Dorothy Stapleton




Dorothy Stapleton




Dorothy Stapleton


Ellen Menefee

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

The Nat'l Quilting Assn


Houston, Texas


Heather Gibson


Ellen Menefee (EM): My name is Ellen Menefee. I'm here interviewing Dorothy Stapleton at the Houston International Quilt Festival. This is the Q.S.O.S. It's November 4, 2000, and it is 4:50 p.m. So where are you from?

Dorothy Stapleton (DS): I'm from Surrey in England in a town called Leatherhead. And it's about 20 miles south of London and about 40 minutes from either airport.

EM: Is this your first time coming to the Houston Quilt Festival?

DS: Yes, my first time.

EM: Wonderful. Well, you have this marvelous quilt here. I want you to tell us about it in great detail.

DS: It's called "Who Would Marry a Quilter?" Would you like to know the inspiration for it?

EM: Very much so.

DS: Alright. Now it doesn't look like my husband because my husband's got more hair than that but all the ladies who see it say, 'No, but it looks like my husband.' And I belong to a quilt group and every two years we have a big exhibition. We do it for charity. And one of the ladies' husbands has a car mechanic business so he has a van. So, he's always asked if he will take all the quilt frames, wooden quilt frames, backwards and forwards. And the last time we did it he was sitting in the restaurant, and he was just looking so sad. And I just thought, 'I'm going to make a quilt about these poor men who have to walk around these quilt shows looking sad and their wives are spending money.' And so that was the initial idea for it.

EM: Describe the quilt for us.

DS: Well, I make lots of amusing quilts because I just think it's rather nice to share these funny things with people. And so, it's mainly appliquéd onto a backing. Now I cut the man's head rather too large to begin with so it's actually a rather bigger quilt than I envisioned it was going to be. The idea of it is this poor man is sitting in this very over-the-top quilter's house- his house. On the top of the wall there's a cross-stitch sampler with "Home Sweet Home." Now I never throw anything out. These are all past teaching samples from a long time ago so that's what we call 'binker.' It's what you use for small children with big holes in it. In the middle is a sort-of plate like you would hang on the wall. But it's actually an old piece of lace doily with some ribbon embroidery on it. It was a little sample from my book that I've written "Quirky Quilts." Then there's a little portion of miniature log-cabin which is when I made a video. It's one of the samples from that. And these are "Liberty of London" prints. They're very fine lawn so to give them more body. I do them on a background of a gridded fabric to keep it all nice and even. And then there's calendar of the wife's quilting events so the top's got some hand embroidered flowers and it says, 'Calendar.' And then Monday it says, 'Me out at quilt group.' Tuesday, 'Me out at committee meeting.' Wednesday, 'Sewing evening here.' Thursday, 'Area Day ten to four.' That's the thing we have where a whole lot of guilds get together. Friday, 'Set up exhibition.' Saturday, 'Quilt Exhibition.' And then, Sunday, 'My mother to lunch.' And then the man himself, his face is appliquéd on with freezer paper, and I have done all the wrinkles on his bald head and his mouth and all the other bits with just a quilting stitch in, I think you call it floss. I think it's stranded embroidery cotton. And then the hair and the eyebrows are some waste-fabric that somebody gave me. I tend to hardly ever buy fabric for my quilts. I just use what people give me or I get them from thrift shops. And it's some kind of--it has elasticy things. I think it's stretchy so that when I fringed; it it's fringed. And then he's got buttons for his eyes. I'm going through a series at the moment of making quilts with button eyes. And then his collar is all frayed-up because his wife doesn't take any care of him. And he's got bits of cotton all over the place. And then the tie is actually a real tie. It's the underneath bit of one of my husband's ties, with cottons on them. And then the buttons are all sewn on with either different colored thread or there's bits hanging off. There's one button that's one of the kind that men in England have on their tweed suits. And it's hanging off on a thread. He's got a safety-pin holding a tear in the suit together with stitching over it. And then on the table there's a label, a note from the wife which says, 'Darling, see you later. Tea in fridge.' Now that, to me being English, means your meal is in the fridge but I gather to Americans it would mean a cup of tea is in the fridge. Then there's a mug with 'I -heart (love) - Q, with just half a Q, and the "quilting's" meant to be around the back. And there's a teapot cozy, and that's crazy quilting with velvets and hand-stitchery and silks in the Victorian tradition of crazy quilting. And I've actually embroidered little flowers on as well. And this has got a little velvet loop on the top. And then the cup is actually on a little doily, which is quite a modern bit of lace. But the edge of the tablecloth, which is in just a piece of gingham, is some old lace that I inherited from my grandmother. Now I haven't cut it up because it was actually ripped in other places, so I haven't defaced it in any way. I think it's called crochet lace because it's quite fine and it's got sort of a lily pattern on it and it goes round in a circle. And then I superimposed--now I call these cotton reels, but I think you call them bobbins, do you?

