Why does Dee want the quilts?
Dee has formed a new identity. She has embraced her African heritage and has relinquished her African-American identity and the life she knew with her mother and sister, Maggie. Named for her Grandma Dee but now called Wangero, Dee has parted with her family name as well. For better or worse, Dee (Wangero) has moved on from her old life. Therefore, she now views things from her old life as trinkets or antiques. She asks for the butter churn, intending to display it as a centerpiece for a table. She also wants the quilts stitched by hand rather than the quilts done by a machine. This makes it seem like she understands the sentimental quality of the quilts as well as the craftsmanship. However, she only appreciates the latter. And instead of intending to use them for "everyday use," as they were intended, she means to display them like pieces of art. This is less of an homage to her family heritage and more like a quaint display of what Dee thinks is an old-fashioned, obsolete way of life. There is nothing wrong with Dee moving on and embracing her African heritage and modern ways. But she does so in a superficial way and by forsaking her family heritage.