Angeles Segura




Angeles Segura




Angeles Segura


Karen Musgrave

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

The Salser Family Foundation


Boonville, CA


Kim Greene


Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave. Today is March 5, 2007. I am in Boonville, California doing a Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories interview with Angeles Segura. It is 1:36 in the afternoon. Please tell me about the quilt you brought for this interview.

Angeles Segura (AS): I made this quilt. I will show it to you first

KM: Okay.

AS: What inspired me was when I was little I remember when we walk all the streets in the town. There was a restaurant and everyday I saw people dancing with this kind of dress, but I couldn't come in. Never. Couldn't because we didn't have enough money to come in. We looked through the window and it was always Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I saw people making tortillas and salsa, women and my grandma, my mom in traditions. The lady who was making the salsa remembered my grandma too. When I was little I learned how to make salsa, how to make the tortillas and Mexican food. These is the men in the restaurant, they are wearing serapes and these big sombreros.

KM: For the dresses.

AS: For the dresses. When I saw the lady dancing I could feel it in my body. I closeed my eyes and said that is me. And then when I was in, in the fifth grade, I got to dance in the Folkloric dances. I got to participate.

KM: Did you get to wear the dress?

AS: That is why, that way I feel really, really excited when I see the ladies dancing and I say that is me, that is me, and when the dance ends with a kiss. I thought he loves me. He was my friend, my roommate, he was my classmate and we turn around and he gives me a kiss behind the sombrero that I, the sombrero, he did and I was wow. [laughs.] I really, really excited, happy and beautiful. That is why I made this quilt, my traditions, my Mexican.

KM: I love that the hair is braided with the ribbon and it is very dimensional.

AS: Very dimensional.

KM: It is wonderful. You have done a nice job with the rick-racks, very nice.

AS: I love this quilt.

KM: Is this the first quilt you made?

AS: I think this is the four or five.

KM: It is the fourth or fifth quilt that you made.

AS: Yes it is.

KM: I like the fact that the curtains are very dimensional.

AS: Yes. I think it is unique.

KM: It is very unique.

AS: Because sometimes when the people have their drapes they were a little piece of fabrics, they came from different parts of the world and in Mexico I can't buy this kind of fabric. Sometimes I go looking and there is no more of the same, not the same, we have run out of the fabric.

KM: This is why you made the curtains.

AS: Sometimes we use fabric that it is hard to get the same kind.

KM: You used tulle over the work also.

AS: For the fruit. But we use a little cut, a little piece of.

KM: Then you put the tulle over top?

AS: I put the tulle. It works for me.

KM: It keeps it in place.

AS: Ah, ha. Because then you use sewing machine and it can keep them.

KM: Very nice.

AS: Sometimes when I didn't use the tulle and the little pieces get destroyed.

KM: I love the way you did the floor with the little strips of fabrics.

AS: If you see this is a big, this is, I wanted to figure out perspective and dimension. See the hair, how do you call it?

KM: The braids, the hair.

AS: See the body.

KM: Now I see it. Yes now I see it. It helps to lay it flat.

AS: This is the belt.

KM: How do you use this quilt? Do you have this at home?

AS: No, Molly [Johnson Martinez.] the teacher shows it in different galleries.

KM: So has been in different galleries?

AS: Ah, ha.

KM: Is it for sale?

AS: Yes it is for sale. You can sell it. Selling quilts helps us because to work here in this valley it is really hard. There are no jobs, not a job for all of us, the ladies, the women and when in the field it is very hard. I have four boys now and it is hard for me to leave them alone or to get a babysitter and sometimes when we sell one quilt it is helpful.

KM: Have you sold a quilt yet?

AS: Yes I sold I think four.

KM: Wow. How do you feel when you sell your quilts?

AS: Oh, really, really excited. My children they get excited too and happy. They say mom we can do more quilts, maybe we can buy a computer or something. They always want something. I can't afford it, I can't afford it, but only for my husband. That is encourage, encouragement to make more.

KM: How does your family feel about your quilts?

AS: My husband tell me he will help me with the kids sometimes when I am sewing. Sometimes the kids are staying with me and they help me to cut the little threads and they say, ‘Mom I want to make this picture.' They have a picture and I have. "My Maserati." [AS is speaking about her son's quilt.]