EM: Spools.

DS: Spools, okay. Now the reason for this was actually a mistake. I've made some rather nasty mistakes in the machine quilting that's holding it together. And I thought, 'I've got to cover this up with something.' So, I made a spool and then I couched on some floss. Do you call it floss? I call it stranded embroidery cotton. And I made pattern. And I thought it actually improved the quilt, so I then put more spools on and various bits of cotton. The final spool comes round, and I couched on, 'Who would marry a quilter?' And that was actually quite difficult to actually do the writing in thread. And then the border is, I think, it's a Jinny Beyer print that I've knocking around for a while. The main body of the quilt is mainly machine quilted, but the border is heavily hand quilted. I've got a label on the back which I've actually written in bleach with an old-fashioned school nib pen, and then stopped the bleaching reaction with some hydrogen peroxide. And I've sewn the label on with hand herringbone stitch in floss. I think that's all I have to say about this [laughter.]

EM: When did you make this quilt?

DS: I made this quilt last year in 1999.

EM: And has it been exhibited?

DS: Yes, it's been exhibited in the National Patchwork Championships which is the annual event in England. And it got a second prize in the Pictorial category. And it's been exhibited with the Bernina "World Art Quilt and Textiles" in Salem, North Carolina and somewhere else--I can't remember where--this summer so that was in 2000.

EM: So, what are your plans for this quilt? What will happen to it?

DS: Well usually I never sell my quilts because I go around in England and now other places giving lectures on quilts. And I find that people like to see the real thing. So, if possible, I just take lots and lots of quilts and people could enjoy them and handle them and see them. So basically, what I do at home is I have a big wall in my dining room, and I have like a moving exhibition. Sometimes I put one up, and sometimes another so it will live with me.

EM: Approximately how many quilts have you made? Do you know?

DS: I really can't remember because I've got three sisters, and we've got thirteen children. And they've got twenty-eight children. And I've made and given away each of those children a twenty-first birthday quilt, a wedding quilt, and baby quilts. And they're still being born. [laughter.] I try to make one big sort of amusing piece a year. I make probably about three or four quilts a year. It's an addiction.

EM: Wow, wonderful. Now do you do hand quilting or machine quilting solely or do both?

DS: I do both. I love hand quilting because I find it very relaxing but on a big piece like this is would sometimes do machine quilting. And on the baby quilt that's in the show, I've actually done machine quilting for the names. I do a lot of drawing with the machine, so I don't do a traditional pattern. I make it up as I go along.

EM: Would you like to say something about your quilt that's in the show? I've seen it but the people listening to this tape have not.

