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.

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...

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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...

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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...

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BAQ Quilting Frolic

There are more than 500 references to quilting frolics in US newspapers during the 19th century. Both men and women could participate in the quilting parties. Sue Reich deserves credit for bringing the frolic name to our attention in her book on signature quilts. According to Dr. William Dunton, in 1845 Mrs. Henry Richmond (who lived at Eutaw Street north of Biddle) gave an album block party. Or it may have been friends of hers decided to give her an album block party. The Richmond frolics resulted in two beautiful album quilts, the second one dated 1846, and a framed block. As I was considering a recent invitation to a quilting party which we were calling a frolic, I wondered about how the ladies back then handled getting supplies. In mid-19th century Baltimore, you might stop...

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Baltimore Album Makers: Williams/O’Laughlin

In her book Lavish Legacies, Jennifer Goldsborough tells us of Hannah Trimble’s diary which mentions that “Aunt S, and myself went to Mrs. Williams in Exeter St. to see a quilt which was being exhibited and intended for Dr. Mackenzie as a tribute of gratitude for his father’s services.” Hannah goes on to describe the quilt in detail, noting the exquisite needlework. Mrs. Williams was listed in multiple business directories (Machette, Woods) although usually not with the type of business listed. Goldsborough believed that Mrs. Williams was exhibiting and making quilts from her Exeter address. A second BAQ the Samuel Williams quilt was also likely created with Maria Williams being the “organizing force” in the making of her husband’s quilt according to Debby Cooney in an essay written for the Baltimore Applique Society. In fact, members...

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