Jean Shear




Jean Shear




Jean Shear


Pam Schultz

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Diane Metts


Battle Creek, Michigan


Eleanor Wilkinson


Pam Schultz (PS): This is Pam Schultz. It's June 3, 2009, and it's about 1:20. I'm interviewing Jean Shear in her apartment in Battle Creek, Michigan. Do you make quilts?

Jean Shear (JS): Yes, I'm very slow at it.

PS: Do you make wearable art?

JS: I have made, not a lot, but I have.

PS: Do you sleep under a quilt?

JS: Yes, I do.

PS: Have you given quilts as gifts?

JS: Yes.

PS: Are you self-taught?

JS: Yeah, basically. I've learned a lot from the guild, the members are advanced, like at quilt camp and that. I have, that's where you can get more individual [help.], at quilt camp, people—

PS: Yes.

JS: One on one.

PS: Do you belong to a guild?

JS: Yes, since 1983. I will put that in there.

PS: Have you ever been a board member or a chair of a committee in a guild?

JS: Would you say being historian?

PS: Yes, I would.

JS: That would be so.

PS: And how long were you historian?

JS: From, I believe it was 1986 to 2002.

PS: Do you belong to a sewing group or a sewing bee?

JS: No, I used to. I haven't done it since my husband died. No way to get there. You know, it's like that.

PS: No, transportation. [JS hums agreement.] Have pictures of you and/or your patterns been published?

JS: No.

PS: Do you collect or sell quilts?

JS: I collect them, but don't sell them.

PS: Do you have a collection of quilting or sewing memorabilia?

JS: Yeah, I can't say that either. I have a collection of thimbles and I have a collection of children's coloring [quilting story.] books. [I have over 25 books.]

PS: That's interesting. Have you ever owned or worked in a quilt shop?

JS: No.

PS: Do you teach quilting?

JS: No.

PS: Have you ever taught quilting?

JS: No.

PS: Have you ever won an award?

JS: No.

PS: No ribbons? No Awards?

JS: No awards.

PS: Have you ever participated in quilt history preservation?

JS: No, I haven't.

PS: Do you have a design wall?

JS: No.

PS: And do you have a studio or a sewing room?

JS: I have a sewing room, if you can call it that. [laughs.]

PS: And do you sew in there or store things in there?

JS: Sometimes I have sewn. But I just feel isolated. I've done most of my sewing in the living room. I did, for some reason. I know Sharon [Davids.], my oldest daughter, said she was the same way. She feels the same way.

PS: Might be better light?

JS: Um hmm. It is.

PS: Might be the TV sort of keeps you company.

JS: And it's not very big and I feel like I'm hemmed in. But I have too much other stuff in my sewing room.

PS: Tell me about this quilt that we're looking at here, the one that we're going to talk about.

JS: Well, we made this for my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1981 and there are four blocks, and they are a wedding ring [pattern.]. Which is different than your traditional Wedding Ring. That is a Wedding Ring. It has gotten out of 'Perfect.' The guild had it because I gave one to the guild remembering my mother. It's a dictionary, what they call a dictionary that has all the patterns. That's where we got it out of that book, and I can't tell you what year this was done. No.

And each [one.] of these four squares represents--there's four kids, my two brothers and my sister and myself. And it shows the [names of.] grandchildren and the great grandchildren. I should say, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We put one on when my niece was pregnant and my folk's anniversary was the seventh and she was born the twelfth, so we put her on [afterwards.].

And the center of it represents the first time my father saw my mother. Was at the water pump and he was nine years old. See I've got to stop and think a minute. My dad was born in 1907, because my mother was born in 1911 so he was four years old but that's the first time he met my mother. Was at the water pump. So that's what it represents. And then these hearts are [represent.] every place my folks have lived. When I was born, we lived in the second one there on Elm Street, the second heart, and then when I was ten days old moved to the next place. It still was on Elm Street. And it was hot. No that was when I was born. My mom was saying it was 110.

PS: In the house?

JS: It was 110 degrees in the house.

PS: Oh, it was hot.

PS: Yeah, I was born at home, but they moved when I was ten days old to another apartment. So, but that's what each of those hearts represents. And my oldest daughter and I did all the sewing on it and then while, why I should have said, too, that my son-in-law drew the quilt out. Each thing drew it out on a big sheet and did measurements like you're supposed to, and he drew them out. And then my two other daughters did all the embroidery which there is quite a bit. And I'd like to take credit for the quilting, but I can't because my dad's sister did the quilting, and she did a beautiful job. She's gone now, [inaudible.] so but that's [inaudible.] I loved doing it, I mean the back of it, when you look at all of that quilting it really shows up.

