Category Archives: Exhibits

Woodlawn

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John and I took a trip  to Woodlawn last weekend to see the Needlework Exhibit and visit some of the Smithsonian museums.  We drove down Saturday afternoon and stopped outside Annapolis at a wonderful Thai restaurant, Lemon Too, for dinner.  We then went on to Arlington to our hotel.  Sunday morning we went into DC to the Smithsonian Castle, which is the original Smithsonian building.  We took the tour to learn about the origin of the Smithsonian – who knew the benefactor had never come to this country and willed his estate to create a knowledge center in Washington, DC should his nephew have no offspring.  The last of the cherry blossoms were visible on the Independence St. side of the Smithsonian castle.

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After a tour of the first floor of the castle, we spent some time at the Air & Space Museum before venturing back to Woodlawn for lunch sponsored by Nelly’s Needlers.  As usual, their lunch was delicious, including the chocolate cake, and I am always happy to give them a nice donation as the ladies work very hard to put on the lunch.

We then viewed the exhibit several times.  John was amazed that every time he walked into a room, he saw something he’d missed the times before.  As others have said, I was disappointed all the SOTM were not together.  Linda’s was displayed near another with a similar colorway (some of the colors were slightly different) and it was interesting to compare them and how the finishing changed them.  I almost missed the one Stars on exhibit, since as you can see the stitcher added an extra border.  Apparently, there was a group doing Stars that didn’t like the “non-square” design so someone told them to add another border to square it up.  It was interesting to hear John’s comments on the piece since he was familiar with mine.  I think this is another instance where the choice of colors impacts what viewers see.

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There were a lot fewer pieces this year at the exhibit.  Apparently a finisher who usually showed her clients’ pieces as part of her finishing service stopped doing so a few years back when the cost to exhibit was raised.  I was also told that many of the stores that usually bring pieces from their clients did not do so this year although it wasn’t clear why.  It is even more important that NJNA continue to support this exhibit or it will cease to exist.

I met several people who were part of the local ANG groups, including “the other Barbara L” and spent a lot of time chatting with them.  It is fun to discover camaraderie due to our common passion!  There were also 2 people demonstrating Japanese goldwork, which was very interesting; although I really don’t need more projects!  We finished day off with a wonderful seafood dinner at The Wharf in Olde Towne Alexandria.

Monday we visited the Pope-Leighy house also on the grounds at Woodlawn although it was moved there when Rt. 66 I think was put in and it had to be moved.  This is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house during his USONAian period.  We had a delightful, well-informed tour guide who spent over an hour with us.  Having viewed Wright’s house outside Chicago, it was interesting to compare this one.  I’m hoping we’ll get to Falling Water later this year for still another comparison!  Both Woodlawn and Pope-Leighy house are owned by the National Trust – very different houses located together.

We then began our journey home stopping at Fort McHenry for a short visit to another National Park.  Unfortunately since we were there Saturday evening through Monday, none of the local needlepoint shops were open.  Possibly, I’ll have time to stop when we drive down to pick up the NJNA exhibited pieces.

While the exhibit is over for this year, I encourage our NJNA members to think about exhibiting next year as well as visiting the exhibit.  It is a wonderful opportunity to see many types of needlework displayed.

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Woodlawn Report

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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.

 

 

Metropolitan Region, EGA, “Stitched Art” exhibit

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“Stitched Art” is the exhibit being held at the gallery in Annunciation Hall at the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, NJ, from Saturday, June 18 through the following Sunday, June 26, from 10-4 daily. The exhibit is open on Thursday until 8:00 p.m. and will close the last Sunday at 3:00. The college has easy access off both I287 and highway 24. The college address is 2 Convent Road, Morristown, NJ. You can find directions to the college on their website under the heading “About”. When you arrive on the campus, you will see “Event” signs directing you to the building.

I was there this morning to see the display of almost 70 pieces of all sorts of needlework, all exquisitely done. You will see that some are originals, some adaptations and some give you the name and designer of the piece as well as the stitcher’s name. The gallery is well lit with outside light as well as spotlights highlighting the pieces. Here is an overview of two walls of the exhibit. The admission is free.

