Lucy Staton




Lucy Staton




Lucy Staton


Pat Morgan

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Del Thomas


Wagoner County, Oklahoma


Pat Morgan


Pat Morgan (PM): This is Pat Morgan. Today's date is June 30, 2008. It is 2:15 p.m. and I'm conducting an interview with Lucy Staton for Quilters' S.O.S. Save Our Stories project, at Lucy's home in rural Wagoner County. Lucy, tell me about the quilt you've selected to show me today.

Lucy Staton (LS): The quilt is one I made when my husband was a prisoner of war in Germany. I started it in 1944 and finished it within that year.

PM: Where was he a prisoner at?

LS: He was a prisoner in Germany.

PM: I mean the camp. Do you know the name of it?

LS: Stalag Luft Four.

PM: Stalag what?

LS: Luft. L-U-F-T.

PM: Luft Four. How long was he in there?

LS: He was in there almost exactly a year. Different sources give the dates a little, a little different date because it was, there was a time when they were actually released but they maybe took two or three days to get back to the Allied forces. And so, we have three or four different dates on that. [Some service men from England in a Jeep came by and told them the war was over. He also told them which direction the Allied Forces were. They were on a three-day march. They went in the direction they were told. But fighting broke out before reaching the Allied Forces. There was a delay in reaching them.]

PM: What was his name, Lucy?

LS: Robert E. Staton.

PM: Where did you live when you made this quilt?

LS: At Booneville, Arkansas.

PM: What special meaning does this quilt have for you?

LS: Well, I worked my frustrations out, because it would be months that I wouldn't hear from him. And those get to be long months when you can't hear anything.

PM: Did you have children at that time?

LS: I had two children.

PM: How old were they then?

LS: They were just babies. One of them was just about two months old.

PM: Was it hard to find time to quilt with two babies?

LS: Well, yes, but we didn't get out of the house. We just stayed in the house, so I worked what time they didn't require attention.

PM: Why did you choose this quilt to bring to the interview?

LS: Well, it means a great deal to me because of the time I made it.

PM: It brings back those memories, I guess, of that time?

LS: Well, they're never very far from my mind, anyway.

PM: What year did your husband pass away?

LS: In 19 and--in 2000.

PM: What is the pattern of this quilt?

LS: It's a Double Wedding Ring. A very small version of it.

PM: I started to say--is that the traditional pattern or is it smaller?

LS: It's smaller but I made the pattern.

PM: Was there a particular reason you chose to make that quilt while he was gone?

LS: Well, I really don't know. It just seemed like it was something I needed to do.

PM: What do you think that someone looking at that quilt might think about you? I mean, could they tell something about your personality from looking at that quilt?

LS: Well, I really don't know. I just hadn't thought about that. In fact, really, I haven't even shown it to very many people.

PM: What do you do, do you keep it folded up in a bag, or what, where do you keep it?

LS: I keep it stored in a linen closet.

PM: In a linen closet. In some type of container, or just on a shelf?

LS: Just on a shelf. But of course, there's no light that gets to it.

PM: Have you ever shown it at the shows or anything?

LS: No, I haven't.

PM: Would you consider showing it at a show?

LS: Well, yes, I would.

PM: What are your plans for this quilt? Are you just going to leave it on the shelf?

LS: My daughter will, it will be my daughter's when I'm gone.

PM: And she knows that already?

LS: Yes. In fact, I have most of my quilts marked, the older ones that I have I've marked for who gets them.

PM: How old were you when you first began to think about quilting?

LS: Well, I was probably about seven years old. I wanted to sew, and my dad brought me a tiny little thimble when he went to town one day. And, oh, I thought that was the greatest thing I ever saw! And then when I outgrew it, he got another one for me. And I still have both those thimbles.

PM: Oh, that's neat. Did your mom sew?

LS: Yes. When she was a little girl evidently her grandfather had passed away and her grandmother would come and stay with different families for a while, and she would tell my grandmother that my mother was just wasting thread. And she fussed about it so--them wasting thread and said she could hardly wait till Grandma went home so she could get back to sewing.

