Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Quilting Vintage...Oh My!


Quilting vintage has become the short hand phrase for taking a vintage linen or textile and quilting it with a domestic machine or long arm. The “Oh my!” that comes along with a viewing of the new textile work usually has two completely divergent meanings. “Oh my, how dare that quilter ruin an antique or vintage quilt top or blocks with machine quilting! That piece should have been hand quilted in the style of the period!” Or the other side, “Oh my isn’t that a beautiful work of art! The fiber artist has brought new life to a textile that would have been destroyed or languished in a junk bin. ” The International Quilt Festival – Houston had two special exhibitions that showcased this genre of textiles: For the Love of Linens, and Twisted. Cindy Needham...
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Will We See You There?


Every fall there is an alignment of stars, a gathering of the vendors, and a winner circle of awards. It is the International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston TX. Quilters from all over the world have submitted their work to be judged. Vendors introduce new product lines, that are “must haves” and special exhibitions of quilts fill the convention center. Teachers and students are gathering to explore new techniques or exchange creativity. It is also a time to see colleagues and friends that we may only see once a year. Preparation for the event begins almost as soon as last year has ended. But the month before, the final countdown is a time of major preparation. I've been busy preparing demos, classes, dyeing fabric and coordinating lectures. Celebrating the Blues: From Africa to America will...
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Artists of Huipils


So its fall and thoughts are turning to winter arriving soon…NOT! With most of the country experiencing hotter than normal temperatures, my thoughts keep drifting back to the clothes of Mexico. I did actually see more on the Baja peninsula than indigo. Although the indigo tunic attracted my eye, there were other garments which simply amazed me. These huipils are the traditional dress of indigenous women from central Mexico and Central America. The tunics are made of two or three pieces of hand woven fabric which are then stitched together allowing for an opening for the head. The sides if stitched together also leave an opening for arms. The garment can be short (worn more as a blouse) or long for a full length tunic. Huipil, 1875-1890, Warp-faced plain weave cotton; red cotton is dyed with...
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Oh, Say Can You See By the Dawn's Early Light...


I probably should have saved this blog for the week of Flag Day or some other holiday, but one of the special exhibitions at the recent AQS QuiltWeek caught my eye. Presidential and Patriotic Quilts from the collection of Sue Reich had two quilts that fascinated me. The first quilt was the Centennial Flag Banner Quilt 1876, 76” x 82” contained fabric with a patent date of December 28, 1875. Although patriotic themed textiles had been popular in America for some time, fabric companies ramped up production on many new fabrics related to the Centennial Exposition of 1876. The exposition held in Philadelphia was something I’d just been researching because of a quilt in our next book, Pioneer Quilts. Officially named the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of Soil and Mine, considered the first...
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Story Matters!


This week as I was teaching at the AQS QuiltWeek show in Des Moines, IA, I perused the quilt exhibitions and checked out the winners circle. I saw a number of beautiful and technically superior quilts, many which I’ve seen before, as I’m sure you have. These quilts were selected for being the best hand quilting, best machine quilting, and best of show etc. Congrats to the winners who magnificently expressed many of the elements of art! However, I found myself bemoaning that a specific category of artistic expression hadn’t been honored….story. Cherrywood Challenge 2016: The Lion King Broadway recognizes the value of story It is story in the art or of the art that makes us laugh, cry, and/or scream. It is story that provides cathartic release or allows the artistic expression of the quilter...
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