Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The quilts of Addie Mangoian Davis

This weekend we had some beautiful weather to enjoy so hubby and I drove up to Highland Park to see this exhibit.  Highland Park's about 60 miles due north of us and to get there we had to drive the length of Chicago--through the city which is something we rarely do. When we got to Highland Park, it was very crowded--they were having a festival. A helpful policeman directed us around the festivities and on to a quieter area of town, only a couple of blocks away, where the Highland Park Historical Museum is. And we found a parking spot right in front!

The exhibit isn't huge, but it was well worth the drive.  For the $5 entry fee, we got to watch a taped interview with Ms Davis, tour the house and the displays, and received a brochure with discounts at local shops and restaurants.

The display was primarily the work of Ms Davis. There are a couple of traditional quilts, some very Victorian looking crazy quilts, but most of Ms Davis's quilts are more collages. They are very creative and use all sorts of interesting embellishments. She uses traditional cigar and cigarette silks, seam embellishment, buttons, and embroideries but also embroidered patches, lace doilies and hankys, vintage pins an jewelry, appliques and just about anything you can attach to fabric!

The overall effect, though, is well thought out, balanced and charming.
Each time I walked by a quilt, I saw something new. 

One surprise for me is the exquisite traditional-looking Native American beading she did. Several pieces and garments were on display.

The exhibit is accompanied by an exhibit of crochet doilies and antique crochet books and tools. A small gift shop has some lovely books, hand made needlebooks and ribbon roses, a selection of quilting supplies, fabrics and beads.  The beads were from Chelsea Beads, also in Highland Park.

We drove back down Route 41. We hadn't taken it for at least ten years and they had changed the way the route ran quite a bit. Our memory had it running much closer to Lake Michigan and coming into Lake Shore Drive at the beginning. Most of the time on the new route we were a couple of miles inland and joined up with the Drive much further south than we expected. This way was less congested and we drove through interesting neighborhoods along the way.

This exhibit is conjunction with the Northern Illinois Quilt Fest. If you're in the area, this exhibit, wihch runs through September 30th, is well worth a visit.

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