Marla Jackson




Marla Jackson




Marla Jackson


Karen Musgrave

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

A Friend of the Quilt Alliance


Lawrence, Kansas


Kim Greene


Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I'm conducting a Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories interview with Marla Jackson. Marla is in Lawrence, Kansas, and I am in Naperville, Illinois, so we are conducting this interview over the telephone. Today's date is August 18, 2009. It is now 9:07 in the morning. Marla, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to do this interview with me.

Marla Jackson (MJ): You are most welcome Karen. This is so important that we have our stories documented.

KM: I so agree. Tell me about your quilt that you chose for the interview "Sankofa."

MJ: "Sankofa." I was inspired to make this quilt. At University of Kansas, Spencer Museum of Art, they had an exhibition about Erin Douglas. It was in 2007 and they chose two people from the community to apply and have their work juried to be a part of this exhibition. I chose "Sankofa" which depicts four women. Three are in a precession. As the woman ages, she goes back and shares the knowledge she has learned. It is a folklore in Ghana. "Sankofa" represents a bird and the egg it represents fertility and the saying is whenever you leave the flock you have to always come back, so that was the concept for that quilt.

KM: What techniques did you use?

MJ: I used a sewing machine for machine quilting and I did some hand quilting with decorative gold thread on the quilt. I gave the women bird like faces which represent the bird of Sankofa. One of the women, she has a blue leg and she is coming out of water, represents water and growth and like I said she is looking, always going back with the elders giving information. Never forgetting to look back into the community, to give back.

KM: Why did you choose this quilt for the interview?

MJ: I chose the quilt because it represented my heritage. It represented these African women and one of the women--I have a woman's face in the bottom of the quilt which represents a woman I met from Nigeria. I loved this woman. Her name was Felicia and she had tribal scarring and marking on her face. During the time when the slaves were taken, they had a tradition that they marked the children's faces because if they ever returned, they will be able to identify what tribe they were from. It is still being about going back, going back to your family, coming back, bringing back the history.

KM: How do you use this quilt?

MJ: I use this quilt. I hang it. It has been on different displays. I hang it in my living room. I just love this particular quilt. I just absolutely love it.

KM: Now it is 83 inches by 83 inches. Is that a typical size for you?

MJ: No, it's huge. [KM laughs.] It is huge. I make larger quilts. I have one quilt that is 58 [inches.] by 108 [inches.], but it was a huge quilt.

KM: Tell me about your interest in quiltmaking.

MJ: I started quiltmaking back in 1998. I used to work with a woman who had disabilities. She had schizophrenia and she was retarded but she was so gifted with making dolls. She loved sewing and she took a quilting class and she made a Log Cabin quilt. I paid her $25.00. Her class was $25.00 and I paid her $25.00 to teach me how to quilt. That is how I started quilting. I made my first quilt. My daughter had for Mother's Day given me this book called "Communion of the Spirits" by Rowland Freeman. I read this book and I saw these quilts and it was just unbelievable. I had never seen quilts being displayed through contemporary art, an art quilt, a narrative quilt. So I had started buying quilt magazines and I looked in the back and I saw that there was this African American exhibition at the Smithsonian. It was called "Spirits of the Cloth" and that was my first exhibition. It was curated by Carolyn Mazloomi who I didn't know. I didn't know any of these artists. I filled out the information card at the desk as we were leaving and I was African American and I wrote I wanted to know more about quilting and the quilt art and who should I get in touch with and they got in touch. They got this information to a woman by the name of Kyra Hicks. Have you met Kyra?

KM: Yes.

