Margaret B. Todd




Margaret B. Todd




Margaret B. Todd


Evelyn Salinger

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Emily Klainberg


Adelphi, Maryland

Interview indexer

Evelyn Salinger:(ES) Hello, today is Saturday, March 8th, 2003. I am Evelyn Salinger in conversation with Margaret Todd at Hill Haven on Powder Mill Road, Adelphi, Maryland. Her number: 20783.001. Also present is Margie Mock, Margaret's daughter. Hello. Welcome. Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed today. I know you are very eager to tell us about some of your beginnings of the National Quilt Association.

Margaret Todd: (MT) National Quilting Association--

ES: National Quilting Association.

MT: Inc.

ES: National Quilting Association, comma Inc. Thank you. So, would you like to tell us how it got started? Or when you got started, all that?

MT: Well, some of them got together and thought it would be nice to start an organization. So, we met at the home of Dolores Hinson at Riverdale, Maryland on January 31st, 1970. And there were seven of us present. There was Rae Koch (K-o-c-h), (Rae was her first name), Barbara Dash who is deceased, Penny Rigdon, Sherynn Stallard (S-h-e-r-y-double n), Lynn Harris who is deceased. [knock at door-interruption.]

ES: After an interruption, we will continue our list of original members.

MT: Lynn Harris.

ES: Lynn Harris is the fifth one.

MT: And of course Dolores because it was at her house and me.

ES: Of course, you. Margaret Todd. Okay now, who got you all started? Who had the idea?

MT: I don't know. I think it was Dolores, probably because she had written the book ["Quilting Manual," 1966, the first of 6 books.] and--

ES: Right. Now, was each person there a quilter to begin with?

MT: Well, I really wasn't a quilter but I liked them and I enjoyed seeing them but I had really never done any.

ES: I see. Did you through the years then, start to do quilts or did you pretty much support--

MT: I did not finish a quilt. I would do parts of them and somebody else would finish them.

ES: When you all met at the beginning, was it that you were working on a quilt together at the meeting?

MT: No, I did not even know who was going to be at the meeting when we got there.

ES: So, what did you do at the meetings? Show and tell?

MT: Well, they just talked about organizing and because we were in the national area, why we gave it that name, the National Quilting Association. And then it was a few years later when we became incorporated.

ES: It is very hard for me to understand how it gets from a local group of seven to being a national thing. How did that work?

MT: Well.

ES: Can you give us a long story on that?

MT: That bothers me, because it has gotten so commercial now. People used to come to the meetings and enjoy them. There was standing room at the quarterly meetings. And as I said, Viola [Canady.] holding her things up over her face--

ES: Tell us about Viola, again. She was a member after the first--

MT: Oh, she became member of National, then they formed chapters and it was a ruling that you had to belong to National before you could join a chapter. Well, somewhere along the line, that got out of kilter, and all of a sudden there were chapters coming in and joining with just one fee and then the whole chapter got the benefit of it. And that took away from that more personal feeling we had as members, you know, because the people in the chapter were not members of the National. Their chapter was a member. And it took something away from it.

ES: What did the National Quilting group that you belonged to, do to attract other groups?

MT: We, oh boy, Lynn [Harris.] and I traveled miles and miles over Maryland and Virginia trying to get people to start chapters. And sometimes I would take my books along with me and come home minus a book. [laughter.] It was just one of those things you just tried to get people interested. And then we had this house out in Glenn Dale, and I cannot remember the name of the lawyer to whom it belonged, but they had an extra building outside and we set up shop in there and we had fabrics, which we sold, and that's where we had our meetings and everything. And then somebody from, I think Columbia, decided that they wanted the headquarters some place else. So they came down and moved everything up to where it is now.

ES: Did you have shows?

MT: We had shows every year, beginning that first year in '70.

ES: I see. And where was the first show?

