Teresa Malfavon




Teresa Malfavon




Teresa Malfavon


Karen Musgrave

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

The Salser Family Foundation


Boonville, California


Kim Greene


Karen Musgrave (KM): My name is Karen Musgrave. I'm doing a Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories interview with Teresa. Today is March 7, 2007, and I'm in Boonville, California. Teresa thank you so much for letting me interview you. Please tell me about the quilt that you brought today.

Teresa Malfavon (TM): What can I say, I just, when I was making the quilt I patterned. Well I wasn't sure what to do, I can think about it and I decide to do it of my children.

KM: So these are your three children?

TM: They are my three children.

KM: Okay, so who are they?

TM: This is Christian. [pointing to the boy on the quilt.] He is eighteen years old. He is in college right now.

KM: What is he studying?

TM: He is social--Latino studies. This is Mayte. [pointing to the girl with glasses on the quilt.] She wears glasses, that is why I put the glasses there. She is nine years old, and she is in fourth grade. She loves to draw and to do reading, to do well in school. This is my little Rosie. [pointing to the last child on the quilt.] She loves to have long hair that is why I put the long hair. She is in second grade. She loves to be close to me, she is like kind of my shadow, and this is kind of, we are at the park. I brought a glass of goodies to share.

KM: So a picnic?

TM: Yes a picnic. I love the sun over us to keep us. The tree is kind of, for me, kind of gives me protection or make me feel safe and for them. That is why I made this quilt.

KM: Excellent. So when did you make this quilt?

TM: September 07.

KM: Oh wow, so this is pretty recent.

TM: It is. Well about three years ago.

KM: 04.

TM: 04, yeah.

KM: 2004? Is this her first quilt?

TM: It is a first quilt.

KM: So how many quilts have you made since them?

TM: This is my only quilt.

KM: Only quilt.

TM: Because I started a full time job, and I have to, and I really miss this.

KM: Miss the quilting?

TM: Miss the quilting.

KM: So you selected all of the fabrics that are in the quilt, and you quilted it together. Did you do it, some of this looks like it has been done by hand.

TM: Yes I did that, how, I didn't have a.

KM: Sewing machine.

TM: Sewing machine, I did by hand, but Molly said it is better to do it, and I came over and they helped me to do it.

KM: I like the machine, I like the hand stitching. I like this.

TM: Well it is a lot of work.

KM: It is a lot of work.

TM: But it is easier with the machine, but I did by hand what I could do.

KM: Did you draw the faces?

TM: I did.

KM: You did a good job.

TM: Thank you. [laughs.]

KM: Do you draw?

TM: Well I do, but only like copy. I can not draw without looking at.

KM: So did you look at them and then draw their face?

TM: Yes.

KM: Oh, very interesting. So did you, did you plan this? I mean, did you, when you began making this, did you say that I'm going to have a sun here and I'm going to have my children lines up this way, or did you let the fabric decide?

TM: Well I let the colors, like playing with the colors until I.

KM: Got what you wanted?

TM: Yes. I put my children in order they were born. This is the eighteen years old, nine, seven and make them like a line up.

KM: It says Mom on here.

TM: Mom, but I made them for them.

KM: Oh very nice. So do you have this hanging in your house?

TM: No it has been here with Molly all the time.

KM: All this time?

TM: Yes.

KM: All these years.

TM: Well I let them, sure.

KM: Very nice. So is this going to be in the book?

TM: I think so, I don't know.

KM: You don't know?

TM: I don't know, but I let her to decide whether.

KM: What do you plan to do with this? Do you have any plans when it comes back to you?

TM: It is at home. I wasn't sure. I would love to have five for my children in case I die, and I always put something for them in a box. The quilt I wasn't sure in which box I am going to put it.

KM: How to decide between three children.

TM: We take three children, and I don't know. I need to think about it. What do I do, who is going to get it.

KM: Who is going to get it?

TM: Yes.

KM: Do you hope to make more quilts?

TM: Maybe now I got a baby. Now I have one more person in my family, maybe I'm coming back next Wednesday to start another new quilt.