 

For those of you who knit or do any form of hand work, there are table set up in the large, well lit hall outside the gallery (with outlets for your lights if it s a dull day) if you would like to make a day of it. Come, see the exhibit, stitch for awhile and go out to lunch. We have both Discovery maps showing Morristown, Madison and Chatham, as well as a listing of some local restaurants.

Hope to see you there in the coming week. It is well worth a visit!

 

Woodlawn!

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I am very excited that for the first time ever I have two pieces of my work entered in an exhibition. I was encouraged by my fellow ANG chapter members to submit an entry to the Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition and Sale. So I dove in and sent two pieces down to the exhibit with Linda M and Mr. M.

There was no doubt I would go and look at all the needlework since I have a good friend who lives in the area. Of course the only time our schedules aligned, was for opening day. So off I went. It was a beautiful, but blustery day and I had the best time ever!

Upon my arrival the day before, I met with the “other” Barbara L. for lunch and a visit to Waste Knot in Arlington. We had fun getting to know each other better and of course shopping. The shop was quite nice. They had some threads I hadn’t seen before. It was quite funny that our respective husbands reminded us not to mix up the credit cards. 😀

The next day, I set off for Woodlawn. As one pulls up the drive, the mansion looks quite majestic.

Of course once I got inside, there was the usual confusion in regard to the “other” Barbara L. There was only one Barbara L listed in the program, so I had to explain there were two of us when I checked in. That Barbara lives near Woodlawn, so she has been involved with the exhibit for many years.

So, now I was inside the exhibit and there was such eye candy! The work across all media was really breathtaking. I saw cross stitch pictures that looked like photographs and stump work that had incredible detail. The gold work was amazing. I did find amusement that the morning guides were from the local garden club and I did a bit more explaining to them than the other way around. Yet, they were quite charming and lovely to chat with. They did explain some interesting things about one or two of the pieces in each room. One thing they did explain was that the ribbons had not yet arrived. So, on the name tags, the entries that won ribbons had different colored dots, indicating their place. Of course I couldn’t tell what the different categories were. I also over heard that people who had entries could have the guides get a docent and then they could take a photograph of their own entry.

You know I was really there to see the needlepoint, dot or not. I loved it! There is a lot of talent out there. Finally, I hit the dining room and there was my hydrangea piece hanging on the wall. I was excited!

Now, I started to look for the chapter display in earnest. It was no where to be found on the ground floor. I went upstairs and I still didn’t see them. Finally I went into a bright sunny room that had no furniture, but a whole uninterrupted wall for display. There they were! I also saw my second piece, which was a Tony geometric counted piece. However, I quickly looked away because I noticed Mary D’s piece ( I believe it is her Frankie piece) had a red dot on it! I was so excited for her. I quickly tagged the guide to find out what she had won and it is a second place. Sorry that I don’t know the category. Congratulations Mary! At any rate, I began to look at the wall in earnest and it was then that I noticed that my name tag had a red dot also. I kept looking back to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. What great positive reinforcement for a first time exhibitor! I also noted with amusement that the “other” Barbara L. had a piece on the same wall. Thankfully, the two pieces were labeled correctly. I took one last look around and then I was off to In Stitches.

I had a very nice visit there and bought a few notions. I found a reproduction magnet with an embroiderer on it.

Keeping with the historic theme, I decided to visit Washington’s mansion at Mt Vernon. I think the last time I was there, I was about ten. Needless to say, the park service has made vast improvements. No photographs allowed inside, but here is a panoramic view of the Potomac.

For you knitting and weaving enthusiasts, here are some photos of the spinning room, which is an outer building.

Of course no day would be complete for me without a stop at a local yarn shop. I went to Fibre Space in Old Town Alexandria. What luscious yarn, some of which is locally dyed. However, I was able to stay on my yarn diet by focusing more on notions. They had a new needle that I had never seen before. It looks like a boomerang and is used in place of double point needles. Really interesting.

So my fun day came to an end. I felt really happy and satisfied. I encourage all of you, if you can, to go south and take a visit to Woodlawn.

Woodlawn Needlepoint Exhibit – The Delivery

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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.

Woodlawn Registration

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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.

Woodlawn logoFor 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.