Audio Recording "I like to use cotton fabrics."

About this Item

"I like to use cotton fabrics."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Schockley, Maggie (Creator)
Schockley, Maggie (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Hillsville, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  Gifts
-  recycled fabrics
-  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 do you, what kind of fabrics do you like to make your quilts out of? What do you use for the tops? / MS: Well, any kind of good cotton. I don't, now, my mother used some polyester, and it makes, you know, nice quilts, but I don't like the, I don't like to use the polyester for the quilts. It would last forever, I guess, but, you know, I think that cotton makes prettier. / GJ: Is that right? Why do you think? Why don't you like polyester? / MS: I don't know. Just, I just don't think that it makes as pretty a quilt, I reckon, as, or is maybe harder to do the pattern, you know, than the cotton is. / GJ: Do you use old fabrics now? / MS: No, I just use the new. Now Mama used to use, you know, good parts of, good parts of old garments, just anything and she has padded the quilts like that, you know, take, well, good pieces of cottons and whatever, and, or worn-out blankets, worn-out sheets, or something like that, if she didn't have the money to buy the padding with, she'd do that, but, uh, I've, I either use Mountain Mist or the polyester padding. Now I like the polyester padding because it's soft and fluffy and makes, you know, a real, and washes well. That's why I do it. / GJ: So you don't care for the polyester tops at all or the pieces for the top. You like the cotton. / MS: Not as piecing them myself. Now I couldn't tell you, they make beautiful quilts, but I just don't like to work with it as well. Most of my polyester pieces I've given away. And I've seen beautiful quilts made from the polyester, but / GJ: Did somebody tell you not to use polyester? / MS: No, I just, just didn't care about using it, you know. / GJ: But you do like the polyester filler. / MS: Uh huh. I use the polyester most of the time. I have some of the cotton filler that I bought for my mother I guess twelve years ago, you know, she was in a big way of quilting at that time, and, I bought some and after she got disabled, she gave it back to me and told me to use it. So I haven't used it yet. What I'm using now, I bought polyester to do this other quilt with. But I will use it later, because, well I bought, in fact I bought it when I think it was like a couple of dollars for a batt large enough to do a quilt with. But now, I don't know, I imagine it's three or four dollars for, enough to do a quilt.
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Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R104
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 like to use cotton fabrics.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Schockley, M. & Schockley, M. (1978) "I like to use cotton fabrics.". Hillsville, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. "I like to use cotton fabrics.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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