Audio Recording "She used to piece what you'd call a crazy quilt."

About this Item

"She used to piece what you'd call a crazy quilt."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Schockley, Maggie (Creator)
Schockley, Maggie (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Hillsville, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  Quilting
-  Quilt patterns
-  Quilts
-  drawings
-  log cabin quilts
-  patchwork quilts
-  crazy quilts
-  string quilts
-  wheel quilts
-  mariner's wheel quilts
-  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: GJ: Is that where she got most of her patterns, from these ladies? / MS: No, at that time, I guess they just cut 'em for her and she pieced 'em, and then as the years went on, she, they, she used to piece what you could call a crazy quilt. Old cloth, old sheets, or even paper, if you didn't have the old cloth, you know, she would use paper, and then when she got it pieced down, it would be it would be just put down in strips, anyway the piece come she would patch it down on that, and then after she finished she would tear the paper off the back. And pad it and quilt it. / I can remember the first ones that she did was that kind, and the one with the star, she'd, we'd piece the little strings on the diamonds, and, then, as years went by, you know, when she'd find magazines with quilt pictures in it, that she would cut the pictures out, and, or sit down and draw. And I have drawn some off for her. She would sit down and work and work until she got the pattern that she wanted. That looked like what, you know, she wanted. And then of course, I imagine that over the years, that neighbors have traded patterns. / GJ: So the first ones you made were kind of like just strips, and then later on, you think she started to find / MS: Started finding the patterns. And I remember Progressive Farmer and magazines like that that had patterns in it just the pictures. Now you find the magazines now with the pictures and the patterns, because I have bought a couple just recently. Thought I might be able to find some of the names of some of these quilts. But I didn't find too many in my magazines that I bought. I found a Log Cabin in it, and that's my next one that I'm going to piece is a Log Cabin, I think. / GJ: Is that right? You like that pattern? / MS: I think it's, it's real interesting, real, you know, kind of pretty. You can use your strings and [?] Now this is one, the Mariner's Wheel, that she pieced and my niece has that, and I wanted to kind of get a hold of that but I didn't, I didn't get it, and then, also I have some, her patterns where she pieced a square and had left over, and I'm going to put it together and make one quilt out of it and quilt it. It would be something to this order. / GJ: Oh so you're going to put one piece of every / MS: Right, and just make the quilt, and then that I'll keep for myself. And this, the Log Cabin, is pieced in strings like this and then it's put together and there's quite a few different ways that you can put the Log Cabin together. Now this is one of the oldest quilt patterns, I think, that she had, and of course, this is all you did was use a, one little square and then a two-inch strip. Which made it easy to do.
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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. "She used to piece what you'd call a crazy quilt.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Schockley, M. & Schockley, M. (1978) "She used to piece what you'd call a crazy quilt.". Hillsville, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. "She used to piece what you'd call a crazy quilt.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.