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Woodlawn Roadtrip 2017
March 12, 2017, 9:31 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

The weather wasn’t as warm as we’d have liked it but my husband & I were limited on weekends we could get to Woodlawn this year. Bill & I headed out Friday just after the snow ended (roads were fine). We took a break at a restaurant/bar my husband wanted to visit in the Washington, DC area & then made it to Old Town Alexandria in time for dinner at one of our favorites places.

Since it was colder, we didn’t walk as much around Old Town on Saturday. Instead we headed over to Woodlawn in the late morning. Attendance looked good but there were fewer pieces (463) than in some past years. I didn’t count them – you get a listing and a booklet. Tickets went up to $15 this year but they made several wonderful changes. The biggest improvement is that you can get up close to the pieces within each room. There are no ropes stopping you from walking around. And, they are offering several “events”: http://www.woodlawnpopeleighey.org/needleworkevents/ (also mentioned in the entry form). Since I hadn’t thought to look on the website & didn’t enter anything this year, I didn’t have the opportunity do attend/participate in them. But, I will definitely look at these next year. I would like to walk around the exhibit with a retired ANG judge to hear what issues they deal with. But, that only happens on Wednesdays. This is the 2nd year that some pieces are for sale (at the request of the stitcher & priced by the stitcher with a commission applied).

Winners of ribbons are listed on the website now too: http://www.woodlawnpopeleighey.org/annualneedleworkshow/ . And, that brings me to my review of select pieces. And, I will comment mostly in order by entry number (in parens). And, if the entrant is a designer that I know has his/her first & last name on the web or is listed as an award winner on Woodlawn’s website, I’ll cite both; otherwise, I cite full first name and last name initial letter only.

Catherine Jordan got ribbons for each of her 3 pieces (1-3) including a Director’s Award for her Sharing Secrets book cover. They are in the ‘jewelry’ room which we almost missed had it not been for Bill asking where are Catherine Jordan’s pieces!

That room had a pair of unique original designs (embroidery/crewel) by Catherine Hicks (14 and 15) of Hillary Clinton as a young girl which was quite flattering and one of Donald Trump that was not flattering. Look under his protruding hair and see what is stitched on his forehead! These 2 each which won 2nd place ribbons are for sale at $1257 and $1600, respectively.

Kirdy Biggs got ribbons for her 3 geometric pieces (18-20).

Linda Cole (26) deserved her First Place award for the reversible sampler!! Amazing.

Caroline Hayes (119) not only deserved her First Place award for the map of The Real Counties of Britain but also the Eleanor Custis Lewis Award, Best in Show and a Judge’s Choice award. If my husband has his way, it’ll also get the People’s Choice award. Interesting that my husband & I were most impressed with similar pieces this year. Each of 86 counties have a different blackwork pattern identified in the margin and is stitched in the actual location within the map. We both loved it.

I love seeing pieces I’ve stitched. This year I found Amy G (160) submitted Diane Hermann’s Walking the Water’s Edge.

Two different people, Anne W (182) and William K (275), stitched the same eagle in cross stitch. Interesting to see them framed differently.

The finishing on the cross-stitched golfer by Sherri B (186) was perfect! The mat was artificial turf and the frame had raised band of rounded areas like golf balls.

Donna LaBranche (221-224) got ribbons for all 4 pieces including a Second Place award for her adaptation of a Needle Pointer’s magazine cover that featured the ANG name badge (September 2013) and the Pope-Leighey Award, Outstanding Miniature for a 40-count miniature piece (in the sampler room on a table).

I had to vote for S Ayles, Jr , a senior, who stitched a 4 foot by 8 foot wall hanging of a geometric/floral design done in all basketweave on 18-count (228). Great colors & we both agreed we don’t understand how you work on a piece that big. What an effort!! I ended up voting for this one. This was a close second for Bill’s vote.

One of the first pieces we saw that wowed us was an original design of a dog by Susan MacRae (8). It won a First Place award and the Woodlawn Award, Outstanding Original Design. It was just the face but what an incredible face. The eye and nose were so realistic that it looked like a picture.

