Leola Bond




Leola Bond




Leola Bond


Marge Polay

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Karen Alexander


New Braunfels, Texas


Anne Felts


Marj Polay (MP): Leola, it's good to have you here.

Leola Bond (LB): Thank you.

MP: What brought you here with your quilt today?

LB: Well, somebody called me [laughter.] I had nothing to do with it.

MP: Can you tell me a little bit about the quilt you brought with you today? What size is it?

LB: Well, it's a queen size and I made that. It's my last hand quilted quilt. And the machine quilted quilts ones I don't like at all. [Laughter.] But it's a Double Wedding Ring and I had said that the first one to get married, my grandsons, that it would be theirs. Well, my grandson got married last August and they just don't take care of things. You know how that goes [laughter.] and so I'm not ready to give it. They may get it when I'm gone.

MP: And so, you're keeping it…

LB: I'm saving it for them.

MP: Saving it for them…

LB: That's exactly right.

MP: So, it does have special meaning for you but you're not quite ready to let it go yet.

LB: Well, and another reason it's special to me, I went to the Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon, which is quite famous, and 15 miles from there, Bend, Oregon, I took the class of the lady that had the templates for that quilt. So, it's special that way too.

MP: So why did you choose this quilt to bring today?

LB: I thought it would photograph better. Probably the prettiest quilt was my daughter's wedding quilt. But like I said I thought that one would look better.

MP: Do you have any specific size quilts that you make, or do you make all sizes?

LB: No. I make all sizes.

MP: What's your favorite size?

LB: Well now I'm down to wall hangings [laughter.] Quite smaller.

MP: So, how do you use your quilts then?

LB: You know I show them on the guest bedroom mostly. I very seldom sleep under one because the house is so warm already.

MP: What do you think someone viewing your quilt might conclude about you?

LB: [slight chuckle.] I chose colors well. It's quilted so. It's hand quilted. I don't know. That would be it.

MP: So how did you get started in quilting?

LB: I retired in December of '92 and moved here because my daughter's here and got into the Quilt Bee. And I have sewed all my life, but I only quilted since I've been here. And just to know, I've been here nearly 20 years now. Who would have known? [laughter]

MP: Do you wear any? Do you make any wearable art?

LB: No, no I don't.

MP: So, have you given any other quilts as gifts or have you just?

LB: Oh, everyone in the family has one or two.

MP: Wonderful. Are you self-taught or did someone teach you?

LB: Yes, yes. The Bee, you know they helped me. Since Susan Derkacz was in the Bee [laughter.] that was a help.

MP: What interested you in quilt making?

LB: Do something since I retired. I just… I substitute teach at school at couple of times, I decided I didn't need to do that. So [laughter.] I've always sewed so that was the interest.

MP: So, you were self-taught in a Bee.

LB: Yes.

MP: And about how many hours do you quilt a day?

LB: I don't know, of course. Probably two to three hours. They claimed at the Bee that I made a quilt every week. But I didn't, really. [laughter.]

MP: What's your first memory of a quilt?

LB: Actually, my mother and all the aunts quilted just for utility quilts. And I never had anything to do with all that. I crawled under the quilts on the floor lots of times.

MP: Do you sleep under a quilt now?

LB: No. Like I said it's too warm.

MP: Too warm. You said there were other quilt makers in your family, are they still quilting?

LB: Well, actually, my sisters are gone, and my daughter has just opened a yarn shop in Gruene, I'll throw that in, and so she doesn't quilt right now.

MP: Do think your quilt making impacts your family?

LB: Oh, they might think about it every once in a while, [laughter.]

MP: Have you ever used a quilt to get through a difficult time?

LB: No.

MP: Have you ever had an amusing experience that's occurred in your quilt making, either in teaching or?

LB: Not that I can recall [laughter.]

MP: What do you find pleasing about quilt making?

LB: It's just handwork. I like. Now, I'm embroidering pillowcases, and I got back into crochet. Crochet, years ago, made afghans. But now, I'm making everybody one. I've made five and I've got two more to do.

MP: Are you in a quilt guild or in a bee?

LB: Yes.

MP: What aspects of quilt making do you enjoy doing?

LB: Well, now since I'm sort of retired [laughter.] I'm not really want to make a quilt. I still enjoy looking at them, look at the magazines, but I haven't found anything lately that I want to do.

MP: Has any advanced technology influenced your work?

LB: No.

MP: So, are you a traditional quilter?

LB: Yes. [slight laughter.]

MP: What kind of fabrics do you use?

LB: Cotton.

MP: Do you like reproduction fabrics?

LB: Yes. And I love Aunt Gracie.

MP: What about 30's?

LB: That's good.

MP: What are your favorite techniques?

LB: Well, I just enjoyed the hand quilted ones. The last two or three quilts that I made, I had them quilted, and they just quilt them to pieces. They're not even soft anymore. They're stiff.

MP: Do you have any special preference for a batting?

LB: Oh, I don't know now. I've been out of it for a while [laughter.] My closet is still full, but I don't count.

MP: [laughter.] So, do you like your quilts fluffy or?

LB: I like them soft.

MP: You like them soft.

LB: [acknowledged affirmative.]

MP: Describe your studio or the place that you quilt?