MT: They had the shows over at the Greenbelt library. And a couple of years they had them in at the Marymount College. And then they got so that they began moving them around. After this Columbia group took over, they started having them in different states. Now a lot of the officers are teachers, you know, store people. But it has just gotten away, to me, from that personal touch that we started with.

ES: Did you have a publication from the group?

MT: Oh. We had what we called Patchwork Patter. Pat Newkirk started that. We called it Patchwork Patter and it was the news of the different chapters and we published a pattern each time. And one of the girls made a logo. It was a Q with a bee in it. It was real cute. But, the Patchwork Patter, we no longer have that. They have a National Quilting Quarterly.

ES: I just brought one today. This came yesterday to my house. Do you also get that?

MT: Uh-huh. But the Quilting Quarterly but they did away with our logo.

ES: They have a logo here on the back. N. Q. A.

MT: See, ours, they had an awfully cute Q with a little bee in it, because for quilting bees but they did away with all that.

ES: Right.

Margaret Mock (MM): We have a million of those up at the house.

MT: Yes.

MM: Patchwork Patters. Filing cabinets full of them. She's a half mile up the road if you want to come and look at them.

MT: I have all the Patchwork Patters from the very first one.

MM: They are all cataloged.

ES: That's wonderful.

MT: But it was just newsy and friendly. People knew each other.

ES: Was there any change in the look of things when the bicentennial came in 1976? I felt when I was out in Iowa that there was certainly a resurgence of quilting.

MT: Penny [Rigdon.] could tell you about that, because I just don't remember. I was stuck with membership, wasn't stuck with it, I liked it, but that's what I usually took care of. And at the different meetings, I was at the membership table. I never got around to look at the quilts that were hanging. [laughter.] But we gave each state, as a chapter came in, we'd give it a state number and then a chapter number. But I don't think they even take care of that any more. Our Crazyquilters, I've forgotten about that, Penny would have to tell you. The very first chapter was Golden Thimbles.

ES: Called Crazyquilters?

MT: No, Crazyquilters was '2'. But our members-- [inaudible.] I got to tell you a story about one of these blocks in here. [indicating her quilt.] LaVonne Hanlon came into it later, but after she got there she was very--she quilts and she helps people with quilts. And of course Pat Newkirk is gone. Gladys Dill was another worker, who is ill now, and Agnes Cook in Florida. When people came from other places to see our quilt show if they did not have a place to stay, they sent them to Margaret's. [herself.]

ES: Ummm.

MT: So this Agnes Cook, from Florida, was one of them, and Catherine Eshleman was another one. She was a champion quilter from Pennsylvania. She's gone, too. But this Glenn Dale headquarters, we still had two years to stay on our lease, but they moved everything up there to Ellicott City.

ES: And when was that move to Ellicott City, do you remember?

MT: I don't remember. Penny would probably remember.

ES: Can you talk about some of the different shows? How they were organized? Or how they changed as years went along?

MT: I don't think they did change. And I can't remember the name of this person who was one of the judges every year. Penny would remember that. If she has her Patchwork Patters, a lot of this stuff you can find in there. People's names and things like that.

ES: Okay. Are there any other stories about the different women that we could share now, because some of the women are gone?

MT: Not that I can remember.

ES: What they contributed?

MT: That is another thing Penny should do.

ES: I can ask her.

MT: Because she's good at remembering things. With me, I kind of let things, other people were taking care of things, and I just didn't bother.

ES: But you did the membership.

MT: I did the membership mostly, did the typing, and our newsletter, when the newsletter went out, we had to mail them ourselves, sometimes. And my house was strewn with stacks of envelopes because they had to be sorted out according to zip code. And then we'd lug them to the post office and put them in a cart or something out back, and hope they got mailed. And we collated the Patter around the table. Todd even had the Baptist minister working one time.

MM: Todd's her husband, my father.

MT: Todd used to help. You'd go around and pick up one from each pile, you know.

MM: Whoever would stop in, they would be put to work.

