now that's my opinion. It's just my opinion.
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Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R106
Source Collection
Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1982/009)
American Folklife Center
Online Format

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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, Lura Stanley, and Lura Stanley. "To piece with, a soft thread is better.". Laurel Fork, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Stanley, L. & Stanley, L. (1978) "To piece with, a soft thread is better.". Laurel Fork, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Lura Stanley, and Lura Stanley. "To piece with, a soft thread is better.". Laurel Fork, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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