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.

How to do Research

Right now, my world is being dominated by research which I enjoy. Research is the underpinning of those interested in antique quilts and quilt history. Of course, you can simply admire the beauty of the quilt, the artistry of the quilter, and the amazing fabric used in the quilt. However, if the quilt includes a name…look out we’re off to do research, especially if it is a signature quilt with lots of names.   Genealogy websites are very useful tools in this instance. The most frequently used site for this type of research is Ancestry.com, which is great for historical records, but don’t forget MyHeritage which has a global database, or LegacyTree if you want to hire a genealogist. Your local library may have free access to these databases as well as other sources to consider....

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Exciting Events!

Although most of the time we keep the focus of the blog on actual textiles, a couple of times a year, we try to update you on what is coming up in the Triplett Sisters world. You should always feel free to check “Upcoming Events” on the bottom of our website home page. We try to keep events listed for several months ahead there. So, be sure to check the listing out and meet up with us at one of those events. The first event listed is the Pioneer Quilts Exhibition starting this month June 26 at the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum at 75 Church St, Altenburg, MO. (Anyone feel like a road trip?) This exhibit features the Poos Collection quilts from the book Pioneer Quilts: Prairie Settlers Life in Fabric. Esther Heinzman will be...

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Ooh là là, Chintz!

The second part of the Quilt History Retreat focused on Chintz; a longtime favorite of the Triplett Sisters. Well, not just the Triplett Sisters, who doesn’t love Chintz? (Okay, I do understand that there are some people that don’t like chintz, but given that fabrics beauty, it is really hard for me to comprehend.)   Chintz first made its way to Europe in 1498, when a Portuguese explorer named Vasco da Gama returned with the fabric from India. Shortly thereafter the popularity of the imported fabric led to a decline in profits of the French fabric and therefore it was banned in 1698. Which of course meant traders or smugglers continued to bring it into the country anyway.   In 1734, a French officer M. de Beaulieu sent home letters and actual samples of chintz fabric...

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C’est magnifique…oh là là!

After more than 2 years because of Covid cancellations, the annual Zieber Quilt History Retreat was finally able to meet again. This year the theme was Viva La France, with guest speaker Sandy Sutton and her textiles. Besides being an avid textile and quilt collector, her son lives in the Alsace region of France, which means she has lots of opportunities to acquire the textiles there. We started the retreat with an examination of "Toile de Jouy" or cloth from Jouy-en-Josas a town/suburb SW of Paris. (Note, when purchasing the train ticket to visit, be sure you use the full name of the town. When Kay and I visited the site, I almost got arrested/thrown off the train because she’d accidently purchased my ticket incorrectly for Jouy. Thankfully the train conductor took pity on me when...

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Quilt Blocks

When did the use of quilt blocks originate? Is it American in origin? When I was teaching a workshop in the Netherlands, I was asked this question, and I didn’t know the answer. Sometimes these questions provide me with a new research topic. One museum expert that was present at the class stated it was American in origin. Another person thought it began about mid-19th century with the Baltimore Album Quilts. I wanted data before making any statements. Occasionally I’ve looked for academic articles about the topic or read history of quilting books to see their answers. I’ve never written about it because I never really felt I had a solid answer. I decided the best way to get the answer was to track quilts by date. Then the answer wouldn’t be about “best guess.” Barbara...

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