A visit to the Needlework Exhibit at Woodlawn


Today Rosie and I went to Woodlawn as we have been doing for the past few years. We now have a system of going through the house once, having lunch in Nelly’s Cafe and then a second go around of the exhibit. At lunch we talk about what we have seen and what warrants a second visit. This year during our second trip around we picked our People’s Choice vote for a silk ribbon design that had special touches of embroidered felted wool small birds and tiny 3 D butterflies that had a shadow of the butterfly stitched behind it as well as all the beautiful silk ribbon flowers! We missed those details the first time around.

As usual we found some needlepoint counted designs that we particularly liked and wanted to know the designer. My job is to fill out a question sheet to be given to the stitcher requesting the name of the designer. Rosie’s job was expanded this year as photographs of rooms were permitted–not close ups where a design could be repeated by another stitcher without purchasing the design. So to entice you to come, here are a few room photos.

img_3281 (2)

An entry from Sue R and the silk embroidery with the butterflies!

img_3284 (2)

Joan S’s two ribbon-winning pieces were displayed on the same wall.

img_3286 (2)

Diane B’s and Barbara L’s SOTM along with Sue R’s second piece.


Two pieces by Andrea B as well as Cathryn C’s and Ellen B’s entries.

img_3279 (2)

Rosie’s two collages by Debbie Stiehler, Imari collage won a ribbon!

We did not get photos of all the entries from NJNA, hopefully there will be a later post including others.

What we always enjoy is trying to identify the designer of pieces that we see. This year we identified eighteen different designers whose work we have either stitched or are familiar with! See what spending time with NJNA members will do! This year several members, who had stitched former president of NJNA Susan Hoekstra’s Stitch of the Month design for ANG in 2016, exhibited their completed piece either framed or as a pillow. Unfortunately for those of us who find the different color ways as well as variations of the design a great study of both design effect and color relationships, these pieces were exhibited in several different rooms. Another two (that I counted) exhibitors stitched this design with a very different center. One was at eye level so that we could see the center was beaded and three dimensional. That was one of the question sheets I filled out, who had designed the center. It made for a very different piece!

I felt that in this year’s exhibit there were many more original designs than I have ever seen exhibited before! Several were by teachers but most were not (or at least I don’t believe they are designers!). This seems to me to be a good sign that needlework is expanding and more people are creating their own work.

Each year I come away inspired to stitch more and a plan of what I want to complete for exhibit next year! If you have not come, plan a day in March–not a Tuesday–to come see the beautiful pieces and be inspired! If you have not yet exhibited, consider exhibiting next year to inspire others in this great hobby!



2018 SOTM – March


Despite the two nor’easters in less than a week, 10 intrepid stitchers gathered on Saturday for our Stitch-of-the-Month session. As always, it was great to get together for a few hours of stitching, chatting, laughter, and food. Several of our group are stitching Lorene Salt’s Autumn Kaleidoscope in the original colorway while even more are developing their own colorways.

We’ve found that seeing one design in different colorways is the most fascinating part of our SOTM sessions. Regardless of what colorway any of us is stitching, seeing the interplay of colors and making (or helping with) those decisions about color are truly educational. With all of us stitching together we are also able to share tips/thoughts about how best to tackle an area. It is truly a wonderful day together.

Here is our progress so far:

March - Group Photo

Clockwise from top right: Joan, Rosie, Mally, Sue R, Nancy, Sue C, Janet, Linda M

Mally, Nancy, and Linda M all chose the same original colorway on black, while Janet is stitching the original colorway on beige (and making some thread adjustments along the way). Joan is stitching the optional blue colorway on black. Sue C and Sue R are stitching their own colorways and both opted for the same overdye for the interior borders with Sue C’s on pewter canvas and Sue R’s on mushroom canvas. Rosie selected her own colorway and is heading more towards purple than the pink she thought it would be.

Amy had to leave before the group photo was taken, but we didn’t let her escape without a photo. She had planned to stitch the original colorway but then she decided to experiment and chose this variation.

March - Amy Autumn Kaleidoscope

Isn’t it fascinating how the same design looks so different depending on threads and even canvas color?

Tina is also stitching Autumn Kaleidoscope in her own colorway as a “distance stitcher” now that she has moved out of our area. We are so happy that she is able to set aside time to stitch along with us. We will post a photo soon!

Dee will be stitching Autumn Kaleidoscope once she has finished a previous SOTM project. We’re glad she decided to complete this piece as it is absolutely stunning! This is Kurdy Biggs’ A Different View in the “Black” colorway.

March - A Different View

We’re looking forward to our next session in April!

Happy Stitching!

Woodlawn Report


At last I have a few moments to write about our trip to the 55th Annual Needlework Show & Sale at Woodlawn.  The last few days have been quite an adventure – no power until Monday morning, followed by a scheduled loss of power Monday night into Tuesday morning, and then yet another storm!

We drove down on Friday through the nor’easter that pummeled the East Coast.  It was slow going along the New Jersey and Delaware Turnpikes with pelting rain and, at time, some wet snow.  We finally caught a break in Maryland when the precipitation stopped but by then the winds had picked up and we were buffeted as we drove, particularly on the bridges.

