Audio Recording "She quilted with whatever color thread she had."

About this Item

"She quilted with whatever color thread she had."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Schockley, Maggie (Creator)
Schockley, Maggie (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Hillsville, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  Quilting
-  thread
-  aesthetics
-  quilt lining
-  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: So this other thread she used to piece with, but to quilt with, she would buy her thread. What colors would she use? / MS: It seemed to me, in looking at the threads that she, just whatever she could find. Because I noticed some of the quilts that, the real old quilts that I have, were quilted with black thread and there was no black about the quilt, you know. The uh, the one on the bed there with the green, that's quilted with green thread. Sometimes she would you know choose her thread to match the linings of the quilt. That quilt has the green lining and she would choose it to match the lining of the quilt. Whereas I choose mine, most of the time, to match the top of my quilt. I think that most of my linings are a solid color and if I quilt with the pattern, it shows up. Now the quilt I'm quilting now, it has a pink lining. But it's a different shade of pink, and I'm using a little bit darker pink thread and it shows the flower on the back side, which makes it as pretty as the top side. I think, I guess the only reason that I've changed. And I didn't, maybe didn't like the way the, it showed up on some of her backings, you know, when she did have good linings, solid linings, white linings. She used, unbleached muslin for a lot of her linings, you know, and like for instance, if she had a dark top and used a white thread, then it showed up on the top, on the dark colors. It didn't show up as well as it did to use the dark thread and let it show up on the underside of the lining. That was my, just my opinion, you know.
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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 quilted with whatever color thread she had.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Schockley, M. & Schockley, M. (1978) "She quilted with whatever color thread she had.". Hillsville, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. "She quilted with whatever color thread she had.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.