Blanca Garcia




Blanca Garcia




Blanca Garcia


Karen Musgrave

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

The Salser Family Foundation


Boonville, California


Yolanda Ibarra was the translator.

Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave. I'm doing a Quilters' S.O. S. - Save Our Stories interview with Blanca Garcia. It is March 8, 2007. It is 1:43 in the afternoon, and I am in Boonville, California. Blanca thank you for agreeing to let me interview you.

Blanca Garcia (BG): Gracias.

KM: So, please tell me about the quilt you brought today. Tell me the story about this quilt.

BG: [laughs.] It is my favorite corner that is why I decided to do this. When I have time for myself-- my boys made me come home to myself and I have this little corner that I go and rest.

KM: It is in your house?

BG: Yeah.

KM: So where in your house?

BG: By the kitchen, in the kitchen in the corner. [laughs.]

KM: In the corner of the kitchen.

BG: I fix myself a cup of tea. I always have some flowers there because that is my favorite spot and I like red and pink. I like to play with the petals of the flowers [laughs.] so that is why I decided to do that. When I was sitting there, I like to look out the window and relax. Everything I do good or bad I'm thinking about it. I told my mother that if I die something bad when I was a kid [laughs.], now I'm getting paid back with my own kids. When I look out the window and look at the sky I see the clouds move and I think how big is the moon and how little we are in comparison. I like to dream in the clouds-to day dream. [laughs.] I just imagine myself, a lot of stuff. I would like to be a better person, a better mother. And to think how to play with my kids and what to do. And to figure out my husband, have a nicer relationship. To try and figure out how to handle any difficult situation with him. That is what I think when I see the clouds.

KM: Very good.

BG: Each flower I see like, in every flower I see a different earth in each one of the flowers. I see my sons in there. My husband and mine. I believe in the flower I see. I take the flower and take each petal off. Every one that I take off is my kids, my husband and I. Good or bad. I prefer to be nice since the flower is so beautiful [laughs.]. Nothing bad. I drink my tea. [laughs.]

KM: I think she is a poet.

Yolanda Ibarra (YI): I think so too. [laughs.]

BG: [laughs.]

KM: I think you are a poet.

BG: I am a poet because I like to describe and say how I feel like to say the flowers are beautiful and later die How the flower dies slowly. And then when the flowers start dying, I just feel like with them that comes very sad. It just makes me sad when they do that. I talk to them. Like I was talking to them about me, my problems. [laughs.] And then like you say, 'why am I sad?' or 'how can I change the world?' I wish the world would be like a flower, beautiful and nice and alive. Just like the color red. I wish everything was nice. [laughs.] No problems at all. [laughs.] After I sit there and looks out at the sky and the clouds, sometimes I forget to drink my tea and it is cold by the time I think about drinking it. [laughs.] Sometimes I just sit there and take a flower and take off a leaf and then decide, just thinking and doing it, I am playing that this is my son and this is my other son and I'm just playing, playing with all the leaves there. Make my family a flower. They look so nice and beautiful. I don't want anything to ruin them. I wish things like that all the time. I wish I had more patience, more patience with my kids and how to talk to them.

KM: How old are they?

BG: Little. Seven months, two years, and four years. I have a lot of patience. And to realize now how I can change the world to something better. There is a different world or there is a house, a house that is right there. [laughs.] I wish I could do that with my sons, like build something for them. When I see the clouds I see a house, and I wish that I could just build something for them. [laughs.]

KM: So when did you make this quilt?

BG: In January 2007.

KM: You have made three quilts?

BG: This is the third.

KM: The third one. The most recent one? So when did you start making quilts?

BG: In January. Not even one a month.

KM: That is good. So what do you do with this quilt?

BG: I want to sell it, I need the money.

KM: So it is for sale?

BG: I want to make one for my house.

KM: You are going to make another one for your house?

BG: Yeah.

KM: Yeah.

BG: Yeah.

KM: So what do your other quilts look like? Should we look at your other quilts? What is the first one? This is the first one? So tell me about your first one.

BG: I and my boy like the ocean to go. In Mexico I remember over in Manzanillo there is an ocean that I like to see, and I like it because it is an open sea. There are no people walking down there, just a Lighthouse.

KM: Lighthouse.

BG: I like seashells. I like to put a shell over my ear and listen to the ocean. [laughs.] To here. Hear the ocean. I would like to take it with me. I could stick it in a flower vase. Put flowers in there and save them. I like when the water races all the way up to the lighthouse. There are a lot of seagulls. [laughs.] They all have different all colors on them, that is why I decided on all of these colors. I remember the sky being that way.

KM: The border, the binding with the anchors is wonderful.

BG: [laughs.]

KM: This is your next one?

BG: This is the second one.

KM: This is the second one.

BG: [laughs.] My kids like animals, but where I live there is a lot of those that come by my house. A lot of bears. [laughs.] They take the garbage every where. [laughs.] There is a cat that visits me a lot and it is not mine.

KM: Maybe it wants to be yours.

BG: [laughs.] My husband feeds him that is why.

KM: You must have a good heart.

BG: I like the butterflies.

KM: I love the frogs.

BG: [laughs.]

KM: Yeah the frogs. [laughs.]

BG: My kids like the outdoors. Every animal they see they are really interested in it. My little boy thought he--there is a little water outside after rain, and he saw some frogs. So he joked like he was getting them, he is a four year old, and then throwing them in a little pond of water. [laughs.] He is always cutting the flowers and throwing them every where. So that is why I did that.

KM: Flying flowers, yes.

