Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Amsterdam Adventures: Museum of Bags and Purses


Because I was teaching in the Netherlands, The Triplett Sisters recently had some wonderful adventures in Amsterdam. One of our first stops was a curious museum which honored all types of bags. According to Susan B. Anthony, “Every woman should have a purse of her own.” The Museum of Bags and Purses acknowledged that men should also have bags, since the oldest item in the collection was a man’s bag with secret pockets. It was wonderful to see the wide variety of handbags, but frequently we fail to recognize the needlework skill involved in many of these purses. Today’s blog will focus on “thigh pockets” purses hidden under the fabric of the dress. A slit in the dress allowed the wearer access to the items in the pockets. These pockets were from the 17th century to...
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The Fabric of our Lives


Fabric plays an important role in our society. It provides protection from the elements through blankets, tents, and clothing. Textiles allow us to create our persona by what we wear or how we decorate our home. Unfortunately, fabric and construction allow others to judge or define us by how much money we choose to spend on clothing or décor or our stash. As quilters fabric plays a doubly important role in our lives. It is used for our art form. Fiber art is how we express ourselves, even communicate. Quilting is a way that we provide gifts or donate to charity. Although it is usually cotton, it can be wool, silk, velvet or any fabric of choice. Each of us has a fabric that is our passion or speaks to us. It can be the technique...
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Fabric in Fashion


Stop, before you decide not to read this blog because it doesn’t have any antique quilt photos! Take a deep breath and consider your love of fabric. Consider that dating a fabric in a quilt in many cases occurs because of the fabric is in a “costume” in a photo with a date on it or a designer’s notes. There is much to be learned and enjoyed from a costume exhibit. For the Fashionistas of the past, the textiles in their closets were one of their more valuable possessions. The New York City Museum at FIT, was the perfect place for the exhibition “Fabric in Fashion.” According to the FIT brochure, “the stylish eighteenth-century woman new the high cost of silk brocade imported from China, the difference between wool fabrics appropriate for menswear and women’s wear,...
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A Stroll through Provence


In an earlier blog, I mentioned that there was a Chintz exhibition at the Nantes Quilt Show we attended. We write about Chintz quite a bit because we love it, so I thought I would make do with the few shots in the earlier blog post. However, this week we ran onto an amazing array of reproduction fabrics, which reminded me of the fabrics of Provence. So, I decided I wasn’t done with the Nantes Quilt Show. Several people from the Association of Tresors, Patrimoine etoffes of Marseille gave a presentation on the quilts and costumes of the 18th and 19th century Provence. The organization was nice enough to provide an exhibition of the clothing as well as wear authentic clothing. Although I can’t imagine trying to go about daily tasks dressed in these outfits, not...
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Embarrassment of Riches: Rijksmuseum


Located in Amsterdam, it isn’t a surprise that the museum is known for the best collection of Dutch art in the world. However, with more than 8,000 artefacts on display in 80 wings...it is almost too much eye candy to be seen in one day. Kay and I were quite determined and mapped out a plan of attack. First we inquired about the textiles on display to be sure we’d included all of those. The attendant couldn’t think of many textiles on display, but dutifully marked a few spots. (We later learned, it wasn’t that they didn’t have wonderful textiles, just in relation to the vastness of the collections, it was a smaller percentage.) Understanding that the textiles might be limited, we began taking photos of art with early examples of clothing. Ten statues at the...
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