PS: It's beautiful. How do you use this quilt?

JS: Well, I did have it on my bed for a while. You have to watch the sun and I get the sun, even my quilt that I have on the bed now, it wouldn't take much. I can show you what the sun, what I have underneath here. I can show you what the sun can do. See, that. [shows another quilt underneath.] So that's one reason that I know I probably should use it more but sitting on my bed. That would be the one I have on there. I wouldn't need a skirt for it because it's so big.

PS: What are your plans for this quilt?

JS: I'm sure that when I'm not around that my daughter will--

PS: She'll take it?

JS: My daughter will.

PS: You know--which daughter?

JS: My oldest girl. Although my other daughter--youngest daughter, I've given my middle daughter some. Not quilts that I've done, but she's got cats and I know that some of its pulled and she's never given it to me to sew. And I've seen other peoples, when they've had a cat. I don't know if the dog has so much on it.

PS: Okay. Tell me about your interest in quilt making.

JS: I just do it. I started one back in the seventies and what I, which is never been put together in total piece. It was all the fabric that I used to make my daughters' dresses. All the fabric. My mother said, 'Why don't you do it in a Bow Tie?' [block.] I would never again, but they're all sewn. All of them, but they aren't just sewed all together [in a quilt top.]. I had a pattern, design picked out and I never wrote down the page number. It was ideal to do it, so I've never done it, but they're still all intact which makes me feel kind of bad.

PS: How old were you when you started quilt making?

JS: I was married. [inaudible.] I always wanted to quilt. I think I was married before I did it, I was married. Before I started, but I sewed before that.

PS: Did you?

JS: Because I had to, I've had to have been married because I used the fabric that I made my kids clothes from. So, I had to have been [inaudible.] to do it.

PS: Who taught you how to quilt?

JS: My mother was the one that did. She wasn't the most fantastic quilter but she's, you know, the one that did. She sewed. My daughter has the sewing machine that my mother learned on, and I learned on. Treadle. Singer. Sharon's got it. I don't know what my mother--why they didn't want her to sew? Anytime she'd hide it. When she'd make something, she'd hide it. She'd hide it under a rock. And why, I do not know. I don't. So, I only have one quilt [clock strikes in background.] from my [mother's.] side of the family and it has my mother's and some of my grandmother's and some of my mother's aunts' clothes, pieces of their clothes. The fabric of their clothes it's made out of. I've got it in the bedroom. [inaudible.] It's really faded. My brother had it. He stayed in my folks' house. My mother was in a nursing home, so I don't know what he was doing with this quilt.

PS: How many hours a week do you quilt?

JS: [laughs.] None, now. [clock strikes.]

PS: None?

JS: None. I haven't had time. Oh, gosh. Last year I did. I haven't done it since then. No, I take that back. I did some this year because I got a new sewing machine last year. I had, but I can't tell you how many hours. It was a little bit. Like I say, I should be doing more.

PS: What is your first quilt memory?

JS: Memory. I don't understand.

PS: Maybe the memory of a first quilt, the first quilt—

JS: Oh, the first quilt that I really completed that's besides the first one, the Bow Tie, was a baby quilt from my second granddaughter baby got a baby quilt. My first granddaughter didn't get a baby quilt, but she got a big quilt to make up for it. It was my second grandchild. Her baby quilt was a rocking horse, and the background was red. The background of the rocking horse and then the backing was yellow. And I didn't know then, oh, I do now. Of course, that I should have put the red in salt water, so when it was washed it gave a little color to it. You still knew it was yellow, but it still had that red cast. So, I felt kind of bad. But she used that, had that quilt on her bed up until being in [junior.] high school. She did. So, I have a picture of it in my collection. That, of course, then, I think I entered that in a show one year way back. I did.

PS: Are there other quiltmakers among your family or friends?

JS: Of course, my aunt. Sharon has done some and my husband's grandmother, both grandmothers did. And I'm not sure if my husband's mother did or not. I'm not sure in that.

PS: How does quilt making impact your family?

JS: Well, they like them. I know Sharon does. [daughter Jeannie and her husband.] does [inaudible.]. But I mean they like quilts and seeing them. Sharon has taken me to a lot of quilt shows and she has. Yeah, they do.