We stopped in Falls Church for lunch at the Mad Fox Brewing Company.  They have quite a variety of sandwiches and salads, and Mr. M enjoyed the beer. And, it is only 15 minutes from Waste Knot Needlepoint in Arlington. I had emailed Lori, the owner, before our trip to get some threads I needed.  Of course, Mr. M managed to pick out two new canvases to add to the inventory!  So I now have Santa’s Workshop from CH Designs and Easter Bunny from Robbyn’s Nest Designs to add to my list.

Waste Knot Needlepoint has a wonderful inventory of canvases and threads, and they are always a pleasure to visit. The shop will be moving this month – their last day at the current location is March 17 and they are hoping to reopen at their new location on April 2. They will be just around the corner at 2100 N. Glebe Road in Arlington.  I’m already looking forward to visiting!

We arranged to meet Nora in Bethesda on Friday evening (she took the bus from Pittsburgh). I made a wrong turn heading from the hotel in Alexandria to Bethesda and had quite the time getting corrected. The Nav System didn’t know about the winds and all the downed trees/closed roads, so I had to keep diverting off the route. Usually we get to the drop-off location about 40 minutes early but the diversions resulted in us arriving at about the time the bus was due (7:15 pm). Wouldn’t you know – the bus was actually 30 minutes early! Fortunately the bus waited for all the students to meet their rides.

Saturday was clear but windy and chilly. Our first order of business was to head over to Woodlawn for the exhibit. This year there are a few local artisans set up in the reception area, which made for a nice entrance. There are about 410 entries this year (not 660 as I previously reported as the numbering started from 100 and not 1, and numbers were skipped). I found last year’s program and it looks like there were about 390 entries, so a slight increase.

As usual the pieces were outstanding. I think there are less samplers this year and more stumpwork, but that may just be how everything is displayed.  I was disappointed that all of our Feuilles d’Ananas arenot displayed together but that may be because two of the four are finished as pillows.  There are a few exhibitors from other areas who submitted the same piece with a completely different center! It would have been interesting to see all of the pieces together.

I was very pleased to see five of the 19 entries from NJNA earned awards! While we all know that NJNA is home to outstanding stitchers it is gratifying to know that the judges recognize our members’ skills.

In addition to the submitted pieces one can wander through “exhibits within the Exhibit”. One room contains absolutely stunning Japanese embroidery pieces, entitled “Exploring the Art of Japanese Embroidery”, which showcases pieces by Antonia Evans, an instructor from Silver Spring, and her students. I was awestruck by the beauty of these pieces.

A second exhibit entitled “Snakes & Ladders” includes embroidered photographs of Dawn Whitmore, a Virginia-based documentary photographer and visual artist. According to the program, the pieces are “a modern musing based on her fear of snakes.”

The third exhibit includes the works of Mary Duckworth, who was a longstanding member of Nelly’s Needlers as well as a designer, teacher, judge, and shop owner. Many of the pieces that she designed and stitched are exhibited along with some of the awards she received. Interestingly, one stitcher submitted two pieces based on a Mary Duckworth design for this year’s Exhibit. The exhibit includes the original piece as well as the later interpretations. Make sure you take a look at Mary’s Survival Kit!

I urge all of you to visit Woodlawn if you have the chance. There are so many wonderful stitchers who share their work. And, let’s continue to show NJNA’s support for this wonderful Exhibit.



Winter Retreat at Sturbridge


Hi Everyone —

This week, Sue C and I joined several other members of our chapter (Sue R, Janice, Ada, Jill) as well as friends from the local EGA chapter to attend Winter Escape sponsored by Stitcher’s Hideaway in Sturbridge Village, MA.

We drove to MA on Saturday.  On the way we stopped at the Enriched Stitch in Wilton, CT.  What a lovely shop!  I bought the following canvas with all threads and a stitch guide — won’t that be a lovely way to remember my upcoming vacation in Paris?  I’m happy to report that I was not the only person who did some serious damage on their credit card!

IMG_3210 (1)

The Publick House in Sturbridge offers us a lovely room for stitching.




Guess who I found lurking in the rafters above our stitching table?


We can stitch from early morning until about 9:30 PM.  Lunch is at noon and Dinner is at 5:00 — and there is more than ample food, including some glorious sticky buns!  Sue C won a door prize on the first day — a gift certificate to an online needlework store.


Janice finished her Kaleidoscope through February in a Chocolate and Cherries colorway.  Bravo!


I was able to finish Razzle Dazzle after several years of stitching at every SOTM meeting!


A great time is being had by all!




Another Kaleidoscope


Since I wasn’t able to make it on Saturday, I thought I’d post about my progress. I wasn’t able to do section 4 because I don’t have one of the threads yet, but I’ve finished the rest. I made a little change in section 5 — after stitching it according to the instructions, I decided that there was too much of the canvas color showing, so I added horizontal laid stitches in the Kreinik, tucking them under the already-stitched crosses. I’m glad I did — it looks better with less canvas showing, and the increased amount of orange actually tones down the turquoise of the crosses. You can’t tell that in the photo, but in person the color really did change.