When Mama tells Dee that she's already promised the family quilts to Maggie, Dee actually calls Maggie "backward" because Maggie would put the quilts to "everyday use." This is precisely what Mama would want her to do. She recalls that she offered a quilt to Dee before Dee left for college, and Dee had refused. While Dee yells at Mama, Mama can hear Maggie at the door. "[She] could almost hear the sound [Maggie's] feet made as they scraped over each other." Maggie says that Dee can have the quilts because she can remember her grandmother without them. She speaks "like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her." When Mama looks at Maggie, she sees that "This was Maggie's portion. This was the way she knew God to work." It is at this moment that Mama has her epiphany. She says,
When I looked at her like that something hit me in the top of my head and ran down to the soles of my feet. Just like when I'm in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout.
She snatches the quilts from Dee and dumps them into Maggie's lap. Mama seems to have realized how very unfair it is that Maggie is so used to giving way to Dee, that Maggie may doubt her own value in the world because Dee has always gotten whatever she wanted regardless of Maggie or what Maggie wants. It is wrong that this is how Maggie "knew God to work," and so Mama quickly corrects this, and we see this change in both Mama's and Maggie's contentment in the end. Dee leaves angry, but "Maggie smiled . . . But a real smile, not scared." And the two of them "sat there just enjoying, until it was time to go in the house and go to bed." Mama has a new appreciation for Maggie, and they can feel content with one another in a way they never have now that Mama has learned to value Maggie.