Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Woodlawn Roadtrip 2014
March 14, 2014, 9:47 pm
Filed under: General comments, Gift Tags, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

Woodland’s 51st Annual Needlework Exhibition featured 500+ pieces which were fantastic (as always). The special exhibit (small but interesting) was “Needlework and the White House: A First Family Tradition”. It touched on the history of the needle arts in the President’s House. There were pieces made by first family members and holiday ornaments displayed that had been in the White House. By the way, this photo (http://www.needlepoint.org/Projects/WH-1995.php) shows the 1995 White House Christmas Stockings that were on display at the 1996 Exhibit at Woodlawn. But, the stocking I saw was from Barbara Bush’s 1991 Christmas tree decorations (bottom right corner of the brochure).

Woodlawn brochure

A few of the items I noted were the fire screen done President Washington’s granddaughter (Nelly as in Nelly’s Needlers) and great-granddaughter, 3D pieces such as a baseball glove, snail, giraffe, and drum from George Bush’s library, and Grace Coolidge’s samplers.

From there, I entered the room filled with pieces done by Junior stitchers which were fantastic with amazingly vibrant colors. I was most taken with Linda who did an original design (524) of a girl’s head with a fan in black work (all black on white fabric). I like bright colors but it made for a very busy room and maybe why I liked the black/white piece – it allowed my eyes to rest!

There were many samplers again including one by Nancy that included details about the life of a doctor relative of hers (516) – a more modern piece. Look for it in the corner of the room across from and diagonal to the stairs. But, it is low enough to read easily once you find it!

Catherine Jordan had several pieces (always a joy to see her work) including 2 book covers (one that looked like a knot garden), an open-work scene with see through layers of several trees, and 2 zentangle pieces (you can see examples on her website – very interesting).

Doreen’s stump work (533) with flowers and bugs leaping off the canvas were great but her surface embroidery (536) was so unique and delicate that Bill and I voted for it as our People’s Choice Award. She had three levels of cloudy shaped fabric mats to feature the design of a balloon basket containing the silhouette of a man and woman with the Eiffel Tower in background. It was stitched on such a fine piece of gauze that the balloon really appeared to be floating. There were even some beads adorning the basket. Only after the docent shined the light on the piece could you see the gauze more easily.

Becky’s Assisi white roses (33) were stunning done with black stitched outlines and a red background.

It always impresses me when people display multiples and large pieces. Ann’s 4 black footstools (451 452 453 454) displayed 3 flower designs and a dog. I doubt she shipped them!

Patricia made unique use of decorative white buttons of various sizes and shapes for the flowers which rested atop white cross stitch stems (310). I have a lot of buttons in various colors, sizes, and shapes that is on my list to use in a piece at some point. So, I was quite inspired by Patricia’s simple yet interesting use of the buttons.

Angela’s miniature Bluebird (610) got a First Place ribbon and reminded me of Carol’s (from TN) bird which won the ANG Princess Grace Award because Angela’s was small and done on a fine gauze too. You can see Carol’s in the July 2012 issue of NeedlePointers.

Thanks to Robin, I enjoyed seeing one of my favorite Charlie Parker designs (408), the cardinal sitting in a birdbath, B-r-r-r-r-rdbath.

Carol Ann did Ribbon Fantasy a Carole Lake design (584) which we considered for a chapter project – it has 7 ribbons each of 3 getting successively longer towards the longest center ribbon. Hers had small framed photos dangling from the end of each one.

Carol’s Solar Flare designed by Ro Pace with white in the center and red on the outer portion done on black canvas with tons of Jean Hilton stitches (22) can be seen in the 2013 ANG Awards Gallery (NeedlePointers Jan 2014 issue). In case you want to see the contrast, you can see Nancy’s Solar Flare on a white canvas in the 2010 ANG Awards Gallery (NeedlePointers Jan 2011).

Pat’s flag (321) done in small squares each with different stitches which reminded me of an ANG piece maybe that was passed around as I recall. I sure do wish I had a better memory at times like this!!

