Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Protecting Our Art Form


Quilting as an art form is in danger. A quick online search for quilt shop closing reveals local quilt stores closing from New York to California, including the major retailer Hancocks. Publishers are closing, such as the Kansas City Star Books, AQS Publishing Division, and the list of magazines such as Quilter’s Newsletter shuttering is disturbing. Nonprofits and Museums such as American Textile History Museum, National Quilting Association, as well as Quilt Museum and Gallery in York all recently closed. In the midst of these closures, it was a relief to visit the newly opened Iowa Quilt Museum. The museum is located on the town square in picturesque Winterset, Iowa. The town itself is worth the visit, let alone with the bonus of quilts to see. The Museum opened this summer with Three Centuries of Red...
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Susan Carlson's Magical Realism


Magic Realism was initially coined by Angel Flores in 1955 for a group of Latin American writers. These writers wrote about a person that lived in the world we know, but experienced different reality or world view. Since that time, the definition has come to be used more broadly and evolved into different art forms. For Susan Carlson, the term has come to mean realism with a sense of whimsy. Her exhibit and book by the same name, "Specimens", gives us specifics on the species using a fabric collage of fun textures and colors. She has created a salt water crocodile that is 20 feet long, because “that is what is truly awesome about this species.” The enormity of the creature is hard to visualize until you see it in person or with people for scale....
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Will We See You There?


Every fall there is an alignment of stars, a gathering of the vendors, and a winner circle of awards. It is the International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston TX. Quilters from all over the world have submitted their work to be judged. Vendors introduce new product lines, that are “must haves” and special exhibitions of quilts fill the convention center. Teachers and students are gathering to explore new techniques or exchange creativity. It is also a time to see colleagues and friends that we may only see once a year. Preparation for the event begins almost as soon as last year has ended. But the month before, the final countdown is a time of major preparation. I've been busy preparing demos, classes, dyeing fabric and coordinating lectures. Celebrating the Blues: From Africa to America will...
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Artists of Huipils


So its fall and thoughts are turning to winter arriving soon…NOT! With most of the country experiencing hotter than normal temperatures, my thoughts keep drifting back to the clothes of Mexico. I did actually see more on the Baja peninsula than indigo. Although the indigo tunic attracted my eye, there were other garments which simply amazed me. These huipils are the traditional dress of indigenous women from central Mexico and Central America. The tunics are made of two or three pieces of hand woven fabric which are then stitched together allowing for an opening for the head. The sides if stitched together also leave an opening for arms. The garment can be short (worn more as a blouse) or long for a full length tunic. Huipil, 1875-1890, Warp-faced plain weave cotton; red cotton is dyed with...
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Oh, Say Can You See By the Dawn's Early Light...


I probably should have saved this blog for the week of Flag Day or some other holiday, but one of the special exhibitions at the recent AQS QuiltWeek caught my eye. Presidential and Patriotic Quilts from the collection of Sue Reich had two quilts that fascinated me. The first quilt was the Centennial Flag Banner Quilt 1876, 76” x 82” contained fabric with a patent date of December 28, 1875. Although patriotic themed textiles had been popular in America for some time, fabric companies ramped up production on many new fabrics related to the Centennial Exposition of 1876. The exposition held in Philadelphia was something I’d just been researching because of a quilt in our next book, Pioneer Quilts. Officially named the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of Soil and Mine, considered the first...
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