Time to go upstairs. On the way up the stairs there is an abbreviated Halloween display. I say abbreviated because there are usually more Halloween pieces. In the hall upstairs you will find a demonstrator. And there may be a counterpart downstairs in the central hall. This year I saw canvas work, bobbin lace, Japanese embroidery, I did miniatures, and I forget what else I saw. There are a few more Halloween pieces hanging on the walls here. Including one terrific original canvas work piece by Jeff Kulick, a marketing professor at GMU. Love this one. Colors are outstanding, IMHO.
The demonstrators are out in the hallway because the linen room contains the geometric framed canvas work. First place went to a Jean Hilton piece, "Lansing," stitched in what I believe is the original colorway. Kind of pastel. Not my taste in colors, but the piece is well-stitched. Sara Leigh also has a second place ribbon here for another Jean Hilton piece, "Turnberry Ridge," stitched in her own colorway. Pretty, pretty colors and the framing compliments it nicely. There are two versions of "Pieces of Eight" in here and a pillow version in a nearby bedchamber. There's a canvas piece with an apple stitched by a 93 year old man. Bravo. The third new display case is in this room with the beading.
The Christmas room is, well, the Christmas room. As always filled with santas, snowmen, stockings, and ornaments.
The bedchamber opposite the Christmas room has some spectacular smocking and a lovely hardanger christening gown. Plus a first place in Computer Aided Design by my friend Marge. This is a cross stitched piece of her grandson Felix and she used something like 150 colors on it. Don't forget to check out "The Princess and the Pea" blackwork.
Next bedchamber with the lovely Martha Washington sewing stand and the free standing pincushion, has a mix of pieces. Pillows, a bra bag sewing case, a beaded bodice, traditional needlepoint, a quilted piece, a cross stitched afghan.
And finally, my favorite room - the Critter room. Again a mix of techniques. There are a few spectacular pieces in here, including two stumpwork pieces. There's a bird that's an adaptation which looks like it could fly away. And another piece that reflects the stitcher's state of New Jersey with the state bird, flower, tree, shell, etc. Nice original stumpwork. This room also has a pretty original cross stitch piece that would drive Anna nuts. It was stitched by a former shop owner/framer and she embellished her frame with clay hieroglyphics, a nice touch as the piece is about cats and Egypt. The problem lies with adding an apostrophe to the plural of cats. In two places. Other than that, I applaud the piece for its color sense and design balance. There are two Charlie Harper needlepoint pieces in here that I love. And a springer spaniel that is exquisite.
So what did I vote for for People's Choice? Jeff Kulick's original canvas. I am a sucker for Halloween. What can I say?
Please excuse typos, etc. No time for proofreading.