Muriel Shea




Muriel Shea




Muriel Shea


Margaret Bader

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Moda Fabrics


Lexington, Nebraska


Margaret Bader


Note: Muriel is not a member of the DAR. While this is a DAR quiltmaker documentation project, membership in the DAR is not required for participation.

Margaret Bader (MB): My name is Margaret Bader and today's date is Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at 2:15 [p.m.] in Lexington, Nebraska. I am conducting an interview with Muriel Shea for the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories project. We are doing this through the American Heritage Committee of the Nebraska State Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Muriel Shea is a quilter who belongs to the Nebraska State Quilt Guild, the Plum Creek Quilter's Guild and another local organization the Basket Cases. Muriel tell me about the quilt you brought in today?

Muriel Shea (MS): Well, I brought a quilt in that was many years in the making. It is full of clowns doing all sorts of neat things.

MB: What special meaning does this quilt have for you?

MS: Well, it reminds me of the many years I had teaching because for over twenty-five years I collected clown patterns from my students from birthday cards, crayon books, and such as that.

MB: What do you think that somebody viewing your quilt might conclude about you?

MS: That I like to do things differently, that I have a little bit of a ridiculous bend in me, and I enjoy comical things.

MB: What are some things that are different that you used in this quilt?

MS: There is a clown in a bathtub. There is a clown on a unicycle, some in hot air balloons. One clown is holding a big fish. It's a very colorful quilt.

MB: What are some of other things you said?

MS: It is not a traditional quilt.

MB: In what ways is it not traditional?

MS: When I appliqué, the blocks are all appliqué. I am not successful in appliquéing like most people do so I have devised my own method, and it has a lot of hand work. It has feather stitch and double cross stitch. I use pearl cotton. My stitches are to be seen. They have a sheen and a thickness and bulk to them where most people appliqué hoping their stitches will never be seen.

MB: So, this has appliqué, but what kind of quilting does it have?

MS: I don't know. Just regular quilting. I have no idea how many stitches per inch. I put the blocks on various colored fabrics. People say why didn't I just use one color and I say, 'Why not use various colored backgrounds?' The stitching is--I could not tell you how many stitches per inch. If it is plain fabric just three thicknesses, they are pretty nice, but if I have to go through a lot a seams my stitches are larger.

MB: Can you tell me about this stitching that you did around the appliqué?

MS: When I first cut out my pieces to appliqué on, I do not turn the edges under. I machine stitch, zigzag around them, and this sort of holds the edges from fraying. It also gives me an even measure of how big my stitches ought to be. And then I use pearl cotton and then a little bit of embellishment but not a whole lot. Maybe a button or two on it but my stitches are about as much a part of the design as the fabric.

MB: That is very interesting I know that really highlights your quilt. This clown quilt, what do you think that people would conclude about you? You already said that you like to do different things and what else would they conclude about you?

MS: They would probably think that I am a little bit ridiculous, that I enjoy things that are out of the ordinary. That I really treasured my students bringing these different clown patterns to me. I wondered a time or two if I would get in trouble with copyright. But I haven't. I originally had intentions of putting Red Skelton and Clem Kadiddlehopper in the center, and I can't remember the name of the old clown with the circus. I was going to feature those two then I got to seeing where the pictures were copyrighted so I best stay away from them.

MB: Maybe that was Emmet Kelley.

MS: Yes, that's Emmet Kelley.

MB: Right, I think that shows how you like color and how you like life. The clowns show how you appreciate life. How do you use this quilt?

MS: Well, I use it now as a sometimes as a wall hanging. It hangs on my wall, but basically, I have it on a spare bed in my room. I don't use it in the regular one because I really think that laundry harms quilts. I really think washing damages quilts. I am very protective of it that way. I really try to keep it out of sunshine.

MB: Have you ever washed them?

MS: Yes, I wash all my quilts. When I first get them made for several reasons- to remove cat hair. I have a cat. Too much washing ruins them. After you wash them, and they shrink, and the batting shrinks they have that old cuddly feeling. I like that instead of the new everything type and pristine layered.

MB: So that might even have a little stitch adjustment even when you wash it. What are your plans for this quilt?

MS: It'll probably go to one of my grandchildren. In fact, I had two grandsons this last Christmas that both thought that they needed it. Their mother said wait until another time. They are young, ten and fourteen. I said, 'I think you boys need to pick out your college graduation quilt because chances are that I won't be making quilts at that time.' They both said that they would take that one right away.

