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.

Northern Chintz Quilt Style

As some of you may recall, I’ve been researching whether there is a regional style of chintz applique. (If you want to re-read the previous blogs, here are the links to the first, second, third, and fourth blog.) After more research, I identified 20 quilts in the style, although the whereabouts are not always known. To see these quilts, please check out our Pinterest page at this link. Wherever possible we’ve included documentation about the quilt, but a few quilts in private collections are not included. Because of some written records, we know there are still additional quilts in this style out there. So, if you know about one of these quilts, please send me the information! We also identified more than 10 mixed album quilts which fit into this grouping by both style (chintz applique...

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Dye: Prussian Blue

Because we research indigo for our books and more, we tend to write about indigo, instead of Prussian Blue. However, as we continue to focus on dyes, it is important to include Prussian Blue, an extremely popular dye of the 18-19thth century. Prussian blue was “invented” in 1704 by Henrich Diesbach in a laboratory. I used quotations around the word “invent” because it was actually a mistake made when trying to create the red color of Florentine Lake. The inventors quickly retraced their steps to create one of the more popular blue pigment and dyes. Prussian blue was much easier to work with in textiles than indigo and could be used in a variety of printing processes. Sadly, it does turn brown if exposed to heat or in the presence of alkalis. So, one way to...

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To Dye: The Barks

In our last blog we briefly discussed quercitron (bark primarily from the Eastern Black Oak in the US) used in combination with cochineal. But quercitron was used on its own to create a color fast yellow. In the US local mills advertised the grinding of barks, which could be used for home dyeing or mulch. To see an 1844 ad about a Bark and Grist Mill follow this link.   In England the use of quercitron inspired a whole color scheme known as “drab style.” The 15 year patent for the dye ran out in 1799, which caused the drab style to be particularly fashionable in fabrics until 1807. Quercitron was used for block printed chintzs until about 1815.   Cedar and tanbark are two additional barks that are used for dyeing which creates a deep...

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To Die for Dye: Cochineal

When I give my program Red & Green Quilts for Xmas…NOT!, I usually don’t talk about cochineal. Instead, I tend to focus on Turkey red, a popular color fast dye in the 19th century. Shame on me! Here thousands of cochineal insects were literally dying to create a fabulous color red and I neglected to discuss. Cochineal is a dye that was and is still in use today. In fact, cochineal dyes are returning in popularity because they are natural, and water soluble yet resistant to degradation. In the 16th century the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire introduced cochineal to societies on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe there was no comparable color, the closest being crimson from the Kermes vermilio insect. Once the European market discovered carmine, the demand increased significantly. Even the Pope...

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Bird in a Basket

As many of you may be aware, I’ve tracked the Bird in a Basket fabric for some time. It has been printed as a toile, in different colorways, and sometimes as a pillar print. It was on my list to research at some point. Trust me when I say, there are way too many topics of interest for me to research in my lifetime. However, I was really interested in it because it was next on our list of potential antique fabrics to reproduce as a column chintz.   (Sidenote, we’d like to have an idea of who would be interested in a reproduction of this Bird in a Basket as a Pillar Print. If you are, please send me an email to Info@quiltandtextilecollections.com with the number of yards. If we have enough interest…we’ll reproduce it!)...

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