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.


“Scissor cuts or snips” in German is the art of paper cutting a design that frequently has a rotational symmetry. Many of us played with this art form as children creating snowflakes out of folded notebook paper. It was also commonly used for silhouettes, valentines, birth commemoratives, and artwork. The art form is more than 2,000 years old with the oldest surviving papercut found in China and dates to the 6th century. Papercutting came from China to Europe and by the 14th century had spread throughout the world. However, because the art form was brought to Colonial America by Swiss and German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania, the German terminology has dominated the art form in America. In America, the technique was used on more than paper, but also fabric. The technique appears to have been...

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Huguenot Spitalfields Silks

Many experts consider the Huguenots legacy textiles, specifically weaving. As the Huguenot refugees began fleeing the religious persecution in France in the late 1500s, their skills impacted textile industries in Netherlands, South Africa, Colonial America, to name a few and perhaps the best known…Spitalfields, England. Currently, there is an emphasis of cotton for quilts, but in earlier times, silk was more accessible for quilts. Spitalfields is a district in the East End of London, which was an area of fields and gardens until the streets were laid out for Irish and Huguenot silk weavers. The Huguenots hoped to avoid the restrictive legislation of the City Guilds, by living outside of the city. The Huguenots set up looms weaving in their homes with “weaver windows,” In 1638 Charles I established the Spitalfields Market initially to sell “flesh,...

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Dutch Textiles

This year the Triplett Sisters made the momentous decision to carry Dutch Heritage reproduction fabrics in our shop. There are extra challenges and expenses when carrying imported fabrics. However, Kay and I have always loved these fabrics from “first sight.” We appreciate the quality, the brilliant color, and the design which is true to 17th and 18th century fabrics in both scale and pattern. I have designed more quilts with these Dutch fabrics than I will ever be able to assemble. (Note: I will continue to try making all of them!) The Dutch have a long history of textile manufacture starting with wool and linen, with major textile production taking place in Leiden, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Delft, and Haarlem. In fact, the textile industry was so vibrant that linen merchants from other areas of Europe sent their...

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19th Century Bird Reproduction Fabric

As I continue to work on my quilt, Birds of Di Ford Hall, I’m continuing to explore reproduction fabric. However, in the world of fabric production that definition (a textile that is copied or reproduced with the appearance of an earlier time) can be a little deceiving. Once mass production of fabric printing began instead of hand painted, reproduction fabric followed quickly behind. We don’t always consider that reproductions fabric started almost as soon as the industrial production of fabric began, instead we tend to consider reproduction fabric as fabric “currently” being produced that mimics a different era whether civil war, 1930’s etc. It is also important to note that the reproduction fabric is rarely an exact copy, but instead may have different colors, scale, location, or background. Noting these differences can help define the period...

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The Birds!

No this is not a blog about the Hitchcock movie, “The Birds,” although that does provide another example of the use of birds in art. I jokingly say if the quilt has a bird on it, it is coming home with us. Whether the birds are pieced, applique or in the fabric design we are both drawn to birds. As I’m working on a quilt filled with birds, I was interested to think of Di Ford Hall’s design source. I started thinking about how many quilts I’ve made that have birds, either hand painted, part of the fabric or appliqued. (I haven’t pieced a bird in a quilt yet, although I have designed several paper pieced birds. That quilt is still in the design stage.) Even the earliest civilizations used birds in their art whether carved...

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