Speaking of dogs, Bill had a wonderful conversation with Lee Hanley, daughter of Hope Hanley. I totally missed that connection as I was studying the needlepoint in the geometric room upstairs while he talked with her. Bill found out that the piece she was demonstrating that day was a piece Hope had designed by the Royal School of Needlepoint in England. It has about 2 dozen dogs of different breeds in alphabetic order (like a sampler of dogs) on a large (4 foot by 4 foot) canvas. Bill found out from Lee that her mother traveled so much that she never had time to finish it. Lee hopes one day someone will finish it and donate to the dog museum in  St. Louis Missouri. The other demonstration on the first floor was by a teacher of Japanese Embroidery, Karen Bouton. A draft would blow a single strand of the silk away – it’s so fine. And, she explained that they twist strands together to get certain effects. Beautiful work. Every day they  have different demonstrations going on both floors. It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase a technique.

Both Cathryn C (230) and Linda M (238) stitched Tony Minieri’s The Wright Friends – a lovely piece & one I’d still like to do.

Congrats to Sue Chadwick (236) for getting Second Place award for Jennifer Riefenberg’s Color Play.

And, Rosie L (237 and 241) had a great geometric piece with tons of shifts in color as it progressed outward. And, her puffins were adorable!

Linda M stitched Karen Garinger’s Thank You Jean and placed it in a mother of pearl frame (239). Stunning!

Barbara Levy (307) did a lovely Gordian Knot designed by Rachel Atkinson and got a Third Place award.

Rozelle Hirschfelt got awards for bother pieces (315 and 316) – the goldwork piece with red Or Nue in the flower was stunning!

Norma Hiller (319) stitched another piece I’d like to do – maybe someday I’ll take the leap & stitch Liz Morrow’s Leaping Stag from May 2014 Needle Pointers magazine (or for sale on her website (lizartneedlepoint under the Counted Needlepoint tab). Norma also stitched a piece (320) for a First Place award of a piece I’ve seen but can’t remember the name or designer (greens and purples). I have been told it’s Serengeti by Terry Dryden.

Cleo Robbins did a lovely Christmas stocking (324) and a large silk ribbon embroidery piece that won a Second Place award. Cleo has been to our Main Line Chapter & taught us a few basic stitches with ribbons. Glad we learned from her. Congrats to Cleo!

And, our own Patrick B had an adorable Gingerbread House (328). It’s a wonderful 3-dimensional piece with candy all over it. Great use of ’embellishment trim’ by Sundance Designs. Bill spotted his piece first. It’s in the Holiday room upstairs.

Theresa Baird got a First Place award for her original design celebrating locations of Cincinnati, OH (331). It’s a wonderful tribute to her home town.

A First Place award and Judge’s Choice award went to Kate Costello for a beautiful necklace (336). What was so unique about it was the offset silver/grey flower (on the right as displayed) with a different effect on each side of the flower. On the left were beads woven into the threads and only the threads on the right side.

I’ve got to get back to Sister’s by Nancy Cucci after seeing Dorothy B’s (373) piece. We were in the pilot class together last year.

Chandra Jonkman took 11 years to complete a quilt (about the size of a queen size bed) with 142 stitched bible verses and numerous hearts (386). Her daughter stitched a few heart motifs. And, the quilting was done by a third person consisted of concentric hearts.

Tara R stitched the front of a house adorned with 3-D wreaths (414). The window treatment was interesting. It looked like a fine gauze was placed over the window making it look like a sheer drape.

Two pieces of lovely jewelry were done by Dana C (415 and 416). I see Dana will be demonstrating beading downstairs on Mar 30. Nice!! I met Dana at Nancy Cucci’s Sisters pilot class in Rehoboth last year.

The 7 dwarfs and Snow White done by Shirley B were adorable and at $240 would be fantastic to decorate a child’s room (417-424).

I couldn’t find both of Margaret O’s pieces (434 and 435) but the one I did find had a deer under a tree on an interesting stand display.

Once again Nelly’s Needlers did a fantastic job! I picked up the wooden thread minder with numbered holes to help organize threads as you stitch. And, the ginger cookies were delicious! Thanks to all the contributors and volunteers for a wonderful exhibit.

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Woodlawn Roadtrip 2016
March 20, 2016, 9:25 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

The 53rd Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit was fantastic again. This is my 7th year. I had 2 stitching friends with me this year (my husband stayed home & golfed). It was great fun to have Linda & Ginny come along especially because I mapped out a fantastic needlepoint shopping itinerary (3 stores on our way south Saturday) – yesterday’s post. We went last weekend & it was a busy week. I hope this encourages you to get therE before the end of the month.

For now, I’ll talk about just a few of the 510 pieces on display this year. I didn’t note how many pieces were on display in 2010, my first visit but 2011 had 681 (the most since I’ve been going). Both 2012 & 2013 had 600+ and 2014 and 2015 both had 500+.

