Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

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The Bible Block

My sister informed me, “everyone knows what it is when you call it the Bible Block like from Baltimore Album Quilts.” (BTW, if you don’t have a sister or friend to discuss quilts and quilt history, find one. I’ve truly learned so much from our discussions and hopefully my sister has learned some from me too…more than if I only went on hunts that I instigated.) Yes, most people do know what it is when you call it a Bible block, but what if in fact it is an autograph book in the quilt, not a Bible block?

A real clue that you might need to explore another answer is when the quilt has more than one “Bible block” contained in it. Or if the known quilt makers have used previous books to represent an autograph book. For example, the quilt above was made by hired quilters according to the curator at the Newark Museum. The curator noted that the 121 members of the Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth Port, New Jersey didn’t make the quilt, but were represented by blocks in the quilt.

This same group of hired quilters made several of these quilts for different pastors and congregations. Some contain a “Bible Block that might not be a Bible block”, but in some it is noted by another curator Kate Hebert that these books are a nod to autograph books. So, designating the book block as a Bible would be a good option if it has one of the following characteristics: Bible scribed on it, dove holding it, symbol of faith such as a cross or three chains etc. The others books depicted might need to be considered undetermined or an autograph book. (Note for those of you following the research into Northern Style Cut-out Applique Quilts, yes these all qualify in the Mixed Album category.)