MJ: So Kyra sent me information through email and another woman. Her name was Sherry Whetstone McCall from Liberty, Missouri. So she came down and spoke with me and saw my work and she said that she was so impressed. She said that it was unbelievable and she gave my name and number to Carolyn Mazloomi and I sent her my slides. I had this one quilt. It was called "Corporate Daycare" and it represents a woman on a plantation and the kids are out in the field. So my first exhibition with Carolyn it was at the Civil Rights Museum [National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.] and it started from there and I just started making these quilts. When I was a little girl my great-grandmother couldn't read nor write. I grew up in Michigan so she was there. She was originally from Butler Springs, Alabama, Monroe County, I think it was. Her mother had been a slave and so I would sit in the room, I was about seven or eight years old and I would just watch her. She smoked a cornstalk pipe, but she wasn't supposed to and she would blow smoke rings. My grandmother was at work and my grandfather was at work. Every summer we spent with them and every weekend growing up. I would write letters for her to send to the family down south. She had this one quilt on her bed. It was raggedy and I kept asking her why doesn't she buy a new bedspread and she kept saying, 'No that's my people.' As I child, I didn't understand what she meant. What she meant was that, the fabrics came from her family, from home, the people, the family's old clothing and this quilt was hand tied. So whenever my grandmother would leave, because I wanted her to buy a new quilt, I would take a pair of scissors and I would cut the string that she had tied the quilt with. She never said anything. I'm sure she knew it was me because when I would go back in she had retied it. [both laughs.] I would just sit in the room just kicking my feet. We never said a word to one another, just stared at each other and listening to the stories, you know when I would write letters for her and I would just follow her around. Who ever knew back that early that I would be sharing her stories through my narrative story quilt? Unbelievable.

KM: How many hours a week do you quilt?

MJ: Every single day. I would say at least 30 hours a week. I know it's crazy.

KM: I don't think so.

MJ: I'm obsessed with it. There is never enough time to get everything done. You are basically creating in your sleep, [KM agrees.] you are thinking about it constantly. I had just retired from my job and decided I would work part time but every time I was at work I was thinking about quilting. It's just constant.

KM: Tell me about the Women of Color Quilters Network.

MJ: About the organization?

KM: Yes, tell me about it. Tell me about your involvement.

MJ: This is an organization that Carolyn Mazloomi started back in I think it was 1985, early eighties. Don't quote me on the year. She wanted to quilt and she lived in California and it is her story that she kept going to the store and buying these bandages trying to make batting. She finally got better at quilting and she had seen this quilters' magazine and she put an ad in the magazine and reached out to people throughout the United States. It started with eight people. It has grown to thousands of people. We have people in other countries that are in this organization. Speaking with Carolyn Mazloomi over the phone and emails and her loving my work, she asked me to join the organization. A lot of people think that just because you quilt in the organization that doesn't make you a member, but she asked me to sit on the Board of Directors with her. What an honor. This organization is open to everyone, but we do African American art. We don't want to be defined by that name because I know Carolyn does a lot of more Eastern type work. Her husband is from Iran and she is just so open. I do more Afro-centric work. I like making my quilts about women, African strong, African women and American women. Also a lot of my work has been more historical type work and I like working with museums and those types of things.

KM: Why is making quilts about women important to you?

MJ: Because I'm a mother and the women in my family. I was just surrounded by such strong women. My grandmother, my mother, my aunts, my daughters, my daughter-in-law. Just so many stories, we have so many stories to tell.

KM: What does your family think of your quiltmaking?

MJ: My mother, interesting that you ask. I was the child that was kicked out of sewing class. I was the kid that my mom was trying to teach how to knit so knitting needles went across the room. I threw them. I tried to crochet [laughs.] and so it's amazing. My mother just cannot believe. This is just a miracle to her. We sit and we laugh. I made her a special quilt and she is just amazed, and my brothers are all amazed. My family is very artistic. I have several artists in my family and my mom. I have a brother he does acting. He lives in New York. A brother who is an artist. My father was an artist. My mother, she drew, and we would have plays and she would read us stories. My uncle was a commercial artist. My sister was an art teacher. I have my one sister and she writes. So, it is in our family. It is genetic, I think. It is how I got started and it just happened. My kids are very proud, and I think they are more proud not so much what I do but who I share it with. I reach back to kids here in the community that no one would even think of working with and was able to have them reach their levels of quilting at a real high level. Matter of fact with the university [University of Kansas, Spencer Museum of Art.], they had the exhibit ["Visual Voices."]. It was from June 30 through August 2, and they had such a response that they asked if they could extend it, so it is going to be there until September the thirteenth. I work in the community. I give back and I teach.

KM: Tell me about your non-profit.