BG: He likes to lie down on the grass and look at the sky. He likes to lie in the grass and look at the animals. That is I was inspired to make a quilt with bears. [laughs.]

KM: You did a great job with the bears. But they don't look like the kind that steal garbage.

BG: [laughs.] No.

KM: Very good. So what is your next quilt going to look like?

BG: I've got it. My home town is Chilchota.

KM: I'm going to have to have you write that down at the end of the.

BG: [laughs.]

KM: So we get this right.

BG: Chilchota. [laughs.]

KM: So where is this?

BG: By some water. That is where my husband has a lot of family. In that town. There are some steps, it is like a fountain with water and there is about two hundred and something steps to go up to the waterfall. The steps are colored red, white and green. There is a Virgin Mary up there that they celebrate and that is what I am going to do.

KM: Very good.

BG: There are a lot of people that go to sit. Right now when it is Easter and they go up to sit. They take the Virgin and take it all the way to the bottom and to the church for the end of the Easter, Saturday before Easter. That is their celebrating Easter with candles all the way down to the town. From the road you can see the steps, all the way up.

KM: How big will this quilt be? So it is going to be big, bigger than you have done. Bigger than you have made. Do you have the fabrics picked out yet?

BG: Oh, I've got it, all I am going to do is sew it.

KM: Wow, I am so impressed.

BG: [laughs.] I've got Molly's sewing machine.

KM: So you have one of Molly's sewing machines. Are you working on it at home?

BG: Yes.

KM: So where do you sew at home?

BG: At a little table in the kitchen.

KM: A table in the kitchen. [laughs.]

BG: [laughs.] By the window of course.

KM: I think it is important to sew where you can see out. Why is quiltmaking important to you?

BG: It is something that brings all my stress out of me, and just get it out into something good when I'm doing it. That I'm doing something good for me and I'm learning. That way I put my head and my mind to work. Imagine what I can do with small pieces of material. It's a pass time for me to do something. Looking at this, that I did it, I know I can do something good. [laughs.]

KM: I think you are doing very well. Did you sew before you started quilting?

BG: At high school I had a class or some class. Not very much, just a little bit.

KM: You did fine. What is your favorite part?

BG: Combine the colors. To fix them all and arrange or how or where they will go. They have different, wherever you put them they are different.

KM: Do you like writing the stories that go with the quilts?

BG: Sometimes. [laughs.] Sometimes the words don't come out the way I want to say. After a while I get it.

KM: I can't imagine you would have a difficult time writing stories because you are very good.

BG: [laughs.] Is this material you like?

KM: It is batik. Oh, that was painted. That does remind me. There is a quilt from my group in Georgia that has, they created fabric that kinds of looks like this with paints. How did you find out about the group?

BG: Molly. Molly. Every time Molly saw me she would say, come to class, come to class there is a quilt class I want you to come so you can make one and you can sell it. Every time she saw her.

KM: How long before you showed up?

BG: [laughs.] For a while before I decided to go ahead and try it. I lived here for four years before I came here, and then I didn't go until 2007. [laughs.]

KM: Waited. That is okay you are here now and obviously you like it. You like it. Very good, very good job. Are you going to have any of these quilts going to be in the book? It is this one?

BG: I think so, do we know. It doesn't say which one.

KM: It doesn't say which one. I hope it is this one, because it is so good.

BG: No this one.

KM: What do you think about the book?

BG: I think it is wonderful. Because that is something, we want people to know that we are doing. It is not just that we are just housewives or staying home, we don't know how to do anything. We let everybody see what we know. It is nice for her to want to demonstrate everything we know how or do.

KM: What advice would you give somebody starting out?

BG: It is something good for them to put your thoughts in the quilts, to tell your story where you are from where you live, the style, the custom. What I am thinking and to show what my sons or anyone anything I want to put down on the material. Show something good comes out of it. Take your stress out.

KM: What does your husband think of your quilts?

BG: [laughs.] That I am not even going to get twenty dollars for it.

KM: Oh he is terrible.

BG: [laughs.] Make him on the quilt.

KM: He wants to be on the quilt?

BG: Yeah. [laughs.]

KM: Maybe for his we wouldn't even get a quarter.

BG: [laughs.] That is good. It is really good.

KM: It is good work. He is wrong.

BG: [laughs.]

KM: You haven't exhibited yet, right?

BG: No.

KM: Because there hasn't been any show.

BG: Tomorrow.

KM: Tomorrow, that is good. How do you feel about being in this exhibition? Are you nervous?

BG: Maybe.

KM: I think that things will come for you. I think it is very, very good. Do you consider yourself an artist?

BG: No. [laughs.]

KM: I think yes. Yes you should.

BG: I don't like this one.

KM: You don't like, why don't you like the lighthouse one? Tell us.

BG: This is the first one and I don't think I made it with such good technique. It is there, total, the end. I kind of think it is missing something.

KM: You can go back and add to it if that is what you want to do. You could do more quilting if you wanted to do more quilting or add things. You could certainly do more. What would you want to add?

BG: More color.

KM: You like color?

BG: Yeah.

KM: This is very colorful. But this is not, it is quiet. It is a quiet quilt. It is a good quilt though, especially as it is a place to reflect. Is there anything else you would like to add?

BG: I have nothing else to say. [laughs.]

KM: You did a very good job. Thank you very much.

BG: Thank you.

KM: We are going to end our interview and it is 2:15.

Note: Because of this interview, Blanca sold her quilt and her husband came to class. He is now very interested in Blanca's quiltmaking.


“Blanca Garcia,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed April 13, 2024,