LB: I have a chair by my bed, and I have that Ott light, that's supposed to be light daylight, and that's where I sit.

MP: What are some of your first memories of quilting? How did you get started?

LB: Well, like I said, I was looking for something to do and of course, that was on the line of handwork which I could do.

MP: Okay. Let's take a break. [slight break.]

MP: Tell me a little bit about what you are working on today?

LB: Well, like I said, I only do wall hangings or something small. Little runners for the table or something that. And probably, one of the last things, was the wall hanging of Susan, I guess, doing chores. And my daughter colored them with crayon, and I embroidered around it and bound it with [unintelligible.]

MP: Do you do a lot of embroidery with your quilts?

LB: No. I've been doing embroidery pillowcases. I don't know what I'm going to do with them. I told my daughter to have a garage sale.

MP: Do you use a design wall or anything when you do your quilts?

LB: No. I have a little, made with flannel, square so.

MP: That you lay your?

LB: Yes. And I enjoy doing the Quilt Guild Block of the Month. I'm not burdened down with that. This month I don't think I'm going to do it because it's a cat; with a tail; which is paper pieced. [laughter.]

MP: Do you enjoy paper piecing?

LB: No. [laughter.]

MP: Is that one of the techniques?

LB: No. [laughter.] No.

MP: You struggle with it then?

LB: Yes, I can do it. But I don't like to do it.

MP: What do you think makes a great quilt?

LB: Well, like I say, hand quilted, soft batting. That's, to me, a good quilt. And the kids, they all have to be known. I've taught, I really don't have to tell you this, second grade class trying to explain a quilt sandwich. I don't think they got it. [laughter.]

MP: Do you collect or sale quilts?

LB: No.

MP: Have you ever worked in a quilt shop or?

LB: No.

MP: Have you ever won any awards for your quilt?

LB: Yes. [slight laughter.] Like I say, when I was quilting, one of the things that I just happen to have in mind. It was a red work quilt. You know all the blocks have embroidery in red work. And then they had a Senior division, so I got it. [hearty laughter.]

MP: Why is quilt making so important in your life?

LB: It's just something that I enjoy doing and it's worthwhile.

MP: Do you think any of your quilts reflect your community, your region?

LB: Well, not actually. I remember we did a quilt, a bunch of us worked on it, sent it to Germany. They're our sister city, you know, Braunfels, Germany.

MP: Was it like a round robin?

LB: No. We all came here and worked on it.

MP: And what was the end result?

LB: Well, I didn't go to Germany? [laughter.]

MP: Oh, you didn't go to Germany? So, you never saw the finished quilt?

LB: Well, you know.

MP: How do you think your quilts should be preserved for the future?

LB: I don't know. [laughter.] I have a cabinet that's glass on the front, and I've lined it with that acid free paper and that's where I keep them.

MP: Do you keep them folded?

LB: Yes, which you should unfold every once in a while. But, no I don't take them out.

MP: Do you take them out and refold them?

LB: Well, if I could get somebody to come see me, and they want to see them, I will show them.

MP: What do you think is the biggest challenge confronting quilt makers today?

LB: Well probably most people, it's time consuming.

MP: Are you drawn to any specific works or any certain style?

LB: Well, like I think, Aunt Gracie, I love. I would sometimes I just want to order the pieces even if I'm not using them.

MP: Do you have any idea what makes a quilt appropriate for a museum or a special collection?

LB: No.

MP: What makes a great quilt maker?

LB: [laughter.] Somebody that's retired and got lots of time and wants to do it.

MP: Has anybody influenced you in your quilt making?

LB: Well, probably Susan. She's in the Bee. I was at my son's last Christmas, and they put one of my quilts on the bed. And I looked at that and said, 'Oh, boy. That's pretty.' It was well, done. [laughter.] Even though I did it, I could appreciate it. It was nice.

MP: So, you enjoy quilts that are…all kinds of quilts?

LB: Oh, yes, yes. No telling how many. My youngest grandson, which is now eight. I made all those kid- type, Where's So and So? You know I made that quilt, and I left out Christmas. It was in another box. [laughter.]

MP: Have you ever participated in a quilt history or preservation of quilts?

LB: No.

MP: Have you taught any teaching techniques?

LB: No. Except to my daughter maybe, but.

MP: Okay. Let's take a break.

MP: How do you think quilts should be used?

LB: On the bed. [laughter.] No. Just like feel good sometime. Like my daughter, always has one in her lap or to wrap up in.

MP: What is your preference? How do you feel about hand quilting verses machine quilting or long arm quilting?

LB: Like I said, well the machine quilting, they just quilt it to pieces and it's stiff. Not soft anymore. And we had some hand quilts in our quilt show and that's what I prefer.

MP: That's what you prefer. Do you hand quilt yourself?

LB: Yes. Look at it. It's out there. [laughter.]

MP: Well, it's been very great interviewing you today. I'd like to thank you, Leola, for allowing me to interview you today as part of the Quilters' Save Our Stories project here in New Braunfels, Texas. Our interview concluded at 2:25 p.m. on August 16, 2012. Thank you.

LB: Thank you.



“Leola Bond,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 24, 2024, https://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/2312.