Audio Recording "We do things the way our mother did."

About this Item

"We do things the way our mother did."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Schockley, Maggie (Creator)
Schockley, Maggie (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Hillsville, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  Quilting
-  Quilt patterns
-  drawings
-  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: Have you changed the way you quilt? / MS: I guess not, really. / GJ: You think you pretty much quilt the same way you always did? / MS: I think just pretty much the same. I guess it gets to be habit, you know, you do, I think we all maybe do more or less do the things you know the way our mother did. I think that, that I haven't really. / GJ: You use the same material she does, pretty much? / MS: Pretty much, uh huh. / GJ: Cottons, tops, and filler and linings? / MS: The only that I don't like to do that she did was to piece up my linings out of you know lots of different kinds of, this was a necessity with her, I'm sure, but she, you know, used her larger pieces, she'd sewed them together as you saw on that quilt out there, and do the linings. And I feel like if I'm going to put that much work in one, I want a lining all the same color. Whereas, you know, most people it probably make any difference if, what it was, what the lining was like. / GJ: Are your patterns pretty much the same as she used? / MS: Yes, because most of them I have picked the patterns up from her. I guess about all the patterns that I have, I go through things, I'll be hunting something for her and I'll find one she's pieced and I know you know that I've seen the quilt, and I try to save, been trying to save all of her patterns. I'm sure she has a lot more that I haven't found, because you know in sticking things in the drawers, and in boxes, and she's kind of like I am, she kind of, uh, I don't know what you'd call us I reckon, pack rats or something like that. And so she, every few days, I'll be looking for something and I'll find a different quilt pattern, and they're all cut from newspapers or greeting cards or something, that she's, where she's cut her pattern. / GJ: What do you mean, cut from greeting cards? / MS: Used it as a pattern, to, you know, to cut her cotton. You know you got to have / GJ: Oh, she'd use greeting cards? / MS: Yeah, she'd take her greeting card and, now she'd cut whatever, if she needed a square, she'd, she would lay this down on her cotton, and this is the way she'd cut it out you know, and that's why I guess we have all these different patterns that she has cut out like that.
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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. "We do things the way our mother did.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Schockley, M. & Schockley, M. (1978) "We do things the way our mother did.". Hillsville, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. "We do things the way our mother did.". Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.