Again, Linda was able to point out names of lots of designers of pieces & Ginny was spotting interesting things like the folk art/country piece in the doorway as you leave the sampler room that had the same piece stitched on different size ground (538 large cross stitch  by Joan & 585 miniature by Wendy which won 3rd place). We all agree that listing the designer name of the piece on the card would be fantastic. But, no doubt a time-consuming task & these (mostly) ladies do a fantastic job – lots of work to put on a month-long show like this!!

Patrick B (105) from my ANG Main Line chapter submitted a beautiful Christmas stocking he’d done for his wife, Donna. There were several other lovely ones as well.

If my mom were still alive, I would have left a note for Lauren (172 cross stitch) to find out who the designer was for her flower arrangement which was bursting with mostly oranges but also blue, yellow, and red.

Kurdy Biggs had one of her Classic Facets (28) win 2nd place. I have the Amber colorway in my stash but hers was a silver & gold colorway. And, her newest piece Concepcion (29) is stunning and won a 2nd place ribbon. Both can been seen on her website (http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2015/Classic%20Facets/Classic%20Facets.html and http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2016/2016Designs.html).

I was lucky enough to meet Ruth Dilts at our stop in Waste Knot. So, it fun seeing her pieces on display (123 and 124 which won 3rd place). She was the first of the daily demonstrators earlier in March. It’s just a wonderful touch to have people doing different crafts. We saw Tamara doing tatting. And, Ginny found out that she is the grandmother of the Nissa who stitched Mandala Alpine (158 ), an amazing piece  (http://europeanxstitch.com/collections/chatelaine-designs/products/alpine-seasons-garden-chat-049). The other Mandala (596  by Mary) was beautiful too. Woodlawn listed both as a multistitch sampler although 123stitch lists the Chatelaine designs under cross stitch (http://www.123stitch.com/cgi-perl/abcSearch/search.cgi?page=1&keyword=mandala&NewItems=0&OnSale=0&Clearance=0&FreeShipping=0&sortorder=relevance&searchid=&filteredby=&webpage=&type=&resultstoreturn=35&designer=Chatelaine).

Heather stitched Jean Hilton’s “Newport Sampler” (43) from Needle Pointers magazine. It was a 6-part series beginning in July 2002 (http://needlepoint.org/NeedlePointers/NP-back2002.php). I first remember seeing it on a friend’s Facebook page (Barbara L). It is impressive at 14″ x 36″ done in a combo of Hungarian Point and Jean Hilton stitches.

Joyce embroidered 3 of her dogs she’s had in her lifetime all cuddling together in one picture that was so adorable & such a wonderful way to honor them. It (521) rightly deserved a 1st place ribbon.

Catherine Jordan had a delicate surface embroidery of trees you can see through to a painted canvas background with a river flowing through the trees win 2nd place & Judge’s Choice (23). One of her Zentangle designs was on a hand-painted canvas combined with blackwork (22) and her other Zentangle was a cross between Zentangle and embroidery. Both very interesting as my ANG Keystone Garden chapter will be doing our own Zentangle later this year.

My ANG Keystone Garden chapter will also be doing Winter Scenery Variation by Martina Dey and we got to see that stitched by Barbro (527)!

Donna (220) submitted her Color Play by Jennifer Riefenberg she began at seminar last year (http://artofsunshine.com/workszoom/1566860) for a 2nd place ribbon. It’s 5 multi-colored hexagonal shapes. I was so surprised to run into her when I stopped in Nimble Needle NJ to pick up some finished ornaments yesterday but pleased to congratulate her in person!  What a fun coincidence.

Marlene’s wolf done on 32 count in cross stitch (559) looked like he was going to jump out at us (it was my vote for People’s Choice)! And, her tree was done in miniature (558) winning her 1st place and Pope-Leighey Award. We saw that stitched last year & Linda ordered that design and a couple other trees but hasn’t stitched any yet. Now, she is considering what size & type of ground to stitch them on. The package on the cross stitch tree designs says “photo provided by Brand X Pictures and pattern design by Mystic Stitch, Inc.” It appears that all of Mystic Stitch designs are photographs that they convert to cross stitch. Just beautiful.