MT: Jimmy Duncan, a Baptist minister, working at it one time. And sometimes Francie Parrack collated at her house, at times on her big dining room table. And each one had a pile and it was just passed on from one pile to another but that mailing was something else again. Never any men around to help with that.

ES: Well, quilting traditionally has been a woman's thing.

MT: Uh-huh. It was a woman's thing.

ES: How often did you send out these things, Patchwork Patters?

MT: Every three months.

ES: That's a lot of work.

MT: And they grew, they grew a little bit fatter because you get more news, you know. But we always tried to put a pattern. I have patterns at home that come from--when women out there who quilted and would exchange quilt patterns. They were just traced out on a piece of paper. No info regarding seams, material, stuffing, any of that. Just one pattern. I have a lot of those I saved.

ES: It must be very interesting. Do you go back sometimes and take out a folder and look at them?

MT: What I tried to do is to file them alphabetically, and go through the big green books in behind the couch. And then the one in Colorado, I don't get it any more.

ES: Oh. The Quilter's Newsletter [Magazine.]?

MT: Yes, I have those from the very first ones.

MM: We have cartons of all those. And they need to go somewhere, a museum or somewhere.

MT: They were full of news.

ES: Yes.

MT: I just went along and enjoyed it.

ES: It sounds like you did. How many years? From the 70's, thirty some years.

MT: We had our 25th anniversary out in Charleston, West Virginia.

MM: Is that the one that Lois took you? They went out on the train.

ES: I remember Penny went on that.

MT: Sherynn was ill. She lives in Virgina. Sherynn Stallard. She was ill and couldn't go but the other four of us were there. [the four founders of NQA.] And Dolores Hinson has died now. Penny used to keep in touch with her.

ES: May I divert to another thing now? I would like to know your background because we are trying also in this Quilters' Save Our Stories project to know where you came from. What were your interests as a child and how it got you into the interest of quilting? So, could we start out from your beginning, where were you born and where did you grow up?

MT: I was born in a little one-horse town called Shelby, Ohio, which is half way between Columbus and Cleveland on the Big 4.

ES: And was that on a farm?

MT: It was a small town and then we moved out to the area, five acres, outside of town. I was telling the girls the other day. They were talking about the drivers' licenses, how much they are going to cost. First one I got was sixty-five cents.

ES: That's nice.

MT: I was nine years old and I lived five miles out of town and I used to drive my mother in to the doctor. Drive her back and forth.

ES: At nine years old!

MT: The next year you took your little slip of paper and another sixty-five cents and gave it to the person at the desk and they gave you another license. [laughter.]

MM: A little bit more complicated these days.

MT: I started driving when I was nine years old. My Dad set me up on the seat of a Model T Ford, Tin Lizzie. The gas tank was under the front seat, and the rain curtains that you snapped on if it rained, they were under the back seat. So anybody sitting there had to get out. [laughter.] And they had three pedals; one for gas, one for brake, and one for reverse. And if you were careful, you could stop on the reverse, but you had to be careful because you could turn yourself around.

ES: Oh, my.

MT: You did not have a self starter, you cranked it. A wire came out here and you pulled that, and you had to be careful how you held the crank because it would kick and break your arm. So I never had a broken arm. I watched.

ES: That's marvelous. Were there any people of your town or your family into quilting at all?

MT: Not that I remember.

MM: Grandma sewed.

MT: A lot of sewers.

ES: Did you also learn to sew?

MT: And I used to sew. I used to make the girls' dresses out of feed sacks.

MM: Our dresses matched the curtains, matched the tea towels, everything. And everybody had the same pattern if you went to the same feed store. [laughter.] But nobody cared.

MT: Well, you went to school just like everybody else and enjoyed it. I started working while I was still a senior. Before we graduated, I started work in February - called the Shelby Gum Company. They made bubble gum. It was called "Blow Gum." That was the name of it. And that great big round candy jaw-breaker, "filled with more gum than a penny ever bought" was the slogan. I would walk over from the school on the east side of town over to the west side of town and work the afternoons and Saturdays. Ten dollars a month or something like that but I enjoyed that.