MJ: My nonprofit is under the umbrella of The Women of Color Quilters Network here. It is the same organization, but I work with youth. My philosophy is that we are making quilts and not babies. Some of the girls in my group have never seen their fathers. Their mothers are on drugs, one is on alcohol and there is this one woman, who is 34 with five kids, and she decided she didn't want her kids, so the grandmothers are raising these children. One of the requirements for the kids to be in my group, one family member had to volunteer to participate. Someone from that family had to be part of this because I want these girls to be able to have these stories to tell their children and to be able to know you have to reach back. You have to give. Last year's project was that they volunteered. We had an exhibition in Topeka at the Brown v Board Education Foundation and also at Washburn University. [slight interruption due to a call waiting beep.] The women, the girls were able to go over with me. We were supposed to teach children how to make quilt blocks because they were going to make one large quilt. Only two children showed up but all these adults came. They were so excited and so the girls set down with the adults to show them how to make the quilt. They make their own original design. We take pattern making paper and we make these different graphic designs and its contemporary and its different shapes and if you are not paying attention of what you're doing you could turn one of the patterns the wrong way it will throw the whole quilt off. This one woman in particular, she is a quilter and she became so frustrated and the girls they were so tickled to be able to teach. The children were able to just catch on and teach the adults and so they were really excited about giving back to the community.

KM: Tell me about your creative process.

MJ: My creative process. I meditate. If I'm doing something historical, I do a lot of research. Say for example, I did a quilt for Langston Hughes. The one he wrote about was called "Not Without Laughter" and I had to research the time period. I wanted to make a stove, a fireplace. What kind of stove, what kind of clothes they were wearing, the type of fabrics. I start by researching and I dream about things in my sleep and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I'm sketching, making designs. I work in total silence when I work.

KM: Do you work on more than one thing at a time?

MJ: I work on several quilts at a time, yes. Several quilts and when I'm finished, I'm done with these quilts about the same time. My first exhibition was a solo exhibition here in Lawrence at the Watkins Museum of Art and I completed ten quilts in ten months. A lot of those quilts that I have on display at different museums are the ten original quilts. I didn't have any technique, I didn't really know what I was doing [both laughs.] but it happened to come out right. Didn't have a clue [laughs.]. I took different classes and learned different techniques and skills.

KM: What are your favorite techniques?

MJ: The technique I use when I design my own patterns, I cannot follow. I can't get a book and decide I'm going to make that type of quilt. I have a learning disability and I see things in abstract way. I'm dyslectic and I never allowed that to hinder me in any type of way so I've always--well I used to make clothes. I would use the Vogue patterns because they were more analytical to me, and I was able to really follow the patterns. McCall's, Simplicity, I couldn't use their patterns. For some reason, it was the details in there that helped me. That is how I approach it. I make my own patterns. I play around with different types of fabrics and so I never know what I'm going to do, it just happens in the moment. It just happens.

KM: What are your favorite materials?

MJ: I love batik fabrics. I love batik fabrics. I love African fabrics. I combine a lot of African fabrics with batik fabrics and the way I arrange my patterns, you really can't tell that the batiks are just batik fabrics. They all look African when I'm done with them because I use a lot of pieces. I cut them out in different shapes. I always like to use cowry shells. There is a shop and I met a woman. She makes handmade class beads. I use her beads on my quilts. Not only am I promoting my work, I'm promoting another artist's work. as well. I like to buy my things from other artists. When someone I know has a got book coming out, I'm always buying that book. I love the process. I like the process of the journey. The completion is fine but I appreciate what this individual had to go through to get where they're at. I think it is the journey for me.

KM: Describe where you work.

MJ: I have a very small room. My sewing room was very tiny. It was the smallest room. When my son moved, he went to the military, my husband took that room so quickly. He took the big room and I had the small room, but I've graduated. I am now sewing in my living room. [both laugh.] I'm going to sell my furniture. [both laugh.]

KM: Good for you.

MJ: You know my husband, 'Honey, here is a straight pin.' I say 'Thank you.' 'Honey, here is a scrap on the floor.' Is that a hint? [laughs.] Is there a vowel missing? Does he want me to pick up my pins and get all the fabric off the floor? [laughs.] That's how I work. I have to have a neat order. I like my sewing room to be really neat and everything lined up, but that is not possible.

KM: What things do you have in your living room now?

MJ: I have my quilts on the wall. What I do, I sell prints of my work and greeting cards, so I have photos of my quilts, prints I made. I have this one quilt. It is an African mask. I made it for the first time. I love this African mask. My walls are the same color, just bright Crayola green. It is like a lime fuchsia green. I use a lot of vibrant colors so when you walk into my house you need sunglasses. I have pops of colors everywhere.

KM: What advice would you offer someone starting out?