DS: Yes. Well, the quilt in the show is called "What Shall We Call It?" And it's a repetitive freezer paper pattern row of pregnant ladies, very simply drawn with a circle for their faces and a sort-of rounded stomach. They've all got buttons for their eyes. And the reason I made it was for an exhibition called "Great Expectations." And I immediately thought of a row of pregnant ladies holding their aching backs. And so, just as I started it they rang me up and said, 'You don't have to adhere to the subject. You can put in any quilt.' But I thought, 'Well I've started making this.' It was a quilt that I probably wouldn't have made so I've made it in the method that I call the envelope method which is like making a table mat. So, I've got a front, back and a wadding and then I sew round three sides, take it round the right side, so it's completely neat as if it were a table mat. And then what I do, I then jiggle the blocks about and decide where they go best. And then I've joined them all together with herringbone stitch to make it more interesting. So, the quilt's actually called "What Shall We Call It" because I've got three boys who were all going to be called Sophie. So, the writing on the outside is all the proposed names the baby might be called then in the mother's womb, which is just a sort-of egg shape, part of a bit of curtain fabric, the actual baby's name. And so, it's totally different. There's one portion with all flower names, and the baby's a boy and it's called Tom. And then there's all biblical names and the baby's called Fifi. I've got one lady with quads and so it was foursomes. It was "Mathew, Mark, Luke and John" and "John, Paul, Ringo, and whatever." Then "Groucho, Harpo--" and whatever the other Marx brothers are. I'm trying to think what the other ones are. And then the triplets were a nightmare because I couldn't think of threesomes, so I've got "Snap, Crackle and Pop" which is on the corn flakes thing. And some of them I don't think translate well for America. One of them is "Freeman, Hardy, Willis," which is the name of a well-known shoe shop in England. And "Mary, Mongo and Midge," who are people on children's television. And "Tiny, Tilly and Tom" are another one. One of the foursomes is "Tinky- Winky, La-La, whatever it is and Poe," the Teletubbies. And then one of them is twins. The actual ones are "Pip and Estella" because in the book "Great Expectations" that's the name of the people. And so then it's twosomes, so it's things like "Barbie and Ken," and "Victoria and Albert." Some of them won't translate to Americans because it's "Ronnie and Reggie," who were the Kray brothers who were well-known criminals, sort of Al Capone-type people. And "Eric and Ernie" who are comedy characters. There are some that don't translate, and some do. I've actually included two colored ladies, and one of them's got plaited hair with beads in it. And when I was exhibiting this at the knitting and stitching show in England, this lady came up to me with this little boy and she had this plaited hair and I was slightly worried that she was going to say, 'Are you making fun of me?' or something. But the little boy said, 'Excuse me. I'm on your quilt. My name is Rock.' Because this lady's portion, all the names are jewel names like "Sapphire and Topaz" and so then the baby then is a boy called Rock. And one of the things that has pleased me most about my visit here is that I saw a colored lady walk up and take a picture of the other colored lady. And I felt that was nice because coming from another country I notice that there don't seem to be many colored ladies who are doing quilting, for what reason I don't know. But I was glad I'd included them on my quilt.

EM: Wonderful. Back to this quilt. This just begs the question: How about your own home? How do you live with quilts?

DS: I have quilts all over the place. I have them on the beds. I have them on the walls. I've got a big crack on the wall in my dining room and it's very useful to hand a quilt to cover the crack. Yes, I do have a lot of quilts. I think my husband--no, he's not quite as pathetic as this. One of the influences as well as this other man, I've just remembered what it was. He had a sweater with a hole under the arm. And every time we had a visitor, he used to put his hands behind his head and say, 'You think she'd mend the hole in my sweater when she does this much sewing.' [laughter.] So, I think in a way I think that was one of the influences. Yes, but I do have a lot of quilts in the house.

EM: The quilts you make, are they utilitarian? Are they wall hangings? Or both?

DS: Some are wall hangings. I tend to make quilts out of ridiculous things, like cleaning cloths. I made a quilt which is the one I'm best known for in England called "I Hate Housework;" made out of cleaning cloths and dusters and that sort of thing. And also, I'm known for writing silly little quotes on quilts. So that's got all different of quotes about housework. Things like, 'Only spring clean when granny's due to visit,' and 'Be Creative, Make a Mess,' and things like that.

EM: Where did you learn to quilt?

DS: I went to art school, and I did pottery, but I've always done handy-craft things. I taught at evening classes, and I taught macramé and batik and various things. And then I suddenly found quilting, and I felt it was useful. You could use it, and you could do things with it so I then went to a beginner's class, and then eventually I taught classes myself.

EM: How old were you when you started quilting?

DS: I think I was probably about--I'm 57 now and I started in '81 seriously, so I don't know. I can't do the math on that.

EM: Okay. Do any other members of your family quilt?

DS: Well one of my sisters, my second oldest sister, is very artistic. And she did actually make a quilt because there was a big quilt show in her town. She didn't really know anything about it and she never thought to ask me. And she made a lovely white whole-cloth quilt, but she didn't know that you shouldn't have the knots hanging out of the back. But it's a lovely quilt, and she does some stuffed-work, and embroidered stuffed-work but my other sisters don't. And I've got boys who don't quilt.

EM: So, tell me about your first quilt memory, your first contact with quilts.

DS: We didn't have quilts on our bed because we had--well I suppose we'd call them eiderdowns which was satiny things. Oh, I know. Yes, they had a lovely exhibition in London of Irish quilts. And they were very, very primitive. They weren't sophisticated in any way. And the one that I absolutely loved was a log-cabin quilt. And the light bits were shirts, and the dark bits were suits. And so, it all hung really wonkily, and I thought, 'Well, I've got to do this.'