ES: So when you finished your high school did you stay there in town?

MT: No. I worked for lawyers for twelve years. First in Columbus, we had moved to Columbus, after I graduated from high school in '27. I think it was '29 when we moved to Columbus and I worked for lawyers for 12 years there.

ES: As a secretary?

MT: They wanted me to study law. Said I was good at it but those big heavy books, no way. An osteopath came to town when I was in high school. I used to get cramps so badly. He would work on my back. He taught me how to do a complete treatment. What do you call it?

ES: Massage?

MT: From head to foot, just the bones and everything. And he wanted me to go to Denver and study Osteopathy because he said I had the hands for it.

MM: But you never did.

MT: A couple of psychics have told me that I have healing hands and I belonged to a little theater group. And before the play, everybody backed up to me and had their shoulders and neck messaged before we went on. We just did not do things. We went to football games when we were in high school. We stood out on the side of the field there in the rain though and watched. Didn't have a stadium or seats or anything like that. You stood there, got soaked. I remember the day that the one guy got cleated and when he came off, his skin from his sore was hanging out over his eye.

MM: And in those days, they probably slapped it back up there, and told him to lie down flat 'til it heals.

ES: So now we are up to Columbus, Ohio. Did you get married during that time you worked for the lawyers, or was it after that?

MT: I am trying to think.

MM: You got married and then you lived in Westerville. And then Dad got the job here and you came to Maryland.

ES: What date did you get married?

MM: '36 or somewhere along in there. And they came to Maryland in '39 and they lived on campus.

MT: We lived on campus for the first year and a half that we lived here.

ES: Of the University of Maryland?

MM: It is now a sorority house.

MT: Todd worked for the University. And then we moved out to the plant research farm which is out there on Cherry Hill Road.

MM: Which is now Riderwood. It was Great Oaks Retardation Center, and now it is Orchard Center, and Riderwood.

MT: That was woods where Riderwood is.

MM: But it was part of the Farm.

MT: That was Great Oaks center. Riderwood has taken that over.

MM: It's not an assisted living. It's an elderly community. And they are still building that. And the other side, where the peach orchard and everything was--are some restaurants and a strip mall.

ES: Did you raise your family there at that place?

MT: Yes, Margie was a baby.

MM: No, Marilyn was a baby. And then you went back to Ohio and had me and came back. I was on campus for a little while then the house was finished in 1941.

MT: I had you when we still lived on campus. [1940.]

MM: Yes, then you moved out to the Farm. The house was finished in 1941. It was a 538 acre farm.

MT: When we moved over here, I was pregnant with her. And Marilyn was not quite two. But then after we moved out to the farm, I remember I used to tell Marilyn to watch her when she got so that she was walking around, because there were trucks and things coming in and out. And then I got to thinking, 'That is not fair to Marilyn. Let Margie learn to look after herself.' So she did!

MM: It was so much more unpopulated then.

ES: Was it a University farm?

MT: It was the University of Maryland Plant Research Farm. They had agronomy and horticulture, both.

MM: Dad was head of the Horticulture.

MT: He had the Horticulture. He managed the 500 acres.

MM: Fruits and vegetables. And grad students would come and do their experiments there. So they had acres and acres of whatever they were experimenting on. And then the extra produce was sold at the stand.

MT: Way back in the woods, we got spring water.

MM: We had a creek and a swimming hole.

MT: We never thought a thing about that walking back there by yourself. And then people began to dump off their animals.

MM: We had lots of animals. Oh, here's a farm. They must need an animal.

MT: At one time we had 26 cats, 4 or 5 dogs.

MM: 6, 8 or 10, but we fed them on big trays. In those days you did not take them to the vets. And people would come to buy apples and green beans, all produce, and in those days people were staying home, so they wanted pets. So they got good homes for your pets.

MT: We have one picture with all these cats lined up.

MM: We had one big thing with three litters of cats. Each mother would feed her kittens. It was just a typical farm.

