Valley residents use art for fun

HARLINGEN — For 25 years, ladies and gentlemen from all over the Rio Grande Valley have decided to meet in Harlingen for one hobby they have in common, embroidery.

The Tip of Texas Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America began in 1995 and now has around 60 members.

The Embroiderer’s Guild of America (EGA) was established in 1958 as a branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild of London (established in 1906), but separated into its own entity in 1970.

Its headquarters is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and includes a fully staffed museum and library. EGA’s purpose is to promote the art of needlework and associated arts to the 260-plus chapters in local communities, according to local chapter president Tricia Munal.

There are also three “cyber” chapters online. There are 13 regions across the U.S. and roughly 8,800 members.

Munal said there are many types of embroidery techniques and hundreds of different stitches, from the basic embroidery stitches to the humble cross stitch.

“We also have different specialty groups for those who would like to concentrate on just one type of embroidery,” she said.

“We have men and winter visitors who attend. I joined 12 years ago,” Munal said.

She said most people look up on the Internet about embroidery and find the group.

They meet at Treasure Hills Presbyterian Church located on Ed Carey Drive next to Valley Baptist Medical Center. Munal said this is a central location for the different members.

Munal has been the president of the chapter for two years. She is in charge of arranging classes and meetings once a month as well as bringing educational guild professionals.

“This is a club and it is open to everyone. It is coming back into style and we are getting younger members,” she said.

Munal used to be a school principal and her sister who was a part of the club encouraged her to join to de-stress.

“I was working all the time and joined to have some fun and relax. It is very interesting and we have people who do very unique pieces. You will see a little bit of everything. It is not dull or the same all the time,” she said.