Photos courtesy of Mark Freed.
Types of Artistry
Marjorie Dula Roberts
Ferguson, NC (Wilkes County)
Marjorie Dula Roberts links several generations of quilters from Wilkes County. Marjorie's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all quilters, and she has taught her daughter and granddaughter to quilt. Marjorie continues to quilt whenever she has a chance. "If I won the lottery, I would move to the beach where it is warm and quilt every day," she says. When her daughter asked her why she would continue to quilt if she didn't need any money, Marjorie replied, "I would just give them away, because I love to quilt."
Growing up in Wilkes County, Marjorie spent much of her free time with a needle, thread, and fabric. "I learned most of my quilting from my mother and grandma," she says. Growing up, she would spend most of her weekends with her grandmother. "We'd dye thread and dye materials using pokeberries and walnut hulls," she recalls. "And those stitches had to be just right, or my grandma would make me start over." Marjorie remembers that her grandmother used a broken broomstick as a measuring device to teach her how to hem. The precision of stitching instilled by her grandmother continues in her own stitches today. "My daughter cuts all my blocks, but she doesn't like to sew as much because she says my stitches are better."
Marjorie remembers quilting with her mother and grandmother. "Whenever school wasn't in, that's all we did," she says. "Cook and quilt." She learned to quilt using an old quilting frame. "We tacked a whole lot," she says. Her grandmother especially liked to make quilts with four-inch squares, and today Marjorie calls that pattern "grandma's quilt." Marjorie also does the wedding ring and dressing patterns, but her favorite pattern is grandmother's fan.
She sells her quilts, gives some away to family and friends, and donates quilts for local charitable organizations, including an annual quilt for the local cancer relay. Although she works at her sister's restaurant during the day and takes care of her mother at night, Marjorie she continues to quilt every day. "I just do most of my quilting at night," she says. "I still love to quilt."
Marjorie Dula Roberts is available to display her quilts and give demonstrations on quilting. She also sells her quilts.