Maud Hastings



Maud Hastings




Maud Hastings


Lori Miller

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Nancy O'Bryant Puentes


Milford, Delaware


Elaine Johnson


Lori Miller (LM): Good afternoon, today is October 19, 2003. My name is Lori Miller and I'm here in Milford, Delaware with Maud Hastings interviewing her as part of the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories Project. The time now is 2:05 p.m. And I'd like to thank you Maud for letting us talk with you today. Since you don't have a quilt with you today, we're going to begin talking about your interest in quilting and where that started.

Maud Hastings (MH): Well, that started as a child because my mother made quilts and I helped her, and I made a few before I was married in 1936. And then after I got married you made them mostly for necessity and that's the way it went until I joined the guild and learned different techniques. My mother always used the fan quilting pattern. I always wanted to quilt more in different ways, which I have. But I've also learned to do the tops too, which makes you think that I didn't know too much before I got into the guild, but they were usable.

LM: And so, you learned to quilt from your mother first?

MH: Yes.

LM: How many hours a week do you quilt?

MH: Well, that's sort of hard to say, because I pick it up and I don't keep count. Probably though two or three hours a day. At the present time I'm working on two quilts. One I'm appliquéing and the other one I'm quilting. It's hard to say exactly how much time I spend on each.

LM: What is your first quilt memory?

MH: Well, that was when you slept in an unheated room and put so many on and they were so heavy. So, you were glad when summer came, and you didn't have so many on.

LM: You mentioned your mother was a quilter. Were there any other quilters in your family?

MH: No.

LM: How has quilting impacted your family?

MH: Well, I enjoy doing it and it is relaxation for me is the reason I do it now. And the children are always glad to get one when I get it finished. I sort of feel that it's an heirloom that I can give to them.

LM: Have you ever used quilting to get through a difficult time in your life?

MH: Oh, yes.

LM: Would you be willing to share a story with us?

MH: Well, in December of 1992 I lost my husband. In September of 1993 I was in a class with Sue Layton with three-dimensional quilting appliqué and it took us two and a half years, it was a long time, but it did me good. And since then, I'm sort of hooked on appliqué, because there are so many challenges to it. You just can't learn it all.

LM: Thank you for sharing that with us. What do you find pleasing about quilting?

MH: Well, the challenges of putting the design and the colors together. Seeing the effect of different colors and material together is rewarding.

LM: Are there any aspects about quilting that you don't like?

MH: No, I don't believe there is--all that I've tried I've liked.

LM: You mentioned that you have everything to do with a few guilds. Could you tell us how you got involved with guilds and your history in that?

MH: Well, there was a class at the University of Delaware, Research and Education Center that was taught by a couple of Mennonites, and it was samplers. Then after that some of them got together and started a quilting guild. So, I wasn't in the planning of that, but I was one of the charter members. And I have enjoyed that.

LM: Where was that located?

MH: In Delaware, approximately 5 miles west of Georgetown.

LM: You're in two guilds now?

MH: Yes.

LM: And what guilds are they?

MH: The Delmarvelous Guild has been going longest, and they're a blend of both pieced and appliquéd. But the Seaside Appliquérs is strictly for appliqué, and it was started in 2001 and I'm a charter member of that guild also. I've enjoyed both guilds and the new friendships made.

LM: What do you think makes a great quilt?

MH: Well, it's a combination of colors, which I am still struggling with [laughs.] to learn how to give them some spark.

LM: And what makes a great quilter?

MH: Just enjoying what you do, and it takes practice especially with the quilting part to get even stitches.

LM: How do you think great quilters learn the art of quilting?

MH: I guess partly brought up in some of it, but mainly associating with people that do. I really wish that at an earlier age I had learned about the Baltimore Album Quilt, it was in the last few years that I learned about it, because they were well above my skill.

LM: How do you feel about machine quilting versus hand quilting?

MH: I think that hand quilting is much richer looking than machine quilting. But that's a matter of opinion.

LM: Have you ever used a machine to quilt?

MH: No.

LM: Why is quilting important in your life?

MH: Now I enjoy it as a past-time. It just sort of fills in when you don't have anything you have to do. You can do that, and you can sit down and watch TV and see just as much of it as if you were sitting there trying to look at it doing nothing. [laughter.]

LM: So, the role of quilting in your life has changed over time?

MH: Yes, it's not a necessity, it's a pleasure--well, it was a pleasure then too, because it's always relaxing.

LM: In what ways do you think your quilts reflect your community or region, if they do?

MH: I'm not sure that they do. It's just something I like to do.

LM: What do you think about the importance of quilts in American life?

MH: Well, I think that they'll always be a need for an outlet of creativity and quilts are one way they can do that.

LM: And how are quilts important for women's history?

MH: I'm not sure. I guess it shows their abilities at certain times.

LM: What have happened to quilts that you have given to family or friends?

MH: Well, I didn't start doing it until my children were old enough to appreciate it. If I had given them to them earlier, I don't think they would have appreciated them as much. The ones I give to the grandchildren are pieced and that's only because you can do them in a much quicker time, but the appliqué ones I give to my children.

LM: How do think quilts can be preserved for the future?

MH: That's a good question. I would like that answer myself.

LM: Do you have any advice for quilters who might read this interview?

MH: Just get with people who like to quilt and learn from each other.

LM: Is there anything I haven't asked you or anything more you'd like to talk about.

MH: Not that I can think of, you've done very well.

LM: Well, thank you Maud for being with us and speaking today. The time is now 2:17, Sunday, October 19, 2003, at the Milford Senior Center for the Q.S.O.S. - Quilters' Save Our Stories [Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories.] project.

[tape ends.]



“Maud Hastings,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed June 23, 2024,