Juan Sanchez




Juan Sanchez




Juan Sanchez


Karen Musgrave

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

The Nat'l Quilting Assn


Boonville, California


Kim Greene


Karen Musgrave (KM): My name is Karen Musgrave. It is March 6, 2007, and I'm doing a Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories interview with Juan Sanchez in Boonville, California. Juan, tell me about the quilt that you brought today.

Juan Sanchez (JS): I do this for-- [long pause.]

KM: You can tell me in Spanish if you want.

JS: I made this quilt because I wanted to make some money. I like to save my money.

KM: You save your money. What are you saving it up for?

JS: For an Ipod.

KM: Ipod. Tell me the story about this quilt.

JS: This lady was doing her garden but she didn't have many plants. Then she went into town to buy lots of plants for her garden. She had a chicken, a rooster and a dog. Then she planted all of her garden, all of her plants. Then she went home and rested.

KM: Who helped you make this quilt?

JS: Mom.

KM: Your mom. What part did you do?

JS: I cut everything out and his mom helped him with the border.

KM: Did you decide which fabrics went where?

JS: Yeah.

KM: Did you pick out the binding too?

JS: Yeah.

KM: Do you like quilts? Have you made any more quilts?

JS: No.

KM: Just this one?

JS: No two.

KM: You made two quilts, where is the other one?

JS: I sold it already.

KM: You sold a quilt? How much money did you get?

JS: Fifty.

KM: Did you save it?

JS: Yeah.

KM: Are you going to make more quilts?

JS: Yeah.

KM: What did the one look like that sold?

JS: A farm.

KM: Do you like farms and plants and outdoors?

JS: Yeah.

KM: That is why you want to tell that story, this one?

JS: Yeah.

KM: How old were you when you made this?

JS: Eight years old.

KM: How old were you when you made the other one?

JS: Eight years old.

KM: So you have done two very quickly. What do you like about quilts?

JS: It is cool, they are just cute. I like a lot of animals.

KM: You like a lot of animals? This is a cute dog.

JS: I have a little.

KM: You have a little dog?

JS: No, it is a big.

KM: It is big?

JS: Kind of like that.

KM: What kind of dog is it?

JS: I don't know.

KM: What color is it?

JS: Brown and white.

KM: Do you have any other animals?

JS: No.

KM: Just a dog.

JS: When I was living in Yorkville I had chickens and roosters.

KM: That is why there is a chicken and a rooster in here?

JS: Yeah.

KM: Is this your chicken and rooster?

JS: Yeah.

KM: I can understand that. So you made fifty dollars from your first quilt, and this one is for sale?

JS: This one sold too.

KM: You didn't tell me that. What about this one? You don't know, you never meet the people who buy your work? In Berkeley? Is he going to be famous?

JS: I don't know. [laughs.]

KM: Would you like to be famous?

JS: Yeah.

KM: How much did you sell this one for?

JS: Eighty.

KM: Eighty dollars, your price is going up. Eighty dollars. How much more do you need for an Ipod?

JS: Ten more dollars.

KM: You had better quick make another quilt. What do you think of your mom's quilt?

JS: I don't know how she makes them.

KM: But you like them?

JS: Yeah.

KM: What is your favorite one?

JS: The Virgin Mary.

KM: The one of the Virgin Mary that she did.

JS: Yeah.

KM: You like that one?

JS: Yeah.

KM: Do you think one day you will actually make one all by yourself? Do you like sewing machines?

JS: No.

KM: You don't like sewing machines?

JS: Because my mom tells me I can get hurt.

KM: You can get hurt, but you can also learn how to use a sewing machine. My son learned how to sew when he was eight. Yeah. You have to watch and listen and be patient. Are you patient? You must be patient if you can do this.

JS: No.

KM: Did you draw this, or did you just tell your mom what to put?

JS: My mom draw this and she cut it.

KM: She drew it and then she cut it. Then you, so you picked out all the fabrics? Did you cut out the dog?

JS: No.

KM: My mom cut everything. You cut it? You cut it with the scissors?

JS: Yeah. And the pumpkin.

KM: The roosters are very nice, or the chicken. This is the chicken and that is the rooster. That is the chicken because she is sitting on a nest. Do you know this is Japanese fabric here? Did you know you put Japanese fabric in your quilt? This is Japanese fabrics, did you know that?

JS: No. I get it and I say momma can I use it and I use it.

KM: Did you go through all of her fabric to pick out which ones you wanted?

JS: Yeah.

KM: You are very selective. You want specific things?

JS: Um, hum.

KM: I love her.

Yolanda Ibarra (YI): [inaudible.]

KM: Yes. Her sandals are nice. This is good. Do you have any other thoughts for quilts in the future? Any other ideas.

JS: A new one.

KM: What is it going to be?

JS: On the ocean.

KM: Do you like the ocean?

JS: Yeah.

KM: This is going to be an ocean scene?

JS: Yeah.

KM: What is going to be in it?

JS: Sharks. Fish. Love fish.

KM: Do you like fish?

JS: Yeah.

KM: Do you like fishing?

JS: No.

KM: I don't either. It is kind of boring. An eight year old quiltmaker. You made your first quilt when you were eight.

JS: Yeah.

KM: You made two and you have already sold two. You know you are a professional. When you make money you are considered a professional quiltmaker. So you are a professional now. How does that make you feel?

JS: Happy.

KM: I bet you will be happier when you get your iPod, am I right?

JS: Yeah.

KM: [laughs.] You need your iPod. Do you think you will ever make a quilt and keep it?

JS: Yeah, I want to do one and keep it.

KM: Hang it in your room?

JS: Yeah.

KM: What would it look like? Do you know?

JS: No.

KM: Do you think when you finish one you will know whether it will be the one you won't sell?

JS: I don't know.

KM: Do you have any other--do any of your friends make quilts?

JS: My friends? No.

KM: What do they think of your quiltmaking?

JS: Nothing.

KM: They don't think it is great that you made money?

YI: They will think it is great when they see your iPod.

KM: You might suddenly have a big group.

YI: They are going to come and say, show me how to do that.

KM: Do you think you could?

JS: No.

KM: You don't think you could tell them how to do it? Do you think one day you will figure out how to do it?

JS: Yeah.

KM: I like that you sign your quilts. That is good. But you have never met the people who have bought your quilts. Would you like to?

JS: Yeah.

KM: I think you should be able to meet them. I think they, I think they should be interested in meeting you. Maybe you will grow up and be famous. There are famous men quiltmakers who make a lot of money. Seriously, I'm not fooling you. They make a lot of money working with quilts and they teach at universities, quiltmaking. Isn't that interesting?

JS: Yeah.

KM: Do you see yourself doing that?

JS: No.

KM: What do you want to be when you grow up? Have you decided?

JS: No.

KM: I haven't either. [laughs.]

JS: [laughs.] You grown up.

KM: No I'm not. I can keep changing my mind.

JS: [laughs.]

KM: Is there anything else you want to share?

JS: No.

KM: Did you enjoy this?

JS: What?

KM: Did you enjoy being interviewed?

JS: Yeah.

KM: Thank you for letting me interview you. This was very special. I appreciate it. I am going to conclude my interview now.


“Juan Sanchez,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 19, 2024, https://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/1523.