KM: Oh, very nice, a new quilt with four children?

TM: Maybe. [laughs.]

KM: Maybe you can make four quilts and then they could each have one.

TM: Probably that is what I'm going to do.

KM: To try to do?

TM: Yes.

KM: That would be very good. So, how did you end up coming to the class?

TM: Oh, because I heard it was a psychology. I would like to share or to learn about whatever, you know when someone has the studies and knows more, helping at school work, you can learn from them and that is why I came over. I like the part of the quilting. I like the part where she was helping us, but also enjoying the class by doing something while we are listening or learning. I really love it.

KM: So how long did it take you to make this?

TM: Probably a month.

KM: So you came every Wednesday for a month.

TM: Yes.

KM: That is pretty good.

TM: Yes it is. It is.

KM: It is a very nice quilt.

TM: And I took it home.

KM: You took it home to work on?

TM: Because I was so excited to finish it, that after the time was over here I took it home and I do something at home and I came back next Wednesday to continue to it.

KM: Very nice. It has been exhibited then? It has been in exhibitions?

TM: Yes, yes, it has been. I don't know that many places, but I went to one where I.

KM: Oh you got to go?

TM: Yes.

KM: How did that make you feel?

TM: Well it makes me feel proud because my children were with me, and they were proud because they made their own.

KM: So they have made their own quilts too?

TM: Oh I took it home. They say, 'Mom, I want to do one like yours,' and they did their own. Molly let me have a lot of fabrics and--

KM: So they are very proud. How does your family feel about your quilting?

TM: Well they don't say anything. [laughs.]

KM: Don't say anything?

TM: No.

KM: They made quilts so that is really nice. Let's look at them. Let's look at your children's quilts. So this is?

TM: Rosie.

KM: This is cool. So Rosie made this one. This is very sweet with the sun, the flowers.

TM: She loves the flowers.

KM: She loves the flowers, does she love sunflowers or any flower?

TM: Any flowers. You can see, she has flowers everywhere.

KM: All flower fabrics.

TM: And when she paints she paints flowers.

KM: Did she do this all by herself or did you help her?

TM: No she did by herself.

KM: All by herself.

TM: I like to, and she said no mom I like the way.

KM: So what did she do with her quilt? Is it here or is it at home?

TM: Is it here with mine.

KM: So they all travel together?

TM: They travel together.

KM: Now this one has a house on it.

TM: Yes that is Mayte. She loves the butterflies and she loves to stay home, she doesn't like to go shopping or anything.

KM: She likes staying home.

TM: She likes to stay home.

KM: This is wonderful. So quilting is all, all your family has done quilting.

TM: And they copy me how I wrote.

KM: They wrote your name.

TM: Mom. [laughs.]

KM: So you influenced them.

TM: Yes.

KM: This is wonderful. They did a really good job. I mean for doing it all by themselves.

TM: Yes.

KM: So do they come to class to do this?

TM: No did at home.

KM: At home.

TM: With me. Yes they did at home with me.

KM: Wow that is wonderful. That is wonderful to pass that on to your daughter.

TM: I know, they love it, they love it, they really. I really miss this class because.

KM: Do you think they will do more?

TM: I think so, if we have more materials then they will do more.

KM: Wow that is just terrific. Yeah, so you miss the group.

TM: I do, I do.

KM: So, tell me about how you feel about the group.

TM: Well when I came over, it was a.

KM: Was it small then?

TM: It was about, probably we were eight, maybe eight people.

KM: Now it is fifty.

TM: I don't know how it is right now with more people because it was really crowd.

KM: Not all fifty show up at one time, but today there was lots of activity in this room, a lot going on.

TM: Okay. [laughs.]

KM: Good energy.

TM: Okay, well the same at the beginning, good energy. We were kind of shy, or because it was the beginning of the class I think like at that time it was the beginning of the project, and everything, and I wasn't sure what to do. We were just looking at books and.

KM: You did a very good job for a very first quilt. I think this is just wonderful.

TM: Yes, and I know probably it is going to better the more.

KM: Well we all get better at things that we do more often, don't you think?

