With the lure of crabs on a crisp fall day, my husband & I hit the road for a 2-hour drive to see the 20th year of Needle Art 2015 – a needlepoint exhibit at Montpelier Mansion in Laurel, MD. It is hosted by “Stitching Pretty” (they have a website) who describe themselves as “an eclectic collection of talented needlework designers. To include hardanger, samplers, reproduction samplers, whimsey, bold, fun designs!”
It was interesting to see that the judges (a panel of regionally known needle art professionals) awarded 1st place and honorable mention awards (no 2nd/3rd place). They also awarded 2 Judges Choice, a Special Category Award for Celebrate with Needle & Thread, and Best in Show. The exhibit & venue reminded Bill & I of Woodlawn. The pieces approximately 115 pieces were located throughout the house and lighting was not always great. But, you could get a lot closer. They were mostly counted cross stitch on various grounds (Aida, linen, Congress Cloth, etc), a lot of samplers, 12 categorized as counted canvas, goldwork, embroidery, beading, crochet, Romanian Point Lace, and other miscellaneous (including children stitching felted pieces). Signs were out “Do not touch” & the only reference to photography was not to use a flash in the Mansion booklet. So, I am not sharing all the photos on my blog – I will show them to the people in my chapter’s meeting next month.
In addition, there was a non-judged category – Heirloom – for older pieces as related to subject, history and stitches. They do not have to be made by the exhibitor nor does the stitcher have to still be living. That may be something I contribute to next year with my grandmother’s work. I’ll think about that!
The Judges Choices went to Margaret S (#199) for a 4-panel elaborate case to hold needles/scissors/threads with I think a pin cushion (all beautifully assembled) and to Sherri B for a sampler (the one that most impressed my husband – it was impressive – basically 4 samplers stitched as one). The Special Category Award went to a counted cross stitch design of a woman sitting in front of her ironing board taking a break doing some embroidery with a basket of clothes at her feet and a kitten playing. I thought it was blackwork at first because the outlined areas are filled with a pattern but up close, I could see the crosses. The Best in Show went to a chair categorized as embroidery/thread painting but I have always called it crewel. I can’t imagine ever allowing anyone to sit on it!!
Deborah Merrick-Wilson had 2 first place winners. One was traditional English goldwork of a monogram – I only saw a really fancy M but Deborah pointed out the V (now I see it) that she stitched years ago for her good friend and a past member of my ANG Main Line Chapter, Mae V-D who passed away recently. The other piece is a flower and leaves of goldwork with thread stitched on counted canvas. With Deborah’s permission, I can share these photos. Congrats to Deborah! And, either of her 2 small goldwork flowers would be great for another class next year!!