PS: Have you ever used quilts to get through a difficult time?

JS: No, I don't think I have. I might of, I can't remember if I did. I know some people would remember.

PS: Tell me about an amusing experience that has occurred in your quilt making.

JS: This wasn't exactly through my quilt making. It has to do with my collection of books. I had gotten this one book and it was "Taco Quilt." I think it was. It was called the "Taco Quilt." ["Tortilla Quilt" Jane Lenorio-Coscarelli, Quarter-Inch Publishing, October 2006.] [I have three of her books.] And I went with a friend of Sharon's and mine to Flint [Michigan.] to a quilt show. And I walked in this quilt show, what do you call it, a booth and I recognized this lady that, and I have, here is a copy of her book, [which was.] setting there, and I said, 'Oh, my gosh. I've got one in that.' I said I wished I had it here [with me.] because I was thrilled. And I've got a picture of her, too. I have. I had my camera with me, of course. And she said, 'Well, don't worry about that. She said, 'I'll tell you what I'll do.' And she says, 'I have a sticker and I'll write on it and you, when you go home, you can put it right in the book.' [Jane lives in California. she teaches, lectures, and is a quiltmaker.] And that's what I did so that was one of my experiences.

PS: That's nice.

JS: And there is also the lady that, she's from Olivett? [Michigan.] Oh gosh, Patricia [Polacco.]. I was at Climax [Michigan.], here locally. She's started writing books when she was forty years old. She did stories [about her family and this quilt.]. And I've just got two of hers because she did a second edition of this book, ["The Keeping Quilt," Aladdin, 2001 and there is an anniversary edition.] but I've been to her house. I think it's Union City, [Michigan.]. I've got a plastic bag in there of all the clippings about her that, even since I [met her.] --she did a story telling down at the library and Sharon and I went. And that's when I got the book and had her sign it. Can you imagine starting writing stories at forty years old? And she went to school here, she did. She went to Freemont School, I think it was, when she was younger and then moved. I forget where she was at. Then she went to California. What she did I can't remember now? [She lives in Union City, Michigan now.]

PS: What do you find pleasing about quilt making?

JS: Well, it's something to be proud of. I mean that you accomplish. And I really am when I accomplish something because it's far and few between and that, so it makes you proud to think something that takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and then, of course, sometimes you get tired of it before you get it done but it just makes [inaudible.]. The year that I did four baby quilts, and that's a lot for me to do. I was so proud, because here I accomplished all of that in a year's time. I had. And that's the most I made in a year's time.

PS: What aspects of quilt making do you not enjoy? When you're making a quilt, what part of it do you like the least?

JS: The quilting--not the quilting, the cutting it out. To get it right, that really bothers me, and I take a lot of pains and I still don't get it right. That's the thing, cutting out. It would be easy to have someone to cut them out. Sharon did it at one time. I've had to cut pieces over. I measure them and unless I've got the exact pattern right there to do it, and some of them it says cut 2-1/4 and do it but without a pattern I run into a problem there. I do.

PS: What art or quilt groups do you belong to?

JS: I don't belong to any.

PS: Okay, other than the guild.

JS: Other than the guild. No.

PS: Have advances in technology influenced your work? If so, how?

JS: Well, in some aspects it's easier. I mean, they've learned, just like Cathedral Window. Look how they do that now. And I have, you can see them. I have two pillows, one for myself, I made and one for my mother. That was done and you see how it was done. Not like it's done now. Just like when you sew piecing--what do you call it? When you down sew--oh I know it. You know what I am talking about. Instead of cutting individual, you sew them.

PS: Strip sewing?

JS: Yes. I mean that's so much easier.

PS: And the rotary cutter and some of the templates?

JS: Yeah, it is.

PS: What are your favorite techniques and materials?

JS: I don't know exactly what you mean.

PS: Piecing or appliqué, or--

JS: Oh, I like doing appliqué. [inaudible.] I have done quite a bit of friendship blocks, you know, and then a lot of appliqué. I have.

PS: Describe the place that you create, where you create your quilts.

JS: The place where I create them? [laughs.] Wherever I can.

PS: Right here?

JS: Yeah. Yeah.

PS: How do you balance your time?

JS: How do I balance my time?