PM: What was your grandmother's name?

LS: Lucy Morgan Hamilton was my grandmother.

PM: Oh. Were you named for her?

LS: Yes, I was.

PM: Where did you live as a little girl?

LS: Well, I lived in Arkansas. But now this grandmother died before I was born. She died rather young with a heart attack.

PM: Was she from Arkansas too?

LS: No, they were from Texas.

PM: So, did your mother, when your dad bought you this thimble, did she start teaching you how to sew then?

LS: Well, I was already trying to sew before I got the thimble.

PM: From watching her? Did you get the idea from watching her?

LS: Yes, yes, I did.

PM: What kind of--did she make quilts?

LS: Yes, she made a lot of quilts. In fact, I have a postage stamp quilt I want to show you.

PM: Okay. That she made?

LS: Yes. That was among the last quilts she made. And there's over 6,000 pieces in that quilt.

PM: What size quilt is it?

LS: It's a full size. It'll fit a full-size bed.

PM: When did she make it? What year, do you have any idea?

LS: About 1950. But she had stopped quilting several years before she died.

PM: How did you choose the colors for this quilt, this Wedding Ring quilt that you brought?

LS: Well, of course, basically it's many colors and, then only where the colors join, I had a shade of blue and a shade of pink--for the rings.

PM: Where they overlap?

LS: Yes. It was probably just whatever that I had I could use, because at that time you could hardly buy any fabrics--

PM: Oh, really?

LS: Of any kind. Just very few fabrics came into the stores. Of course, it was a small town and not many places handled fabrics.

PM: Was this made of all new fabric or is some of it--

LS: No, it's all new.

PM: All new. But is some of it scraps left over from other projects?

LS: Yes, it was. Yes, it was made out of scraps really.

PM: Did you sew other things? Did you make clothing for your children and so forth?

LS: Yes, I did.

PM: Does looking at this quilt, can you see fabrics and remember what was--what the scrap's from?

LS: Probably, I would, if I went over it, I could probably see scraps from some of my dresses.

PM: Do you have any idea how many different fabrics are in that?

LS: Gee, I have no idea. [laughs.] It was just random pieces that are sewed together.

PM: Well, it's very pretty. Have you been quilting ever since you were a little girl and when you first started leaning to sew? Have you made quilts ever since then?

LS: Yes, I have.

PM: And you still make quilts now?

LS: Yes, I still do.

PM: How many hours would you say a week that you quilt?

LS: Well, that's hard to say, because, if I'm quilting, I might quilt hours a day and then other days maybe not quilt any. It depends on how much I have to do.

PM: I know you're a pretty busy lady.

LS: But I sew, when I'm home I sew several hours a day. But that covers several projects.

PM: Do you still sew everything besides quilts?

LS: No. I don't.

PM: So, when you make quilts today, do you go and buy fabrics for a certain quilt--

LS: Yes.

PM: Or do you have a stash?

LS: Well, I have a lot of fabrics. In fact, I've cut a lot of them up making those pillows for the, to go in the Freedom boxes.

PM: To send to the soldiers?

LS: [nods.] Because some of them will only make two or three pillows and there really wasn't enough to cut and also, the bigger pieces that I have left I'm saving them for my two little great-granddaughters. They want to try to sew. Their grandma's teaching them.

PM: Their grandma's teaching them how to quilt?

LS: My daughter is, yes. Two years ago, she was going to have them a week after school was out. Their parents were going to a wedding, and they were going to New York and were going to stay some extra days so they could look around. And so, she had the quilts pretty well put together, but she saved enough of it so they could sew the pieces, some little pieces in, and then when it came to quilting, why she helped. They helped her quilt. She quilted those on the machine because of the time, because she couldn't possibly get them done while they were there. But she would let them sit in her lap. She didn't want to trust them with their hands under the machine. And so, they actually did, you know, guide the material.

PM: How old are they?

