Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

All in the Family: Friendship Quilts


I’ve recently been asked to contribute to two friendship quilts for heartbreaking reasons. The first was because a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and the quilt was to “provide a hug” for her during treatment. Thankfully she has fully recovered from the treatment and now uses the quilt at retreats for her bed. The second quilt was for a friend whose son was killed in an accident. This quilt was also to be a comfort quilt, but since there is no way to fully recover from the loss of a child, I hope the quilt will bring her love and comfort for many years. So, when the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum had an exhibition about friendship quilts called: All in the Family: Family and Album Quilts, I was curious about the reasons the quilts were...

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I am a Treasure Hunter!


Cheddar Quilts from the Joanna S. Rose Collection, is an exhibition that ran at the International Study Center Oct 2018 – Feb 2019. As you walk into the exhibition area you are greeted with a quote from Joanna, “I am not a collector. I am a treasure hunter. A collector always wants to better a collection. I buy only what I like and for no other reason. Quilts look better when you have a lot of them.” I love that quote and think it truly explains her appreciation of quilts. Joanna Rose began purchasing quilts in the 1950’s hunting for bargains at flea markets and thrift stores. She started buying the chrome orange quilts to use as décor for Thanksgiving. Mrs. Rose believes “that bright orange has a warmth that transcends the literal warmth of a...

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Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum Fabric Challenge


A recent exhibition at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum showcased all the quilts made from the four reproduction fabric lines: Rising Sun, Cross Quilt, Bethlehem Star, and American Patch.  This exhibition also featured the quilts which inspired the reproduction fabric.  Blazing Star/Star of Bethlehem is full of indigos and cheddar, as well as Prussian Blue which makes it real eye candy. The quilt was made by a member of the Speck family c. 1860-1880. The quilt that inspired the Rising Sun fabric line, was also made by a member of the Speck family.  This quilt also uses a variation on the large main Lone Star but surrounded by blocks of more stars. The quilt is believed to have been created in 1840-1860. The Cross Quilt was made about 1880 and is a simple pattern with lots...

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Pattern and Purpose


The Joslyn Art Museum of Omaha was the host of a quilt exhibition from the Shelburne Museum with the wonderful title, Pattern and Purpose. Even if you’ve seen these quilts before, they are wonderful examples of American art worthy of multiple views. The history of the Shelburne Museum is worthy of note too. Mrs. Electra Havemeyer Webb founded the Shelburne museum in 1947 to house her family’s collection of horse drawn carriages. However, it didn’t take her long to decide to create a “collection of collections” for “an educational project.” She began searching through New England and New York to create her collections. Size was not a barrier as she even bought steamboats, houses, stores, bridges, placing these items in the middle of her garden. I’m grateful for her amazing collection of quilts which provide a...

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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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