The needlework artist who fabricated the Martha's Vineyard chair appearing in the Woodlawn Plantation exhibit was incorrectly identified in last Sunday's Living section. She is Nathalie Seltman of Arlington, Va.
FINE NEEDLEWORK has become the nation's favorite accomplishment, to judge by the 1,506 entries from 36 states and five foreign countries in Woodlawn Plantation's 18th annual exhibition.
The historic mansion today is piled full of the 500 award-winners: pictures, pillows, quilts, Christmas stockings, miniature houses, pocketbooks, tablecloths, banners, wall hangings, needlepoint furniture upholstery and some things not always easy to identify.
Woodlawn can't claim sole credit for the revival of needlework, but it is certain that the show, the largest in the country, has been a factor.
This year, according to Margaret Davis, who organizes the show, needlepainting, or needlework pictures, was the biggest category. Pillows seemed to be the next most popular. In techniques, counted-thread stitchery, a kind of cross stitch usually done on linen, was popular, with needlepoint coming close behind. More men entered this year than usual. But the number of quilts was not any higher.
Lawrence Kane, executive editor of Family Circle magazine, a judge, said he thought it was the finest needlework show he'd seen, and the winning picture exceptional.
The quality of the work this year was remarkably high, according to Erica Wilson, the needlework writer and another judge.
Most of the patterns were realistic. The techniques were largely traditional. There was little experimentation in design or method.
Tiny houses, full of miniature needlework rugs, pillows, pictures and upholstery, by Hyla Hurley of Rosslyn, are the most imaginative entries. One is a greenhouse, full of miniature sun furniture.
The best-in-show work is by a 23-year-old picture framer, Roger Hall of Arlington, Mass. It shows a woman in a large hat (made with a turkey stitch, clipped and brushed) and a high, lace neck.
Several works are made by groups. One is the splendid quilt by the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Ladies Guild of Springfield, Va. Each section has a different applique picture, some commemorative, some showing various church buildings, one a window.
A child's quilt of funny animals, all looking plump and sublimely satisfied, as though they'd just eaten their enemy, was made by Ardith Kramer of Alexandria.
Genny Slaughter of Richmond, Va., a grand-prize winner last year, made a handsome pocketbook this year.
Also on view are works by celebrities, including Barbara Bush, the wife of the vice president, Journalist Sally Quinn and several professional needleworkers, including the judges: Kane, Wilson, Hope Hanley, Doris Bowman, and Carter Houck. Christine Meadows, Mount Vernon curator, was also a judge.
The exhibit continues through next Sunday.
Woodlawn was the home originally of Eleanor Custis Lewis, who learned needlework from her grandmother, Martha Washington. Her birthday will be celebrated on March 26 with 50-cents off the admission price: $3.50 for adults and $1.25 for children. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. People in wheelchairs will be especially welcome from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday if they call ahead.
Woodlawn is at the intersection of U.S. 1 and state highway 235 South, three miles west of Mount Vernon.