Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Lori Lee Triplett, Business Manager for Quilt and Textile Collections, has successfully combined a variety of passions which include research, writing, and performing into the quilt world. As a lecturer and instructor she brings her experience from stage, screen, and radio to make the presentations fun yet educational. She enjoys presenting at local quilt guilds, but also presents at national conferences and has made appearances internationally.

Peru: Indigo

The story of indigo has a long history, parts which aren’t always acknowledged. India and Japan have long been acknowledged for their contributions to cultivation and use of indigo. Kay and I tried to shed light on the African contribution to the story of indigo in our book Indigo Quilts from the Poos Collection. If you aren’t familiar with this book, here is a link to learn more. Now it is time to add Peru to the story or perhaps it would be more accurate to say “add it back into” the story of indigo. Archaeologists at the Huaca Prieta ceremonial mound site have uncovered scraps of indigo dyed fabric. These multiple scraps of fabric are believed to be about 6,200 years old and place a new date on indigo used on still intact fabric. Prior...

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Military Textiles Update

A couple of times after I’ve given the Early American Military Textiles presentation, I’ve had someone mention to me another potential textile to include. I’m always happy to add to the research and log of textiles. After the blog series, I was contacted by Ragi Marino to see if I was aware of a “soldier’s blanket” at the Texas Civil War Museum.   Ragi re-created the textile as an AQSG Study Quilt. This interesting quilt is another reminder of why quilts made of military textiles are not always recognized as such. Uniforms weren’t standardized, with soldiers wearing what they had. In the War of 1812, well past American infancy, soldiers were still wearing military garb from other countries with updated buttons and insignias.  In the case of this “blanket” the fabrics were from a later version...

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At the Houston Quilt Festival this year there was a grouping of quilts called Tactile Architecture which had several unique approaches to the theme. It made me ponder the use of architecture in quilts. Certainly, we see the use of buildings in the Baltimore Album Quilts using applique to create the buildings. In fact, it was sometimes the buildings which helped trace the quilt's origins.   The Tristan Quilt, also known as the Guicciardini Quilt is one of the earliest surviving quilts and re-creates scenes from the story of Tristan and Isolde. It tells the tragic story of two doomed lovers through a wholecloth quilt using trapunto to depict scenes from the tale, including a castle. Therefore the presence of architecture can be traced down through quilting history.   The techniques used to create the buildings...

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For the Love of Applique

Applique is fabric applied or "laid on" to a background fabric. The technique has been around for centuries and used on clothing, tents, animal blankets and other everyday items. One of the older surviving examples of applique is an Egyptian canopy quilt from 980. B.C. Different cultures developed different uses for applique and in the US the development of a “quilt culture” supported a long history of applique. The applique quilt is usually “designed” as opposed to leftover scraps pieced together randomly. Applique quilts can be made of a repeated block or an album with a variety of different block patterns. An applique quilt may even be used to tell a story with different blocks having symbols or representing a family history. The rise of the Baltimore Album Quilt solidified the art form in the US...

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Too Many Birds…NOT!

My love of birds is well established. In fact, at a recent professional retreat where several of us were working on the Triplett Sisters Wedding Album Quilt, I discussed making a few changes to make the quilt tell my story better. One of the other pros said, “so are you adding more birds?” The Houston Quilt Festival had lots of birds for my eyes to enjoy.  However, I saw several quilts that even expanded the use of birds in unique ways, such as focusing on a feather. Another focused on the habitat for the birds, a hedgerow.  I loved the different examinations of the wonderful theme of birds. Clearly there are many techniques that can be used to create birds. Also, many ways to explore the presence of birds in the world within your quilt. Are...

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