Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Two Golden Ages of Applique: 1840-1870 & 1920-1940


Quilt historian Debby Cooney is the curator of the “Golden Age of Applique” exhibition at the Virginia Quilt Museum. The exhibition combines quilts from the museum and private collections to create a focus on two time periods where applique was the popular style. Debby believes it is time for the third golden age of applique. I’m ready for that period too, but until that time comes to pass, looking at these treasures from the past will have to suffice. We drove six hours to see the exhibition and it was worth it. The Center Medallion quilt with a created tree of life, was truly one to appreciate, whether up close and personal or reflected in an antique mirror. I confess I wanted to show you mainly photos of the first golden age, more than the second,...
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A Century of African American Quilts


This exhibition in the Foster and Muriel McCarl Gallery at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Colonial Williamsburg displays twelve quilts. Those quilts spanning about a century after 1875 showcase the variety of styles and is a riotous expression of color. Half of these quilts have never been seen before by the public. African American quilts vary widely in style, driven more by the artistic expression of the quilter, rather than a prescribed pattern. It is important to note that all of the quilts in the exhibition were made after the civil war and the end of the era of slavery in America. However, several of the quilters were born into slavery and in some cases descendants of enslaved. All of the quilts are made of simple materials transformed into works of art. If...
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Textile Campaign Art


  Because of the acrimony of the recent election, I’ve been hesitant to write about this subject. However it is an excellent exhibition at the George Washington University Textile Museum. Since “Your Next President…the Campaign Art of Mark and Rosalind Shenkman” only runs through April 10th, I didn’t want to wait too long to write about it. The exhibition is an amazing glimpse into the history of campaigns, starting with some textiles honoring George Washington, even though he refused to campaign. In 1789, Washington “stood” for the position of President, not making speeches or rallying supporters. He left an impression that it wasn’t gentlemanly to campaign. This impression disappeared in the early 1800s. The Andrew Jackson/John Quincy Adams contest of 1828 has been called the dirtiest US presidential campaign. Fabric was printed for President Jackson’s inauguration,...
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Bingata...Go Now!


The Triplett Sisters had an adventure in DC, with much to see. We went to a wonderful exhibition “Bingata! Only in Okinwa” at The George Washington Textile Museum. Our arrival was timed perfectly to participate in a tour by Curator Lee Talbot. (The exhibit was so wonderful we went back again!) I’m writing about it immediately because…IT CLOSES JANUARY 30, 2017. So, if you live in the DC area or can get to the DC area in the next few days, the exhibit is worth the effort. Bingata is a technique which uses pigments and dyes to create wonderful multicolored fabrics. It can be done either freehand or with paper stencils. These techniques have been used for more than 300 years in the Ryukyu Kingdom (now the Okinawa Prefecture in Japan). This area because of maritime...
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Quilt World Favorites of 2016


It is the end of the year and many are announcing the best and worst list for the year. However, I hesitated to do so because it is so subjective. Also, even if I didn’t choose an exhibition, auction, or book at the top of the list, it doesn’t mean it didn’t have value or that I couldn’t learn something from it. Instead, I decided to pick my “favorites” of the year, that way I’m being honest about the subjectivity. Favorite Exhibition: The Fabric of India at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. I technically saw the exhibition in December of 2015, but the exhibition ran into this year, as did my reading of the exhibition book. It was an amazing exhibition, which provided some detailed info for a new theory of fabric printing Kay and...
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