ES: They were all outside your house.

MM: Oh, yes. We had one or two inside, but most were outside cats, barn cats.

MT: But when I turned the can opener on-- [laughter.]

MM: They all knew that noise. It is so funny. Her cat now does and we do not even feed him canned food. He comes running. 'Arnie, why are you doing this? You don't eat canned food.' But they know that noise.

MT: We have always had animals. Dogs areā€¦ Pera was a dog that somebody dropped off there. Margie took hold of it and she wasn't about to let it go.

MM: The guy came back looking for it.

MT: The man came back, the man that had dropped her.

MM: He felt bad.

MT: He came back to see if she had been picked up. She was a small, very small German shepherd. And he said something that he had gotten her through pictures--

MM: He had gotten her to breed and she was too small for show because she was only the size of a three month old. But she was perfect for us. It was a good life. Farm life.

MT: I don't know. We just took care of anything that got dropped off.

MM: In those days you could. You just did. You did what you had to do.

ES: Let me go back a little bit now. What is your favorite part of quilting itself? Is it collecting patterns or is it just meeting the people?

MT: I like to collect patterns and I like to collect material.

MM: Oh, we have reams of that, too, if you want to come up and need any yard goods. She looks at the patterns, and she likes to look through the magazines.

MT: In those days, it was a dollar and something or two dollars at the most per yard. Nowadays it is 8, 10 and 12. I could not afford it now. And lot of these people who call them quilts, they are art. And I think it is a waste to spend all that expensive material on them, when they are not used what they are supposed to be used for. Quilting to me was a necessity. It was something people did and they used what they had. Parts of clothing. They would take a quilt and they would say, 'Well this was so and so's dress.' This was the dress she wore for the first day of school.' This, that and the other. And it was memories.

ES: Right.

MT: Which you do not have now with it. Except something like this. [she indicates the quilt nearby.]

ES: I would like to talk about the quilts you have here to show us.

MM: Let's open this one up. These are both, two twin beds.

MT: LaVonne Hanlon created this.

ES: Describe this for people who cannot see.

MT: Both of these were for my seventy-fifth birthday. And people from all over the United States made these blocks. Each one quilted his own block. You see.

MM: Are these blocks like a foot?

MT: LaVonne put the sashing in and did all of this border and did all that quilting herself. And put the backing on and put it together.

ES: Each one of these squares has a different angel on it and why is it they picked angels? Because you were an angel?

MM: Mother, tell them why they were angels.

MT: Oh, because I collect angels. I belong to the Angel Collectors Club of America, ACCA.

MM: There are four blocks across the top and five blocks down.

MT: No person made more than one block.

ES: They are beautiful.

MT: One block two people worked on. I think one block three people worked on.

MM: Some initialed them which was nice.

MT: But this one holding roses from Pennsylvania-- She [Catherine Eshleman.] had some connection with the Rose Day up there at Hershey, Pennsylvania. So this is the block that she made.

ES: Rose bouquet and rose in the hat. Could you name some of the people?

MT: I wish they had all put their names on.

ES: I see Thelma Barr here on the corner.

MT: That's why I am looking--

MM: Here's Loretta Mathieson. That was nice when they put their names. Here's a BW and a WT.

MT: Here. Let's put this out.

ES: This is the second quilt. Each one is sashed with a royal blue, I would call it.

MT: This was the first one. It was completed. The other one wasn't done for my seventy-fifth birthday, but I got that later. Look at this with the antique lace. Anne Streeter did that one.

MM: I know her.

MT: Paul McDade from Ohio did this one. And if you will notice, he has bent the halo and crossed the eyes. And that is supposed to be a Mai Tai I'm holding.

ES: Mai Tai. Is that a favorite drink of yours? [big laughter.]

MT: Oh, he did sign it.

ES: Yes, he did. So there's a man quilter.

MT: She made a list.

MM: Yes, we have a list. There's a signature, too.

ES: OK. There's grid in the back that names all the different members.

