Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Glimpses of Greece


As you may have noticed, my sister Kay and I recently returned from a trip to Greece and some of the islands. We did all of the regular tourist things: seeing the Acropolis/Parthenon, the archeological museum, the Acropolis/Parthenon Museum. We also had to visit folk art museums and history museums to find textiles. As always when visiting a new country, we have much to learn about the textiles of the area. We didn’t expect to find quilts in such a toasty climate, but we were thrilled to see all the different types of handwork…lots of amazing, detailed handwork! Each island and/or tribe had their own traditional costume filled with decoration. I have no idea how many hours of handwork went into making the clothing, sheets or bedding, but it was a joy to see. Greece is...

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Jewett Washington Curtis: A Soldier’s Legacy


Curtis was born in 1847 in Montpelier, Vermont. He joined the 104th Regiment New York Infantry as a drummer at the young age of fourteen. He became a career soldier and served in Alaska to maintain the peace during the Gold Rush. No one knows when he was introduced to quilt making, although one theory is that he learned the art from British soldiers while in Alaska. This is presumed to be the first bed cover made by Jewett Washington Curtis (1847-1927) because the diamonds are a larger size than the pieces in the other two bed covers he made. Additionally, the design is not as complex as the later bed covers (the other two follows.) Jewett Curtis kept his masterpiece until before 1925 when it was given to his sister Julia Wilkinson in upstate New York....

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New Acquisition!


While at the recent AQSG Seminar, the Poos Collection added a new acquisition. At this point with the collection as large as it is, there must be a specific reason to add a quilt to the collection. In this case, there were three solid reasons, plus bonuses. First, the quilt had a bird print in it. As I’ve mentioned before, if it has a bird in it, it is likely coming home. This fabric is what is known as a “Portuguese Print” during the 19th century which came to mean a bright furnishing fabric with wide stripes usually floral but alternating with birds or other wonders. Second the quilt had a center medallion known as Trophy of Arms with a tan background, which the Poos Collection didn’t have. The medallion is #3 in the Waldvogel Chintz...

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Early American Textiles from Military Fabrics


I recently gave a Study Center on this topic at the American Quilt Study Seminar. I had lots of questions and requests for information after the program. I certainly won’t give the whole presentation, but plan to explore the topic through a series of nonsequential blogs. (I’ll intermix other topics, so no one gets bored!) Military quilts (sometimes called soldier quilts or war quilts) are traditionally made from fabrics used in the production of military uniforms. The colorfast wool uniforms made for brilliant color with fabric that didn’t fray which allowed for distinct choices to be made in construction and design. Tailors used scraps from making the military uniforms to create their works of art. Soldiers used the uniforms to create the bedcovers as a form of therapy when convalescing or as an alternative to stave...

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SQUIRREL!


My sister has just completed her version of the Triplett Sisters 1856 Huguenot Friendship Quilt. Since she already has the original antique quilt in her collection, she wanted to make her version completely different, and she decided to add cute applique squirrels into the corners. I love squirrels and can’t help but think of the dog from the movie who is easily distracted by SQUIRREL! It did make me wonder when squirrels first started appearing on quilts. Afterall, I’ve researched the presence of giraffes, (here is the link to that blog article) so why not squirrels? Squirrels have appeared on quilts via applique, embroidery, pieced, printed, hand painted or inked. Pick your technique and you can probably find one. Several crazy quilts have squirrels embroidered into the quilt, but those are late 19th century. So, not...

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