Deborah Merrick Wilson won 1st place and the Woodlawn Award for an interesting bouquet of flowers in a stitched vase (652). The flowers were a variety of embroidery, layers of felt, turkey work, ribbons, and beads – my favorite of her 15 pieces in the exhibit. Some were for sale in the actual exhibit and a couple for sale in the lobby along with a couple of kits. Pieces being on sale is new this year. Proceeds get split between the stitcher & Woodlawn. Among her goldwork pieces were 3 small bulbous flowers (651) that won 1st place, a large Tudor rose (213) that won 2nd place, and a butterfly stitched in green and blue with a center goldwork body (211) that didn’t get a ribbon but was very pretty. In all she got 2 x 1st place, 2 x 2nd place, 3 x 3rd place, and 1 Honorable Mention.

What fun to see a flamingo Santa with his flamingo reindeer from Karen from Nimble Needle (37).

Rosie stitched Spirit by Sue Reed  in sage green cinnamon/rust colors. The New Jersey Needle Artists stitched A Different View by Kurdy Biggs (http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2011/WhatsNew2011.html#A_Different_View), a geometric piece – we got to see 5 colorways! They talked about it some on their blog (http://blog.njneedleartists.org/)

Mary got 2nd place for a lovely pastel colorway of Frankie by Michael Boren (505).

A first place and Judge’s Choice went to Terri for an interesting gauze fan with parrots (147).

It’s always fun to see Janet Zickler Casey Santa ornaments!

My original design (which I still won’t blog about until a much later date for a couple of reasons) didn’t win a ribbon. Maybe because professionals and non-professionals compete head-to-head at Woodlawn, I should just enter my original designs in ANG’s exhibit at the Annual Seminar where I am placed in the non-professional category. At Woodlawn, I should enter a counted piece or a painted canvas (my first year I gor 3rd place for a painted canvas). In fact last year, I thought I should send the canvas I picked up at In Stitches that year. It is from Dream House Ventures, Inc. (DH3825) and is called Swirling Leaves by a designer Linda Richardson under the name of Elements Fine Handpainted Needlepoint. I’m still working on it – far from done but it just got bumped to a higher priority!!

A fantastic event & I was glad to support Nellies Needleers by bring home a towel they stitched.

Butterfly towel



Roadtrip Before Woodlawn 2016
March 18, 2016, 3:17 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

What a great weekend! Another road trip with Linda & Ginny joined us!! We met around 9 am on Saturday to visit 3 needlepoint stores on our way south to Woodlawn in Alexandria, VA. We spent between 30 min to an hour at a shop. Details are presented in the order we visited:

Needles and Threads of Ruxton (7701 Bellona Ave, Baltimore, MD; right off 695 Baltimore; open 10-4; http://needlesandthreadsofruxton.com/) had lots of threads & canvases in a small space but well organized,  bright, 3 employees available including the owner Judy. There were 2 male stitchers, several women, employees, and us but never felt crowded. Everyone was so nice. What a wonderful first stop.

Judy Ruxton

We found some threads that we need for Xanadu, a Jim Wurth project that our ANG Keystone Garden chapter is doing this year from Needle Pointers. I found this bookmark that I have plenty of stash for.

Bookmark COP (JW323):

Bookmark

The Point of It All (5232 44th St NW, Washington, DC; deviate off Capital Beltway but not too far into Washington; open 10-4; http://thepointofitallonline.com/) had an interesting organizer called Needlecraft Palette that has 15  toggles & little pockets for specialty threads, scissors, etc. And, they had a very helpful stitched sample of each thread they sell stitched on 14- and/or 18-count canvas. We liked the red walls and canvas edging they apply.

Organizer:

Organizer

Stitch samples:

Stitched samples

Waste Knot (4502 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA; cross into VA over Chain Bridge; open 10-5; http://www.wasteknotneedlepoint.com/; shop 30 min) – they had a Mindy trunk shop going on & I didn’t get to my first Mindy canvas yet!! I met Ruth Dilts (her back is to us on the right) & Lori, the owner (her head is behind the computer monitor on the left).

Waste Knor, Lori

But, I found a JP canvas to make a companion piece (pillows) to the canvas I bought at Gazebo Plus where I just stopped in with Linda as she picked up her canvas not intending to buy knowing I was going on this shopping spree!! But, these are my 2 favorite flowers. They are both 16″ x 8″ on 13 mesh.

Gazebo Plus JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo (O-038):

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Waste Knot JP Orange Orchid & Bamboo (O-039):

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And, how could I forget Bill!! He’ll get the Canvas Connection Golf Bag  (3″ x 4″) (GB-556):

Golf bag

Sunday after Woodlawn in the morning, we stopped at In Stitches (8800F Pear Tree Court, Alexandria, VA; open 12:30 – 4:30 pm; http://institchesneedlework.com/). I managed to find “Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book” by Carole H Lake & Michael Boren. I like the layout of stitches by category with tips in bubbles near the stitch.