MB: Would you ever consider making another one like it?

MS: No, I made two teddy bear quilts of basically the same pattern. Appliqué the same. It is never so much fun to make the second one. I would rather go ahead and do something differently.

MB: Well, that is very interesting. How did you get started in making quilts?

MS: As a young child I remember my grandmother's house. The neighbors sitting around the table and a big quilt frame. I loved playing underneath the quilt. You could look up and see the stitches. In fact, I am hoping someday to make a white on white, all one cloth quilt. That's in the future, because I love just the pattern of just the quilting. I remember my father and my mother--my dad would cut out quilt blocks for my mother. That is when you used cardboard templates if you were around. In the wintertime we had no TV or not much radio or anything at that time. Quilt making has been a part of my life always. My first quilt was made when we were in the army.

MB: Was your father a farmer? Or what kind of an occupation did he have?

MS: He was a farmer. So, winters were slow. We lived on a farm in Custer County.

MB: From whom did you really learn to quilt if you observed all this?

MS: Probably my mother. And while I was still teaching, I would piece the tops, make the tops, and whether they were a pattern or traditional or whatever, my mother would quilt them. And finally, she decided that's enough, 'You have to start quilting them yourself.' So, I did.

MB: Did she continue to quilt to an elderly age?

MS: Oh, my, yes, she was probably in her eighties when she quit quilting my quilts.

MB: About how many hours a week do you quilt?

MS: Quilting or needle work? Like right now, I am working on another project that I am appliquéing an angel so to me that's needle work, not quilting. But it will be a miniature quilt. To begin with, basically every day, I am working a couple hours anyway, but not always at quilting.

MB: Are there other quiltmakers among your family. Well, you said your mother and father, friends, or your children, or your grandmother that you would like to share about?

MS: Both my daughters. The one daughter with the younger children isn't doing too much now. My sister has retired, and she is doing some quilting which pleases me. My older daughter is doing the piecing. She hasn't really gotten into the fine quilter stitches and putting them together. She's getting there. She is getting tempted.

MB: What do you think about your grandchildren? Do you think they will? Do you hope they will?

MB: I hope they will, but times are so different. My one granddaughter who has three little children--two and under, that will be a while.

MB: Yes, that would be. How does your quilt making impact your family? What influence does it have on your family?

MS: They're always very interested in what I was doing and just about every year I let someone, the next child in line or grandchild pick out a quilt top that I already have done. That will be the next one to go in the frame, and last year my youngest one. My ten-year-old got a quilt so the one's in the frame now is for my oldest one. We are starting at the top again. In the meantime, I am making baby quilts and blankets for the next generation.

MB: I can see it impacts your family and your friends too. Have you ever used quilts to get through a difficult time?

MS: Oh, my, yes.

MB: Would you care to share? Maybe a difficult time you had and how that quilt maybe helped?

MS: When I was widowed, I did a lot of quilting and sometimes in the middle of the night, although the light isn't so good. Piecing, sitting in hospitals, hand piece, I used to do all my piecing by hand. Now, of course, I use the sewing machine, but if my hands keep busy, time goes faster.

MB: Tell me about an amusing experience that has occurred from your quilt making or teaching somebody to make a quilt.

MB: Well, I remember one time at a quilt show. I think I had my chicken quilt there. A fellow was saying well that he was selling sewing machine that did fancy stitches. He said, 'That's a machine quilt.' That is one that was done on a machine like his. I said, 'Oh, no, it was not.' And I had to prove to him that I had did it by hand. It was fun to chastise a salesman. Also, one time, I was quilting on the same quilt, and it was during a Nebraska football game, and I cut a hole in it so I had to patch it.

MB: Can anyone find the place that you patched?

MS: I bet you can't.

MB: So you have pretty good skills there. What do you find pleasing about quilt making?

MS: I get a real satisfaction out of manipulating colors, playing with colors. Most of my things are brights. It's just soothing to do it. Probably the worst part of quilt making is marking the design for the hand quilting because some of it is traditional, but most of it isn't. On the project I am working on now, it has changed so many times from the time I first thought of it. It gave me a satisfaction, taking something and deciding and going with it.

MB: Satisfying, doing something different, playing with colors. I can really appreciate your colors from looking at the Clown Quilt and the other quilts that I see around your house. You mentioned the Chicken Quilt. How you must find satisfaction. What aspects of quilt making do you not enjoy?