TM: Yes.

KM: This is wonderful. So what about your husband, does he, what does he think of this?

TM: Well, he doesn't really care. He is kind of shy or he is not really, he is kind of, he doesn't say anything.

KM: Doesn't say anything, but he doesn't say no.

TM: No, no, no.

KM: So do you have a sewing machine now, because this is machine quilted?

TM: No. They did it here because I wouldn't finish sewing and I brought, I said Molly probably not going to be ready to do at the show, because everything was with needles, but I began a full time job and I couldn't come and do the sewing. Molly said someone will do it here for you. And someone did for me, and I really appreciate it, because everything was kind of.

KM: This is wonderful. So they have these been exhibited too, your daughter's? So they all together?

TM: They are all together.

KM: All three pieces all together?

TM: They go together.

KM: That is nice. So you must have gone to one of the early exhibitions then?

TM: Yes it was the very first one.

KM: So, what were people's reaction?

TM: Oh, it was wonderful. You can, many people came over to the exhibition, and I guess they learned a lot about our Hispanic culture and our feelings, and kind of share where we are. It was like really, it was a really good atmosphere, and you can hear many people what they thinks about exhibition, and it was a good one.

KM: That's good. Now they are going to have a book and a movie?

TM: Yes.

KM: So the group is growing and getting better. You need to come back because it is very, very exciting what is going on.

TM: I can see many quilts, they are wonderful, they are awesome what they are doing.

KM: Everybody has a very distinct personality.

TM: Yes.

KM: Even you, you have a very, I mean your work has a very warm feeling.

TM: Yes.

KM: I think that is very good. Is this kind of like the colors that you like?

TM: Yes I do, it is.

KM: Very good. So tell me why quilting is important to you.

TM: Well for me it is kind of therapy.

KM: Yes therapy.

TM: It's therapy and it is a therapy, it is something that. And also therapy is a gift you can give a quilt as a gift to someone, and probably you have a goal. If you come here to quilt maybe it's your birthday and you can start a quilt as a birthday, and I think it is. I really like. Plus we learn more English and more about life and more about our children.

KM: I think to pass it on is a wonderful thing.

TM: It is.

KM: You have done a good job. You have done a very good job by passing it on.

TM: Okay.

KM: Very good. This is wonderful. So, family is important to you?

TM: It is.

KM: Do you think that reflects your culture?

TM: It is. The family and picnics.

KM: Picnics. Picnics are good.

TM: It is a going to parks and stay together.

KM: Being a family.

TM: Being a family.

KM: So is your son away from home?

TM: Now he is away from home. He is at Sonoma State.

KM: Do you miss him?

TM: I do, I do, but with a baby I don't really miss him a lot.

KM: Busy.

TM: Busy.

KM: You are very busy.

TM: Yes. He is doing fine and he will be fine.

KM: That is good. So what do your daughters want to do?

TM: She wants to be architect. She loves drawing.

KM: She has a house in her quilt.

TM: Yes, she likes to be, she wants to be an architect. In the beginning she wanted to be a doctor. She is kind of now afraid and she is now saying mom maybe not, and she is not sure what to do.

KM: Well she is pretty young, she doesn't have to decide yet.

TM: No.

KM: Is that a good thing?

TM: It is, it is.

KM: A very good thing. Is there anything else you would like to share?

TM: No. Well I'm happy that you are here to do this.

KM: Well thank you.

TM: This interview is coming from Chicago to share with us so they can see what we have been doing. That is important for you and for the community.

KM: Well, I think it is important for everybody to understand everything about people who make quilts.

TM: I know.

KM: And the cultures that it reflects.

TM: Oh, okay.

KM: Or the feelings that it reflects.

TM: It is a different way to express our feelings.

KM: Exactly.

TM: It is a really nice one.

KM: Yes, and you are showing the fact that family is very important and being together is very important. I think that is a wonderful message.

TM: It is, it is.

KM: Well thank you very much.

TM: You are welcome.

KM: Taking this time and I will conclude our interview.


“Teresa Malfavon,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed June 21, 2024, https://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/1532.