EM: How many hours a week do you quilt?

DS: It's more a case of how many hours don't I quilt. I quilt very day. I quilt every evening. I always have something on the go I can do by hand while I'm watching television. My husband's office- it at home in the house. So, I have to pretend I'm answering the phone and typing and things but actually I'm sewing. [laughter.] And luckily, they can't see. So, I probably do about four hours a day in the day, and then every evening. It's a sort of therapy to me. You know, it calms me down.

EM: Your quilts tend to be very whimsical and fun. Have you ever used quilting therapeutically to get through a difficult time?

DS: Yes, I have actually because I had a father who was very elderly. He was in his nineties. And he went blind and was very deaf, and he needed lots of hospital appointments. And I made a log cabin double-bed quilt in sizes this size, which is about two-inch squares in Liberty Lawns on a foundation. And it was my sanity sewing. I would take it to the hospital, or I'd take it to visit him. He'd say, 'I'm sorry I'm taking up all your time,' but it didn't matter because I had my sewing. So yes, I have used it as a crutch.

EM: You're a wonderful craftsperson in your quilts. A lot of us have learned to quilt but we will never reach this stage. How have you developed your skills?

DS: Well, seeing these quilts here, I don't think I have that many skills. [laughter.] But I really don't know. I don't actually even have many books. I just sort of--an idea hits me and then I work out how I'm going to make it. I really don't know. I'm afraid. I bought a better sewing machine which I felt very guilty about. It was a Bernina machine and I came home and said, 'I spent a thousand pounds on a sewing machine.' And my husband said, 'Good for you. You use it every single day.' I suppose that did improve my skill slightly.

EM: What's your favorite part of quilting?

DS: Could I tell you what I don't like?

EM: That's the next question. [laughter.] So that's fine. You just go right ahead.

DS: Well I realized that I didn't like putting blocks together. I think I've got spatial dyslexia. I really can't get them. And I thought, 'Why do I have to do it? Nobody's making me. It's fun.' So now I just make silly quilts. I mean, these are blocks I suppose, but they're on a foundation. And I love log cabin, partly because I'm very mean. I mean, I don't like wasting anything. I'm very thrifty so I will use tiny bits. I will go to the rubbish bin and get out other people's tiny bits. I feel that I don't want to be buying designer fabric. I feel I want to be making quilts out of stuff I've got or stuff that I can actually preserve on a quilt, like the lace on this which would have been in a cupboard or maybe thrown away. I don't know. That's how I use quilts.

EM: Your quilts just marvelously reflect your personality. It's just great. Do they reflect where you're from, your community?

DS: No, I think I'm a bit of a one-off. Now I don't know. I'm a very gregarious person and when I came here I said, 'Oh, I'm too frightened to go to Houston.' And my sister said, 'Oh, don't worry. You'll make friends with the telephone box.' [laughter.]

EM: What do you think makes a great quilt?

DS: I think probably balance of color and probably an idea. Yes.

EM: What draws you to a quilt? As you walk through the festival, what grabs you?

DS: Something a bit unusual. I mean the ones that have really grabbed me are the ones by the lady from Baton Rouge [Louisiana.] with the wild colors and the stripes, you know. Those really appeal to me. And I can see the absolute artistry in some of the very traditional, beautifully done quilts, but to me I want something that's a bit more off the wall. A bit sort of--I don't know.

EM: What do you think makes a great quilter?

DS: There's a lot of patience and a sense of humor. [laughter.] No, a lot of patience I think, really.

EM: Now I already asked you about machine quilting and hand quilting, and you use both. How do you feel about the long-arm machine?

DS: Well personally I'm very against it. I don't know why. I know nothing about them, but I feel that I'm a bit of a Luddite. I'm a person that wants to start a slow-food society because I don't even like fast food. I've had my first McDonalds in my life when I've been here so I don't know. There's no hurry. You don't have to finish it. I mean, I can't see the point of trying to get all of these things done but then I'm not making quilts commercially. I'm making them for my own enjoyment and for other people to enjoy so it's not really an issue with me.

EM: Do you collect other people's quilts?

