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Cloudcroft New Mexico


 Cloudcroft is a mile square town perched on a mountain in the southwestern quadrant of New Mexico. It is known for the cloud-climbing railroad and trestle, the Lincoln National Forest, and is the site of Alice Kolb’s sewing studio/workshop. I spent four days with Alice learning to fit patterns and garments along with a very good friend and her mother.


We began our trip by first picking up MeMaw at her home in Monroe, Louisiana. My friend’s GPS unit had a very distinctive voice and personality—we called her Olga. For some reason, she kept directing us to the center of Tyler until we let her sleep in Abilene. In the morning she had forgotten all about Tyler and was ready to take us to Cloudcroft.


The altitude was a bit daunting; the town—about two or three blocks worth quite charming—but we were eager to get to sewing.


The first day we spent pinning patterns to ourselves; adjusting them in front of the mirror; adding paper to certain spots, folding it over in others. Alice’s sample garments were gorgeous and we were all eager to warm up our sewing machines.


The next two days were spent in ‘decorating’ the fabric after we experimented on a small sample. My friend and her mother needed to partially construct their jackets before ‘decorating’ with stamping and sashiko, but mine required a lot of stitching. Finally I was able to cut mine out and baste it together. All that work with the paper pattern paid off as I needed only a few small adjustments in the sleeves.


Too soon it was time to go home. I still have a lot of work left on that jacket but I’m eager to finish it. Now I’ll have to figure out an occasion to wear it to.


On the way back we stopped at White Sands. What a gorgeous and surreal place!


Then we had a flat tire outside of Van Horn, had to change it (my first time at this project) and had to drive 350 miles or so to the nearest dealer that had a tire that would work. We were very tired when we got home and all quite pleased to crawl into our personal beds.


More photos are on smugmug at







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