Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Marvelous Miniatures!


Miniature Quilts don’t seem to get the acknowledgement they deserve. Any work of art should be appreciated, but I’ve noticed miniatures are rarely featured in magazines or blogs. In fact, I’m guilty too, I’ve never written a blog about miniature quilts. So now is the time to make up my deficit with a showcase of the miniature quilts from the Houston International Quilt Festival. Now, I agree that making full size quilts is an amazing feat, but so is making quilts that look full-size in a photo yet smaller than a ruler. Blocks in full size quilts that are 12 inches can be the entire size of a mini. If you think paper piecing with an inch size is a tiny block, try a ½ inch. Smaller is not easier, except maybe in the basting process....
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The Sapphire Celebration!


The 45th anniversary of the Houston Quilt Festival occurred this year and was very memorable for multiple reasons. The multi-level display of beautiful blue and white quilts was an amazing way to honor the accomplishments of all those workers, vendors, and quilt artists who have contributed to this event for 45 years. The two founders of the festival Karey Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes continue to be involved in the festival and share their love of quilts. I was pleased to teach 8 classes, 2 demos, and provided 3 gallery talks for our special exhibition. “Antique Quilts from the Poos Collection” exhibited 25 quilts from our newest book “Hidden Treasures, Quilts from 1600 to 1860.” Besides our special exhibition, there were many other special exhibitions, which will be our focus in an upcoming series of...
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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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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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