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0:00 - Interview introduction

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Partial Transcript: This is Shelly Pagliali, today's date is November 4th, 2011

Keywords: International Quilt Festival

0:28 - Will you tell me about the quilt you brought today?

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Partial Transcript: I call this quilt 'Sing a New Song'. It features a large bird in the center that happened by accident.

Segment Synopsis: Shelly Pagliali begins by asking Barbara Ann Bauer Barrett about the quilt she brought to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. Barrett describes her quilt featuring a bird built out of pieces from an abandoned New York Beauty quilt project. She realized the partial blocks looked like bird feathers. The border is made scraps sold by a weaver from Taos, New Mexico.

Keywords: "Sing a New Song"; arcs; border; fringed border; International Quilt Festival; New York; New York Beauty - quilt pattern; scraps; Taos, New Mexico


GPS: Site of the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas
Map Coordinates: 29.7604, -95.3698

Hyperlink: Barbara Ann Bauer Barrett with her quilt, “Sing a New Song.”

1:35 - Why did you choose to bring this quilt to the interview today?

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Partial Transcript: This is one of the more recent ones I've made. It kind of represents the way my quilting is changing since I began.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett begins to explain why she decided to bring this quilt to the International Quilt Festival. She goes on to explain how the bird represents joy in nature to her.

Keywords: bird; country; Fabric - Batiks; freedom; Nature; repurposed fabric; symbolism


Hyperlink: Barbara Ann Bauer Barrett, “Sing a New Song,” detail showing bird constructed from New York Beauty blocks on a batik ground.

2:42 - At what age did you start quiltmaking?

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Partial Transcript: Seriously, about the mid 1990's. I've always sewn.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains that she didn't start quilting until later in life. She did however, begin sewing as a child and continued into her teen and adult life.

Keywords: handwork; Learning quiltmaking; patchwork; quilt; quilting; sewing


Hyperlink: Barbara Ann Bauer Barrett, “Sing a New Song,” detail.

3:27 - Learning to quilt

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Partial Transcript: I took a class. I gave myself a class for my birthday one year. It was hand piecing very traditional blocks. I came home from the class and said 'I'm not going to do this'.

Segment Synopsis: Barbara Ann Bauer Barrett explains how she gave herself classes one year for her birthday and she didn't think she would be able to be a serious quilter. She went on to explain how nature helped inspire her.

Keywords: blocks; fabric; hand piecing; Knowledge transfer; Learning quiltmaking; quilt; quilt making classes; traditional blocks


Hyperlink: Barbara Ann Bauer Barrett, “Sing a New Song,” detail showing how nature inspires her work.

4:17 - How many hours a week do you quilt?

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Partial Transcript: Sometimes none. But a good week is when I can spend about four to five hours a day. I always do handwork at night.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett recounts how some weeks she doesn't spend any time making her quilts. But when she does, she spends a good four to five hours working.

Keywords: Design Wall; handwork; Home sewing machine; machine; Time management

4:53 - What art or quilt groups do you belong to?

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Partial Transcript: I belong to the Austin [Texas] Area Quilt Guild and I have for a long time. I belong to a bee with a small group of women that meets on some frequency.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett lists the quilt groups she is a part of. She also says where they are based. In addition to guild membership, she participates in several quilting bees.

Keywords: Austin Area Quilt Guild (Austin, TX); Austin, Texas; Bastrop, Texas; Blockettes Quilt Bee (Austin, TX); International Quilt Association (IQA); Loose Threads Quilt Bee (Bastrop, TX); Quilt Guild; Texas quilting bee; The In Stitches Bee; The Night Bloomers Quilt Bee (Austin, TX)


GPS: Meeting site of the Austin Area Quilt Guild
Map Coordinates: 30.2672, -97.7431

5:59 - Have advances in technology influenced your work? If so, how?

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Partial Transcript: To some extent, I've always been a gadget person.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how she has many rulers and a good sewing machine. She explains how she uses the computer software Electric Quilt in her design process. She has experimented with some new threads as well.