MS: As I said, it is the marking. The deciding what to do after the top is all done, what to do when you layer the pieces together. I am usually celebrating. That means that the project is done. Deciding, by quilting (marking), I mean the tiny, tiny stitches you put in.

MB: OK. Does mean that you want something in your quilting to relate to the whole pattern?

MS: Oh, yes. One thing that made me happy about the Clown Quilt, it is set together with a blue fabric with little stars in it. And I decided, -finally it came to me, to use stars. What I call whopper-jawed (askew) stars, all uneven stars. The quilting around the figures I could make them to fit the shape. I was just so pleased when I came up with that idea.

MB: So, the traditional five point, even point star would not have fit in that place. But the whopper jawed fit.

MS: My whopper jawed were long, skinny, fat, with three wide points, whatever fit, it worked well.

MB: It shows a lot of creativity to come up with an idea that like. What art or quilt groups do you belong to?

MS: Well, I belong to Plum Creek Quilters Guild, and out of that is the small group called The Basket Cases. We meet afternoons once a month. I belong to the Nebraska State Quilt Guild. I often go to their conventions. In fact, almost every year for the last fifteen years or so I have gone.

MB: Where are the conventions held?

MS: All over, sometimes Chadron, Omaha, Lincoln, McCook, Kearney, all around the state.

MB: Could you tell me about classes you taught with quilting or tatting or something of that nature?

MS: I have taught a double wedding ring quilt. We have turned it into a quilt, or a table cover, or a Christmas tree skirt quilt or whatever they wanted. Yes, it was mentioned that I teach tatting. I put tatting on my other projects. Tatting is frustrating. You really have to want to do it to do it, but I enjoy it because I enjoy working with people.

MB: For tatting do you just start out with something like crochet thread or what?

MS: Generally, a metal shuttle. Sometimes a plastic one.

MB: Do you have any tatting on your Clown Quilt though?

MS: I don't think so.

MB: I noticed tatting on your others. Have advances in technology influenced your work?

MS: Oh, my, yes, the rotary cutter, the rulers, and the cutting board make everything much more simple. I do not quilt by machine. I have had two or three things quilted by machine, and there was a place for it. I still really care for the hand quilted projects. Some of mine I have farmed out to different quilting groups: one in Gothenburg and one here to quilt for me, because I can't keep up. It takes me about a year to hand quilt a big quilt. Now, it doesn't mean that I work on it all the time and I do other small things in between. But during that time, I might put together three quilt tops so one is up at Gothenburg now and one is down at the Grand Generation Center. Several are in my closet waiting for someone to say who will quilt one for you?

MB: So, when you talking about sizes are you talking about a queen, a king size or even bigger than king size?

MS. It is a long king size. I am thinking of the biggest one that I did simply because I had a pattern that had nine big blocks, I don't like square things. So, I made it four by five, 24 by four and one half. I couldn't figure how to do that and save my pattern. But most of my quilts I make at least queen size, because this next generation not very many of them have regular double beds anymore.

MB: So, yours aren't just coverlets.

MS: No, they are hopefully rectangular. Again, I have this aversion to square. I don't know why.

MB: Do you think some technology though has influenced you with your stitches though, because you are trying to prove that you are trying to do just as good or better than the machine, like on your appliqué.

MS: Well, yes, and again the technology with the rotary cutter has really help me speed things along. I know I am not the very best hand quilter. But I am always trying to improve there. Again, machine quilting has it place, but I don't want to do it.

MB: What are your favorite techniques and materials?

MS: A hundred per cent cotton, great colors, blues, greens. Oh, well I don't know getting into colors, stick with 100 per cent cotton. And almost never do I buy fabric just to buy fabric. I'd rather go and when I decide on a project go and then get my fabric which is different from a lot of people. A lot of quilters have yards and yards and pieces and pieces stashed in their sewing room. I don't. I have tubs and tubs and tubs of scraps, a red tub, a blue tub, a green tub, and whatever. I rarely buy fabric to buy fabric unless it is a tone on tone for a background that I see that I like.

MB: But when you travel, once in a while, why might you pick up a fabric then?

MS: I picked up a wonderful blue green fabric when I was in Kenya a couple years ago. I have fabrics from lots of different countries I've gone to. I didn't get any in China, but I got a small quilt in China. To me, I'd rather pick up a piece of fabric than a dust catcher when I travel and then when I see I say, 'Yes, that's where I got it.'

MB: That makes another story for your quilt. You said 100 per cent cotton material? What about your thread?

