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.

Quilt Sales in Philadelphia

I promise we will continue to share our BAQs research, however it seems appropriate to show how some of these research topics related to Philadelphia and the inscribed applique quilts that were appearing in that region in the mid-nineteenth century. Philadelphia was one of the oldest cities in the nation and was in the forefront of pivotal events that shaped our country. Would it prove to be in the forefront of quilting as well? In the instance of businesses selling BAQs in Baltimore, we see pawnbrokers and auction houses advertising selling quilts as early as 1843. (Here is a link to the blog article about businesses selling BAQs) In Philadelphia, we see the sales by pawnbrokers and auction houses advertising quilts as early as 1837…more than 5 years earlier. In his ad, G. W. Smith, a...

Continue reading

BAQ's: Borders

Although we are still gathering photos for our Pinterest page to help us learn more about the Baltimore Album Quilts, it has become apparent that there are quilts with matching borders. In fact, I’ve identified five groups with five or more quilts in the group. Several of the borders are very distinctive, complicated borders that would be difficult and require a lot of time to do one side, let alone four sides. Is this a sign of a professional quilter, a workshop, a church group of ladies working together or simply a pattern being replicated? Does it mean the professional quilter made the whole quilt, or just added borders to a friendship quilt made at a quilting frolic? The rose border, (which has sometimes been credited to Mary Evans because of the style of rose) matches...

Continue reading

BAQ Makers: Ruth Sanks

As we continue to explore the makers and sellers of BAQs, besides dressmakers and seamstresses, milliners were another group to explore. We already noted Mary Chase ran ads in the newspaper for selling "album squares." (Here is the link to read more.) Which made us wonder if there were other milliners that made and/or sold BAQs? Miss Ruth Sanks was a milliner located at 47 Baltimore Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore was originally known as Market Street and was a main drag for businesses in Baltimore. She also came to my attention because Mrs. Susan Brice's maiden name was also Sanks. So far, we haven't found a relationship between the two women. (Here is the link to read more about the Brice Workshop.) Ruth Sanks was listed as a milliner in several Baltimore Business directories during...

Continue reading

Baltimore Businesses selling BAQs

The five stolen Baltimore Album Quilts in the last blog article were likely not recovered, since there was no subsequent article about a thief being arrested or the quilts being found. (To read previous articles on BAQS, use this link.) What did the thief do with the quilts? Perhaps what many thieves do to get cash from their ill-gotten gains…they sold to a pawnbroker. A Baltimore Sun January 19, 1848 article notes that “Jane Brown, indicted for the larceny of a quilt, the property of Levi Benjamin.” Jane Brown entered Mr. Benjamin’s store, stashed the quilt under her shawl and walked out. On being pursued the quilt was still found on her and consequently she was found guilty and served two years in the penitentiary. The quilt was not described, but it had to have been...

Continue reading

BAQ Makers: Brice Workshop

On December 22, 1848 The Baltimore Sun carried an article about stolen “five fancy bed quilts, some of which were of the most elegant styles of needle-work, being profusely adorned with mathematical figures, squares, histrionic [sic] representations, etc.” The theft took place in the yard of her residence on West Saratoga Street. Proof of the theft is shown because Officers Brice and Small arrested two on suspicion of theft, Matilda Howard and Williams Collins. Unfortunately, the case was dismissed because of lack of evidence. The paper went onto state that the “quilts were really splendid specimens of work, one hundred and fifty dollars having been offered for them and refused.” If we adjusted the price of $150 in 1845 it is equivalent in purchasing power to approximately $6,059.72 today. Definitely not your run of the mill...

Continue reading