My “Crescent River” (didn’t win a ribbon) was in the same upstairs room as Christine’s (ANG’s current CyberWorkshops Committee Chairman) 2 very large pieces (116, 117) which are geometric designs stitched in similar purples which will no doubt make a stunning display in her home. I don’t know why they weren’t hanging together at Woodlawn – they were close but not next to each other. Despite being in the sunniest room in the house, you really didn’t see the reflective nature of my river until the docent shined the light directly on it. As she said, we will have to display it with a light to shine on it at home too. Kurdi did an original design with Jean Hilton stitches in three sections. There was an amazing amount of detail but I couldn’t see it good enough because it was too high on the wall. And, Eleanor submitted her 2013 ANG Stitch of the Month designed by Debbie Stiehler (850), a geometric pattern, using four-way Florentine stitches done in greens and blues. ANG offers tons of projects going back to the late 1990s even to non-members via http://www.needlepoint.org/Stitch.php – there are still several I would like to stitch!

Ruth had a small abstract design done on an orange background of unknown fabric with beads in the bottom left hand corner and rays radiating out to the upper right hand corner – a very modern design that was small but very interesting (324). It probably qualifies as “fiber art”.

Lots of wonderful stuff was in the Christmas room! John, stitched a Santa’s face that was absolutely amazing because of the very small count fabric and the shading that make it look like a photograph (212). The beautiful Christmas stockings on the mantle seem to be getting bigger and bigger each year. And, Joan made 3 standing Saints, each about 18″ tall on pedestals with 4 inch deep to give them stability (418, 419, 420). And, Laura’s train with the engine, five or six boxcars each lined with inside slots for candy canes, and the caboose was amazing (456). I can’t imagine how much that cost to get done by a finisher. But, a highlight for me personally was the piece Bill spotted first done by Pam which is the same piece that I gave to Dottie with the white trees and snowflakes (372) (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/snowflakes/)!

Of interest to me because of our upcoming spring project was Marilyn’s long piece (like a Bell pull but longer and wider) of Chicago’s buildings and in the sky were several logos of the local sports teams.

Lastly, I had to go back to the displays outside the dining room to see the wonderful, very large, 3D butterfly (613) stitched by Lynn (a docent I had met upstairs) who used all silk ribbons. The butterfly must have been raised 2 to 3 inches off the surface – I wish it wasn’t so far back in the room and I can understand they don’t want people touching anything but it is so hard to see that far and get any details. Maybe I will bring binoculars next year!!

I wish I could talk about all the pieces I saw – all are worth talking about – another wonderful show. And, our weather was fantastic last weekend. If you can take the time to go, you’ll love it. We had eaten breakfast and so did not have lunch this year but it must have been good (as usual) because they were packed (as usual).

They have another raffle this year & I picked up some gift tags that were hand stitched by members of Nelly’s Needlers to benefit Woodlawn. It is a great way for a chapter to practice stitches and raise money!

Gift Tags

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5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Melita, I loved reading all the things that you saw and impressed you. I will take your observations with me when I return near the end of the month. Some of the things that you commented about, I did not notice. I agree that the Kurdy pieces in the canvas work room were too high to see. I wanted to see how the colors played with/against each other. I loved your river and did vote for that. Not only was it beautiful and well stitched, but it was totally original! I am hoping that stitchers in that room reply to my questions about the designer.
Sue C.

Comment by suesci

Hi Sue, Wow, you are going back! Very cool. Thanks for the vote-very kind of you. Oh yeah, I forgot about that feature. Maybe you could ask Pat 321 what that design is & who the designer is for me? Melita

Comment by melitastitches4fun

Will do, Melita! Sue

Comment by suesci

I just went to the show today. I loved the Santa, and I am always amazed at the tiny tiny work. How do folk see that? I don’t have my book at hand, but what did you think of the Pearl Harbor Survivor tribute in the hallway just outside the Christmas room? I loved it, and that it was an original piece. Of course now I want to see the ones you identified as yours! I just stumbled on you while trying to find a picture of Mrs. Coolidge’s bedspread. I will be back!

Comment by Susan Wannall

Hi Susan, Yeah, even with glasses or magnifying glasses, it is so tiring to my eyes. Humm – I remember talking with docents in the hallway upstairs but I can’t recall the tribute – neither can my husband – bummer. If you have time to give a brief description, I’d love to hear about it. There is just so much to see. I wish I had time like Sue to visit there 2-3 times!! I was surprised when I tried to find the name of the piece Ribbon Ecstasy by googling “ribbon” and saw my photos appear in the results. But, I have published 369 posts and almost always have a photo of some sort in my entry. Thanks for stopping!

Comment by melitastitches4fun




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