Keywords: computer; design process; Electric Quilt; home sewing machine; machine quilting; rulers; Technology in quiltmaking; threads

7:01 - What do you think makes a great quilt?

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Partial Transcript: I've thought about that one for a long time.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains what makes a great quilt. She believes that good workmanship and a good visual impact are just a few things that play into making a great quilt.

Keywords: color; symmetry; visual; workmanship

8:50 - Which artists have influenced you?

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Partial Transcript: I've been influenced by the artists that pioneered studies of color, like Jinny Beyer and Joen Wolfrom.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett describes how various quilt artists have influenced her own work. Barrett lists quilters who have inspired her throughout the years: Jinny Beyer, Joen Wolfram, Karen Stone, Sally Collins, Becky Goldsmith, Gabrielle Swain, and Caryl Bryer Fallert.

Keywords: artists; Becky Goldsmith; Caryl Bryer Fallert; detail; folk art; Gabrielle Swain; graphic themes; Jinny Beyer; Joen Wolfram; Karen Stone; precision piecing; precision work; Sally Collins

10:28 - What are your favorite techniques and materials?

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Partial Transcript: I think people would say about me, I love precision piecing. I like folk art. I like wool appliqué. I love hand quilting. Those are my favorites.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains to Pagliali some of her favorite techniques when it comes to quilting.

Keywords: applique; Hand quilting; precision piecing; wool

11:01 - Why is quiltmaking important to your life?

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Partial Transcript: The first reason is how social it is. Most of my friends are involved in quiltmaking. Not all, but most. Without those friends, my life would be a lot emptier.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how her life would feel somewhat empty without quilting. She also explains how it has brought important friendships into her life.

Keywords: artist; artistic; expressive; quilt making; Social quiltmaking activities

12:18 - What aspects of quiltmaking do you not enjoy?

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Partial Transcript: I hate to baste a quilt [laughing.]

Segment Synopsis: Barrett begins to explain a few things she doesn't particularly like about quilting, or things she finds difficult. She has trouble imagining the entire piece as a whole. She mentions the aspects of quiltmaking, including machine quilting, that she finds frustrating.

Keywords: baste; design process; fabric; machine quilting; piece; project; shopping for fabric; visualize

13:31 - Describe your studio/the place that you create.

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Partial Transcript: I'm lucky to have my own space.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains what her work space looks like. She seems to feel lucky to have such a beautiful studio. She walks Pagliali through the various furnishings and features of the space.

Keywords: cutting table; design wall; fabric; fabric stash; home sewing machine; work or studio space

15:27 - Do you use a design wall? If so, in what way/how does that enhance your creative process? If not, how do you go about designing your quilts?

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Partial Transcript: It's absolutely essential. I use it all the time.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how and why a design wall is essential to creating a quilt. She thinks it helps her see the whole project. The wall is moveable and easily dismantled.

Keywords: blocks; cut; cutting table; Design process; Design Wall; fabric; fleece; insulation boards

16:41 - How do you feel about machine quilting vs. hand quilting? What about long-arm quilting?

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Partial Transcript: I think they're both wonderful. I enjoy hand quilting more than machine quilting.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how she enjoys hand quilting more than machine quilting. Although she believes both are wonderful. She thinks the influx of machine quilting has enabled people to finish quilts were more ease, resulting in more completed quilts.

Keywords: design; Hand quilting; Long arm quilters; Machine quilting

18:25 - Are there other quiltmakers among your family or friends? Please tell me about them.

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Partial Transcript: Yes, my sister quilts. My mother quilts. I'm trying to get some of my nieces to quilt.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how her sister and mother are quilters just like she is. She admits to trying to convert people into quilting, including her nieces.

Keywords: family; mother; sister

19:15 - Impact of quilting on her family

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Partial Transcript: No. I think that for me and my husband, we each have hobbies we're very involved in. That's good in a marriage, to have individual pursuits.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how having different interests in marriage are good for it. Her quilting doesn't have a negative impact on her marriage. Her husband also has hobbies for which he has passion.

Keywords: hobbies; mother; nieces; sister

20:15 - Tell me if you have ever used quilts to get through a difficult time?

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Partial Transcript: Yes I have. The first time I remember is after my younger brother died in 1998.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how quilting has helped her get through some difficult times in her life, including the death of her brother and a recent wildfire. By sewing for others, she has been able to heal following tragedies.

Keywords: Bastrop County,Texas; desire; healing; Mourning/Grief; Quilt Purpose - Gift or presentation; Quilt Purpose – Charity; Quilt Purpose – Mourning; quilts; Quilts as gifts; sew; sewing


GPS: Bastrop County, Texas
Map Coordinates: 30.0459, -97.3517

22:59 - In what ways do your quilts reflect your community or region?

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Partial Transcript: Not specifically. I don't set out to make a Texas quilt. I do tend to make a lot of quilts about trees.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains that she doesn't specifically make quilts based off of her community. She really makes them based off of her interests, including nature. She describes several quilts she has made with nature motifs including trees and leaves.

Keywords: background; International Quilt Association (IQA); International Quilt Festival; nature; quilt; Quilt shows/exhibitions; quilted; Texas


Hyperlink: Barbara Ann Bauer Barrett, “Sing a New Song,” detail, showing a leaf motif in the quilting stitches.

25:14 - On her fabric choices

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Partial Transcript: I think that it's interesting, and a lot of other people have commented on it that you've used the woven scraps around the edge of this quilt. Do you use materials like that a lot or do you mainly stick with cotton?

Segment Synopsis: Barrett talks about the fabrics she likes to use when quilt making. She prefers cotton, but has experimented with silk.

Keywords: block; cotton; cut; grain; quilt; silk; texture; threads

26:33 - What makes a quilt appropriate for a museum or special collection?

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Partial Transcript: I think museums serve a role to capture the major things happening at a time period. They are a historical tool.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how quilts play an important role in our history. And with museums displaying them, we get to experience that history. She thinks it is appropriate for museums to collect quilts.

Keywords: artists; collecting; museums; Quilt history

27:23 - In what ways do you think quilts have special meaning for women's history in America?

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Partial Transcript: There's a lot written about how quilts have reflected the times that women have lived through.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how she sees a lot of history when she looks at a quilt, but she prefers to express herself in a quilt rather than tell a story about a past event. She does not like sad quilts, but wants quilts to express joy, rather than sorrow.

Keywords: evolution; historical; Quilt history; Quilt Purpose – Personal expression; quilts; story; women

29:27 - What do you think someone viewing your quilt might conclude about you?

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Partial Transcript: On the surface level, they would see what a lot of people see when they first meet me, that I'm kind of meticulous and I pay a lot of attention to detail. I think that if they had never met me, they might say some things that would be different.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett goes on to explain the kind of person she is: meticulous. She tells Pagliali what she hopes people would be able to tell about her when looking at one of her quilts. She thinks her quilts reveal aspects of her personality that some may not see on the surface, but are expressed through quiltmaking.

Keywords: adventurous; color; meticulous; nature; passion; Quilt Purpose – personal expression; quilters; quilting

31:39 - What do you think is the biggest challenge confronting quiltmakers today?

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Partial Transcript: For me, it's been finding my own voice and my own style. There is so much diversity in quilting. You go to a major show like this and you're overwhelmed with the talent that you see. You think you can never do it.

Segment Synopsis: Barrett explains how the most difficult thing for her is trying to find her own voice and style when creating a quilt. It's challenging to have a voice but if you keep working at it you can find it. She encourages quiltmakers to take chances with their work in order to develop their own personal style.

Keywords: artist; challenge; diversity; nature; nature designs; organic design; pieces; quilt; Quilt shows/exhibitions; quilting; style; talent; work