KM: Your son made this?

AS: My son made this. I help him to sew, but he choice all of the fabrics.

KM: How does this make you feel?

AS: Really, really proud. Really proud about him. But we were fighting for this piece of fabric, because I saw the fabric and he said he wanted this fabric, and I said why do you want to do with this fabric and he said he is going to make my car. I said a car with this fabric, you are crazy don't bother and he said no mom I like the lines.

KM: It is a wonderful car.

AS: He car.

KM: How old is he?

AS: Eight years.

KM: Wow very good.

AS: Eight years. He was very, very excited to us the machine. I help him and I say only you move whatever you want to move here, but not here, I want to do this and you here.

KM: So he machine quilted all of this?

AS: Ah, ha.

KM: Does he want to make more quilts now?

AS: Yes he is trying to do horses.

KM: That is wonderful. So it is a family project.

AS: My husband sometimes says okay it is not good or we can change it or something or maybe you can put something here. Yes he helps too.

KM: Very nice. That is a wonderful story. It is a wonderful quilt.

AS: Thank you.

KM: So we have some velvet in here, yes. This is velvet?

AS: Velvet, we call it terciopelo.

KM: That is velvet. I love the way, did you embroider it?

AS: The eyes.

KM: Did you do embroidery?

AS: No it was by hand.

KM: But it is embroidery?

AS: Yeah.

KM: Embroidery by hand, very nice.

AS: Yes by hand.

KM: The faces of the men.

AS: Sometimes it is hard to figure it out, the eyes.

KM: The woman has earrings. [laughs.]

AS: Yes.

KM: Did you cut the fabric specifically so you could get that? Very nice.

AS: It is wonderful when I find the perfect fabric that is needed.

KM: Very true. What is your favorite part of making a quilt?

AS: The favorite part. My favorite part is it makes my brain busy. I suffer a lot of depression before quilt, a lot of depression, and when I began to do this, it was hard because always I was looking for something to keep my brain busy and this, to do the quilts changed my life, because I can express my feelings, I can share part of my traditions, I can explore. Explore and always. I do different kind of goals. I make quilts crossing the border too.

KM: Quilts about crossing the border?

AS: Ah, ha. Crossing the border. And a lot.

KM: Is this pretty typical of your style of quilts? I mean do you do things that have a lot of dimension to them?

AS: No. The fabrics inspire. This is kind of fabric to do this.

KM: It is great fabric.

AS: Not always dimensional. It depends.

KM: You have done so well. It is just wonderful, all the different fabrics that you used and how you put them together, it is wonderful.

AS: I love doing the serapes.

KM: It is fabulous. The amount of detail you put in, the ties for the curtains.

AS: This is hard to do.

KM: I would think this is hard to do.

AS: It is.

KM: Do you do everything by machine except for the embroidery?

AS: Yes, except for the embroidery. All.

KM: The sleeve you sew by hand.

AS: By hand.

KM: It is good. You have a nice back. Your back looks very nice. Is there any part of quilting that you don't like?

AS: I like everything on it, I love.

KM: What are your plans for more quilts?

AS: I have my ideas about when I was working in the field. I want to make a quilt about workers working. Because the people can see sometimes it is hard work for women. But we need women to work, we need to work.

KM: You like the fact that you can use quiltmaking to express your culture and tell people about your culture?

AS: Yes.

KM: That is very important to you?

AS: Yes it is important.

KM: When did you come to the group?

AS: I think it was in, we had two years. I am one of the beginners.

KM: Wow you are one of the first ones to come?

AS: Yes. My friends to come here and I say you can do it and they say no I don't like this, so I don't like to use the machine, but you can try it and they tried it.

KM: Did they like it?

AS: Yes.

KM: Did they all stay with it?

AS: Yes this is a good group.

KM: Is this the quilt that is going to be in the book?

AS: I don't think so.

KM: A different one. Did you get to choice which one was in the book?

AS: Yes.

KM: Put it up, lets look at it, we can look at them all. Of course it has to be on the bottom. So this is the one that is going to go in the book?

AS: Yes.

KM: This is wonderful. We will talk about this one another time. We are only suppose to talk about one. I love this quilt. Who is this?

AS: Me.

KM: You and you are sleeping.

AS: I am sleeping. This is the story about me. I say in this quilt my hair is different. In here are important things in my life.