LS: They were five and seven then. But they loved to sew, so these larger pieces I'm putting them back in the box so that when they begin to sew, they'll have a choice of fabrics.

PM: What is your earliest quilt memory?

LS: My mother had made me a quilt out of the scraps of my earlier dresses. And that's my first memory of even thinking about what quilts were.

PM: Were you really fond of that quilt? I mean because it was made out of your dresses?

LS: Well, yes, that was my quilt.

PM: Are there other quiltmakers among your family or friends?

LS: My sisters--I only have two left but all seven girls quilted.

PM: Did you ever get together and have quilting bees?

LS: Well, no, because we were scattered so far, we couldn't do that.

PM: Tell me if you have ever used quilts to get through a difficult time.

LS: Yes, if something bothers me, I can take it out into the quilt.

PM: Like when your husband was in the prisoner of war camp?

LS: Well. Yes.

PM: And since then, too?

LS: Yes. After he passed away it seemed like I sewed almost day and night. And it helped get me through that.

PM: What do you find pleasing about quilt making? Why is it so--why do you enjoy it so much?

LS: Well, it's something that most people appreciate- a quilt. And that's--I don't even use any of the quilts now.

PM: Oh, you don't?

LS: No, I don't have a quilt. Well, yes, I do have. I've got some - a trundle bed and I put a quilt over it because I didn't have a bedspread that fits. But people really enjoy looking at quilts, whether they're quilters or not, they--

PM: I have a theory about why people like to make quilts, or in my case. I think it's because - you know, you can't control the world; the world is just out of control. But you can control that fabric and you can control what it turns out to be--

LS: Well, that's true. You can make it do anything that you want to.

PM: Do you think that might be true for you- that's one reason you enjoy it?

LS: Probably so.

PM: But do you make up your own patterns usually or do you usually get patterns from magazines or how do you decide what quilts to make?

LS: Well, I look through and get an idea, but most of my quilts, either the block is bigger than I want or smaller than I want so I really make almost 100 percent of the quilt patterns.

PM: How do you go about making them a different size than what the pattern you're looking at is?

LS: Well, you lay the pattern out exactly like it will appear when you sew it. And then you cut the pieces apart and add the seam allowance. You know, so that when you take up the seam allowance, it's going to be just the size of the one you laid out. And that's how I do mine. I use a protractor and a compass and rulers. I still remember some of my physics and geometry.

PM: So that helps you make quilts, huh?

LS: Yeah, that's right.

PM: Is there anything about quilt making that you don't enjoy?

LS: No, not really.

PM: Do you do all hand piecing, or do you use a sewing machine to piece?

LS: I use all hand piecing.

PM: How about quilting? Do you quilt by hand or--

LS: Yes, I quilt by hand. If it's not hand-quilted, it's not quilted. For one thing you can follow your pattern. It brings your pattern out much better than machine quilting.

PM: How many, how small do you make your quilting stitches?

LS: Well, not very small anymore. They were a lot better than they are now. I don't sew as well as I did. Nothing wrong with my hand except I've got carpal tunnel and arthritis in it, and then I've got some pseudo-gouts that flares up now and then.

PM: If that flares up you can't quilt?

LS: It's painful to sew when it flares up.

PM: What year were you born, Lucy?

LS: 1922.

PM: So, you've been quilting--you started when you were seven, you started in 1929. Wow, you've been quilting a long time, haven't you?

LS: I'm afraid so.

PM: Seventy-nine years?

LS: Well, yes.

PM: That's why you're so good at it. You've got all that experience. Have you taught other people how to sew, other than your granddaughters, great-granddaughters?

LS: Yes, just my daughter. But she's the one that teaches the great-granddaughters.

PM: But you taught your daughters?

LS: Yes, well, I just had one daughter.

PM: Oh.

LS: But she figured out how she could quilt that stuff on the machine, those quilts on the machine, without them puckering. She--

PM: That's hard to do, isn't it?

LS: Well, she would pin the, you know, when she was going to quilt this line, she would pin over a little way on both sides, you know, the whole thing together, the top, padding and lining. And then she would sew that, and then remove the pins, and sew the next line. But by doing that it kept them from puckering.

