‘The Waltons’: Mary Ellen Actress Judy Norton Answers Question About the Quilts Shown in the Series

by Katie Maloney
(Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

Before there were video games and televisions, people had to find ways to entertain themselves. And usually, those hobbies involved some form of socializing. Things like dances, card games, and other activities were very common. Quilting was another hobby that many groups participated in. And that was well-represented on “The Waltons.” You could often find Olivia Walton and the other ladies on the show circled around a large quilt all sewing their part.

During an episode of “Behind-the-Scenes with Judy Norton,” Norton answered a few questions from her fans. One fan asked about the origins of the many quilts seen on the show. Although Norton wasn’t totally sure where the quilts came from, she took a guess.

“We used quilts in a few different episodes. You saw the ladies quilting in the episode ‘The Quilting’ when they were making on for Mary Ellen. And I believe there were other episodes where quilts were being made,” said Norton. “I do not know specifically where they came from. They may have come from The Warner Brothers’ property department.”

Norton added that the studio stored pretty much any prop anyone would need while filming a movie on their facilities. And movies/TV shows like “The Waltons” could rent the props while filming.

“Warner Brothers had all kinds of stock of different sorts. Whether it was wardrobe or props or furniture or vehicles. They had a lot of resources through the studio. And because we were filming on the lot, I believe our company had access to renting a lot of those things,” said Norton. “So the quilts very well may have come from the Warner Brothers’ prop departments. That’s my best guess.”

Judy Norton talks about the quilts in “The Waltons”

‘The Waltons’ Attracted Lots of Quilting Fans

Judy Norton’s recent fan wasn’t the only person drawn to the quilts on the show. Plenty of other fans tuned in to check out the beautifully patterned creations from the “The Waltons.” In fact, a quilting magazine even featured actress Michael Learned, who played Olivia Walton on the show, on their cover.

On the cover, Learned held a beautiful, tulip-patterned quilt. The cover said that the “Tulip Basket Quilt” was “an applique and patchwork design dating back to 1810.” The magazine also featured four “great Americana designs” that fans could use to recreate the quilts from the show.

Now, decades after the show aired, fans are still wondering about those classic quilts from “The Waltons.”