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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Now showing @ the library: quilts

The quilt on the left and the quilt on the right are mine. The photo shows a part of the display at the Downers Grove Public Library. (ZBPL hosted the quilt exhibit in December.)

Google Alerts picked up this story, with the photo.
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by Annemarie Mannion / published in the Chicago Tribune on January 15, 2015.
(c) Annemarie Mannion/Chicago Tribune.

An exhibit of 20 quilts at the Downers Grove Public Library shows a different side of librarians.

"I think people might like to know that librarians have other interests, some of them very artistic," said Jo Mortland,.a retired librarian from the Ronald Williams Library at Northeastern Illinois University.

She and another librarian and avid quilter, Iva Freeman, who works part-time at the Glenview Public Library, came up with the idea to create a traveling quilt show that would only be displayed in libraries. The exhibit, which runs through Jan. 30, features eight quilters, all librarians.

The two hatched the idea after meeting at a workshop where they discovered their shared interest in quilting. Freeman knew of other librarians who also quilted as a hobby and who were interested in showing off their works. They decided participants must currently or previously affiliated with a library.

Melody Danley, staff artist at the Downers Grove library, who oversees exhibits, agrees that patrons appreciate knowing a little more about their local librarians.

"I think it's really nice in any workplace when you get to see another side of colleagues," she said. "It's a cool thing to expand your knowledge of that person and have fun."

Mortland, who organized rotating exhibits at the Ronald Williams library, said people also seem to enjoy viewing a bright, tactile display – particularly this time of year.

"We have found that libraries love the fiber art shows - so tactile, and so colorful, especially in winter," she said.

In addition to the Ronald Williams and Glenview libraries, the libraries represented in the exhibit are the Zion-Benton Public Library . the St. Joseph Hospital Medical Library in Chicago, and the Indian Trails Public Library.


  1. Cool idea. Here a local guild puts quilts in our library. Back when I was president of that guild some questioned why we were doing that. Now that I'm a card-holder at that library, I can appreciate the effort. Some months it's variety by a single maker; other months it's the same pattern interpreted by different quilters. I think I'll do a monthly post on the library quilts .....

  2. Wheee! Your quilts look terrific, and I see that your twister is also dotty! Our local independent library also does quilt displays.

  3. Nifty article. My guild meets in our local library and we hang one quilt a month there. Nice that our quilts can be viewed as we don't do a show.


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