KM: So each strand of hair is something different?

AS: Yes.

KM: So we have music.

AS: Music is important to me. The people in my life, my traditions.

KM: I'm getting goose bumps. This is wonderful.

AS: My house and everything I need for life for my kids.

KM: This is wonderful. What is this?

AS: This is my high school diploma I carry. I got mine. You can read it. It says.

KM: High School Boonville. There is your name.

AS: I got my diploma. Maria de Los Angeles de Mexico's diploma. Wendy was my teacher.

KM: You got your diploma. You are sleeping on your diploma.

AS: I say finally.

KM: You can rest. [laughs.].

AS: Sometimes everyday I really had to study, to keep your home.

KM: Your children.

AS: The children and everything. I was really happy and this page I call my High School Diploma

KM: Falling asleep working. I see you at the table. Now what is this person up here?

AS: That is me.

KM: Dancing?

AS: My dream.

KM: This is perfect fabric.

AS: It is, it inspired me.

KM: I notice that we have a little piece of the car. [laughs.] Made it into this quilt. What does this part represent?

AS: This is the light who helped me see my dreams and the moon. This is my, what do you call it, where you put all the books.

KM: Bookcase. That is all your books.

AS: My books. The same as here.

KM: So you got your high school diploma.

AS: Yes. All my teachers helped me. It is important. That is why I put it here a little piece of fabric, my mom.

KM: Now you have writing in here? What does this say? My dream come true.

AS: Came true.

KM: So you quilted words into the border. I like that. And there is cactus?

AS: Cactus.

KM: What else is here? You have a guitar here. Do you play the guitar?

AS: I play the guitar. I think it is important to me. This was in the first bar because I met my husband when we were single we made a, and he played music on the guitar and teach me and we are.

KM: Very good. Did you play professionally?

AS: No.

KM: Just for yourselves? I love that you, the dream, this is excellent.

AS: This is going to be in the book.

KM: So this is the one that is going to be in the book with the story behind it.

AS: Yeah.

KM: It is a wonderful story. You do very nice work.

AS: Thank you.

KM: The guitar is wonderful. This is such fun fabric here. [laughs.].

AS: A little dog.

KM: A little dog and a guitar. A hidden dog in the guitar. That is good. What are you working on now?

AS: I have no work. I just finished last week. We went to Long Beach for a show, but I have, nothing to.

KM: Sew something now.

AS: I have ideas.

KM: What kind of ideas do you have?

AS: The working one.

KM: I think that will be a good quilt. I bet you will do a great job.

AS: Yes. I worked last year, I worked last year in the winery, how do you call it. It is hard. I prefer to do more.

KM: Do more quilts. With the book, that should be very good to have the book. More people will know you through the book, so it will come back to you. I think that will be good. I know I'm excited about the book and the movie.

AS: Yes.

KM: So more people can know what you are doing and who you are and the group. How important is the group to you?

AS: It is really important, because I have them all here. My family is in Mexico and I all my friends, my family.

KM: How long have you been here?

AS: I have been here for eight years. I can't go to Mexico, I have no money to go. [laughs.] It is hard. To fly.

KM: It is a lot of money. Were your children born here?

AS: Yes all my kids were born here. They are eighteen, eight, six and three years. They are little. They are little.

KM: Does these quilts help them connect with their culture?

AS: Every time when I begin a quilt, they saw me and they say what are you going to do now, what kind of subject. I explain them and they say that could be good, I can help you, or some ideas. So they are good. You can stand behind me or beside me and paint or something.

KM: Do you draw things out ahead of time?

AS: Sometimes. Sometimes I draw first. But I'm not a really drawer.

KM: Well you do very well for someone who claims they can't draw. That is very good. Do you consider yourself an artist now?

AS: Yes, please.

KM: I do, that is very good. No, no I think you are an artist.

AS: Yes, I would like to see your quilts.

KM: I promise to show you my quilts. When we are done, I promise we will go through everything. We are not done yet though, because I want to learn more about you and what is going on here, because it is very good work, all the quilts that are here. How do you feel about the exhibitions? Having your work exhibited?

AS: I like to go. I like to go every time when I have time, because it is like the end of my work and when I go to the show and explain all the work that I did, it is really exciting for me, really important. The events allow me to express more to all the people who loves the quilts. I know I can meet a lot of people around the world. I can travel. Last week we traveled to Long Beach.

