Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Quilt History by Fabric and Colors


It is no surprise that our recent visit to Pennsylvania provided many opportunities to explore quilts. The visit to Lancaster County Historical Society to specificly research their quilts offered several treasures and revelations. I expected to see a lot of red and green quilts from the area. However, the number of Chintz quilts preserved from the area was a wonderful surprise. I expected to see fabrics with Lancaster Blue, a fabric with two blues present in the style of “double pink,” popular during the 1860-1880 period. With the name derived from the location, also known as Pennsylvania Blue, it was natural to think it would be in the quilts. Instead, I left in awe of a chrome yellow found in an antique quilt.   The element chromium was discovered in 1797 by Louis Vauquelin and used...
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The Mary Schafer Collection: A Legacy of Quilt History


This exhibition is a combination of quilts made by or collected by Mary Schafer a quilter that helped keep quilt studies alive between WWII and the revival of quilting in the 1970’s. During her lifetime, she was involved in many aspects of the quilt world including: collecting, designing, quilting and preserving quilting traditions. Her legacy is found in some of today’s quilters, such as Joe Cunningham and Gwen Marston who wrote the book, "Mary Schafer and her Quilts." Gwen Marston also wrote “Mary Schafer, American Quilt Maker.” She was honored by the Quilters’ Hall of Fame in 2007, shortly after her death. Two quilt names by Mary caught my eye because of the stories associated with the block. First, Lafayette Orange Peel, which was derived from the myth of Lafayette slicing an orange into 4 parts...
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Quilts: the Next Layer


The Chester County Historical Museum has a wonderful exhibition, “Quilts: The Next Layer.” The exhibition was offered in two different rotations, providing access to a wider number of quilts. We visited when the second rotation was on display which continues until July 12, 2017. Considering we were viewing the exhibition in Pennsylvania, it was no surprise that a variety of red and green quilts were on view. In direct contrast to the traditional quilts was a painted silk which commemorated the local Women’s Christian Temperance Union from the late 1800’s. A striking un-washed Mathematical Star of chintz, with the sheen still visible was another surprise. My favorite was a friendship quilt for Martha Thomas. The quilt fully reflected the Chester County heritage, with the names narrowing the locale to the eastern part of the county. An...
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Treasures on Trial!


  We were on a recent research trip to explore indigo resist textiles of Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. However, we decided to take some time to explore the house, galleries, and gardens. While not strictly a “quilt” event, the house is full of textiles and treasures not to be missed. For more information on Winterthur, follow this link. Henry Francis du Pont created a premier museum of decorative arts. He wanted to emphasize the American style in collecting and throughout the 175 rooms in the house. Even after his death the collecting continues, now overseen by curators of the highest level of expertise. Those curators have set up a coordinating exhibit - Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes. The viewers are given the opportunity to test their own ability to recognize...
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One More Thing, or Is It Two?


It’s hard to walk away from the Colonial Williamsburg Exhibition, because there was so much wonder to see. Fabulous period costumes, a fun and funky fashion show of reproduction clothing, palampores hanging in multiple cases. The list goes on…I could probably write several more articles, but I’ll try to limit myself to one more thing. I was struck by the “muddy colors” noted by some as purple. Taupe, dirt brown, or any color brown I’d describe as muddy, but not purple. Yet, purple was apparently the neutral for the period according to some of the designer notes. So, it is somewhat ironic that the fabulous and brilliant purple, does indeed turn brown with age. It is a fugitive color (one that runs away) and so frequently the glory of the color is missed, unless you get...
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