PS: Do you have all the time you want to--

JS: Yeah, to do it. Unless it interferes with me putting puzzles together. You probably don't know. We do a lot of that with Sharon. You know we just allow so much time doing it. I mean I've done a lot since I've been here. I have.

PS: Do you use a design wall? A place where you stick your blocks up?

JS: No, I've made it-- my design wall is probably my bed. You know, laying it out. Trying to figure it out. I've done that with this one quilt that I haven't got finished. I need to do the borders on it. Oh, I had a heck of a time, because I'm making it reversible.

PS: Oh.

JS: And it's a little more figuring than what I thought. So, I it would be like two different quilts, and I can't tell you how long I've been working on it. [clears throat.] But I need to make the borders on it, and I thought. Well, there again, cutting I missed, oh, only a fourth of an inch and that's a lot, when I measured it. I mean to me. And that created a problem because if you're piecing that, you'll see that. So, I was trying to work it out. This Linda [Gyamory and fantastic quilter she is.], a friend of Sharon's and myself and then she was telling me how to do it. That it looked like it belonged there and that's what you've got to do. You might make it look like it's pieced there because you goofed and that's how it was.
PS: That's where I get to stopping, too. When I run into a problem I just—

JS: Yeah, and that's what this was then.

PS: What do you think makes a great quilt?

JS: That it's done, oh, how do I say it, it's been done, a beautiful job in sewing it. Sewing it the way it should be sewed. Of course, who's going to say? And it's just like at camp one year, one of the gals had a big stitch. Well, that's different. It was meant to be big stitch. It was utarium, no, say utilitarian?

PS: Utilitarian?

JS: Yeah, utilitarian. That's fine, something, but when it's done and done neat and that. Oh, I've heard whether it's abstract which I do not care for, but if it's done beautiful, I mean, more power to the person.

PS: This kind of goes right along with that. What makes a quilt artistically powerful?

JS: Well, I think it has--

PS: If you were at a show looking at quilts, what would be the one that drew you the most?

JS: Something that's different. Now I can give you a for instance. When Wilson, [Lynette Wilson.] her zebra quilt, see there, how it's just--just sends you [inaudible.] It's how it was done. That does it. And you'd find other ones, too. That way, too. Norma Storm's Tigers that she did before she got sick. Oh, fantastic. I've got a picture, but the picture doesn't do it justice. In that, and I should have been closer up. It was just fantastic. She's the one that would be good. Hope someone's interviewing her.

PS: We will be. We will be. What makes a quilt appropriate for a museum or a special collection?

JS: Well, I'd say it has to do, like something to do with the presidents, Washington, something national. Of course, I don't know, I guess you could, I mean it could be other peoples' culture. It could be in a museum as far as that goes but that's what you th-- well, no maybe it isn't what you really think would be in a museum though.

PS: Well, if you were going to pick out something to be in a museum, what would you pick out?
What kind of quilt would you pick out?

JS: I'd probably pick out a quilt that had flowers in it. [clock chimes.]

JS: I mean flowers appliqué because I love flowers and that would probably be. Because I've seen some paintings that fantastically would make a beautiful quilt if you begin. In fact, I gave Rosemary Kimball, and she still didn't have it done, it was on a card. I would have given anything if I could have done this, with roses in it. She did. I don't know if she's ever completed it yet because I asked her--oh, I don't know it must have been a couple of years ago, how she was coming with it, and it would be interesting. I'll have to ask her when I see her if she's done it. It was on a postcard. I gave it to her, and she really loved it. And so did I, but I could have never done that. [clock striking]

JS: And I'd say something like that that could be in a museum.

PS: What makes a great quiltmaker?

JS: What makes a great quiltmaker? I guess because you know your business. You know how to do it. I guess. Personality has, well, I don't know. You could say there's people that might be a great quilter, but their personality, I don't know as that has anything to do with it. As far as going around to different guilds and lecturing on things, you know, I'd have to go along with that. And there's a gal that would fit that category, too, that I've taped. I'm not good at my tapes. Oh, Ellen? [Mary Ellen Hopskins.] Gosh, I should know because she, I mean, on the TV here, when I taped it. I played it over. We never had her to guild that I know. I mean, she'd cut a piece out and she'd throw it. You might know who I mean. Oh, she's fantastic. I mean, she kept your interest, and she knew how to quilt. I don't think we ever had her because she would have cost too much, I think, to have had her to the guild. Maybe not so many years ago. And that. [train whistles.]

PS: Whose works are you drawn to, and why?