MS: One hundred per cent cotton. I love. I don't know if I should use brand names. I love Hobbs 80/20 [known as Hobbs Heirloom which is 80 percent cotton and 20 per cent polyester.] for the batting. One time I bought a percale sheet for my mother to use on the back of a quilt. It was too tightly woven. It was too hard to quilt. That was before you buy the wide fabric. I do have some polyester in my quilts especially in my Zodiac Quilt because when I first started out, I didn't know any better. There was polyester on the shelves and such and I would be looking for a certain color and that was the color I wanted. I didn't pay attention to the fabric, but I've learned.

MB: So, what are the advantages to cotton?

MS: It doesn't fray like the others. If you have a good quality, it won't stretch or warp or get out of kilter. The colors are just so much deeper, so much richer. The feel is so much better.

MB: I think I understand what you mean about the feel when you mentioned percale sheet. I know that there is something about cotton that is so warm and comforting.

MB: Your studio or the place where you create? Where do you do most of your work?

MS: Well, there is an extra bedroom in my house. It has counters with cupboards built underneath it which is fine. If I am marking a big quilt, I come out to the living room and use this table. I have my sewing machine and a computer in that room. I spend many hours in that room. I have my tools hanging up. A larger place would be nice, but as long as I moved to this house and that was there, I was happy as could be.

MB: Does this room have any special lighting or any good light from the windows?

MS: Yes, it has good lighting, and then I had an extra light put in the ceiling to give me warmth and then I had a light with the fancy bulbs, several of them whatever they are called. That helps.

MB: Being able to see. Tell me how you balance your time. I think you already told me you can be working on more than one thing, with three other projects.

MS: Yes, right now, I have just three things going. I had just recently got into designing my own thing. In so far as you can say, many of my wild quilts there are none others like them. Like a wall hanging that I am working on, or I made a scene. I did the hexagons. It used to be Grandma's Flower Quilt. I had been in British Colombia, and there were some trees up there that were just wonderful, the way they were all bent from the wind blowing. So, I made this piece of landscape, the different blues and greens and put the tree on it. I put a house on it and the chimney is leaning. Then everything is leaning. The tree is blowing, and my brother looked at it and he says, 'I should have had the house leaning.' I didn't. I made a regular house. It wasn't about to lean. It was an old stone house, and it wasn't about to lean. Anyway, it was one of the first things that I designed by myself. I was pleased with it.

MB: Could you say that you designed the clown quilt though really with your own design and the rooster quilt was that really your own design?

MS: Oh, yes, you won't see another. One of a kind. All really, one of a kind

MB. So, all your quilts are one of a kind?

MS: I have made some traditional Double Wedding Ring. Every time I go to a quilt convention, I took a class or two and pick one up. I start one there and finish it at home, and then it is an original from them.

MB: Do you use a design wall?

MS: No, I would like to have one, but my room doesn't have room for one.

MB: Can you tell me what design wall is?

MS: Well, it would be like putting a big piece of flannel or felt or something up on the wall and then you lay the quilt blocks on it, and then you decide to rearrange them. For instance, when I made the Clown Quilt-- I think I have thirty clowns in it. I would have like to have been able to arrange them up on the wall. I would love to have a design wall. Instead, I go in on a spare bed and lay it down. But I would love to have a design wall.

MB: Do you think people could design on the computer too?

MS: Maybe, well, I hear they can, but they have to be more skilled that I am on the computer.

MB: But you told about how you do it, on the table, on the bed, and then you rearrange according to color and design.

MS: Design. I had a son-in-law who came, and he arranged them on the floor, and he would say that you need to switch those two, and invariably he was correct.

MB: So, somebody else can have an eye for them.

MS: Sometimes. Yes.

MB: What about progressive quilts. Have you ever done or helped people do a progressive quilt?

MS: Those are fun. In fact, I have one hanging on my wall now that I did the center block and then it would go out and have different people in the state working on it. During this time, I would be working on theirs, every six weeks or so it would go on to the next place. I had a lot of fun with those. I also worked on mystery quilts. I have taught mystery quilts to our group. I found the pattern on the computer and told everyone who wanted to participate how much material, how much fabric to buy, how many different colors. Then the next time I would give them cutting instructions. They would not know what they were making. I would give them just one step at a time. We worked maybe eight months or nine months out of the year. It was great fun, but some don't like it. They like to know where they are going from the beginning.