DS: No, I don't think I do. I have now considered what I might try and do is maybe with other quilters who I know in England, maybe swap a quilt. You know, I'll make them a quilt and they'll make me a quilt but I did buy an old quilt and I thought it was really pretty in the shop. And it was quite inexpensive but when I got it home my children said, 'Have you bought Hitler's personal quilt?' because when saw the pattern it looked like a swastika. And I hadn't realized it. It's a traditional pattern so it's actually now used as an undersheet. I mean under the sheets before the mattress because it really put me off it.

EM: Why is quilting important to your life?

DS: It more or less is my life because I've met such lovely people. I mean not in my wildest dreams did I think I'd come to Houston on my own. And most quilters are really nice people. You've got something in common. And the nice thing, I think, is you've got different ages. So in our quilt group some ladies are eighty, some ladies are thirty. And yet we've all got something in common and we can all relate to each other.

EM: So you're involved with a quilting group?

DS: Yes, and a quilting guild, The Quilters' Guild of Britain.

EM: Do you sleep under a quilt?

DS: Yes. I sleep under two in the summer. [laughter.]

EM: In the summer?

DS: Yes, because we have a duvet, a big padded thing, and then the quilt in the winter. And then in the summer we have a Dresden Plate quilt I made and another one I made for our silver wedding with different bits of fabric and things.

EM: Your husband didn't come with you on this trip?

DS: No. It wasn't that I didn't invite him, but I felt that--what was he going to do while I was talking quilts, you know? I left him enough food to keep him going. I think it probably has done him good that after thirty-seven years he's got to do without me for a week.

EM: And what ways do you think quilts have special meaning for women and women's history?

DS: Well, I suppose that they had to make these quilts as a need to keep warm. I don't know really. I think it's wonderful now that people are now taking care of quilts and documenting quilts which would be lost and encouraging people to put labels on quilts. And also, I suppose, it would be a record of the clothes we wore because my mother-in-law made a hexagon quilt when I first got married. And I used to make all my own clothes so I gave her bits of stuff. And now when I look at it I think, 'How did I wear this thing?' These absolutely ridiculous things, but they're of an era. And so I think in a way it's wonderful that--you know, those clothes will be thrown away but because it's in the quilt it will be a historic record at the same time.

EM: So you've made some quilts that you've given away as gifts?

DS: I've made lots of quilts that I've given away, yes. But they're more traditional quilts. They're not like this. They're the traditional Dresden Plates, log cabins--what are the ones where you start in the middle and work out--Medallion. Yeah that kind of thing so they're normal quilts.

EM: Are they being used as utilitarian quilts?

DS: Oh, they're using them on the beds, yes.

EM: Wonderful, wonderful.

DS: In fact, the one I made for my oldest son; they were eating curry in bed and spilled it on the quilt which is a very pale one but luckily my daughter-in-law's got a good relation with me and she rang up. And I said, 'Put it in the bath with cold water. And then it all came off with Vanish soap.' Do you have Vanish soap? It's a soap that's meant to get stains off. So it's back on the bed again.

EM: Do things like that upset you? Do you go, "Oh my--"

DS: No, no. I've given it away. And if needs be, I just make another patch on top or something.

EM: Wonderful. So do you see any new trends in quilting since you've been doing it?

DS: Yes, I think there's now a trend--well there is in England--of having wobbly edges on quilts. I think in some ways in England it's getting too much over the top. It's gone away from the--they say you have to have three layers. But people are making things that are, to my mind, in no way a quilt because I feel a quilt should be something that's tactile and they're making them in plastic and goodness knows what. I think it's probably a reaction and we'll get back to the very traditional. I think it's good that there's room for everybody basically.

EM: What would you like to see happen in the future of quilts and quilting?

DS: I really don't know; along as it's all going from strength to strength. I think what I would find sad is if people feel intimidated that if they can't afford designer fabric, they can't make quilts because I am in the school of make-do and mend. You know, you chop up your clothes. You make it into a quilt that bit wears out, you put a patch on top of it. But I'm a bit of a shopkeeper's nightmare, really. [laughter.]

EM: Now in the United States quilting really died down--didn't die out but died down during the mid-century. Was that the case in England as well?

DS: Yes, it was. And in fact, I think it was an American lady, Joan Zinney Lask, who had a shop in London called The Calico Cat and the Patchwork Dog. And she actually started a little group and she had a shop. And then gradually she and some friends started a little group which became The Quilter's Guild of the British Isles which I think now has been going about twenty years odd. Well it was called The Quilter's Guild. They just changed it to the British Isles for some reason.

