Maria Ignacia Olivera 1850 Mexican Sampler
Linen: 30 count
Finished size: 13″x20″
Many of the patterns and motifs seen on this sampler will be familiar, since they were brought to the New World from Europe by the teachers and needlewomen of the new Spanish colonies. What makes this sampler so exciting and unique, however, is its unmistakable creative manipulation of cultural and ethnic themes. Building on the relatively stock patterns taught by Old World nuns to young Spanish women, a distinctively brilliant color palette reflects native influences: gleaming golds, intense violets, red, roses, nearly neon greens. Chinese silk was one of the most widely traded commodities in New Spain, via the Port of Manila in the Philippines, so Mexican needlewomen had reasonably easy access to these fine materials, as well as the opportunity to study finished goods from the Orient, all of which invariably influenced their needlework. Charted from the original sampler, using the unfaded colors from the back, the execution of the reproduction requires cross, faggoting, counted satin, double running, straight, and Mayan Step stitches, all diagramed and explained in the instructions. Very special thanks to Pat Carlson for loaning the original sampler for reproduction.