Melitastitches4fun's Blog

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!

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Very astute and well written essay on your observations at Woodlawn Frankly, a professional writer couldn’t have conveyed the event any better.Nice work!

Comment by Bill G

Is the booklet picture the program or could you purchase. I entered two pieces and would like to get a copy.

Comment by sudukc

You get the booklet with the price of admission. They sent you a free admission ticket right? Have you tried calling them (703-323-1781)? Maybe you could send them your ticket & $ to cover mailing & they could send it to you since you can’t get there. Did you find out if you won a ribbon? I can let you know if you want. My husband tossed his or else I would have send it to you. Melita

Comment by melitastitches4fun

I know I won a third (#40) and an honorable mention (#41) but I do not know which is which. What amazed me was that there are multiple 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners in a category. Here’s a link to a PDF I received from another friend that attended: .
I will try calling tomorrow and if you can tell me which is which I would love that.

Comment by sudukc

Hit the enter key before I was finished…Thank you very much for the tour. I had hoped to get to DC to see the show but that isn’t going to happen this year.

Comment by sudukc

[…] able to put their works online to share with us. Melita posted on her blog about her visit ( to Woodlawn…I hope she’ll post her pictures soon too. If you have a blog or website and […]

Pingback by Woodlawn Plantation Needlework Exhibit | sudukc's needleart & other musings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: