Audio Recording "She didn't do any fancy quilting."

About this Item

"She didn't do any fancy quilting."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Schockley, Maggie (Creator)
Schockley, Maggie (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Hillsville, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  Quilt patterns
-  fan quilts
-  batting (textiles)
-  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 quilting patterns were her favorites? / MS: A fan, I, when she was younger, she did the fan pattern, but nothing, she didn't do any fancy quilting. Most of it was just diagonal. I think it was easier to quilt. I don't know if I, I think I may have one in there quilted in the fan, with the fan. I know I have one on my bed that's quilted with the fan, but, she, it was just easier for her in the later years, I guess, to reach. 'Cause I know it makes your arms awfully sore. Mine is getting awfully sore because I'm doing this flower you know and I'm having to go in all directions to get it quilted. And I imagine that that's the reason, you know, I never did ask her just, why she did that one more. But, now, most of my quilting anymore, I quilt by the pattern. If I have a star, squares, or whatever, I just quilt around that instead of doing the fan or the diagonal quilting. / GJ: Why is that? / MS: And you know, it shows up pretty on the lining. That's why I do it. And I'm, I never have done any of the, you know, the fancy scrolls and all that. It's pretty but I've just never you know done any of that. / GJ: So you do it primarily by the piece. You haven't done it by the fan, or have you? / MS: I have, yes, I've done quite a few by the fan. If I have something, you know, that the pattern is too big to quilt, I'll, you know, do a fan. Because the fan is prettier, I think, than the diagonal quilting. / GJ: You like that fan better? / MS: I like the fan better, uh huh. Well, anymore, we use polyester a lot, for the padding? And it makes it puffy you know and it shows up the pattern, better. That's kind of the reason I guess. You know, really, I never thought too much about my reason for it you know, you just, just start doing something, and go ahead and do it. Really without thinking, what your reason is for doing it.
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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 didn't do any fancy quilting.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Schockley, M. & Schockley, M. (1978) "She didn't do any fancy quilting.". Hillsville, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. "She didn't do any fancy quilting.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.