Tata Bakradze




Tata Bakradze


Tata Bakradze lives in the Republic of Georgia where she began as a painter, and now uses quilting as another form of artistic expression. She originally did not like quilting, however, after she took a class taught by Karen Musgrave she became more excited about quilts.




Christine Sparta


Tata Bakradze


Karen Musgrave

Interview Date



Tbilisi, Georgia


Karen Musgrave


**This transcript was created by QSOS volunteers and was reviewed and, in some cases, edited by the interviewee. It may not exactly match the audio recording. For citations and interview quotations, please refer to the audio-recorded interview.** Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I'm doing a Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories with friend Tata Bakradze. And we are in Tbilisi, Georgia and November 1, 2007 and 6:13 in the evening. So Tata thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me.

Tata Bakradze (TB): Yes.

KM: So tell me about yourself.

TB: Hello my name is Tata Bakradze. I am from Georgia. I live in Tbilisi. I'm a painter and I work in the Youth Palace. I like quilting because I am a painter and quilt is one of the textile arts. Quilt has unlimited opportunities. Quilts can be used in different ways. [voices in the background.] For example blanket, pillowcase, natural toys, clothes. Quilt has many techniques and I like this--I don't remember.

KM: Piecing?

TB: Yes. [pause.]

KM: So tell me about the quilt you brought. [pause.] Tell me about it.

TB: This natural motif I did for my friend. It is--

KM: Wonderful.

TB: It is many colors and I like this.

KM: I like it too.

TB: This I buy from a magazine. [pointing to a fabric in the quilt.]

KM: This piece of fabric here with--it looks like flowers?

TB: Yes, yes.

KM: Very nice. It is pitcher.

TB: It is patchwork.

KM: With flowers. Lots of flowers. Very nice.

TB: This technique?

KM: Quilt-as-you-go.

TB: This technique you taught us.

KM: Yes. You did machine quilting and hand work.

TB: And hand work, yes.

KM: And you have tulle in here.

TB: Yes.

KM: Lots of different fabrics.

TB: This is a costume. [pointing to a fabric.]

KM: Ah, a tie.

TB: A tie.

KM: A man's tie.

TB: This is our curtains. This is fabric that you sent.

KM: Very good. You made this for Ira?

TB: No, for me.

[Nata Burjanadze comes into the kitchen area to tell us that she is taking on of the workshop participants home. TB speaks to Ira Lavrinenko (IL) in Georgian.]

TB: What can I say?

KM: If someone saw this would they think you made it?

[TB calls IL and KM and IL have a discussion.]

TB: Ho. I like still lifes. Carpets. And [speaking Georgian to IL.] bedcovers. And pillows and toys.

KM: And chickens.

TB: Yes.

IL: Chickens?

KM: Yes, I have a chicken that she made me at home.

TB: [everyone remembers the chickens that TB made a few years ago.] Ah. We are meeting and sewing clothes. This technique.

KM: Quilt-as-you-go.

TB: I forget to bring it.

KM: It's okay you can show it to me another day. [unfortunately this did not happen.] How does being a painter help you being a quiltmaker?

TB: I think I cannot do quilt without painting.

KM: Do you sketch things out first?

TB: No, no. But--

KM: Your experience helps you?

TB: Yes.

KM: How many quilts have you made?

TB: This kind? A lot. But real quilt small number. [telephone rings.]

KM: You mean the kind you sleep under?

TB: Yes.

KM: Those take a lot longer to do bed quilts.

TB: Appliqué we do together. [IL answers the phone and can be heard in the background.] Before we doing this quilt-- [thud as TB hits the table and quilt with her hand.] [laughs.] [speaks in Georgian to IL]

Ira Lavrinenko (IL): [translates] Before you came we made appliqué only and then when you teach us from that time we make quilts.

KM: And you're doing very well.

TB: I want to say and I don't know how, [speaks in Georgian to IL.] before you came to Georgia, we had one woman who taught us. Helen. And she gave us some lessons and I said that I would never make a quilt.

IL: It was patchwork. Geometry. It was very difficult for us. [TB laughs.]

KM: Math is not your thing, Tata?

TB: No. And when you come here Ira said, 'Go and try.' And I said, 'No. Never!' [IL says 'never' at the same time as TB.] Never! [IL laughs.] But then--

IL: Because of your very free technique. Very colorful. She changed her mind.

TB: Color. I love color and it's very interesting for me. But this patchwork. [referring to the classes Helen taught and shaking her head.]

IL: Geometry.

KM: It's okay because I think this is much more creative. And I think it is easier to be personal.

TB: Yes, yes, yes.

KM: Anyone can make something--

IL: From a magazine.

KM: But to have something come your head and your heart is much harder but it's also very good. What plans do you have? What other quilts do you have in your mind?

TB: I have no time. I have no time. I want everyday I want to work. I like to work but I cannot now but I think that in the future this will change. I want to do this technique at the Palace with the children. And I then in my Palace [speaks in Georgian.] I will have a studio and I can work there.

KM: Will they give you a room?

TB: Yes, we have a room.

KM: Your students looked very talented when I visited there today.

TB: Yes. Lot of children. When you come they were at school but at 3:00 there are lots. I think hard work. Now I think all the time about the quilt. My husband said, 'You could go out from the Palace.' [meaning that she could stop working.]

IL: She has no time to work.

KM: He likes your work?

TB: Yes, yes.

KM: What about your daughter?

TB: Yes, my daughter also likes.

IL: It is a difficult time for Tata because she has a new granddaughter.

TB: She is small. Only five months.

IL: With her husband and moving and she has work so she's very busy. [TB laughs.]

KM: But soon it will change.

TB: Yes.

KM: Let's hope so. It's a beautiful quilt.

IL: Yes and the colors.

KM: Very nice colors.

TB: This, this, this. [pointing to different fabrics in the quilt.]

KM: I like the fact that you have velvet and curtains and all different kinds of fabric.

TB: And this. [pointing to other fabric.]

KM: My fabric too. I see. I love to see my fabrics in other people's works. You did a good job. I'm so pleased that you changed and became a quiltmaker. It's very nice.

[TB and IL speak to each other in Georgian.]

KM: Lamazia. [beautiful in Georgian.] [TB laughs.] Is there anything else you would like to share with me?

TB: I love you.

KM: I love you too. [IL laughs.] Okay, we're going to conclude our interview and it is now 6:25.


“Tata Bakradze,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed April 23, 2024, https://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/52.