Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Textile Campaign Art


  Because of the acrimony of the recent election, I’ve been hesitant to write about this subject. However it is an excellent exhibition at the George Washington University Textile Museum. Since “Your Next President…the Campaign Art of Mark and Rosalind Shenkman” only runs through April 10th, I didn’t want to wait too long to write about it. The exhibition is an amazing glimpse into the history of campaigns, starting with some textiles honoring George Washington, even though he refused to campaign. In 1789, Washington “stood” for the position of President, not making speeches or rallying supporters. He left an impression that it wasn’t gentlemanly to campaign. This impression disappeared in the early 1800s. The Andrew Jackson/John Quincy Adams contest of 1828 has been called the dirtiest US presidential campaign. Fabric was printed for President Jackson’s inauguration,...
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Paper Piecing Like You've Never Seen Before


Continuing our adventures in DC we were captivated by the Fan Quilt of Mt Carmel at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The quilt was made by the residents of Bourbon County, Kentucky originally named after the royal family of France who aided the US in the War of Independence. The Ladies Aid Society is prominently featured on the quilt with the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer included, which leads me to speculate they had significant involvement in the creation of the quilt. I was particularly drawn to the “paper” faces in the quilt, identified by the museum as chromolithographic paper decals. Chromolithographic printing was in wide spread use after the civil war and it allowed the middle class also to hang art. It is a colored image printed by many applications of lithographic stones using...
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BAS - Crib Quilts


Continuing our adventure in DC, we took a side trip to the Baltimore Appliqué Society (BAS). The Appliqué Society was founded in 1993 “to preserve antique quilts and promote the art of appliqué.” (To accent or not, that is the question?  My sister is a huge fan of the accent mark on the “e”, which is the French word meaning “applied.” The word absorbed into English is frequently seen without the accent, but since the word is French, I will honor the original spelling.) Since Baltimore is the home of the Baltimore Album Quilt, (what a shock!) it is appropriate that BAS preserves the techniques used to create those masterpiece BAQs. This night’s lecture was by our friend Polly Mello a previous president of the BAS and a gifted appliquer. (Accent not required, since it is...
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Bingata...Go Now!


The Triplett Sisters had an adventure in DC, with much to see. We went to a wonderful exhibition “Bingata! Only in Okinwa” at The George Washington Textile Museum. Our arrival was timed perfectly to participate in a tour by Curator Lee Talbot. (The exhibit was so wonderful we went back again!) I’m writing about it immediately because…IT CLOSES JANUARY 30, 2017. So, if you live in the DC area or can get to the DC area in the next few days, the exhibit is worth the effort. Bingata is a technique which uses pigments and dyes to create wonderful multicolored fabrics. It can be done either freehand or with paper stencils. These techniques have been used for more than 300 years in the Ryukyu Kingdom (now the Okinawa Prefecture in Japan). This area because of maritime...
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Colonial Williamsburg Conference: Printed Fashions


This year Colonial Williamsburg is offering a conference on “Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and the Home, March 26-28, 2107. Every year the CW team puts together interesting symposiums, but this year the guest speaker line up is amazing! Many of the presenters are coming from across the pond, so it’s the perfect opportunity to learn from British experts without going overseas. Rosemary Crill, now retired from the Victoria and Albert Museum, is still an honorary research associate. She will be discussing, “When Print Meets Pen: Block-printing and Hand-drawing in Indian Cotton Textiles.” Other presenters from overseas include John Styles, honorary senior research fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum, Bridget Long, visiting research fellow in history, University of Hertfordshire, and Philip Sykas, research associate from Manchester School of Art. Colonial Williamsburg have also included some talented Americans...
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