Dee wants the old quilts for several reasons but mainly because she wants to display them as part of her "heritage" in her home in the city. She does not believe that they are appreciated in the country with Maggie and Mama because they actually use the quilts. For the two older women, heritage means passing down skills and practical heirlooms to the next generation. When Maggie thinks of the quilts, she remembers how she was taught to make them and uses them because she believes that that is what her grandma would want her to do. In contrast, Dee believes that the quilts should be displayed rather than used so that they will last and be able to be passed on for many years. While her desire to have the quilts certainly comes across as selfish and condescending toward her sister, I think that Walker uses Dee to demonstrate that humans (even within the same family) have different definitions of heritage and what it means to honor one's ancestors and culture.