Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Woodlawn Roadtrip 2011
March 7, 2011, 12:27 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

My husband, Bill, & I attended the 48th Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition on Sunday, March 6.  There were 681 pieces from more than 400 entrants – according to the brochure – I didn’t count them!  Needlework is thriving! They drew such an incredible variety of needlework including beadwork, canvas work (traditional & multistitch), 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 (battenburg, filet guipure), quilted accessory, sampler (traditional, multistitch), & smocking.

I won’t go into all the pieces although I wish I could. So, I selected those pieces that spoke to me today. I hope I got everyone’s name spelled correctly. If not, my apologies – it’s getting late & I must get to bed – no time to double-check them – tomorrow is a workday.

In the first room where you enter to buy your tickets, there is a glass case. Inside are 2 of Catherine Jordan’s boxes of surface embroidery – stitched inside & out (exhibits #2 and #3) in her distinctive colors & style. Each piece won a second place ribbon and #3 won a Judges Choice award. The case also had beautiful beaded jewelry including bracelets and necklaces. I particularly liked the starfish necklace (one of the few that I didn’t note the # or name of stitcher).  There is an incredible stitched book by Constance Tobias done on linen (#146) that won first place.

From there, we stayed on the first floor & went into the room to the right of the door that you entered. There was a nice collection of angels. In the room on your way into the dining area (we had eaten a hearty breakfast & so didn’t stop for lunch or the lemon tart – darn it), we saw stumpwork (#6) by Carol Sylvester that won a first place ribbon. That was the one I had to vote for the People’s Choice. I am fascinated by that artform. The 3 dimensional effect is so eye-catching. The hallway had a variety of samplers again this year. Even my husband has gotten an education in samplers this year! The third room had a beautiful crewel butterfly using a blind stitch technique that makes this piece reversible. This original design (#745) by Kevin Throwe was framed so that you could see the back! I had a wonderful chat with Dorothy Bull, a fellow ANGer who had a piece in this room (#828) which used a bamboo stitch for her background – perfect for her oriental piece.  Kurdy Biggs got a first place ribbon for a piece (#24) using hilton stitches.

On the second floor, first room on the right, at the top of the stairs was where we found my ‘Sun Flower’ (#16) (see previous blog entry). It’s in the center of the mantlepiece. I was thrilled to find that it had won a third place ribbon. My Madam Carina (#17) was in the same room but didn’t win a ribbon. There was also a lovely variety of handbags in the room. And, a beautiful hardanger green & beige skirt (#857) on a porcelain figure. It’s on the chest of drawers & was done by Sharon Fullerton.

Going counter-clockwise through the 2nd floor, the second room is full of cute pieces done for children (not by children).

The third room had several pieces with hilton stitches designed by Michael Boren (according to the attendant). I am not familiar with the name but he had wonderful designs, including his design of a stain glass piece (#236) stitched by Chris Loudon called ‘Frankie’, a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired piece ( After my initial blog entry, I found out that Chris was in the pilot class for ‘Frankie’ which Michael Boren is teaching at the 2011 seminar. Another piece (#437) that used hilton stitches won honorable mention & was done by Kathy Raines. Starr Ramiech won third place for 2 pieces (#s 122 and 123) – again using hilton stitches. Dorothy Bull told me all about her ‘Stars & Hearts’ (#829) that came from Needlepointers or Needlepoint Now (I can’t remember which) & won honorable mention. She described how she used cotton backing & then, liquid nails to glue it onto the cover of a book of blank pages – she’s made another one as a gift. A really wonderful idea. There was also a Ro Pace piece (#121) – just beautiful. And, Jeffrey Kulik got second place for an original design in black & gray (#159) using a creative use of threads.

The fourth room on the second floor had stunning christmas stockings and ornaments galore. The fifth room was full of animal related pieces including a Charlie Harper design (#225) with a large center bird & 4 small ones around his feet done by Melissa Rosario.

The upstairs hallway had a first place winner (#834) done by Tara Roberts  in vibrant greens & oranges with hilton stitches. Next to that, was a piece by Kevin Throwe (#744). This original design didn’t win any prize but was a beautiful piece inspired, no doubt, by Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ with blue swirls and yellow circles in the sky.

Nelly’s Needlers put on an amazing show. And, their work to educate is apparent in demonstrations they have throughout the exhibition & in the engaging way they interact with attendees – very informative & helpful. I sure hope that they are able to take pictures & share them via the internet like they did last year.

Bottom line all the pieces are just stunning. I don’t know how the judges can decide between them. It is really worth the trip. I wish I lived closer & could go back several more times. Perhaps I’ll take Dorothy Bull up on her invitation to join her & the Northern Virginia Chapter in 2012 when they invite Michael Boren to stitch ‘Frankie’ over a couple of weekends.

Safe travels to those fortunate enough to attend! We drove home in pouring rain but it well worth it because seeing the needlework & variety in finishing pieces is as educational as it is inspiring!

4 Comments so far
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Hi Melita–Sounds like you had a lot of fun at the Woodlawn exhibit. I was thrilled to read you voted for my piece for the People’s Choice!

Congrats on your ribbon as well–it’s an honor to win a ribbon at this show.

I’ve entered for several years but have never been able to get to the show to see it. Maybe sometime I can take a few days of vacation to go check it out. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for the write-ups and the pictures!

Carol S.

Comment by Carol

Hi Carol, You do beautiful work! And, it has a wonderful location in the room & it just pops! It never dawned on me that you’d read my blog!

Comment by melitastitches4fun

Melita, would you allow me to use your report on my blog? I have a new one, since I’m doing more needlepoint that I have created myself called “Drawn to I forgot to ask what room is your Beautiful “Sunflower” in? I want to make sure I see it. Also you said they got 600+ entries, did anyone tell you if its up or down from last year. Last year I know they got more than they expected. Thanks Jean

Comment by jcphelps

Hi Jean, Yes, you can use my report – or link to it – either is fine. My piece(s) are on the second floor, first room on the right, at the top of the stairs. ‘Sun Flower’ (#16) is in the center of the mantlepiece. My Madam Carina – lady with black hat & pearl/gold earring (#17) is in the same room (left wall) but it didn’t win a ribbon. I didn’t ask about the number of pieces compared to last year. I went last year & if not more, then about the same number.

Comment by melitastitches4fun

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