One of my favorite traditions is March (besides March Madness) is to spend a Sunday at Woodlawn, a national historic home in Alexandria, Virginia, with my wonderful friend, Julie Carter, marvelling at the skills of fellow needleworkers. Woodlawn was the home of Eleanor ("Nelly") Custis Lewis, wife of George Washington's nephew Major Lawrence Lewis and one of Amercia's foremost needleworks. The exhibition honors her legacy by maintaining the tradition of the needle arts and by raising funds to preserve her estate. The event is managed by Nelly's Needlers, a local volunteer organization that raises funds for the preservation of Woodlawn and are named for Mrs. Lewis.
The annual needlework exhibition includes fabulous entries from people all over the United States. There are a variety of categories and an array of awards given to entries after being judged by professionals from around the region. My mother regularly encourages me to submit an entry; I've always been much too intimidated to do so. Perhaps this year I can work on a piece with the specific thought of entering into next year's show. I always leave so inspired and ready to sew, sew, sew.
Because of restoration work underway at the plantation, this year's exhibition will not start until May 12 and end on June 10. So there's still time for YOU to finish your entry and submit it (in person or by mail)!! If you're in the Washington, D.C., area during this time, or live in the region, I hope you'll take the time to see some spectacular needlework and support the maintenance and restoration of a beautiful historic home. Find out all of the details at http://woodlawn1805.org/49th-annual-needlework-exhibition/.
Basketball game is over; time to take up my needle and sew!