PM: Did she use straight pins or safety pins?

LS: I'm sure she used safety pins, because it's hard to handle a quilt full of straight pins without getting stuck with them every time you move, so I'm pretty sure she used large safety pins.

PM: When you quilt your quilts do you use safety pins to baste with?

LS: No, I don't baste mine--

PM: You don't baste yours?

LS: I spread the lining out on the bed and then spread the Dacron out on that and then the quilt top and get it all as even--and I also leave some extra, you know, around the edge because sometimes it--all your quilt doesn't come out just exactly right so you may have to add a little bit to the lining, you know, because it's--but there's no--it's really better to have a frame, but I don't have room to quilt with a frame so I use a different [inaudible.]. I've no idea how many quilts I've made but my grandchildren--I know I must have made them each 12 to 14 quilts.

PM: Wow! And how many grandchildren do you have?

LS: I've got seven.

PM: And you made each of them 12 to 14 quilts?

LS: Yes. But I worked much faster when they were young than I do now. [laughs.]

PM: What about advances in technology? There's a lot of tools and so forth that we have now that weren't available back when you were quilting when you were really young. Have you kept up with technology, like, do you use a rotary cutter to cut and that sort of thing?

LS: Part of the time I do. Depends on the shape. If it's square, you know, if it has square corners, you can cut you material just in long strips and then cut it. But if it's all circular patterns, that's hard to cut with a cutter.

PM: The new rulers they have, the squares and the curved ones and that sort of thing, do you use those? [inaudible.]

LS: No, not really.

PM: Do you mostly use just the same kind of tools you've used all along?

LS: Mostly, I do, outside of the cutters.

PM: What are your favorite techniques and materials to use?

LS: Well, I prefer the cotton and polyester blends, because the colors are brighter and they stay, and they don't lose their color as much as pure cotton does.

PM: Are they harder to quilt through than the all-cotton?

LS: No, they're not.

PM: Do you ever mix the types of fabric in a quilt? Like all cotton with cotton polyester or--

LS: No, I don't use any all-cotton anymore. At one time I did, that's all we had but now I just use polyester blend.

PM: What kind of batting do you like?

LS: I like the batting that is bonded. It doesn't stretch and it, you don't have thin spots or thick spots. It's a bonded large sheet.

PM: How long has that been available? That wasn't available always, was it?

LS: It's been available several years. I really can't say.

PM: Do you remember where you learned about it?

LS: Well, I suppose when shopping and I went to buy some. Now they had some bonded before that. Mountain Mist was bonded but it was tough to get your needle through. It was really hard to quilt so I usually didn't use that but whenever the other company started putting out bonded material then I started getting that. But it doesn't have that tough outer layer like the Mountain Mist did. I don't know if Mountain Mist still has that or not.

PM: What about your quilt making technique? What kind of patterns do you like to make? How do you determine what kind of pattern you're going to make? Use in making a quilt?

LS: Well, I just see something I like and--

PM: Like a magazine? Do you buy quilting magazines?

LS: I've got stacks of those. [laughs.] There was one. A Triple Tulip. All I ever found of that was a little picture about that big square [holds up hands measuring about a three-inch width.] so I made my own pattern from that block. Then later I did find one. I did find a pattern for that, and I made several of them. It was an appliquéd quilt.

PM: So, do you like appliquéd better than pieced?

LS: Well, no, not really. I like to do both.

PM: Do you use the hand turned appliqué or the machine stitched?

LS: No, I baste it and put it on by hand.

PM: Do you use freezer paper to make your--turn your edges under?

LS: No, I don't. I just--I turn them--I mark it on the wrong side--

PM: Of the fabric?

LS: And then I--no I don't, I mark it on the right side, but then I turn it over on that line, but I see that the black line is, you know, turned under so it doesn't show.

PM: So, do you baste it on the fabric before you sew it down?

