Audio Recording "I had no idea I had a fortune in my closet!"

About this Item

"I had no idea I had a fortune in my closet!"
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Schockley, Maggie (Creator)
Schockley, Maggie (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Hillsville, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  income
-  Ethnography
-  Interviews
-  United States -- Virginia -- Hillsville
-  Although Geraldine Johnson's notes indicate that this interview was cut short due to Mrs. Shockley's need to leave to take care of her mother, they nonetheless covered a lot of useful information within the limited time. Mrs. Shockley learned to quilt as a child, has made numerous quilts for her family, and sells quilt tops at a flea market. She talks a lot about her mother and has her mother's collection of quilt blocks. (Although not addressed in the interview, these blocks probably served as a reference collection, to remind the maker how the block goes together.) This interview is particularly interesting because of the amount of detail on the activities of an earlier quilting generation and because of Mrs. ShockleyÆs poignant comments about her realization that quilts are her motherÆs legacy.
-  Transcription: MS: And so the whole there she has quilts, Pennsylvania, all the states, you know, they've just been sold, and given away to people all over. She used to give 'em away, and then we decided that you know we could get something out of 'em. And even at that she started selling them, quilting and selling them for fifteen dollars. Each. / GJ: Oh, unbelievable, isn't it? / MS: It is! And we, so I got the, I felt like I had so many quilt tops that I didn't want to ever see another one, but every time I'd go, she would give me a quilt top, and of course, I brought it home with me, and I never thought you know, that, the value that the quilts would be in years to come. And, this summer, I guess, I have put together and sold quite a few, and I'm sure that I didn't sell 'em at anything near the price that could have been gotten out of. / GJ: Where do you sell them? / MS: Well, I took some to a flea market at Tazewell. And, these ladies quilt 'em and then sell 'em in West Virginia. And I'd sell 'em anywhere from 35, you know, forty dollars. I have one now, fifty dollars, that, getting fifty dollars from, but, you know, I didn't realize some, you know until later, that you could just get enormous prices for quilts after they were quilted and everything. / GJ: Now these that you were selling, were they all quilted? / MS: No, they were just the tops, just the tops. / GJ: So when did you realize that they were worth something? / MS: Not, too many years ago, two or three years ago, I guess. That I realized you know that they were, well, we talked you know in the home demonstration club, and everything, about the value of these things you know. And I had no idea that I had a fortune, you know, in my closet!
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Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R103
Source Collection
Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1982/009)
American Folklife Center
Online Format

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Credit line

Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:

Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project collection, 1977-1981 (AFC 1982/009), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Lands' End all-American quilt collection, 1992-1997 (AFC 1997/011), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. "I had no idea I had a fortune in my closet!". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Schockley, M. & Schockley, M. (1978) "I had no idea I had a fortune in my closet!". Hillsville, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. "I had no idea I had a fortune in my closet!". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.