Melitastitches4fun's Blog

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


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 ( 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 – 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) (!

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?

Chilly Hollow’s trip report to Woodlawn
March 13, 2011, 10:02 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

Excellent insights on Woodlawn’s exhibit the year from:

Part 1 at

Part 2 at

Part 3 at

And, inside Woodlawn from maggieb,

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!

Woodlawn Roadtrip 2010
March 22, 2010, 9:37 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

Woodlawn was a wonderful needlepoint exhibit sponsored by a talented and committed group, Nelly’s Needlers. They deserve a standing ovation for the work they do for the month of March. They are “a volunteer organization responsible for preserving and promoting the tradition of the needle arts among the general public . . . “.  They are dedicated as 3 meetings a month & 50 hours of community service work (such as work in classes to teach juniors) must be completed to be an active member.

FYI: All entries must be by a living person. For juniors, work must be completed within the last year (no such restriction for adult). Commercial includes charted or painted canvas, printed graphs, kits, class projects. We saw every technique displayed. And, canvas work is defined as embroidery stitched through an even-weave canvas (traditional using 1-4 stitches or multi-stitch using 5 or more stitches).

I was surprised to see a piece I had completed last year, Exodus Breastplate – I’d recognize it anywhere. And, my husband was the first to spot the first of 3 different Pieces of Eight displayed, each of which has been personalized by switching colors or adding additional stitches.

Catherine Jordan’s surface embroidery (IMG 3972, 3973, 3974, 4014) is amazing – you can see through them. They are so small but are whole scenes! Of the vast embroidery, the stumpwork impressed me most – possible because I hadn’t seen that before. The 3-dimensional effect of the bird was life-like (IMG 797). I saw some surface embroidery that makes me want to get back to the Brazilian embroidery I learned a year or so ago – just lovely work. There was a cross-stitch of dogs that looked like a photo. The crewel sunflower was spectacular (IMG 866). I thought the original lillypad design was stunning – not a large piece but it popped when you walked in the room – did for me anyway (IMG66)!! We never would have known but one of the hostesses told us that one piece had actually stitched on a bra (IMG3936)! In case you misplaced the link to the photos:

Thanks to Jane ( for instructions: If you want to look up the items that won awards that I mention, enter the IMG number in the search box. BEFORE you push Enter, use the Search pull down menu to choose Preservation Nation’s albums so that you don’t get results from all over Flicker.

For the People’s Choice Award, my husband & I both voted for a commercial piece that didn’t win a ribbon or even get honorable mention. It had a colorful multi-stitch needlepoint center design with a mat of a gold stitched frame design surrounding it & then framed again with a real frame. It was beautiful. It’s by Nancy Poe (#60) if you get there – unfortunately, it is not a photographed piece. Our 2nd place People’s Choice award goes to Gail Stafford (#67) for a small but original landscape design.

I learned how to spread Flair on a wire to create a wing of a dragonfly! And, lunch was delicious – don’t pass on the lemon tart!

We enjoyed Alexandria – beautiful city – loved the Frank Lloyd Wright house & spent most of the rest of the time walking/eating/drinking our way along King Street which was bustling – our feet are tired!

Thanks to Jane/Chilly Hollow for directions to ‘In Stiches’ – GPS didn’t recognize Pear Tree Court. They have a lovely store, classroom area, nice variety of items. I bought threads for the 2010 ANG Seminar name-tag contest. I thought it appropriate to use Sampler Threads from The Gentle Art as they are located in Ohio! And, ‘In Stitches’ found a chair for husband so he could read as I browsed.  Wonderful weather & weekend wandering!!