JS: Whose works? Oh, I'm trying to think of the gal's name, but I liked her so much. She, I liked her stuff, and I don't know if I ever did it. She was on a tour boat then died. [Doreen Speckman.]

PS: Oh, no.

JS: Oh, I can't tell it. I know that Lynette Wilson's daughter liked her, too because I gave her something I had. Oh, it was in a magazine about her. She was where you can go [on a boat.] and she was giving a lecture and that. She was really--[good.]

PS: On a cruise?

JS: On a cruise, yeah.

PS: On a quilt cruise, or whatever?

JS: Yeah, I can't tell you that. She died on this cruise. She did. [she was dancing when it happened. she had been to our quilt guild.]

PS: What was her work like?

JS: I'm trying to think. I don't know as I can say. I've gotten into my tapes I had here.

PS: I know about all those extra things.

PS: Well, this one will be a little hard, tool. Which artists have influenced you? Which artists or quilters?

JS: I could say some for the guild. [members.]

PS: Well, that counts.

JS: I could say Norma [Storm], don't tell me, oh, you know what's her last name is Howard. Beth Payne [Howard.]. I'm saying she has. And I know that Gwen Marston who came here, because I've got. I asked her about a quilt top which I've never done, how it should be done. And that and I've got it written down someplace but whether I ever get it done or not, I'd say I liked her stuff. Have you seen her stuff? [coming to our guild this year.]

PS: I think so.

JS: Gwen Marston. See, I could remember her now, because she came to the guild. We had her a couple of times.

PS: That really helps.

JS: Yeah.

PS: That gives you a lot more time with them.

JS: I started writing down all the people [we had at our guild.] and then I've lost track, because some of them since I'm not historian. Some of them that didn't come. I mean something happens so I didn't and so I've lost them, so I'd have some names that really wasn't, but I've got all the earlier ones.

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

JS: I used to look down on people that did machine quilting, but when I started doing [it.], and especially, I don't have a long arm machine. I appreciate people that do it because it isn't all that easy, with a machine like I have. You've got all that fabric to work with. In other words, if you have a big [longarm.] machine you've got it all laid out. Yeah, I used to, and I remember the first time that at the national quilt show. The person that got it, the top award, was machine quilting, and, boy, did people [gasps.] complain. I mean, there's still a lot of work to it. The big arm machine, they're still work in it, but I don't think as much because you've got it all spread out. I mean, I have card tables everything when I've done it, trying to keep that smooth underneath and I've had to take it out. So, I know it takes less time, but still I've done it.

PS: Why is quilt making important to your life?

JS: Why is it important? Well, I don't want it to die out because it's an art to be able to do it. It is. And at one point it almost died, died out. And that would have been terrible for that to die out. Well, I just like it. I like the looks of it. I always have and I just didn't want it to die out. Like some of the things like tatting. I think there's not too many people that do tatting. And I've never done it. I have some. A teacher that my kids had, she did it [still does tatting at 88 years old.] and her son wanted it and, anyway he wanted her to make this mobile and she said she didn't think she could make it with a thin thread. She'd have to use heavier thread. She made it. She made a Christmas ornament for me. My two daughters had her for kindergarten teacher. And I'm still in contact with her.

PS: In what way do your quilts reflect your community or region?

JS: I don't think mine has anything to do--

PS: You don't think they really do?

JS: No.

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

JS: Way back, it is interesting what people did way back. I have a book that--oh, it really tells about--I mean, back in the cave and how they even could see to do the things. This one book I have a gal from church gave it. She'd bought it for her grandmother. When her grandmother died, she gave it to me. And it's all--I think they're true stories about years and years ago about women and what they went through, and they went through a lot. A lot of people did and it's really interesting.

PS: That kind of relates to this. In what ways do you think quilts have special meaning for women's history in America?

JS: In what way do they? I feel definitely they do. It shows the times. It does.

PS: Yes, it does.

JS: I mean how things were done and that. You used what you had, and I just think it shows the times, and how, what women did. And it's a history. It is. Really.

PS: How do you think quilts can be used?

JS: For benefit, you mean?

PS: Yeah, for anything.

JS: They've been used for a lot. Lots of times they're used like people were sick and they help them. It does. You hear a lot about that. I mean, they can be used in a lot of ways. Used in a museum to show children how things were and how they are at the present.

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

JS: How do I think they can be served?

