Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Exploring Woodlawn’s 60th Annual Needlework Exhibit 2023
March 7, 2023, 5:09 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

Bill and I made it to Woodlawn early this year. The main exhibit has a little over 400 pieces. One lady said they will be placing photos of the pieces in an online exhibit (probably in mid-April) but another thought it was too cost prohibitive based on the number who paid to see it last year and how much the professional photographer charged. Hopefully, they do; and so, I am going to limit the photos I show in hopes you support them online. My photos did not turn out great this year anyway – no close ups allowed (enlarging blurred them) and the light was bright in the windows casting shadows. A good number of them are above eye level making photos long distance anyway.

I found out more about the couch that you can see on Woodlawn’s website. It’s all Nancy B’s original design, and took her 20 years to complete (during the 70-90s). She’s in her 80s now. It must be on Penelope canvas because there is Petite point (small stitches for the motifs) and Gros point (large stitches for the background). It got our vote for the People’s Choice award. Her scenes are amazing front and back! Even the pattern incorporated into the background is interesting (but was impossible to photograph).

Three people (Patti Lynn T, Mary L, and Louise W) stitched and entered my design Overdyed Spools which I taught at the EGA Mid-Atlantic Regional Fall meeting in 2021. It uses an overdyed thread of their choice. Patti Lynn replaced the center spools for a nametag and placed it on a bag. Mary added a black inner border for pop and Louise added beads. I’ve see quite a number of the finished pieces from a variety of EGA chapters and am so glad people are enjoying the piece and making it their own. In fact, I’ll be joining a joint meeting of the EGA chapters Susquehanna/Molly Pitcher Stitchers this coming weekend. Sherri G is teaching it and I will discuss several pieces of mine that manipulated overdyed threads.

The original pieces by other people (which I won’t show without permission) were quite amazing. The surface embroidery of snowflakes captured in negative and positive space by Tina T was stunning. Ekaterina S’s Snowy Evening was stitched on artist’s canvas (docents said she was new to this country and didn’t know what “canvas” meant). Hers was originally placed in the “canvaswork multi-stitch” category but later must have been switched to “surface embroidery” because artist’s canvas is not a countable ground. Her piece titled Autumn is on the same artist’s canvas and is stunning with mist appearing to float up into the hills of green, yellow, and red trees.

I recognized quite a few designs and can name the designer (google will find their websites): Royal Kimono by Toni Gerdes, American Beauty by DebBee’s Design, 3 versions of Stratigraphy by Jennifer Riefenberg (ANG Stitch of the Month 2021), 2 versions of Long Time Gone Stitching by Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes of Beautiful Stitches), Fibonacci Swirls by Olivia Hartshorn (Needle Pointers Mar/Apr 2022), Star of Stitches (Stitch of the Month 2020), Winter Logs and Serenity by Kathy Rees, Anasazi Dream/Song/Spirit by Carole Lake, Stacked Rectangles by Susan Hoekstra, Gordian Knot by Rachel Atkinson (past ANG Correspondence Course), Pyramids by Wendy Moore, 2 versions of Circles of Life by Lorraine Salt, Woven Ribbons (May/June 1999 Needlepoint Now magazine), Candles Bright by Mary Knapp, Patchwork Evergreen by Janet Casey. There are even a few more I’ve seen but I’m not sure of the designer.

I hope my Main Line Stitchers select Fibonacci Swirls next year. Sue C did a lovely job selecting her own threads.

Linda M of ANG Main Line Stitchers stitched Rainbow Butterflies (a Laurel Burch canvas) for a chapter program discussion of selecting threads for a painted canvas last year and I was thrilled to see it in the exhibit! Congratulations to Linda on a blue ribbon for the Stratigraphy she stitched with threads selected from her stash.

Cecilia, one of the members of ANG Main Line Stitchers, recently contacted me about potential stitches for The Plague Doctor (a full length robed piece). So, I was surprised to see a different version by Stephanie St.C appear at Woodlawn. Cecilia shared the story behind these pieces (wiki it for the details) but that pointed thing is a mask. A Google search reveals its popularity is widespread.

The number of blackwork pieces were more than I remember from last year and they were all amazing. Abigail’s Sampler by Claudia K is impressive because it is reversible and framed on a stand so you can see both sides. The Flower Basket by Michael Ann B is so crisp and bright with the gold outlines. Save the Stitches by Cheryl W is a sampler of all different (130+) patterns intertwined with hints of a rosy-purple adding more interest throughout the piece. It is designed by Liz Almond. And, German Sampler 1661 by Sally P hangs like a large bellpull consisting of band after band of various blackwork patterns. I really am hard pressed to select my favorite in this category but the complexity of the large number of interlocking patterns seen in Save the Stitches edged out the others.

The Japanese Embroidery is beautiful but my favorite is Weeping Cherry by Mary Louise S because of the gentleness of the colors and falling leaves.

Not as much goldwork on exhibit as in past years but a simple and elegant blue ribbon winner of goldwork by Alison K called Queen Anne’s Lace gets my vote for favorite goldwork piece.

Samplers range in variety as usual from traditional to more modern and my featured sampler is by Linda M from NJ Needle Artists who puts a lot of effort into supporting Woodlawn. Congrats to Linda for a Blue Ribbon with Thanksgiving Sampler.

Cross-stitch was not forgotten this year. The geometrics (both designed by Ink Circles), Circular Lights by Jill B and Tangled Fire by C Tobias are beautiful. You can practically smell the Blue Hydrangeas by Lauren B. Bravery by Sumira O is a huge lion head mounted on a shield with a sword piercing his head on a diamond background. But the shading obtained by Tiffany in A Mother’s Love Sepia Elephants (designed by Carolyn Thornton) is lovely and despite being much smaller than the lion, I am partial to elephants.

I wish I could go through all the categories but there is so much diversity, I’d never get back to stitching!

The EGA Constellation chapter and Oatlands chapter celebrated their 50th and 40th anniversaries while the ANG Shenandoah Valley celebrated their 20th anniversary with quite a prolific and diverse collection of needlework. Congratulations to all 3 chapters! I couldn’t tell which pieces were with each chapter but my 3 selections are Asymmetrical Copper by Jeff Kulick (love this colorway; instructions are in the Nov/December 2020 issue of Needle Pointers magazine), Ruby Razzle Dazzle by Ann Strite-Kurz (so intense looking and instructions are in my stash), and a saying that about sums it all up (designer unkown; perhaps a Victorian motto).

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