Collection: NS - Needlesongs - Carol Bruce

Needlesongs began in 2001 when Carol finally decided it was now or never! With the generous assistance of her husband, Olen Bruce, it was soon underway... A cottage industry operated from home in Las Vegas.

With a passion for creativity, Carol Bruce refuses to be limited to one medium. April usually finds her searching the desert for "that perfect wildflower" to photograph. Then, the next week she may be using the resulting image as the basis of an oil painting or original quilt.

According to Carol, "When I'm quilting, I feel guilty that I'm enjoying it so much and think that I should be working to finish a painting or out taking pictures, but when I'm painting, I feel the same way about photography or quilting."

When people see her work, she is frequently asked why she doesn't open a wall mural business or photography studio. Part of the answer: To do either would be to impose limits, both creatively and with her time. By not opening either as a business she is able to concentrate her time on projects of her own choosing.

So then, why Needlesongs?

"I see quilts as meaningful, personal statements of art that most people relate to, and are not afraid of as 'art'." Says Carol, "This soft, cuddly art form has a greater impact than photography or wall murals on most people. Nearly everyone has a story about a favorite quilt handed down through his or her family."

Since the first pattern she drafted in 1981, other quilters have been asking for her designs. In the past couple of years, every time she's brought a design to the local circle's block exchange, someone always asks when the pattern will be published…

After thinking about it for several years and deciding that it was possible, that a pattern business actually has a lot of flexibility to work around other pursuits, plus potential to expand, Carol finally said, "Let's do it!" She actually began the business while working 40 hours a week backstage with the Siegfried & Roy show. Then, after the unexpected show closing in October 2003, she began working on the patterns full time.

Carol has a BA in English and photography from Northern Michigan University. Her writing and photography have been published in magazines and calendars, and she has taught a number of classes and workshops over the years.

Her sewing began as a child when she begged her mother for a lesson on her Kenmore. Luckily, Eula Mae had the wisdom to give her just enough instruction, freedom and lots of feed sacks to whip up into all the doll clothes, Halloween costumes and quilt blocks that she desired. (Yes, she still has some of the feed sacks!)

Carol married Olen Bruce in Oklahoma, and the couple moved around the country several times with the Air Force. They have one daughter, Cassandra, and two grandchildren, Nicholas and Harmony.