MB: Did anybody ever show up with stitches that you didn't like or material that you didn't like or does it all work together?

MS: It all works together. Some people have come to me for help. I have a really tough time of not wanting to crush them. And yet to say things that would really help them. One of the biggest things is to get them to press, get them to press seams on the back. Again, I don't want to crush them. I am so proud of them getting started.

MB: What do you think makes a great quilt?

MS: Contrast, something to keep your eye moving from one part of the quilt to another part. There needs to be movement in it. Color combinations need to be pleasing. There needs to be contrast on colors. Well, like I said contrast and even if there isn't design of one thing there still should be something to move your eyes from one part to another.

MB: I can see by looking at yours that there is movement.

MS: You don't just focus on one part. You want to look at individual prints if you look carefully, you see some pigs on that quilt.

MB: Artistically powerful then is a word that come into this. It is powerful. Also, I know that you have received some great awards. Would you like to say anything about awards? Like at fairs?

MS: Well, I have done well at the fair, but there is one person in our quilt group or a couple that far outshine me at quilting. I've won my share.

MB: Is it hard to--is it a risk to enter something in a fair or a contest?

MS: Well, no, to me. I really like quilt shows better than quilt fairs where you judge them, I would prefer a quilt show any time for a display or whatever. The reason that I prefer shows is because in our quilting club there are people who have just started quilting two or three years and they are so proud of their things, and I am so proud of their starting, and in no way should they be in competition with someone who has been in it for forty years. That's why I like the shows over the fairs. [The reason that I prefer shows. No way should they be in competition against those who have quilted for forty years.]

MB: Well, that sounds, like a good way to express that. What makes a great quilt appropriate for a museum or a special collection?

MS: Well, history, of course, if it has been in a family or around for a long time. When I went to the new quilt museum in Lincoln, I was amazed at something they had on display the different uses of color or design that I had not thought of before. The new ideas in color, and I think I am fairly far reaching. There is always so much to learn and sometimes you have exquisite needle work. Mine is okay if I am doing three fabrics together, but if I am going through seams and things, it is not ok.

MB: Whose works are you drawn to and why? Does that mean famous quilters? [inaudible.]

MS: Well, there is Nellie Snyder Yost. In our local group Peg Bruns is going to have a quilt display at the museum here in March.

MB: I didn't realize that Nellie Snyder Yost quilted.

MS: Maybe it was her mother.

MB: She is a Nebraska author.

MS: A Nebraska author, maybe I goofed. It was her mother from the Sand Hills, no longer living, of course. Her quilts were just fantastic. When you think of the way they had to scrounge around and use fabric. For instance, when I mentioned bringing fabric back from Kenya, it reminded me of feed sack and real coarse fabric that I started sewing and many other people. Her fabrics were that and you tell by looking that they were sugar sacks or whatever in the white fabric and any others.

MB: I think that we've all had dresses made out of flour and sugar sacks.

MS: And underclothes.

MB: Flour and sugar sacks. Who would you say has influenced you besides your parents and grandparents?

MS: That's the gist of it, but I really believe in going to quilt conventions because you always see so many of these. Like this last year I took a class from John Flynn. I have heard of John Flynn, seen him on television, and read about him in a magazine. Actually, working with him was something very great.

MB: Why is quilt making important to you in your life?

MS: When I sit down to watch television at night I live alone. I either have to eat, chew my fingernails, or do needle work. So needle work is the probably the best of the three choices.

MB: Right on! In what ways do your quilts reflect the community or region where you live?

MS: Well, I made a Nebraska Quilt that had been originally designed by a lady from Gothenburg. I took it and, of course, I did my own thing again. I have a tough time following direction. That quilt that I had designed after I had been up in British Columbia, I put some of my own stuff in it. In fact, there is an owl hanging in a tree so yes, even unconsciously, you pick up things around you.

MB: For instance, in your Nebraska Quilt if you wouldn't have told me that was the state shapes, I wouldn't have even noticed the state shapes, plus it also has different events and places in Nebraska.

MS: The wind blowing, and the geese flying, and the sod house and the church, whatever, but I really did not design that quilt myself. I just adapted it.

MB: [inaudible.] I also noticed that you must love farm animals because of the chickens and the pigs, and you might mention some others that I noticed.

MS: I grew up on a farm, taught rural schools. Nine years county, rural school teaching I spent my first early married years on a farm. So farming is in my bones.

MB: What do you think about the importance of quilting in American life?

