Vera Marida Reynolds Medling Interview Transcript July 2, 1985

AR.00027 Traditional Quilt Makers in New Mexico Survey

On July 2, 1985 Jeannette Lasansky interviewed quilter Vera Marida Reynolds Medling. The interview was transcribed into typescript circa 1985-6, and the transcript was digitized June 28, 2017.

Vera Marida Reynolds was born in Marmaduke, Arkansas on April 18, 1915. She attended school through the eigth grade. In 1931 she married John Jefferson Medling of Gamburg, Missouri. The couple had six children, 3 boys and 3 girls.

Vera and her family lived in Arkansas until 1936, when they moved to Missouri. In 1950 they moved to Taos, New Mexico, and Vera became a cook in a cafe, her first job outside her home. In 1963, they moved to Chama, New Mexico.

Vera Medling got quilt patterns from family members, magazines, kits, Mountain Mist batting wrappers, and books. She used both scrap and new, purpose-bought fabrics. She quilted because "I can't sit + do nothing."

One year when times were hard and she and her husband were ill a lot, Vera made miniature furniture out of beer cans to sell. She made 500 miniature chairs, and 3 living room sets. 

Vera, the youngest of 12 children, learned to quilt from her mother, Martha "Matty" Jane Gooch Reynolds (1871-1955). Matty Reynolds was a spinner and weaver as well as a quilter. Two of Vera's daughters also quilt, and she said they'd compete with each other.

In 1985 Vera was planning a corduroy quilt for a grandson - "He likes quilts, and demands them. I pity his wife [when he marries]."

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July 2 1985 Date created
June 28 2017 Date modified
11 in (length) x 8 ½ in (width)
Curatorial Category
Textiles-United States and Canada, Textiles and Dress

Related people
Museum of International Folk Art (publisher)
Jeannette Lasansky (contributor)