PS: Be preserved. Be kept for the future.

JS: Well, one thing, you got to be careful of a lot of light. And they can't be put in plastic bags, because that deteriorates them. And that they've got to be handled carefully. They do. If they're going to be stored away and then put out for people to see, they should be in a cloth bag of some type. I can give you an instance. My husband's uncle--well, would be my husband's grandmother made quilts. And his uncle took care of his mother and she died. Anyway, she had all these quilts, wool, lots, and I can't tell you how many of them. I have some pictures of the quilts that she made. And he had them dry cleaned. He did. And they were all packaged in plastic. You know, my aunt--

PS: What happened to--did it to them.

JS: I don't know what happened, because he just had it done. So, I don't know, but some of his nieces and nephews have them. I didn't get any of them. And I wanted some. I've got pictures of some of the other ones that weren't wool that he had. So, I felt that I was infringing because I'd just married to his nephew. I mean I wasn't his niece, so I didn't--

PS: Just an outlaw?

JS: Yeah, I didn't say anything [to my husband about wanting a quilt when his uncle died.], and I think my husband just couldn't stand to go and settle that. [and see things sold.] Maybe I might have gotten one, [if we had went.].

PS: What has happened to the quilts that you've made, or those of friends and family? Well, that was just one story of what happened to some quilts. What has happened to the quilts that you've made?

JS: Well, my granddaughter has got hers and my grandkids have got theirs. So. [inaudible.] They're put away. I've got pictures of them when they got them. And how they just laid on the floor or bed. And they were so cute. They are.

PS: Really enjoying them?

JS: Uh huh, yeah. They're so cute when they are young that way. And when they were old enough, like a year old-- [both talk at the same time.]

JS: And the last one--well, it's my great grandson--well, Sharon was saying with Katie's quilt which I haven't got done because Ben would never know the difference when he got it, but I still have got to make him one. But, my first great grandson, and I got his quilt done before he was born. I did. And that's something. His mother writes--

PS: [laughs.] That's overachieving. [clock striking.]

JS: Yeah, and grandma, 'You got it done before he was born.' I ran across that. I've got thank you notes for the baby gift, and she wrote that in there that you got it done before he was born. So, Ben's, I haven't because I have two great grandsons.

PS: What do you think is the biggest challenge confronting quiltmakers today?

JS: Just not letting it die, the art of quilting die out. [clock strikes.]

PS: Keeping it alive? [clock strikes.]

JS: Yes, to keep it alive. That's the only way, if nobody does it, it will be gone.

PS: You have any questions? Anything else you'd like to add or talk about?

JS: I should say. Well, this was a big thing, and I don't know if you remember it or not. It was an advertisement on TV. Northern Tissue--

PS: Oh, the quilted--

JS: And they were supposed to be quilting and they had knitting needles?

PS: [laughs.] I do remember that.

JS: Yeah, and they, I guess their phone lines, because there was an article in the-- [Quilter's Newsletter Magazine.] oh, I think I tore it out. I might have because I got rid of all my quilting magazines. I did. I didn't throw them out. I gave them to this gal at church, whose sister is a quilter and belongs [to a guild.], she lives in Sturgis [Michigan.] and she was elated to get them. And that's why I only have the Quiltmaker magazine anymore, and only four times a year. But, no, the lines were really, telephone lines were really--

PS: Lit up for that, huh?

JS: Yeah, oh they had them tied up because of that and I had happened to see it myself. And, I said, 'Here, they got knitting needles!' I never called or nothing, but then found out they did. But it was in the Quilter's Newsletter. It did, but it really tied the lines all up. And there was another time that, I don't know, it hadn't anything to do with people calling, I don't believe, that they were going to let the Chinese make a quilt to go into the--what is it, the big museum?

PS: The Smithsonian?

JS: Yes. They were going to let the Chinese. Quilting didn't start from the Chinese. It started in our country, right? Am I right?

PS: I think so.

JS: It didn't start with China. [I am not sure that I am correct.]

PS: Not real sure, but--

JS: I should know. I kept some of the history, but anyway, it should have been our country. I can't remember if it did turn out that they had such, people writing in and saying, 'Why are you doing that?' When it wasn't the Chinese to go into the Smithsonian Museum, why would you have them do that?

PS: Thank you for talking with me today. It's--well, it's about 2:05.

JS: So how long is it supposed to be?

[recording ends.]


“Jean Shear,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 27, 2024,