Audio Recording "She would ravel out old stockings for thread."

About this Item

"She would ravel out old stockings for thread."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Schockley, Maggie (Creator)
Schockley, Maggie (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Hillsville, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  recycled fabrics
-  thread
-  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: What kind of thread did she used to use then to do her quilting? / MS: That was one of the things that I wanted to remember to tell you. She took, after, you know, she knit our, the boys' socks and I have worn the stockings that she knit, but she would ravel stockings, old stockings, and I have seen her, take you know, material was pretty good at that time, and she would pull the ravelings off of the edge of the material and double it together and use it to quilt with. And, but the tops of socks was always was made out of just a little bit better material you know than the other cotton. And she saved all the little sock tops and raveled that off and made the balls. Then later in years, now, in the past 20 years, I guess, there would be different people you know who worked at factories where they used threads and the little dabs of thread that was left on the cones, they would bring it to her. And I have balls and balls of this thread now that she has wound up. And that I do my piecing with. And I have for that stars and stripes, that is all pieced with red thread that she wound off of those little cones. And she had wound enough till I have enough, I have red linings for my quilts, and I'll have enough to quilt my quilts with, with that same type thread. / GJ: That's really very economical. / MS: She never bought thread to do her quilts. To, sometimes, to quilt one, she would. And I remember, she used to use a heavy thread to quilt with, like a number eight or something like that, but then in later years, she used a finer thread, as the thread got, you know, was better, the polyester threads and things like that you know were stronger, and she used that.
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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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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

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Chicago citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. "She would ravel out old stockings for thread.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed September 23, 2017.)

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Schockley, M. & Schockley, M. (1978) "She would ravel out old stockings for thread.". Hillsville, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. "She would ravel out old stockings for thread.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.