Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Secrets in the Making


What do you do with a treasured petticoat, cloak, or dress? Make a quilt, of course! Frequently we think of clothing being cutup into small pieces to re-use the fabric in pieced patterns to create a quilt, such as the center of this mathematical star made of dress taffeta. This method creates art from what fabric you have available or to preserve the legacy of a lost loved one through their clothing. Sometimes coats or other pieces are used to create stuffed animals to pass onto children in the family. However, there are other reasons and ways to use clothing in a quilt. In the case of the Revolutionary War Cloak, the cloak had a long time meaning to the family. Family lore stated that the ancestor had killed a British soldier and claimed the cloak...
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Dutch Costume Museum


The history of Dutch Costume includes chintz. The costumes of the Netherlands vary by region, but the folk costumes have an explosion of colors and designs. Did I also mention that it includes wearing chintz? Bright beautiful bold prints, perfect for interior décor or quilts or clothes. Chintz that can’t be missed and should never be forgotten. The costume museum also preserved the stories told through the costumes worn. For example, the fisherman sweaters in which each village knitted a pattern common to the town. Then, when a man went overboard and washed up on shore, they knew in which village the man had resided. In Spakenburg, each woman makes her own the handmade bonnet, creating a self-invented pattern. The crocheting of these bonnets is very labor intensive requiring about a hundred hours to create a...
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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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