KM: Did you have fun in Long Beach?

AS: Yes, I have a good time. I never take my money to spend for something. It was very exciting for me. It helps. It helped me improve my English, because at home I can talk in English or I can, anyplace here or in school. Sometimes I work here in the school helping the teachers with the homework or something. I am a substitute.

KM: Do you like that?

AS: Yes I like that, because my kid needs help doing their home work. I know how to help them. School is very important.

KM: Do you have a sewing machine at home?

AS: I have a sewing machine at home. Is it old.

KM: I have an old one too.

AS: Sometimes they are better.

KM: Because they don't break. How much work do you do on Wednesdays when the group comes together?

AS: I spend maybe one hour.

KM: Do you select fabrics?

AS: Usually I work more at home than here. When I come here I prefer to see more fabric. See the new things the teacher brings for us to teach us, especially I have problems to do the corners and I work about corners. To get professional. This book. I didn't know, I was just a beginner.

KM: That is okay.

AS: This is my third or fourth quilt.

KM: This is your third or fourth quilt. It is a wonderful quilt.

AS: It was made before I did knew about the little things.

KM: Everything is a learning process.

AS: To improve.

KM: The only way you do that is by learning and doing and. It is a wonderful quilt.

AS: Thank you.

KM: It is, it is fabulous. They are all very good.

AS: Yes, especially that, the face. I see that and I can remember everything.

KM: What are your plans for this quilt? Are you going to keep this?

AS: I want to share this with the women who have kids and works. We can do. We can attend the schools.

KM: So you want to inspire them for their education?

AS: Yes.

KM: That is very important and I think this is a wonderful inspiration.

AS: Yes.

KM: I think your work is very inspirational. I can't wait to see what you do next.

AS: I need to begin.

KM: Yes you do.

AS: Yes.

KM: I think you should keep working, because I think it will get better and better and better. How did you end up in Boonville, California?

AS: Always I am a person who likes to improve my life, looking for something to build a home, a walls, but here in the valley it is difficult but I'm very thankful of my school because they teach me, they help me improve learning the English, getting my GED, getting my diploma and this kind of quilts, and professional or something. I'm not a teacher. I'm not a secretary, but I would like to be something else.

KM: Well I think you are an artist.

AS: Yes, I know too. Somebody say, ‘What prefer you working or do quilts?' I prefer doing quilts, because I can watch my kids. I can watch my home. I can keep my husband company. We will see. I love to do quilts.

KM: Me too. You have good teachers.

AS: Do you.

KM: Yes, I love to quilt.

AS: I think you are a good.

KM: I have been doing it for a long time, so I have had lots of practice.

AS: I don't know how to do this?

KM: This is hand appliqué. This is all by hand. The reason I like hand is because it is, it has dimension.

AS: You can see.

KM: Yes the batting goes into the appliqué. I find it very, I find quiltmaking very relaxing. While it makes my brain work, it also makes me very calm. Do you have the same experience?

AS: Yes.

KM: I just feel.

AS: Right now I have an idea.

KM: Go for it and do it.

AS: Then you can think when you want. One hour, then you can.

KM: Where do you work in your home?

AS: Cleaning my house.

KM: No where do you do your quilting?

AS: I don't understand.

KM: Where do you do it, in your kitchen, in your living room, in your bedroom?

AS: Oh where, I have a little room especially for this.

KM: Very nice. So you have a studio.

AS: Like a studio. Not sure, but it fit my table. I have a table and it helps me.

KM: I think to have your own space and your own place.

AS: It is very important.

KM: I think it also says to you that it is important.

AS: Sometimes I tell my husband, I have something really important I want nobody to disturb me. Bye now, maybe later, or something like that. They say, 'Mom please, okay come. Come here.' And they are part of my dreams and they are part of my job and they are part of my life. I have to do something by hand, something is important. When I sell one quilt it encourages more. I don't know why, because my husband--

KM: That is good. Well, should we conclude our interview, take our pictures and then I will share my quilts with you.

AS: Yes thank you.

KM: Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your work with me. I really appreciate it. I am going to conclude my interview at 2:11.


“Angeles Segura,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed June 21, 2024,