The quilts hold different meanings for the members of Maggie's family, even though they are derived from the same idea. These quilts are familial heirlooms, and Maggie's mother likes to use them as often as possible. They represent the family's history and heritage to each character. However, Maggie, being young, is irreverent of this history, and she sees the quilts as things to get rid of—they are old and outdated, more at place in a museum than in their house.
Her mother and grandmother see the quilts as symbols of history and heritage, and they cherish this history very dearly. This act of clinging to the quilts and the history they represent brings about the majority of the conflict in the story because the older women don't think Maggie respects the family as much as they do, and Maggie wants to stop living in the past and get rid of the outdated quilts.
The chief source of the tension in this short story is the fact that the quilts mean something completely different to Mama and...
(The entire section contains 3 answers and 624 words.)