Woodlawn Roadtrip 2015
March 30, 2015, 9:27 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

The 52nd Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit was just as fantastic as previous years.

It was great to see Patrick B (170 & 171) from my ANG Main Line chapter submit his realistic looking giraffe & 3 dimensional frog. Also in the animal room, Mary W (616) stitched Tanya Berlin’s Bluebird on 200 count – amazing that it only got 3rd place!

Outstanding senior entry went to Marlene L (585) for an eagle done in cross stitch in 28-count ligano. Another 100+ year old, Florence N (424), got 2nd place for a large, beautiful paisley rug (hung above a door which I missed during my first walk around).

I enjoy seeing famous works of art stitched & Lauren B (121) did the “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt in cross stitch.

Sherri B (250) cross stitched a row of stems & leaves featuring flowers for buttons with butterfly buttons flying above. Pat G (303) stitched a working clock with buttons at each number around the face. These reminded me that I started a button collection with intensions of doing something like these (but have yet to get to).

Jean Hilton stitches always are fascinating to see in a design. Kurdy B (19) did a wonderful copper piece. Deborah L (562) did a Ro Pace design, Venetian Delight, as a single layer piece although it was designed to be done in 3 layers – hers was still beautiful.

I love seeing Janet Zickler Casey’s Santa ornaments & Jill B (130) did one of my favorites, the Christmas Light Santa. And, there was an adorable pumpkin done by Radonda R (100) in multi-canvaswork stitches (either triangle or square shapes) with the eyes, nose, and mouth done in dark greys against the bright orange pumpkin.

It’s always nice to see Nancy Cucci’s pieces and Dorothy B (227) did one but now I can’t remember which one. I have a partially started piece of Nancy’s in my stash & on my list to finish this year. Still have ¾ of a year left!

What a sight to see – the 11 Michael Boren “Frankie” pieces (in various colorways) were done mostly by New Jersey Needle Artists (all but one). Two of the ladies Rosie L & Linda M did 2 different colorways! Fantastic!!

Brenda C (641) got 1st place for her black & white ort box which I saw first at the Nancy Cucci class I took with her chapter in Delaware a few years ago. She also got 2nd place for Rose Swirls by Carol Algie Higginbotham and 3rd place for Beach Walk by Linda Reinmiller – both new ANG Correspondence Courses. I am quite sure Donna LaB (208) replaced some of the threads in Rachel Atkinson’s Gordian Knot (a returning ANG CC) with Kreinik to add some sparkle. Cheryl H (619) did a beautiful Stained Glass Sampler also designed by Carol Algie Higginbotham which was a previous ANG CC.

Christin L (520 & 521) got 2nd and 3rd place for very cute boy and girl pilgrims, respectively. She also did the Debbie Stiehler’s 2013 ANG Stitch of the Month. Christin had it finished very creatively in a diamond shape with beads dangling from the loser 2 sides and it was inserted on a stick in a potted plant.

Sara Leigh M (231) stitched the Orna Willis piece Color Inspirations – I am so excited about doing this class on June 12 & 13, 2015! There are still openings for this 2-day class in Philly – just ask for details.

It was fascinating to see Susan C (567) and Carol S (20) stitch Walking the Water’s Edge by Diane Herrmann slightly differently from each other. Carol stitched less water & more foam. And, Carol’s piece was surrounded by a narrow red mat, a wider blue mat, and then a third textured beige mat. The frame was a light wood (fantastic matting, only I would prefer a darker wood frame). I’m so excited about doing this class on October 10, 2015. There are still openings for this 1-day class one hour north of Philly near Peddler’s Village – just ask for details.

Rachel C (361 & 362) stitched Mindy canvases although I liked the one that didn’t win 1st place better. I saw other Mindy canvases by Marla F (421) and two from Maureen McA (322 & 323). But, I don’t know them by name nor can I remember them enough to search & name each design.

There were a few Charlie Harper designs including one from Rachel C (363) of birds sitting on a large upside down fanned out leaf called Put a Bird on It. And, one with a menagerie of animals but I forgot to note who stitched this large piece.

And, seeing Melanie D (556) stitch Pieces of Eight by Gail Bicknell means this remains a classic as it is still being stitched. It was originally in Needlepoint Now in 4 installments (Sep/Oct 1999; Jan/Feb 2000; Mar/Apr 2000; May/Jun 2000; Jul/Aug 2000) but is still available as a single reprint.