MJ: To believe in themselves. I tell people all the time, only you know your story. You are the creator, you decide how you want to make your quilt. I tell them there is no mistakes. I let them know, you go where the spirit takes you. That is where you go within your art. It is such a freeing. I told them had I not known all the techniques, had I known that I was making mistakes according to traditional quilters, I would never have been able to grow as I did. I didn't have anyone telling me what was right or what was wrong. From time and experience and from looking at other people's work I knew that I needed more training of the techniques, but I just tell them to go within yourself and you are going to be criticized and you are going to have people who like your work and who don't like your work. Don't be offended. Do you like what you produced? I've always told my kids, no matter what you do you be the best. If you decided that you want to sell pencils on the corner, be the best, be the best. Pay attention to details.

KM: What do you find most pleasing about making quilts?

MJ: When I'm making a quilt I travel, mentally travel. I will make a quilt and I'm thinking of my grandmother. I'm thinking of my mother. I think about my kids. It is so soothing for me. Like meditation for me. It just takes me; it takes me to a place. It is like a living dream.

KM: Is there any aspect of quiltmaking that you don't like?

MJ: No, I love it all. I love it all, every bit of it. I love, like I said, the process of it. I love it.

KM: What do you think makes a quilt artistically powerful?

MJ: I think the colors. I think the movement for me. It is the movement. It's the story. It's the story. I call it "visual literacy." If you were to tell me your life story, I will put it on a quilt. You tell me how you feel, I'm able to translate that through the story.

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

MJ: I think the biggest challenge right now is selling your work. Selling your work. Now for African American quilts, we tend to get more for our quilts. Why, I don't know. I think it is because of that oral history, possibly. I'm not real sure that may be true. I don't know. I just think appreciating your work. You find some very competitive and you even find people who go to museums and cut anything off your quilt. I think there could be a lot of jealousy but for me I just can't really explain it in words what it does for me. But the challenges, I have not had one yet because I like the journey.

KM: Do you belong to any other art or quilt groups?

MJ: I belong to a small group here in town of older quilters. They are the ones that have taught me how to do the binding. It is a small group.

KM: Why is it important for you to belong to that group?

MJ: Actually I was the only African American in this group. I did a presentation for these women and they treated me, they supported me, they treated me with so much love. We would have quilt camp and just to hear their stories I was so impressed. Now that I'm a lot more busier I'm always a member of their organization.

KM: Do you think of yourself more as an artist or a quiltmaker or do you even make a distinction?

MJ: I look at myself as a craftsperson, an artist, craftsperson, artist.

KM: Whose works are you drawn to and why?

MJ: There is a woman by the name of Sonja Hunt. Sonja is an artist, surface design. Her techniques are abstract, very, very contemporary. I love her work. There is a rising star in our organization. Her name is Carolyn Crump. Her work is out of this world. She is in a world of her own. It is interesting that we grew up in the same town. We grew up in a small suburb of Royal Oak Township in Ferndale, Michigan (near Detroit). Carolyn Mazloomi told me about this girl's name and I said, 'Her name is Crump?' My maiden name was Crum and I said, 'That name sounds you know it was so unusual.' We got to talking and the girl called me and it was the same person from the same town. Her work is incredible. It is beautiful. There is one person, her name is Sherry Shine. She is a painter and she paints her work and has it quilted. It is just incredible. Right off the top, I would say those are the ones that I love their work. Their work is original. It is not traditional.

KM: Have you ever used quiltmaking to get through a difficult time?

MJ: Yes, I have Systemic Lupus and I'm telling you there were times where I was literally on my knees crawling like a snake, pulling up my body to sew. I could only maybe sew maybe a minute but I knew if I would rest I would get back to that. I would say as we speak right now I'm in a small Lupus crisis today, just fatigued, but I'm on the phone with you because I'm so appreciative of your process and the work you're doing to honor quilters.

KM: Thank you. Do you think your quilts reflect your region at all?

MJ: Yes. I think my work; I'm more ahead of the game. I live in a small town, it is about 100,000 people here, we are four percent African American and this is a college town and that four percent is when the students are here. I would say I'm pretty unique. My work. People know when they've seen my work, but at the same time I think it's just growing. I'm learning more and they're learning more. I think my work is a little unique and people are just open to it and I just feel very blessed to be in this town, to be appreciated for what I do.

KM: In what ways do you think quilts have special meaning for women's history?

MJ: Oh my goodness, it's just incredible to hear the stories. A lot of people within the African American experience in itself, we're all different. All of our cultures, our backgrounds, are all different. I know a lot of quilters from the south, they have different stories. I grew up in Michigan. Different stories and just to have that, just to have that. Often you hear people, African Americans are all alike, we are so different, our work is different. Each quilter has a different story.

