Mr. M was a godsend for dealing with the delivery of the pieces you all entrusted to us. On Wednesday we examined each piece to make sure it was packed and secured. Fortunately, many of the pieces were the same size so he made a few stacks and fastened bungee cords around them so that they would not all slide around the trunk of the car. I don’t think anything shifted during our trip!
Mr. M and I traveled down to Alexandria on Friday night. While the trip is not difficult, I had forgotten how horrible DC traffic can be. I always hate driving at night in an area that is unfamiliar and dealing with the traffic just made it worse. However, we arrived safely at our destination in Old Town Alexandria, a little tired and a bit hungry.
Saturday was every bit as cold in Alexandria as it was reported here. Sue C had contacted this year’s organizer, Christy, who gave me an appointment at 9:00 a.m., before the general public was scheduled to start registering pieces. We arrived promptly at 9:00 and were happy to be inside, out of the cold and wind. The ladies working that day were very well-organized so registration was a breeze. It was especially nice to have Mr. M unpacking the pieces while I dealt with the paperwork.
NJNA was remembered from last year – and everyone was thrilled that we had another class piece to exhibit again this year. Several of the women mentioned how fascinating last year’s display (Michael Boren’s Frankie) turned out with all the different color combinations. They are planning to show our A Different View from Kurdy Biggs as a single display again this year, barring any logistical problems. All of the pieces were well-admired and it was so nice to be able to comment on techniques with an appreciative audience. The ladies were so efficient the process took less than 40 minutes! And it didn’t hurt that Mr. M was quietly folding all the bubble wrap while I was otherwise occupied.
In all we have 13 pieces in the Exhibit this year, representing the work of nine of our members. I have the complimentary tickets for each of our exhibitors, and will bring them to our monthly meeting on Wednesday.
Once we finished our mission, we headed back to the hotel, dropped off the car, and hopped onto the Metro for a trip into DC for a leisurely lunch and an afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum, which share a building. While perhaps not as well-known as some of the other museums in DC, both are among our favorite museums. It is truly amazing to walk around the gallery that displays the portraits of all the U.S. Presidents.
For those of you who have not been to Woodlawn and the Pope-Leighey House, it is well worth a visit. Woodlawn was the home of Eleanor “Nelly” Parke Custis Lewis, a granddaughter of Martha Washington. Nelly was renowned for her needlework, a skill she learned from her grandmother. The Washingtons gave the land upon which Woodlawn was built to Nelly and her husband Lawrence Lewis, a nephew of President Washington, as a wedding gift. Woodlawn was designed by Dr. William Thornton, the architect of the U.S. Capitol.
The Pope-Leighey House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for journalist Loren Pope and his wife Charlotte Pope. It was originally located in Falls Church, Virginia, and has been relocated twice. It is built on Wright’s Usonian model of well-designed space for middle-income families. Both homes are now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The exhibit (officially, the 53rd Annual Needlework Exhibition and Sale) is March 2 through March 31. The show hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. The exhibit is organized by Nelly’s Needlers, a volunteer organization that raises funds to preserve Woodlawn. This is a wonderful opportunity to view some incredible needlework. The members of Nelly’s Needlers do a tremendous job of displaying the hundreds of needlework pieces submitted for this exhibit – using every square inch of the home for gorgeous displays. Last year was my first visit to the exhibit and I was hugely impressed with the works of fellow stitchers. We are planning to attend again this year.