There was a striking piece of smocking done on a box top by Barbara M (727). And, Betsy M (233) had a castle scene done in embroidery and stumpwork which earned her 1st place and Judge’s Choice award.

Among Catherine Jordan’s always lovely pieces was The Gift which won 1st place & the Frank Lloyd Wright Award. That is the red & white ribbons wrapped around a glass block done with a variety of stitches (described in January 2015 Needle Pointer’s Awards Gallery). She also got 2nd place and two Honorable Mentions.

And, we had a nice talk with Deborah Wilson who was demonstrating her goldwork techniques that earned her 3 awards (1st place & the Eleanor Custis Lewis Award/Best in Show for a leaves/flowers design and two 2nd place of which one was a strawberry) in addition to the 1st place for a Christmas stocking for her son with his various hobbies stitched.

My husband didn’t make the trip this year but he would have enjoyed seeing the large gold themed ottoman by Joan deGM (167). He elected not to make the 2-day trip once I added in the stop at Rehoboth Beach exhibit and knowing Linda, a fellow ANG Main Line Stitcher, agreed to make the trip with me. Linda thoroughly enjoyed her first trip to Woodlawn & I thoroughly enjoyed her company! We agree it is inspiring to see so many beautiful pieces under one roof!! She knows so many names of pieces & designers which is why I can really talk about more pieces this year. And, because we spent 4 hours, including a delicious lunch break, looking at everything and chatting with the docents! Linda liked a few designs on display that she sent questions to the stitchers. But, I found one she was interested in when I googled “needlepoint sampler patterns”. I looked in images & there it was – Northern Expressions Needlework’s Twisted Band Sampler, under multi-sampler category, done by Anna B (235) for which she won a 2nd place ribbon. It has diagonal patterns with a butterfly near the top and is done in various colors along the color wheel.

The Queen’s Silhouette didn’t get a ribbon but I enjoy supporting the exhibit & will have to start on something for next year!! Perhaps it will be the canvas I picked up at In Stitches. It is from Dream House Ventures, Inc. (DH3825) and is called Swirling Leaves by a designer Linda Richardson under the name of Elements Fine Handpainted Needlepoint. A different designer from Dream House Ventures also designed the canvas Daisy (aka Sunflower) that I got 3rd place ribbon from Woodlawn a few years ago – maybe that’s a sign! I was also taken by the one set of instructions for a geometric pattern, Teal-licious, by Freda’s Fancies. Apparently, there are at least 63 in the series and probably more!! How is it that I never saw these before? It’s time to search the internet again.

Swirling Leaves

Teal-licious

Thanks to everyone who sent in pieces. It is such fun looking at 500 plus pieces under one roof. I wish I could talk about all of them but it’s time to move on to the Fifth Annual Rehoboth Beach Museum Needlework Exhibit which we saw on Sunday!!



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



Woodlawn Roadtrip 2013
March 19, 2013, 3:51 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

My husband, Bill, & I attended the 50th Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition on Sunday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day – our 4th year in a row now. There were over 600 pieces again! It runs through March 31 – you still have plenty of time to go & is always worth the trip. The restoration work done on the windows looks wonderful.

Woodlawn Rose Paper Weight

Nelly’s Needlers did a fantastic job again this year. They have several raffles running this year & lots of wonderful items to buy – all to support upkeep of Woodlawn, the home of Eleanor Custis Lewis.  I got the paperweight you see in the picture. It is an adaptation of the Woodlawn Rose stitched by Eleanor Custis Lewis, one of America’s foremost needleworkers. The exhibition honors her legacy by maintaining the tradition of the needle arts and by raising funds to preserve her estate.

I submitted the Poppy Field, Santacicle, and Catherine Jordan class project Ruby Keepsake Box that I did at Seminar – but none won ribbons – oh well. As I stood looking at the Poppy Field (on a table to your right on the way into the lunch room), a woman was saying something complimentary about a piece in the general area of mine. So, I asked which one caught her eye & it was mine! So, I answered her questions about the piece & felt just as good as if I had won a ribbon. With so many beautiful pieces, the judges must have a hard time awarding ribbons. I will describe some of the other pieces that I saw but you can’t take pictures (unless it is of your own piece) nor are any online but I will do my best to describe some of the pieces that caught my eye.

