The basic conflict in this story is Maggie's knowledge of every day things and her intention to use them for their purposes, and her sister (Dee), who considers herself more worldly and educated and who thinks these every day things should be hung up and admired as antiques.
Maggie is not stupid, but she is scarred from a housefire, and her confidence is lacking. She is a humble, loving, and simple person who adores her mother and just wants to live. She knows how to sew, quilt, and make butter like her mother and grandmother.
Her sister is lovely, has gone off to school, treats both Maggie and her mother as beneath her...almost embarrassing because of their simple and backward ways. She is arrogant, not used to being told "no," and suddenly aware of her African roots as she indicates in her dress and her boyfriend who has adopted an African name than no one can pronounce.
Maggie is quiet and is used to giving in to her sister. When her sister insists on the quilts that her mother has already promised to give Maggie as a wedding gift, Maggie slams the kitchen door to show her anger. She does finally come back into the house resigned to give her sister her wedding quilts. However, Mother finally stands up to Dee and tells her she can not take Maggie's quilts.