MS: I think they really show a history, but I really have a concern about something. You hear about ladies traveling across the country in a covered wagon. And someone told me they quilted. No where near could they quilt. In the first place they would not have the light to do it. In the second place they'd be too busy and too dirty. They might have quilted when they got to where they were going. I don't think they quilted in those covered wagons. I don't think that they quilted going across the prairie.

MB: There's plays about the quilters.

MS: They may have patched the kids' pants out of necessity or a husband's pants or something along the way, but I don't think they quilted in route. That's my opinion. They may have quilted when they go to where they were going.

MS: That's interesting. I think that what you showed me in the sod houses, and maybe log houses and different--could show American--and quilt themes--

MS: So many of the traditional blocks have the names of early pioneers or locations they were from or whatever.

MB: Do you think quilting would have a special meaning for women's history in America?

MS: Oh, yes, just showing the evolution of how quilts have developed through the generations I suppose you would say. I remember again when I went to that quilt museum in Lincoln. I suppose you should say that some were those that Blacks had designed, showing their history, and their yearnings.

MB: Underground Railroad?

MS: I have an Underground Railroad Quilt that I made. I probably didn't show that to you the other day.

MB: Does it have a path to go? North, South, East, West?

MS: Each block has a different symbol, for instance, I didn't know that The Drunkard's Path weren't to go straight there, because if they were to be going on a rendezvous, people would follow them. They would meander and get to their place like that so each one of them had a different story.

MB: That would be very interesting. In what ways do you think can quilts be used?

MS: Well, wearing them, hanging them on the walls. One person told me that they shut off a summer porch and they hung a quilt there because heat would still escape through that. I have them in just about every room in my house.

MB: I see table covering, I see wall hangings.

MS: I have a little bitty one out in the hall that I change every month on a hanger.

MB. And a pillow. So, you can use them in many ways, and your project for your grandson is for his bedroom?

MS: I got it mailed. Yes.

MB: Red, white and blue?

MS: Right. My daughter wondered if I would make curtains for my grandson. My grandson said, 'Grammer doesn't make curtains, she makes quilts.' So, I made a "quiltern." I made a hybrid of a quilt and curtain, and they are in the mail.

MB: You have a new word then "Quiltern." Curtain and quilt.

MS: Quilt comes first. That the most important. Quilt.

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

MS: Well, my biggest complaint is don't wash them too often. It has been recommended that you use a special soap, and you wash them in the bathtub. I don't go that far because my wrists won't do the wringing, but I put them in the machine. I run the water in the machine and agitate just a little bit to get them wet, let them soak, then spin them out, and rinse them. I think that machine washing does them more damage than anything else.

MB: What about the dryer?

MS: I dry it just a little bit. And then I will either put them on a line or on a bed, a spare bed turning them over frequently. Again, agitation is bad. One thing I want to really, I am really firm on is, every quilt, everything you make should be documented, and I don't believe this thing on this cover is. How about that? It might be somewhere.

MB: Besides your name what else do you put on the quilt?

MS: The year, the name, and I really name my quilts. The clown quilt is called "Just Clowning Around." The one out there on that table is Curvatious something or other. You want the name, year, name for quilt. Both of my grandparents' families broke up housekeeping about the same time I have quilts from both of them and I have no idea which side of my family did they come from, and no one is living from either side that I can ask. I have no idea which side of my family they come from.

MB: So, do you use a marker a permanent marker?

MS: Sometime I use a pigment pen and made a piece and appliquéd it on. Sometimes I make a pocket that I can insert information into the quilt. Sometimes I have woven labels that say made by Muriel Shea and put them on.

MB: I'll keep going with this. Just a little bit more. Thank you. What has happened to quilts that you have made for friends or family?

MS: Well, I have given quite a few away. I have made some for raffles, for charitable causes like Relay for Life. I make a lot of small ones for gifts to commemorate special things. Hopefully, they are cherished.

MB: I am sure that they are.

MS: But once I give them away, I have to let go of them. It is not my concern. It might be a little bit. But I have to let go of it, as a gift.

MB: Do you have anything else to add to this interview. It's been very good. I know that we will think back and say I should have thought of that. But we will probably take some pictures of the quilts. I'd like to thank you, Muriel Shea, for allowing me to interview you today as part of our S.O.S. Save Our Stories [Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories.]. Our interview concluded at about three o'clock on February 5, [it was actually the 3.] 2009.


“Muriel Shea,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed April 24, 2024,