LS: Yes, well, I don't baste it on the fabric, I baste the edges, you know, after I've turned it under. Because seems like--fabric gives and you never know just how it's going to give so I just put it on there the best I can and maybe put a pin in it, you know, until I can get started.

PM: What's the favorite appliqué pattern you've ever made?

LS: Well [pause.] I have made several. The Lancaster Rose. That has three or four different names that I've found. Different quilts call it by different names. And then I like this Triple Tulip.

PM: The one that you made your own pattern?

LS: Yes. And then I have another one that's Spring Bouquet. I didn't make that exactly: I didn't like the looks of the tulip somehow, so I made prettier tulips than they had. I made several changes in it, but it was basically that.

PM: What's your favorite pattern in a pieced quilt?

LS: Well, I'd say probably the Wedding Ring. And I also made two Indian ones. I made two and gave one to my daughter and one to my son, so I don't have one of those. But it was based on the old Pickle Dish pattern. And in fact, it is that pattern except a different arrangement of your colors.

PM: I'm not familiar with the Pickle Dish pattern. What does that look like?

LS: It's an old pattern. [picks up pencil and looks for paper.]

PM: Here, I'll give you a piece of paper. [tears sheet from notebook.]

LS: It's like a Wedding Ring except (begins drawing on sheet of notebook paper) when you piece those parts, your pieces are shaped like that.

PM: Oh, v shaped.

LS: Yeah. They're shaped like that, and you sew them together and that was like this Wedding Ring. I mean it was like the old Pickle Dish. I suppose those edges like that represented, you know, fancy--

PM: Arrowheads or something?

LS: Yes. And--

PM: What was this part here?

LS: Well, of course, this, it would be just like the Wedding Ring. It would be another one over here.

PM: Oh, okay. Like an oval shape instead of a circle, ovals in between the circles, where the circles overlap. I see.

LS: Yes.

PM: I see. Where did you come up with that idea?

LS: I found the pattern in a quilting book.

PM: A quilting book?

LS: [nods.] And you don't find too many Indian oriented patterns. Not really.

PM: Yeah. That's neat. I'd like to have seen those. Tell me about your studio or your quilting room.

LS: [laughs.] It is stacked with fabric. And on the bed, I've got baby quilts stacked. I'm going to get them out to their--to my daughter and my son to be stored, but my son's mother-in-law had passed away and they were tied up with, you know, getting everything finished up there so I'm just waiting to take these stacks of quilts out to my daughter and--

PM: Why do you have so many baby quilts made?

LS: Oh, they're to be stored for my great-great-grandchildren.

PM: Who haven't been born yet?

LS: [laughs.] No, well, nobody's married yet. [laughs.] My oldest great-grandchild is 16.

PM: It won't be too many years before you'll be having a great-great.

LS: But they're to be stored for them. And I - my son wanted me to sign all of the quilts and finally found some laundry markers, so I signed them all and I made a label and put in all of them.

PM: How many have you made of those?

LS: Well, I've made more than 70, but 70 is what I'm going to have stored.

PM: Seventy? Seven oh?

LS: Yes.

PM: That would make 70 great-great--

LS: Grandchildren.

PM: Grandchildren.

LS: I'll show you the labels I made.

PM: Okay. I'm going to turn this tape recorder off while you do that. [turns off recorder.] Quilt with a label. It's a--

LS: My daughter had found a rather inexpensive machine to make those labels. And so she'd made those up for me. But I'm not going to ask her to make 70 of those [laughs.] so I went and got a machine like hers and made those labels.

PM: Your label says "1990 made by Lucy Ellington Staton."

LS: Well, that's when I started this project. Of course, I just finished it up the last couple of years. But that's when I started the project.

PM: And you signed it up above the label with laundry marker "Lucy E. Staton."

LS: My son insisted that they be signed.

PM: That's wonderful. What kind of machine is that that makes that?

LS: It was one I got at Sears.

PM: Is it a sewing machine or a label--

LS: Yes, it's a sewing machine [both speak at the same time.] You can use it as a sewing machine or set it up, they had, you press numbers in it, you know, A -it'd be 1, and then on down.

