Working with and learning from Arie Pettway, her artistic mother, Nazareth Major started early as a quiltmaker. Arthritis brought a premature end to her work.
I was about fourteen or fifteen; Mama went to Camden to get a rooftop for the house and she had said she was going to put up a quilt when she got back. While she was gone, I put up the quilt on the horses she had made. When she got home, I was out in the yard under the chinaberry tree quilting. She had to ask, "Who put that quilt in the frame?" I was always so nosy; I did whatever I saw my mama doing.
I loved piecing and quilting. I made quilts at home for the quilting bee. Sometimes I would quilt them, too. Mrs. Witherspoon would get some of the prettiest cloth. I like things to look odd. I collect odd big rocks to put in my yard—don't like things looking perfect. I don't like the new stuff. I like antiques. I love garage sales, Goodwill, Salvation Army.
I loved quilting, but got to the point I couldn't do it. I have pinched nerves in both hands and both legs. I went in the field when I was about seven or eight. I hoed down in the place they called "the swamp." I always wanted to do whatever I saw older people doing. I picked cotton. I plowed with a motor garden plow in my twenties and thirties. I love Boykin but if I had to leave, I guess Selma would have to do. But I don't want to leave here.