EM: And this says that you teach quilting.

DS: Yes.

EM: Tell me something about that, your teaching experience.

DS: Well I used to teach at evening classes, just recreational classes. And then I have had classes in my house but now I tend to go to a quilting group and I do a workshop in something that I do. And I've been teaching here at the festival.

EM: And you've published.

DS: Yes, a book called "Quirky Quilts" which has got my silly quilts and really bits of chats about the family and how to make things and general stuff.

EM: So it's a how-to book combined with a bit of history.

DS: Yes, a bit of history, a bit of chit-chat, a bit of this-and-that.

EM: Tell me about this on the cover.

DS: Oh, well that quilt I've got with me. It's upstairs actually. It's about my vacuum cleaner. We have these vacuum cleaners in England called Dyson vacuum cleaners. And they're a different sort of system that you don't have a bag. It's a see-through plastic piece, and whatever you vacuum up you can see it whizzing round. And I think Hoover have just sued him. Well it's been a court case but he's won apparently. Now my actual vacuum cleaner--this one is sort of red and purple and really wow-wowwy colors but my one is actual white-and-blue because the money went to breast cancer research which I though was much more noble. So they have a prize called the Turner Prize where all these very way-out artists exhibit in the Tate Gallery in London. And there's this lady--I don't know whether she's hit America--Tracy Ermin who has an unmade bed as her piece of artwork and this sort of thing. And I feel it's just totally over the top. One of them said that she'd made some artwork out of the rubbish from her vacuum cleaner so this what sort of put me in mind. So I thought, 'Right, I'll make a quilt about my vacuum cleaner,' because I'd previously made one called "I Hate Housework." I called this "Learning to Love Housework." And I've written with bleach again, as I did on the label on the back of this, little slogans like "Where's my earring gone," and "Yuck, this was under our bed," and all this sort of thing. And then the border is in cleaning cloths again that we call jay-cloths. I can't remember what you called them. They're sort of like bonded fiber. They don't fray.

EM: Are they kitchen towels?

DS: Yeah, kitchen cloths. So I've cut them out into little hearts and I've got kisses in between. And I think the family found it more acceptable if you have a load of cleaning cloths in all you fabric stacks. [laughter.] And it's not very big. It's about half the size of this. And then I've got myself behind the vacuum cleaner, and I've got big pink rubber gloves on which are made of fabric. And inside, this is actually a big of a plastic school folder thing, and so I was amazed that I actually sewed on very easily. Inside I've trapped things like children toys and safety-pins and buttons and I've embroidered a spider and a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, and that sort of thing.

EM: That's wonderful. Your work is just wonderful. And after meeting and talking to you and seeing you it's just perfect! We're about out of time. Is there anything else you'd like to share?

DS: No. If it's any use to you, I've got loads more quilts upstairs.

EM: I think we should definitely get a picture of the mothers-to-be out there.

DS: Yes, yes.

EM: Is there anything you would like to add?

Unidentified Person: No, no. I think you guys have had a wonderful interview. This is very interesting.

DS: I didn't know how my humor would translate in America. I've been absolutely amazed because in England some people say, 'Oh, I think that's a disgusting thing to make a quilt about.' And it went to Southern Ireland and apparently people were walking by it and saying, 'Oh, I don't like that.'

EM: Oh, well I've stood and watched people by your quilt and they love it.

DS: Really?

EM: It's like a magnet.

DS: The trouble is when I go to these quilt shows, because I always have writing on my quilts, people then come and have to read every single bit and they cause blockages. [laughter.] This one I've made about men and women's lot in life--Sorry, am I overstaying my time?

EM: No that's fine. We have a couple more minutes.

DS: It's got an apron on it, and these are all the things that it says on the quilt. It's all written on like, "He goes to the RSC which is the Royal Shakespeare Company, she goes to the PTA," and all this sort of thing. And so everybody stood in front of it and read every single thing out. I thought, 'If anybody else says 'He drives the Honda, she drives the Hoover,' I'll go mad. [laughter.] Just some spot comes and I make a silly quilt. So this has actually got things like my children's badges, their name-tags from school. And these are flowers from Flag Day. I put anything on my quilts.

EM: That's great. Well we want to get a photograph of this now. For record's sake, it is now 5:28 and we're concluding the interview. Thank you so very much.

DS: Thank you.


“Dorothy Stapleton,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed April 13, 2024,