Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

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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 quilt.”

Chrome orange colloquially known as “cheddar” is a mineral dye produced using crocoite. It was discovered in 1779, introduced as a pigment in 1809, and became popular in the 1820s. Chrome orange and chrome yellow dyes were a more efficient and popular dye than vat dyes. The discovery of aniline dyes in the 1850s captured the market away from the chromes. However, it didn’t capture the hearts of those who love the color of cheddar.