Spotlight: Mabel Fragua
Unlike most Pueblo embroiderers, Mabel Fragua works from the back side of the design, or “wrongside up.” “I really don’t like it when I’m sewing on the right side,” she said, explaining that she didn’t like constantly having to flip the material from front to back.
When asked how she learned this unusual technique, Fragua recalled that “I just said to myself, I’ll see if I can sew this way.” Her mother, who learned to embroider and sew at the same time as her daughter, wondered how she knew where to insert the needle. “Just by feeling it, I know where to go, where to poke,” Fragua said. The result is embroidery with flawless execution on both sides, and many pieces that are as beautiful on the back as they are on the front.
Mabel describes how she stitches from the backside of the embroidery. School for Advanced Research