Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Giraffe: A Cultural Phenomenon


The giraffe is a well-loved animal that inspired a cultural phenomenon wherever it went, even though it didn’t turn out so well for the giraffe. In 46 BC Julius Caesar celebrated his triumphs in Egypt by bringing a Cameleopard (giraffe) back to Rome to be torn to shreds by the lions in the area. In 1487, a giraffe was presented to Lorenzo de’ Medici possibly by the Sultan of Egypt in an attempt to curry favor. This giraffe was an immediate sensation and was immortalized in poetry and paintings by many artists including Botticini, Vasair and Bacchiacca. The giraffe also appeared in an early Italian Genoa mezzaro. Medici had special stables built for the giraffe, which sadly broke its neck on the beams of the stable. Three more giraffes were gifted in 1827 by Viceroy of...

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Early American Textiles from Military Fabrics


I recently gave a Study Center on this topic at the American Quilt Study Seminar. I had lots of questions and requests for information after the program. I certainly won’t give the whole presentation, but plan to explore the topic through a series of nonsequential blogs. (I’ll intermix other topics, so no one gets bored!) Military quilts (sometimes called soldier quilts or war quilts) are traditionally made from fabrics used in the production of military uniforms. The colorfast wool uniforms made for brilliant color with fabric that didn’t fray which allowed for distinct choices to be made in construction and design. Tailors used scraps from making the military uniforms to create their works of art. Soldiers used the uniforms to create the bedcovers as a form of therapy when convalescing or as an alternative to stave...

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Huari Textiles of Ancient Peru


I’m always interested in learning more about historical patchwork and natural dyes. Sometimes when you are researching one thing, you are fortunate enough to find something unexpected, which of course for me, means learning more about it. My discovery was a Huari textile from about 600-1000 that was made of patchwork. So far, it is the oldest piece of patchwork I’ve seen, and it was tied dyed with indigo! (A double score on the interest scale for me!) Huari (Wari) was a Middle Horizon civilization that flourished in the south-central Andes from 500-1000 AD. It is the coastal area of modern-day Peru where a series of Huari archaeological ruins is located. They had an extensive history of artistic expression in metalwork, ceramics, and particularly textiles. The surviving textile examples are primarily tapestries, hats, and tunics. All...

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Baltimore Album Quilts: Jacksonian Block


Kay and I have been researching and studying Baltimore Album Quilts (BAQ) for quite some time. (Kay longer than I.) There have been many good researchers who were also interested in this topic and provided insights into the BAQ’s. So, we hesitated to wade into this topic, beyond the basic information in our Hidden Treasures book. However, we have been continuing our research and would like to share some of the insights we’ve uncovered. I’ve set up a Pinterest page to track these quilts available at this link. It is a work in progress, so if you want to add a quilt to the page or more information about the specific quilt, please email me at Lori@quiltandtextilecollections.com. Old Quilts” by William Rush Dunton was my first exposure to the Jacksonian Heart, through the Jackson Victory Commemorative...

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Northern Chintz Quilt Style


As some of you may recall, I’ve been researching whether there is a regional style of chintz applique. (If you want to re-read the previous blogs, here are the links to the first, second, third, and fourth blog.) After more research, I identified 20 quilts in the style, although the whereabouts are not always known. To see these quilts, please check out our Pinterest page at this link. Wherever possible we’ve included documentation about the quilt, but a few quilts in private collections are not included. Because of some written records, we know there are still additional quilts in this style out there. So, if you know about one of these quilts, please send me the information! We also identified more than 10 mixed album quilts which fit into this grouping by both style (chintz applique...

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