Catherine Jordan did her dimensional surface embroidery again but with a compact case (piece #1). The top lid had been removed and in its place were stitched sky and trees landscape. You could see space between the trees and above the ground and below the sky. Very pretty & won 2nd place ribbon. Her small Woodlawn House notebook cover was a fantastic depiction of the house and won a 50th Anniversary Special ribbon (piece #2). The blackwork is Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA) in which she draws a design first and then needlework is based on the drawing and appears to me to be 3 dimensional (piece #3). Very unique and not surprisingly won a 1st place ribbon. The landscape scene done on a book cover had a stained glass effect and got an Honorable Mention ribbon (piece #4). And, the map of the United States also was 3 dimensional with elevated mountain ranges (piece #5). It won a 1st place ribbon. Bill & I think it was at the Philly ANG seminar as well. All in all, Catherine did some lovely work as always & was duly recognized! All of her pieces & my Ruby Keepsake Box are on the first floor in a room opposite from the Christmas room – on the right as you first enter – I almost missed that room.

I saw Pieces of Eight done by E Karper (piece #29 upstairs) – one of the things I love about these exhibits are seeing the variety of colors for pieces that I have also stitched.

There were 3 beautiful beaded projects (pieces #32 and #33 by K Biggs and #34 by a different K Biggs in an upstairs room) two of which won 2nd place ribbons. They were various Hilton stitches. The brown & pink one was very interesting with 4 overlapping diamonds placed vertically on the canvas.

While in the sampler room, I noticed several samplers (traditional and counted cross stitch) from the Delaware Valley Historical Sampler Guild (DVHSG) including J Toy (pieces #140 and #141 winning 3rd and 2nd place ribbons, respectively), KA Muhlbaier (pieces #142 and #143 the first one winning Honorable Mention), T Baird (piece #144 winning a 1st place ribbon), and K Read (piece #156 winning 1st place ribbon). The pieces done by D Shiozawa (piece #159) and L Davis (piece #166) got Honorable Mention. And, there were entries from P Lerch (piece #520) and S Dryburgh who submitted 3 pieces in 3 different classes, including drawn thread (pieces #167, #168, #169). The scissors/pins box done by S Stinson was very well done and interesting (piece #158 located in the Catherine Jordan room). I was thrilled for them especially after having had 2 of the members attend our ANG Chapter a couple of years ago to give us a presentation. Then, when we went back through the sampler room there were a few of the members visiting the exhibit – one of whom was Sally, one of the women who spoke to our group. What wonderful timing – we had a nice chat!!

I believe D Schratwieser submitted Lois Kershner’s design Naoshima Sunset and won Honorable Mention (piece #216).

Seeing the 2 punchneedle pieces by B Personette reminded me of the 2 pieces that I have sitting in a “To Do” drawer – I really liked the pears and the sheep won Honorable Mention (pieces #227 and #228, respectively). I want to learn that technique.

M Beck had several award winners but I was especially impressed with the finishing of the 4 ornaments (piece #320, a 2nd place winner). There were 4 individual square blue, gold, and white ornaments mounted on a large display board. The slightly thinner braid lining on the outside edge of the individual ornaments matched the slightly thicker braid on the outside edge of the larger display board – subtle touch! It appeared that the individual ornaments were held in place by a decorative push-pin and could be removed – very clever!

There were 5 very colorful women characters that reminded me of Melissa Shirley’s designs done by P Bender (pieces # 330-334).

R Hirschfelt won another 1st place ribbon for her original design, Seasons of Love: The Pieces of My Life (piece #508 located in the Catherine Jordan room). It is the white and gold heart-shaped piece stitched in pieces like a puzzle. You may remember that from the Philly ANG Seminar. If not, it is in the Jan 2013 Needle Pointers magazine. Very clever!!

Having done a lot of cross stitch, I was very impressed with the clock done in black and white cross stitch with gray and beige shading by M Shwimer (piece #536). But, my People’s Award vote was for the scene of a house and trees depicted at an angle in front of a lane done with brown thread on a beige canvas stitched by S Jordan (piece #654). I think the pointallism effect developed by Georges Seurat is fascinating. Even though there are not different colors, I think this is still similar in that it is small, distinct dots (cross stitches) are applied in patterns to form an image. My husband, Bill, voted for the counted cross stitch flowers that won 1st place (piece #624) and stitched by a senior stitcher (70+). I am not sure if that was considered petite point but the thread count had to be very high – it was done on linen & very fine. Between the thread count and the numbers of colors – it was a good choice to vote for – beautifully done.

