Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

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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 of the extended Williams/O’Laughlin families include 7 seamstresses, tailors & tailoress as well as dressmakers.  Additionally, the family ran or had connections with 5 different dry goods and millinery stores, giving them easy access to fabric.

The extended Williams/O’Laughlen family members have signed multiple quilt blocks and been associated with the making of 6 different Baltimore Album Quilts. Additionally, quilts with one inscribed Williams/O’Laughlen blocks appear on multiple additional quilts and non-assembled quilt blocks. (To read more on Mary Ann O’Laughlin follow this link.) To date, I’m still tracking more of glorious quilts made by the Williams/O’Laughlin family.