KM: How do you want to be remembered?

MJ: I want to be remembered as someone that worked hard to reach other people and to communicate and to feel self-esteem and to know no matter how you were born, whatever you were born with, one arm or whatever you are part of this system, you are important, you must give back. To never say I fell short, there is somebody there you can reach just by your life story. It doesn't have to have been a pretty story but it is the process, the process. I want to be known as someone who cared, as someone who always gave back. If you need me the answer is yes, if it's regarding my quilts the answer is yes. Yes they can be displayed.

KM: What is your favorite place that your quilt has been displayed?

MJ: My favorite place, let me think about it. The Spencer Museum of Art and I tell you why. The Spencer Museum of Art opened up a brand new gallery. It was called 2021, which is the 21st Century. In 2007 the museum opened it and my quilt was the first installation there. It's got history to that. The Civil Rights Museum was another place and I went to the opening. It is called the African American Museum of Cultural Art in Ohio. African American Museum of Biblical Art in New York and my brother lives in New York and my one daughter lives in New York and they came down. I had not seen my brother in several years and so I didn't know if he was at the exhibit and he knew my work before I even told him whose work it was. It was unbelievable.

KM: How does that make you feel?

MJ: It was like unbelievable. He says, 'I know this is your work.' I go, 'How do you know?' and he says, 'I just know.' It was eerie. It was such a beautiful feeling. Beautiful, just to have your family there, the people. I see beauty in everything that God has made on this earth. I'm so appreciative of other people's work as well as mine.

KM: Is it easy for you to sell your work? I mean is it easy for you to let go of a piece you created?

MJ: No, it's not. I have this one quilt it's called "First Born." My brother wanted to purchase that quilt, but I told him that I would never sell, that's for my son. I had lost one child full term and had a miscarriage, and I was still pregnant, and no one knew, I just left the hospital, put my clothes on and I left, and I was still pregnant with my son so that quilt represents him. It is difficult for me to let my work go. That is why I sell prints of my work. I do commission work, but I will sell prints of my work and greeting cards. I don't want to sell my work but there are two people I have sold work to. One is a professor of African American literature, and one was a professor of History, and I sold a quilt to a schoolteacher because they are really interested in my work and whenever I need for my work to be displayed the answer is always yes. I'm very particular who I'm going to sell my work to. I want to be in the position where they can give back to the community. If the work can be displayed in Lawrence, that's fine.

KM: What do you think makes a great quilter?

MJ: Passion, passion. I'm not so much into technique of quilting. I know a lot of people are very proficient in that area, but I want the quilt to look like art. I don't like anything that's precise. I like things more graphic, different shapes, but perfectionism. I don't see that. I like to see mistakes in quilts because I always say no one is perfect.

KM: What is your biggest mistake you've made?

MJ: How about using a hot glue gun. [both laugh.] To hold the quilt together in the back. [both laugh.]

KM: That's a good one.

MJ: How about hot glue gun.

KM: That's a good one. I like that one. How did it hold up?

MJ: It was so stiff. [laughs.] It wasn't pliable at all. [both laugh.] I go, 'Oops never do that again.'

KM: I bet not. It is a good thing to learn through our mistakes. [both laugh.] The visual I got. I mean I have tears.

MJ: Hot glue gun, how about that. [laughs.]

KM: If it had worked out it could have been a whole new area.

MJ: [laughs.] That is hilarious.

KM: How was writing an artist statement for you?

MJ: Writing is a difficult. It is difficult for me. I have someone who assists me. I have an assistant and I write my words and she does the grammatical errors and things like that for me, but it's not difficult. It is not difficult for me, it's just, it is frustrating if I have to do it by myself but I struggle through it and I put my thought and she will just sort of help me out with making corrections. It is okay. I don't like writing but I have to do it, it is part of it.

KM: Do you have a plan for your quilts?

MJ: My plan, each one of my children I would like to have a quilt. My kids and my grandchildren. I want them to have something, part of me. Some of them I would like to go to different museums. One thing that I do, my friend is a professor. I give her a quilt each year. Last year I gave her "Not Without Laughter." She is having me do a project on Richard Wright. You've heard of Richard Wright haven't you? [KM agrees.] I'm working on a quilt that is going to be part of an exhibition and I'm going to give her that quilt because I know she will preserve these quilts.

