Audio Recording "I bought these crazy quilts at auctions."

About this Item

"I bought these crazy quilts at auctions."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Stanley, Lura (Creator)
Stanley, Lura (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Laurel Fork, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  Quilts
-  patchwork quilts
-  crazy quilts
-  string quilts
-  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: Tell me a little bit the crazy quilt again, before you have to leave, about the two crazy quilts that you have. / LS: Well, they were pieced out of, uh, dress material of the people, I'd say, back in the early nineteen hundreds, or before then. That is out of material that they used for dresses. And, they used, probably the scraps and maybe he material, and they put it on an old, top background, and you know material wasn't as avail, wasn't as, was hard to get in those days, in other words, and they used old material to, they pieced those in squares on old material and then put 'em together, and probably embroidered 'em, I know they embroidered the seams after they put it together, but they may have embroidered the little squares beforehand. I've never made one. But, it takes, I, I imagine they worked all winter and stayed in a lot during the winter. / GJ: Um hmm, and did it then. / LS: Uh huh. / GJ: Where, where did you acquire those quilts? How did you get them? / LS: I got 'em at auctions. / GJ: When did you get 'em? / LS: Oh, I've had, had 'em for, I suspect twenty years. / GJ: Is that right? / LS: They, one of 'em. Uh, you know time flies so, it's hard for me to say. My daughter has asked me, I, I collect antiques, too. Not as many now. To write, write about my collections, but I have never done it, and I wish I had. / GJ: Yeah, it would be a good idea. / LS: Uh huh. She, she wants me to, she's asked me several times to write a little something about each of my antiques and, and put it on the piece somewhere. But I haven't. I've been a busy person. I'm yet a busy person. I like to, I don't like to sit down and write and do things. I like to be active and, and like the outdoors. I like to get out. But in the wintertime is when I do my quilts. / GJ: How much did you pay for those quilts that you got, those crazy quilts? I'm just, just curious about that. / LS: [laughter] I paid three dollars and a half for one of 'em. / GJ: Three and a half for one of 'em. I see. And the other one? / LS: I paid, I think, about thirty dollars for. / GJ: The other one was thirty dollars. / LS: Thirty or thirty-five. / GJ: Oh, well then that / LS: But, when I see something I really want, I, I don't buy everything I want, but I, when I go to a sale and I see something what really I want, I concentrate on that one thing. And I'm willing to pay the price for it, if I leave off some other things, you see. If it's something that I really want, I, I'm willing to pay, and that wasn't a high price. / GJ: Oh, absolutely, for both of those quilts. / LS: Oh, that certainly. I think I paid thirty-five dollars for that. / GJ: Which one? / LS: For the one that's, more, I say, most beautifully embroidered. That one. But I only paid three fifty I think for the other one. / GJ: The other one with all the initials and the date / LS: Yes, uh huh. / GJ: Now did you say that came from Floyd County? / LS: Yes, it did. / GJ: Did both of them come from / LS: I'm not sure where the other one came from. I believe that other one came from Patrick County. / GJ: Oh, the other, the one with the fancy embroidery. / LS: I used to go to so many auctions, It's hard for me to think back. I thought I'd never forget these things, but, I, do some. I used to the auctions and, as I said, I would concentrate on something I really wanted.
-  For rights information please contact the Folklife Reading Room at
Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R108
Source Collection
Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1982/009)
American Folklife Center
Online Format

Rights & Access

Rights assessment is your responsibility.

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.

The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

This collection includes materials from the "All-American Quilt Contest" sponsored by Coming Home, a division of Lands' End and Good Housekeeping. The quilt contest winning entries from 1992 to 1996 are displayed with the permission of Coming Home which retains its rights.

Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance. 

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, Lura Stanley, and Lura Stanley. "I bought these crazy quilts at auctions.". Laurel Fork, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Stanley, L. & Stanley, L. (1978) "I bought these crazy quilts at auctions.". Laurel Fork, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Lura Stanley, and Lura Stanley. "I bought these crazy quilts at auctions.". Laurel Fork, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.