Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

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Something Old...


This month we purchased some vintage fabric and I couldn’t help but think of the traditional rhyme, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” With about 15 yards of this gorgeous vintage toile, Kay asked me to consider making a sample. I hesitated at first, because working with antiques so much of the time the rule is to leave it in the original condition, or “don’t touch.” But then I considered the Japanese boros which literally means tatters, where artists have taken scraps and brought new life to the fabric creating clothing, and quilts. The something old and the blue were both meant to offer protection, which the boro offers from the elements. Then, I considered the trend of “quilting vintage” where quilters are giving new life to vintage textiles from yard sales. I use...
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Discovering the Collection: A 20-Year Journey


How do you honor a 20-year career studying, preserving, and collecting quilts? By allowing the graduate student who became a curator the opportunity to showcase her work in an exhibition we can see the impact she has had. Carolyn Ducey was a grad student at Indiana University, when she applied to study quilts with Dr. Patricia Crews at the University of Nebraska. Shortly afterward she was hired as the first curator of the Center, later to become International Quilt Study Center & Museum (IQSCM.)Carolyn and Sara Dillow (the first Acquisitions Coordinator) worked together to gather some of the earliest quilts in the collection, pre-1850. Sara was also responsible for the first international additions from Kathryn Berenson, 30 white wholecloth quilts, which opened their eyes to the possibility of international textiles. At the unexpected deaths of Sara...
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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...
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Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum Fabric Challenge


A recent exhibition at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum showcased all the quilts made from the four reproduction fabric lines: Rising Sun, Cross Quilt, Bethlehem Star, and American Patch.  This exhibition also featured the quilts which inspired the reproduction fabric.  Blazing Star/Star of Bethlehem is full of indigos and cheddar, as well as Prussian Blue which makes it real eye candy. The quilt was made by a member of the Speck family c. 1860-1880.The quilt that inspired the Rising Sun fabric line, was also made by a member of the Speck family.  This quilt also uses a variation on the large main Lone Star but surrounded by blocks of more stars. The quilt is believed to have been created in 1840-1860.The Cross Quilt was made about 1880 and is a simple pattern with lots of shirting...
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Pattern and Purpose


The Joslyn Art Museum of Omaha was the host of a quilt exhibition from the Shelburne Museum with the wonderful title, Pattern and Purpose. Even if you’ve seen these quilts before, they are wonderful examples of American art worthy of multiple views. The history of the Shelburne Museum is worthy of note too.Mrs. Electra Havemeyer Webb founded the Shelburne museum in 1947 to house her family’s collection of horse drawn carriages. However, it didn’t take her long to decide to create a “collection of collections” for “an educational project.” She began searching through New England and New York to create her collections. Size was not a barrier as she even bought steamboats, houses, stores, bridges, placing these items in the middle of her garden.I’m grateful for her amazing collection of quilts which provide a glimpse into...
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