Mixed Me­dia

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS - — Jen­nifer Levin

The colcha em­broi­dery club at the Mu­seum of Span­ish Colo­nial Art

The tra­di­tional Span­ish em­broi­dery of North­ern New Mex­ico, called

colcha, is based on a long flat stitch held in place by two or three smaller stitches made with the same nee­dle and thread. His­tor­i­cally, the base fab­ric as well as the em­broi­dery yarn were made from the wool of churro sheep, which had to be sheared, washed, carded, and spun by hand. The de­signs were of flow­ers, birds, and other del­i­cate-look­ing sub­ject mat­ter, some­times ap­plied as a dec­o­ra­tive bor­der and other times al­most com­pletely fill­ing the back­ground tex­tile. Ju­lia Gómez, a re­tired school teacher who now teaches the art of colcha in Santa Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque, leads a colcha group at the Mu­seum of Span­ish Colo­nial Art (750 Camino Lejo, 505-982-2226) on the sec­ond Wed­nes­day of each month, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Though many reg­u­lar mem­bers of the group have been work­ing on the craft for years, be­gin­ners are al­ways wel­come, in­clud­ing vis­i­tors to Santa Fe. Gómez sup­plies all new stu­dents with a starter colcha kit and teaches them how to do the self-couch­ing stitch, and then men­tors re­turn­ing stu­dents who want to move on to more in­volved projects. The cost to at­tend the colcha group is the price of an an­nual mem­ber­ship to the mu­seum — $60 for an in­di­vid­ual — which in­cludes its own perks, in­clud­ing in­vi­ta­tions to mu­seum re­cep­tions and the mu­seum book club. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.span­ish­colo­nial.org.

Colcha em­broi­dery teacher An­nette Gu­tier­rez Turk from Albuquerque, sport­ing an ex­am­ple of the craft

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