PM: Uh-huh, yeah.

LS: And you press those numbers in for each letter. And you get it all set up and you can sit there and sew label after label.

PM: That's great. What do you think makes a great quilt?

LS: Well, good fabric and especially a good color scheme. The colors really make the quilt.

PM: How do you decide on a color scheme?

LS: Well [laughs.] sometimes I go look at my fabrics and see what I've got. But I particularly like maroon and mauve together. That's, I think, two of my favorite colors to put together.

PM: Do you use a color wheel or any kind of artist--

LS: No, I just--

PM: Equipment?

LS: If I need a solid color to go with something I've got, I'll take a swatch of the fabric to a store and put it up beside the different shades.

PM: And it's just whatever looks good to you?

LS: [nods.] Whatever looks good to me. Maybe I don't have the best sense of color, but--

PM: What do you think of long arm quilting? I know you said earlier that if it's not hand quilted to you it's not quilted. What about these long arm quilting machines?

LS: Well, if they don't follow the pattern then it doesn't make the best out of the quilt. You have to, to bring out your pattern; you almost have to quilt it by the piece.

PM: Why is quilt making important to your life?

LS: Well, it's what I do and what I enjoy, and I have something to leave to my, to my family.

PM: Why did you determine 70 was the number of the baby quilts you were going to make for your great-grandchildren?

LS: Well, I made each one. I made enough for each one to have five.

PM: Ah-h-h.

LS: That was what I finally figured out.

PM: And you've done this since 1990, and you've just finished it?

LS: Well, of course I didn't work on it constantly- these things that I started making the tops back then.

PM: Are you going to have to look for another project now that project is done?

LS: No, I have plenty of projects.

PM: Do you have a lot of unfinished projects around or do you normally finish what you start?

LS: Normally I pretty much finish what I've started.

PM: Have you made any other things besides bedcovers out of quilting, like quilted bags or anything?

LS: No, I haven't.

PM: Well, you make a lot of potholders. You quilt those some, don't you?

LS: I make potholders by the thousands.

PM: Those are quilted aren't they, some of them?

LS: No, they're not quilted.

PM: Oh, okay, I thought they were.

LS: I use old blankets and sometimes that's not quite thick enough, so I'll add two or three layers of old fabric I'm not going to use for anything else. I want them thick enough, but I don't want them so thick that they're stiff. So, really, I just sew the binding on it and stitch it down by hand.

PM: How do you think your quilts reflect your community or region? Do you think someone from another part of the country could look at this quilt and determine anything about where it came from? By the pattern and the way, it's made?

LS: I really don't know. I have a great-great niece that is--some sort of a quilting guild that she's in. But they do a lot of, a lot of embroidery, you know, like making, and it's pretty embroidery but you can tell that that's a tree. They just up and do all that stuff by hand but it's not neat and precise.

PM: Where does she live?

LS: She lives in Illinois. But her quilts and mine are far different. My sister-in-law found a Civil War discharge and she asked me one day, "Do you know who this is? And I said, "Yes I do." She had no idea [inaudible.] who it was, but I said, "Yes I do, it's my half-brother and half-sister's grandfather." -but she'd found that in some papers that she had gotten from this older lady that died and we had no idea [inaudible.] how that discharge got there. So, she gave it to me, and I looked over all the ones in her family and I decided this would probably be one that would really take care of that and appreciate it, so I mailed it to her. So, every year I get a card from her reminding me about the discharge. She did so appreciate that.

PM: That was the discharge papers, Civil War discharge papers, a record of it?

LS: Yes, it was his original discharge papers, and my sister-in-law had no idea who that was.

PM: What do you think about the importance of quilts in American life?

