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 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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

Baltimore Album Quilts: Makers

As we discussed in our last blog, there were many reasons why these more than 300 BAQs were made. The reason they were made also provides some hints to the makers, whether a church group, and family honoring a member, or neighborhood. However, it seems likely that there were also professional seamstresses working on and selling these blocks and/or quilts. William Rush Dunton in the book Old Quilts, was the first to study and publish about the Baltimore Album Quilts. Arthur Evans Bramble brought to Dunton’s attention 7 Baltimore Album Quilt blocks that Bramble said were the work of his great aunt, Mary Evans. These seven blocks were used to make up a diagnosis of the Mary Evans style (baskets, inked details, triple bow knots, white roses, rainbow fabrics etc.) Mary Evans name was not found...

Continue reading

Baltimore Album Quilts: Creation

In recent conversations about the blog, it was suggested that it might be helpful to be aware of the many reasons why the quilts were created. It isn’t as straightforward as you might have thought. We need to look at the clues found in “album” quilts, a quilt containing squares of appliqued designs or images. The reason for the quilt is sometimes included in the imagery of the quilt, such as an autograph book, letting you know this was created to collect autographs. In the 1820s autograph books were found in homes, where the guests could sign their name along with inspirational messages. The fad was transferred to quilts using stitching first, then in the thirties as indelible ink was more commonly available, it made the inscribed fad even easier for quilts. (Inscribed is a safe...

Continue reading

BAQ: Fountain Block Variations

Last blog, I mentioned there were variations on the Mary Ann O’laughlen style Fountain Block. However, that is not to say that these variations were temperance blocks, perhaps simply offering a variety of options with a wider appeal. (Kay and I had decided to research each block of the BAQ’s in the collection to see what information could be gleaned.) One variation is the flower in place of the fountain as found in the Alice A Ryder quilt c. 1847. Apparently, it was a good year for the fountain block with that date associated with the lone Temperance Block, Oram BAQ, Herget BAQ all having an 1847 date associated with it. (Here is the link to see these quilts.) Two of the BAQ’s with these blocks don’t have a specific date, and the Pettecord quilt has...

Continue reading