Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Penn Dry Goods Market


Our first glimpse of the fun about to come was before breakfast, where Kay noticed a local newspaper called "The Fishwrapper", a salute to history even in the title. Think back, or if you don't have first hand knowledge, research what items would have been sold at an old dry goods store. That is the focus of the Penn Dry Goods Market held annually at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center. The market itself is a glimpse of treasures brought by various vendors selling their wares of quilts, books, buttons, and bows. Vendors are required to have a majority of their wares in the textile category. Besides the antique vendor show, there are two days of special lectures on textiles as well as the history of textiles. This year I was honored to present the trunk...
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Quilt History by Fabric and Colors


It is no surprise that our recent visit to Pennsylvania provided many opportunities to explore quilts. The visit to Lancaster County Historical Society to specificly research their quilts offered several treasures and revelations. I expected to see a lot of red and green quilts from the area. However, the number of Chintz quilts preserved from the area was a wonderful surprise. I expected to see fabrics with Lancaster Blue, a fabric with two blues present in the style of “double pink,” popular during the 1860-1880 period. With the name derived from the location, also known as Pennsylvania Blue, it was natural to think it would be in the quilts. Instead, I left in awe of a chrome yellow found in an antique quilt.   The element chromium was discovered in 1797 by Louis Vauquelin and used...
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The Mary Schafer Collection: A Legacy of Quilt History


This exhibition is a combination of quilts made by or collected by Mary Schafer a quilter that helped keep quilt studies alive between WWII and the revival of quilting in the 1970’s. During her lifetime, she was involved in many aspects of the quilt world including: collecting, designing, quilting and preserving quilting traditions. Her legacy is found in some of today’s quilters, such as Joe Cunningham and Gwen Marston who wrote the book, "Mary Schafer and her Quilts." Gwen Marston also wrote “Mary Schafer, American Quilt Maker.” She was honored by the Quilters’ Hall of Fame in 2007, shortly after her death. Two quilt names by Mary caught my eye because of the stories associated with the block. First, Lafayette Orange Peel, which was derived from the myth of Lafayette slicing an orange into 4 parts...
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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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Paper Piecing Like You've Never Seen Before


Continuing our adventures in DC we were captivated by the Fan Quilt of Mt Carmel at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The quilt was made by the residents of Bourbon County, Kentucky originally named after the royal family of France who aided the US in the War of Independence. The Ladies Aid Society is prominently featured on the quilt with the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer included, which leads me to speculate they had significant involvement in the creation of the quilt. I was particularly drawn to the “paper” faces in the quilt, identified by the museum as chromolithographic paper decals. Chromolithographic printing was in wide spread use after the civil war and it allowed the middle class also to hang art. It is a colored image printed by many applications of lithographic stones using...
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