Sunday, August 5, 2012

An exhibit worth seeing

If you live anywhere near Chicago, I highly recommend the free exhibit at the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery in the Thompson Center downtown. The exhibit is called "Civil War Era Quilts."

I was able to take a few pictures without flash. These are the ones that spoke to me the most. All pieced ones because that is my thing, but there were some beautiful applique ones there too.

Double Irish Chain, c. 1862
maker unknown
 The blue in the small squares is from the same print, which was also used in the narrow border. I wonder if the lighter fabric in this quilt was once a darker blue that has faded. Was it once a two-color quilt? The Baptist fan quilting was fantastic. Hope you can see it in the detail show below.

Sorry, I didn't get the details on the maker.
I liked this one because the points were well chopped off in many places. It made me smile. I could relate to this quilter! A great looking quilt despite imperfections.

Dutch Rose Variation, c. 1855
made by Sarah C. (Vaughan) Black, 1834-1914
 Loved the colors and the design of this one. As you study it, you can see the careful color placement. The center stars alternate dark blue and pinkish star points, and in the outer circle pinkish points radiate from the center ones. The green parts looked like they were appliqued. The quilting is also amazing!

Broken Wheel Variation, 1855-1862
Made by Mary Elizabeth Byrod (Fortenbaugh), 1838-1929
This one I liked because it looked complicated, but really wasn't. In person you could see that the block is a nine-patch arrangement on point with square-in-a-square blocks in the corners, two rectangles in the outer middle positions, and white in the center. That's not so hard! I also like the way the whole thing is framed in half-square triangles.
You can see more pictures and read more about the exhibit in this post on Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog and in this post from another blog I follow. The exhibit runs through Sept. 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays except state holidays.