KM: Very nice.

MJ: I want her to preserve the stories.

KM: Are you going to allow your children to select which quilt they get or are you doing it?

MJ: My son knows he is getting "First Born." My daughter, she is getting "Snake Bit." "Snake Bit" was one of the letters I wrote for my great-grandmother and I wrote that she was talking to a person I hear you fell and had your leg broke because you've been bit by the snake. That is "Snake Bit." Means a woman that got pregnant. Then my one daughter loves fish. I made her a big fish in a small pond, a quilt with different fabrics. I used batik fabrics and it is just beautiful so she has her quilt, but I want them either to be in museums preserved, but for the most part I want my children to have them and my grandkids. I have the opportunity of teaching my grandkids how to quilt so that was pretty cool. They had their exhibition; they are part of the exhibition at The Spencer Museum of Art.

KM: The one that is "Visual Voices"?

MJ: Yes.

KM: What kind of quilts did they make?

MJ: Contemporary. Contemporary quilts.

KM: What did they look like?

MJ: They are beautiful. My granddaughter made a quilt. She called it "Wink" and it is abstract. It looks like there are two eyes and then my one granddaughter make one, it looks like it has a cactus on it, like it's more of in the west like Arizona. My grandson made a quilt. He is seventeen. He used an African theme. One of the girls in my group, she made a great big heart. She made the story up about a girl who had a bad heart and when she was 21 she had passed and she had said that this is not a real story but these are my thoughts when I was making my quilt. One girl made a quilt, now she is pretty profound. She has got a disability and she made a quilt that's called "Kite." I spent a lot more time with her to assist her, but she was the only kid in the classroom that could sew in a straight line. I would say, 'Well what are you doing Monica?' She goes, 'Sewing straight lines, Ms. Marla. Just sewing straight lines.' She did such a good job on her quilt. Taylor made a quilt, she used an African theme. Her quilt was cut out like the shape of Africa and had different designs, which was really pretty. One girl made a quilt, it was so cute. It was called "The African Wildflower" and she made this one quilt where she had made a flower and had put an African woman's face on the quilt and she had hair on it. It was really cute. I'm just really proud of their work they've done on their quilts.

KM: It sounds like it. Is there anything that you would like to share that we haven't touched upon before we conclude?

MJ: Just the experience of and the privilege to be in this organization, in the Women of Color Quilters Network. To talk about Carolyn Mazloomi, how much I love her. I remember when I sent another quilt to her to be juried in and she sent the quilt back to me and I called her and, 'Well I got my quilt back.' She says, 'Do you want to know why your quilt is back?' She says, 'It's not on the level of a quilt that needs to be in a museum.' Yes, she did.

KM: How did that make you feel?

MJ: She made me one of the best quilters there are. I took it in a positive way. We laughed. We laughed so hard. Yes, she did and she wanted to send the best. I told her how much I appreciated her rejecting that quilt. It made me a better quilter. Because like I said, I didn't have any expertise. I just made these quilts, not knowing what was appropriate for a museum. Some of my quilts were and some weren't and that one wasn't. From that point on, we talk to each other every day, every single day.

KM: What does she think of your quilts now?

MJ: She loves them. She called me yesterday and she has a new exhibition coming up and a new catalogue is going to be with this quilt and she said the photographer shot over 90 quilts and the one he loved was my quilt.

KM: What quilt is it?

MJ: It is called "The Journey Forward" that is going to be in this new exhibition. Exhibition celebrating Obama. That made me feel good and just her encouragement. She told me maybe like in 2004, 'Do you like teaching?' I said, 'Yes.' She said, 'Why don't you start teaching kids?' I said, 'Okay.' I listen to her. Any suggestions she makes, I do it. It is such a privilege, privilege knowing her.

KM: I agree.

MJ: It is an honor. She is so down to earth. She has had so many honors bestowed upon her and she earned every single one of them.

KM: I think this is an excellent way to end, how about you?

MJ: Thank you.

KM: I want to thank, seriously I want to thank you, you were truly wonderful.

MJ: Thank you Karen. Anytime, I feel like I know you. You know Carolyn says, 'Have you gotten in touch with Karen?' and I said, 'Yes, we set up a time.'

KM: Good, I'm glad she knows.

MJ: She is special.

KM: She is special. We are going to conclude our interview and its now 9:52.


“Marla Jackson,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed July 18, 2024,