Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Interview with Carolyn Burga

1.When did you start quilting and how did it come to happen?
Senior year at Newcomb College, my mother panicked because I had not made a trousseau quilt. I couldn’t imagine piecing anything, so she set me to making a whole-cloth cross-stitched quilt by hand.

2. Do you still have your first quilt?
No, but I still have the first one I designed. And my mom’s 1938 hand-quilted bubble-gum pink quilt.

3. When did you arrive in St. Tammany Parish, and what brought you here?
We came in 1998 when my husband was transferred from a south shore bank.

4. How long have you worked for Bright Hopes Quilting and what do you do there?
I’ve worked here about 3 years part-time. I cut fabric on Tuesdays and teach classes once or twice each month.

5. Here is the other “stealth stitcher” in our family….. Carolyn will show up with a new sample and I never knew the pattern existed! How do you find things and from where do you draw your inspiration?
I find things by tripping over stuff, usually in my sketchbooks. (sometimes on the studio floor)

6. Your “art quilts” and canvas are very personal. Do you think of yourself more as a quilter or as a fiber artist? (Or do you even make that distinction at all?)

As I make “originals”, I see myself as a fiber artist. When I tell people that, some think I make art from healthy cereals. It’s easier to just say “quilter”.

7. Do you have a space dedicated to your work? Would you have any tips you’d like to pass on in “organizing your space?”
I am blessed with a studio – AKA spare bedroom, no bed. You just need a table to leave our machine out and a design wall nearby. Put everything else away.
Or see Answer #5

8. If your fairy quiltmother could grant you one wish, what would it be?
I’d love floor-to-ceiling shelving so all my fabric could be visible all the time.

So, back to me...... Carolyn's work is intimate and the quality shows in the detail. Here are 2 small close-up shots of "points" in her work.

We have several of her originals on display at the shop and if you take one of her classes, I hope you take time to talk to Carolyn. Her calm and quiet demeanor only masks a sharp and quick humor. She leaves me in stitches!

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