Friday, March 11, 2011

Woodlawn 2011: Overall Impressions

This year's Woodlawn exhibit differed from past years' exhibits in that there were many fewer samplers than in the past, and more of those big Mirabilia ladies done in cross stitch than I've seen recently.  (If you don't follow XS, there is an example in the link below.)  When I first started going to the exhibit, these were everywhere but they have died out over the years only to start a comeback this season.

It seemed to me there was more beadwork and surface embroidery than I've seen recently.  A lot of the show was needlepoint although there were a few pieces of Japanese Embroidery and smocking and some crewel.  The needlepoint designs were both geometric counted canvaswork and painted canvases but there was a significant number of original designs, which makes me very happy indeed!

The counted canvaswork interested me because I saw no Susan Portra charts (for the second year in a row) and only a few Jean Hilton designs.  Instead, there were many more charted pieces designed by folks like Debbie Rowley, Laura Perin, Carole Lake, Ro Pace, Michael Boran, Orna Willis and others I couldn't immediately place.  It seems to me that counted canvaswork is having a renaissance.

The painted canvas pieces were predominately tent stitched.  There were some embellished pieces but not many.  Unlike last year, the majority of the tent stitch pieces seemed to me to have been stitched using the popular silk/wool blends, with some notable exceptions like the large rectangular fish pillow in the main parlor which was beautifully tent stitched in metallics for the fish and solid silk/wool for the seaweed background.

This year I didn't notice any color trends, but as usual, there are enough animal- and Christmas-themed items for them to have their own display rooms.  There were many floral designs and quite a few Asian-themed pieces (although perhaps not as many as in past years).  As usual there were a good number of Halloween pieces but I didn't notice much in the way of Easter rabbit or egg designs.

I was impressed by the number of junior pieces (under 18) this year.      But before I talk about some of the pieces I admired, let's take a break.  I'll be back later with the rest of my Woodlawn report.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at and at

More Thread Reviews

Since I've been talking about threads myself a lot lately, I thought I'd turn over the topic to Janet Perry who has several thread reviews on her website that you might be interested in.  The first article talks about the new Candy colors from Kreinik.

Dinky-Dyes has new colors for their silk threads and ribbons.  Because Dinky-Dyes is an Australian company and their threads perhaps not available in your local shop, the second link is to their website to do a little exploring.

Janet's final article is about ThreadworX threads and talks about their colorfastness and proper care if you plan to wash them or get your finished piece damp in blocking.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at and at