LS: Well, it reflects back to our early days when people had to make quilts. They had to have covers. And not too many of them could, I mean, they needed the quilts badly, so they didn't have time or the material to make a quilt that was, just because it was pretty. So, at one time, of course, we slept under quilts. We never had blankets because my mother made quilts. My grandson's wife's brother and sister spent the night at their house one time and so next morning the girl got up and said, 'Oh, I slept under a quilt last night.' She thought that was such an honor. [laughs.] and the brother said, 'Well, I not only had to sleep on the couch, but I had an old blanket to sleep under.' [laughs.]

PM: It was a thrill, huh? In what ways do you think quilts have special meaning for women's history in America?

LS: Well, a lot of quilts reflected what kind of person that quilt--that person was from the quilt she made, I think.

PM: Could you give me an example of what you mean, what you might read into a quilt about the maker?

LS: Well, not necessarily, but some of them didn't care what the quilt looked like, so she'd just sew a bunch of stuff together and make a quilt up out of it but not my mother. She cut everything up into little pieces and pieced quilts and they were pretty when she finished.

PM: Utilitarian and pretty.

LS: Yes.

PM: How do you think quilts can be used today?

LS: Oh, they use them for many things. Wall hangings and I have seen pictures of peoples' houses that, oh, they just have quilts spread on the couch and on the chairs and really used them as decorations. And some of them were rather simple quilts.

PM: Do you use any for decoration in your house?

LS: Oh, I did have a wall hanging one time, but I don't know where that is.

PM: How do you think quilts can be preserved for the future?

LS: Well, they need to be stored in a fairly cool place and kept away from water and at a pretty standard temperature. Not extremely hot and not extremely cold.

PM: Have you ever visited quilt museums anywhere?

LS: No, I haven't.

PM: What's happened to the quilts you've made for friends and family?

LS: Well, they use them, keep them and my granddaughter-in-law, she switches her quilts around. They don't sleep under their nicer quilts. That's for bedspreads.

PM: Oh, uh-huh.

LS: She switches them around and uses them as bedspreads. And she has taught the little girls quilts are special and they always loved their baby quilts. And they were little tykes.

PM: Have you ever made any doll quilts for your granddaughters and daughters?

LS: Yes, I have made doll quilts, but it's been a long time since I made them. Kids don't play with their doll quilts long like they used to. They played with dolls a long time.

PM: Yeah. [laughs.] What do you think is the biggest challenge for quiltmakers today?

LS: Well, people don't have the patience or time to put in that many hours on quilts. And I think that's one reason they would like to have them, but they just don't have the time to put the hours in.

PM: There seems to be a new interest in the last few years about, in quilting--

LS: Yes, there really is.

PM: So many classes and--

LS: But a lot of those quilts they designed themselves and the pictures are sometimes very pretty, but you get the idea, you know, what they're telling you. Maybe it's sort of a picture of Grandma and Uncle John that they've depicted on that quilt. I don't think they use the standard patterns as much as we did. But they make theirs up more often.

PM: What do you think of these art quilts that people make now. You know, they're like you say, they make them up and they express themselves artistically through a, use quilting to do it, like painting--

LS: Well, it's great to me for them to do that. But of course, I grew up using standard patterns and I really didn't get into that. [coughs.] Did you see the picture of the quilt, the little quilt that we designed the blocks for at the DAR?

PM: Um-huh.

LS: I said, next time I want a block two feet square because Retha and I talked about that and we had so many ideas that we would've like to put on there, but it was such a little block, we just didn't--

PM: Have the room?

LS: Have the room for the many things that depict Oklahoma history.

PM: Have you ever done an art quilt, or did you ever want to?

LS: Not really.

PM: We didn't talk about your fabric, where you buy fabric. Where do you find the best place to buy your fabric to make your quilts?

LS: Well, Hancock's or Wal-Mart, wherever they've got a selection of colors. Usually just the solids I--if it's something that's not easy to match, I'll go to a fabric store or to something like that because they have more shades.

PM: Lucy, is there anything we haven't talked about that you'd like to mention?

LS: Nothing that I know of.

PM: Well, I appreciate your letting me do this interview and we'll shut the tape off now. [coughs.] Thank you.

[tape turned off.]


“Lucy Staton,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 27, 2024,