Speaking of shading, there was another striking piece with pinks and grays stitched by C Rapisarda that had a few beads in a geometric pattern with some Hilton stitches (piece #686). Bill noticed how well the silver geometric patterned frame almost matched the outside border of the design. That was my 2nd choice for People’s Award vote.

I enjoyed seeing C Loudon’s geometric pillow with Hilton stitches (piece #610 that won a 3rd place ribbon), the dracula piece (#611), and the Halloween piece #612 that also won a 3rd place ribbon) – all very nice pieces!

I think I saw the Arabella piece stitched by B Laaken and designed by Michael Boren that The Shining Needle Society is advertising now (piece #620) – very pretty.

Congratulations to all the exhibitors for making the event such a varied, visually exciting, and stimulating experience! And, thanks to all the Nelly’s Needlers and volunteers who contribute to this event – it is a gem! Of course, I am already looking forward to the 51st year celebration!



Woodlawn Roadtrip 2012
June 5, 2012, 10:35 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

My husband, Bill, & I attended the 49th Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition on Sunday, June 3 & it is our 3rd annual trek to the event. There were over 600 pieces again! It runs through June 10 this year (late because of restoration work done on the windows). So, you can still go – it is really worth the trip. Next year is the 50th Annual & they are already excited about it!

There was less beadwork canvas pieces this year but there was still all the variety of techniques including canvas work, counted thread, blackwork, hardanger, drawn thread, cross-stitch, embroidery (crewel, cut-work, japanese, goldwork, silk ribbon, stumpwork, surface), fine hand sewing, miniature, needle-made lace, quilted accessory, sampler, & smocking.

In the first room, I saw my sister’s lovely angel as cross-stitched by Barbara & learned about the designer from Ellice, ANG Board member & docent – what a thrill!

The three-dimensional embroidery pieces were stunning – I have done some of that and really appreciate the effort that goes into those. One (#134) had 12 different flower motifs with some ribbon embroidery in it as well. The Welcome piece (#137), that Karen had to stitch a second time because the first had been stolen, earned the Eleanor Curtis Lewis award. Another was a ladies face with flowing hair in all different stitches (can’t be sure of the #).

I also really appreciate the work that went into the blackwork pieces after stitching the small sections of the Ort Box & I was fascinated with the yellow and green pineapple that had different blackwork patterns for each section (#149). The sampler section had a wonderful variety but what popped out for me was the red and white ying yang piece (#258) that had red stitching of lettering allowing white background to show through & the other half was a mirror image but with red stitches covering all but the lettering to show them as white.

Catherine Jordan’s counted work was fantastic (#41 and 42), one won the Director’s award, and is featured on the cover.

But, her small framed surface embroidery (#43) – stitched in 5 or 6 layers and placed together was simple amazing because of the unique concept. There was a hole in the center of all the sections through which you could see the tree twisted threads of the trunks all of which were attached at ground level and again up top at the leaves. It won a second place ribbon.

I think I saw a Nancy Cucci beaded piece (#593). There were 2 of Jean Hilton’s ‘Scott Lee’ (#12 & #40) done in 2 different colors creating a different look to the work.

The patchwork bear (#26) was a tribute to 911 and looked like the one at 2010’s seminar. Joyce made a lovable brown dog with a black nose (sorry, I do not know the breed of # 189) and used actual hairs from the real dog as whiskers. And, it won a Judge’s Choice award & 2nd place.

We saw three generations of stitchers display pieces and met the mother and daughter (I can’t find my notes on them to credit them by # or first name). The 13-year-old girl told us she’d been stitching since she was 3 and has won awards before this one which was an interesting original geometric piece.

My People’s Choice vote went to Betty Jo, a Golden ager, whose original pine cone design (#370) was so simple yet stunning. Small round gold sequins made up the pine cone and the long threads lay on the surface for the needles. And, the eye-catching reflective background placed under the canvas caught your eye from a distance. Congrats on your Honorable Mention award!

This year we didn’t have such a big breakfast that we were able to sit & eat the lemon tart before heading home. We also got some of Martha Washington’s ginger cookies made by Nellie’s Needlers. I also picked up a bookmark for Bill. For the house and to go with the Frank Lloyd Wright table runner, I got a trivet stitched by Nellie’s Needlers.

Hopefully, I’ll win the quilt they are selling chances for – they all pitched in as a group to make it. Beautiful.

Lastly, I learned I must get the Green Book from the Royal School of Needlework! But, I’m going to need some more info on that because it doesn’t come up as ‘Green Book’ in my searches. Anyone able to clarify?