Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Hawaiian Quilts


I was interested to attend the Kauai Quilt Show sponsored by Kauai Quilt Guild and the Nene Quilters to see if the traditional “Hawaiian” style of quilts was represented. As early as 1820 the Hawaiians learned to quilt from missionaries. The distinctive style is usually created using applique of a botanical nature, frequently in one or two bold solid colors. One early written record of the traditional style Hawaiian quilt is “Six Months in the Sandwich Islands” by Isabella Bird who visited Hawaii in 1870 and described a “floral center with surrounding arabesque.” During the westernization of Hawaii, cotton fabric had become available and as the resurgence in applique mid-nineteenth century occured, it also reached Hawaii. A second traditional Hawaiian style of quilts is known as a “flag quilt” which uses the flag and or royalty,...
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The 1876 Centennial Quilt Project


This beautiful quilt owned by Barbara Menasian was purchased in Connecticut with no other provenance than what was contained in the quilt “EMC 1876.” The quilt is a medallion style with the “Chips and Whetstone” as the center piece of the sampler. The center block is surrounded by seventy-four different patterns, many which are commonly known. However, the unique arrangement of borders was then separated by a different geometric pieced row. Karen Alexander ran across a photo of the extraordinary quilt in an online history forum. Inspired by the quilt, she secured permission from the owner for a group of quilters from Northwestern Washington to re-create the quilt. Anne Dawson a quilt shop owner and quilt restorer, drafted the intricate patterns to follow the original quilt as closely as possible. Anne then used reproduction fabrics to...
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In the American Tradition - Pieced


This is part two of the special exhibition from the Houston Quilt Festival that focused on traditional quilts. This group of quilts are pieced but made recently. Our mother is fond of saying, “why would anyone cut up fabric to sew it back together again?” (The secret is out, our mother is not a quilter!) The answer to her question is apparent when you see the works of art created by sewing the pieces back together again. “The Never Ending Project” by Barb Kissell and quilted by Meg Fasio is appropriately named. Because there are A LOT of pieces, more than 3,000. The Hunter Star block must have really inspired Barb, because she had only been quilting for two years when she decided to tackle this quilt. Clearly, she does not subscribe to my mother’s theory....
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Rising Stars!


This year the International Quilt Festival – Houston introduced a new exhibition, “Rising Stars.” It is to be held annually, so people can submit to be considered. If you don’t think you are quite in the “rising star” category, encourage someone you know to submit for next year. This year two artists were selected and given a special showcase. Sarah Ann Smith, doesn’t consider herself a natural born artist. However, looking at her quilts it is hard for me to agree with that statement. Granted it may have taken years to learn the tools of the trade, but she is definitely an artist. Her artistic legacy is reflected in a couple of different ways. First showing and appreciating the beauty of nature. Second, a fun and quirky sense of humor in her story telling quilts. All...
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Remembering Sue Garman


  This is Thanksgiving Week, a time to give thanks for family, friends, and the many blessings in life.  So, as we continue to write about the Houston Quilt Festival Special Exhibitions, it seemed appropriate to write about Sue Garman, a “matriarch” in the quilting family.  Through her patterns and teaching, she was a blessing to many quilters! Although I never had the honor of meeting her, multiple readers, writers, and quilt aficionados, spoke of generous spirit, wonderful designs, and artistic legacy.  In classes, she shared lots of tips to go with those pattern sheets. She left many patterns and designs to add to our UFO lists and perhaps even finish. Sue Garman made over 300 quilts in her 40 years as a quilter, the majority of the quilts being original designs. The exhibition featured 100...
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