MM: Oh that's it.

MT: But the Patchwork Patter for February, it must be in 1986--

MM: It's on here, Mom.

MT: That's for the first one. [quilt.] But for the second one--

MM: Oh, they didn't do one for the second one?

MT: That's why I am looking for it.

ES: Oh. We might take all the names down at some point.

MM: I could Xerox that. I have a little Xerox machine.

ES: These are just beautiful little angels.

MT: I need the names for this. [indicating the second quilt.] And that Patchwork Patter, let's see, seventy-fifth, that would be '83, wouldn't it?

ES: Your seventy-fifth birthday?

MT: What's 8 and 75? That would be 83. 1983 would be my seventy-fifth birthday. And so the Patchwork Patter for '84 should have clipped to the front of it a slip of paper with the names for this quilt. [MT added: The list for the second quilt should be attached to a later Patchwork Patter, because it was not completed 'til later.]

ES: That's beautiful.

MM: This says Art. Is that Art Salemme?

MT: Art. It was another guy but Art Salemme did do a block.

ES: Now these were people whom you met through the years, through your association, around the country? Was that right?

MT: Yes.

ES: It is marvelous. For your seventy-fifth birthday. Some are--I forget what you call this, what do you call this technique here?

MT: Each one did his own thing.

ES: Different techniques, from needlepoint to--

MT: This angel was one we had published in the Patter but it did not have the halo.

MM: Did this person know which angel the other person was doing?

MT: No.

MM: How did it end up, I think there's only two of them that are duplicates.

MT: LaVonne did it. LaVonne put them together. I think she did a marvelous job.

MM: I think there are a couple of Sunbonnet Sues. That one's the same thing turned around. But they are all differently decorated.

ES: This one has the stained glass effect. This has mini patchwork.

MM: This one has a pipe organ.

MT: Oh that one is Marie Luccarelli.

MM: She lives in Florida now doesn't she? She just called the other day.

MT: That one out in the right corner, that one's from Agnes Cook. She's Florida, too. And I have a pillow with that design on it on my couch in the living room, with that angel.

ES: Have you ever put these quilts on exhibit?

MM: Yes. There is a sleeve on each of them.

MT: But I would like to have a picture of them hanging. I've got one with the bottom curled up.

MM: That's because that was outside and we tried to get a picture with them when the wind stopped blowing. They really need to be up on a wall in a display area to get a good picture. I've done them flat on the ground but it really does not do them justice.

ES: This is really an heirloom. It's wonderful.

MT: Each person did their own thing.

ES: And the quilting was all done, each one individually.

MT: Each square was done individually.

MM: It was sent to this one person and she put it together.

[MT added: Not one word of this ever reached me before my birthday. La Vonne started it in March. They did keep it quiet!]

ES: I see she overlapped it on the back.

MT: She gave them the backing. They each picked their own material as far as I know.

MM: She may have organized some way--

ES: She must have given the size.

MM: They may have picked out the one they liked because there are a couple of duplicates. There are 40 blocks.

ES: It is wonderful that you have this to remember.

MT: There's more than one of this, because this was the pattern that was published in the Patter.

MM: Look at this one with the glasses. [laughter.]

ES: She's on a cloud.

MT: This antique lace one, Anne Streeter put in. I think that is marvelous. A.O.S. She's got her initials on it.

MM: We have used them. We have put them on the twin beds up at the house.

MT: The cleverness how they put these pieces together.

MM: I showed them yesterday. [at the nursing home.] The lady who plays the piano is a quilter. We are trying to get her to come up and see Mother's stuff. So I ran out to get them to show, then I thought I'd leave them here for today. And they loved looking at them. They just put them on the floor.

ES: They may find a place in the hall that's tall enough to hang the two of them together. You could take a photo.

MT: We will get it done someday. I fold them with the backing out.

ES: What do you think makes a great quilter? Do you have an opinion about that? What makes a person a great quilter?

