Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Cheater Cloth: A Love, Hate Relationship


It seems like many textile people have a strong feeling about printed patchwork, they either love it and collect it or they hate it and consider it a cheat way to make a quilt. Hence the nickname of cheater cloth which according to Barbara Brackman was used for the first time in print in 1910 by “America’s Textile Reporter.” In 1929 Ruth Finley’s “Old Patchwork Quilts” book refers to this style of fabric as Faux Patchwork and Geometrical Chintz, a term still in use at the Winterthur Museum. Surprisingly “patchwork prints” the phrase used in the 19th century ads has been around since the mid-18th century, according to Deborah E. Kraak’s paper in Uncoverings.While the “pretend patchwork” seems to have been popular in the 1830s-1840s, the Centennial Exposition of 1876 caused an explosion in the printed...

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Star of Many Names


The large central star pattern in a quilt is usually associated with American patchwork, according to the V & A. Although the pattern has been found in other countries, so it isn’t exclusive to America. This pattern is considered one of the older quilt patterns. At this time, no date inscribed quilt using the large central star has been found in the early 19th century. However, dating quilts using the fabric provides many examples after 1820. During the early period of the star pattern, the most frequent name used was Star of Bethlehem which was used throughout the United States. This name of course relates to the large star guiding the wise men to the town of Bethlehem to see baby Jesus. Mathematical Star was the early name used in England and the eastern coast of...

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Chintz Quilts Regional Design Style?


As I was researching multiple antique Chintz fabrics, I was surprised to see two Chintz quilts that looked alike but were not in the Center Medallion style with lots of negative space. The Center Medallion Style is frequently credited to Charleston/Baltimore Area with Ascah Goodwin Wilkins et al receiving a lot of design credit.  It got me wondering if there was another design style for Chintz Quilts located in Philadelphia, PA and New Jersey. The Ladies of the Third Presbyterian Church created the two quilts that started my thought process. Both used the chintz fabric to create blocks of a consistent size and included a presentation block. Sarah Lawson Flickwir also made hers in Philly in the same style and time frame of 1840-46. The Ladies of the Second Presbyterian Church agreed with the ladies at...

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Animal Print Wild!


As I was auditioning some fabric for a new quilt inspired by a 19th century quilt, I considered some animal print fabric. It made me wonder when pre-printed textiles in animal prints were first used and when did these prints begin appearing in quilts. It was my hope to find research done by a diligent expert to answer my questions. Sigh, no such luck! Society’s fascination with animals in art, can be traced back to cave art. As our early “culture” grew, we used animal skins for clothing, so no pre-printed textiles were needed (or available for that matter!) As the textile industry began, we see birds and animals depicted. Early Palampores show all manners of creatures including birds, mongooses, lions, tigers and…feet. (Yes, one Palampore even features feet, the human animal, because the Palampore was...

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Scherenschnitte


“Scissor cuts or snips” in German is the art of paper cutting a design that frequently has a rotational symmetry. Many of us played with this art form as children creating snowflakes out of folded notebook paper. It was also commonly used for silhouettes, valentines, birth commemoratives, and artwork. The art form is more than 2,000 years old with the oldest surviving papercut found in China and dates to the 6th century. Papercutting came from China to Europe and by the 14th century had spread throughout the world. However, because the art form was brought to Colonial America by Swiss and German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania, the German terminology has dominated the art form in America. In America, the technique was used on more than paper, but also fabric. The technique appears to have been...

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