MT: Well, I think it is not so much stitches as the colors and the arrangement. Something like that. The fine stitching that's the thing that everyone wants, talks about.

MM: A lot of it's machine done now, too.

MT: Everybody cannot do those real fine stitches.

ES: I think I would like to finish up between the time you were at the farm and when did your husband finish at the farm, or when did you move off of that?

MT: Twenty-six years ago.

MM: In 1977.

MT: It was April.

ES: And then where did you live, down here on Powder Mill?

MM: Yes. A half mile up the road. [from the nursing home.]

MT: Right up to the corner.

MM: Which is just a mile down from the Farm. They had friends that were getting ready to move to their retirement place and so their house was available. That's how that happened.

MT: That's the first home we ever had. With his jobs the living quarters were with the job.

MM: And you worked, too. What's W I T? I can't remember.

MT: I worked for the government during the war.

MM: Bureau of Mines, which was on campus.

MT: I worked for the Washington Institute of Technology.

ES: And you did that during the Second World War?

MT: Oh, and I worked for the school, too. [University of Maryland.]

MM: From the time we were little, she was working. Way ahead of her time. She would take us to a baby sitter and go to work. And silly me, I thought everybody's mother worked. Everybody's dad was a farmer. And did not realize until now, that's the thing to do. She was a working mom.

MT: Oh, yeah.

ES: So when did you 'retire from working', quote?

MT: Since I lived down here, I went to work for "Animals in Virginia," remember?

MM: You retired one time when Darren was a baby, because I have a picture of us at your retirement party. But I think that may have been your second retirement. That would have been 1972. And then you went back. She retired, but they called her back.

MT: They kept calling.

MM: She could do the work of like 10 people. She did. [laughter.] And she has been up here and still active until she broke this [leg.] and got here. We are working on getting that healed.

ES: Tell me about your knitting project and then I think we are about done.

MM: I have taken a lot of them home. We take odds and ends of yarn.

MT: People give me yarn.

MM: She makes--

MT: I call them 'odds and ends caps.'

ES: You make these for the--children, where? For whom do you make these?

MT: Indians, orphanages.

MM: We have sent them all over the place. To our church, and to wherever a charity wants them.

MT: I sent a hundred of them up to Pennsylvania, some to Missouri, Wisconsin.

MM: I pack 50 of them up in a box.

MT: These larger hats--

ES: Are these for adults?

MM: For C4 charities. We put them in our Christmas baskets with the Women's Society at church. And here, [at the nursing home.] she started knitting. I thought that was a thing to keep her occupied. All the workers have gotten them for themselves and their kids and grandkids. So we should set up a stand and I could pay the bills.

MT: They go to Salvation Army. I am working on 50 now Rainbow House, for the Safe house, the Presbyterian Church in Rockville.

ES: It is very nice that you are doing that. I think our time is running out, so I would formally thank you so much for talking with us.

MT: You did not get much.

ES: Oh, yes. We wanted to know about you. One thing I still want to know. Did you ever finish a quilt or make small pillows?

MT: I made a quilt for each of the 4 grandsons. I worked with the little block. I like the hexagons. And I make little Christmas decorations, I put on the tree. Hexagons that are a half inch on a side.

MM: They are just tedious.

MT: I have tried to gather them all up and put them in one place.

MM: Each of the boys picked his own colors.

MT: And Marilyn's younger boy took his to the beach or something, and it never came home.

MM: My boys' quilts are here on their beds.

ES: You just made the top?

MT: I made the blocks. And Gladys Dill put them together for me.

ES: Good. That makes you a quilting person. Obviously you like the piecing part.

MT: I enjoy working with colors.

MM: They are on the twin beds. They are the beds that Dad made. We never had any bought furniture. My Dad was a carpenter too.

MT: And chest of drawers he made.

ES: I need to stop now. I really thank you for doing this today.

MM: That was good. I am so glad you called and persevered.

[tape ends.]



“Margaret B. Todd,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed November 30, 2023,