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Thread: underground railroad quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member ncsewer's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago I got a book that gives the history of the underground railroad and there is a quilt that goes with it. Certain blocks meant certain things so people that supported the underground would hang particular quilts to communicate with those that were fleeing.
    The colors are all browns and tans and that's not my style, but I'm intregued by the story and just love reading the book. Has anyone made one of these quilts and what else do you know about the quilts and the story? Is this a true story or something that's been embellished over time? Does anyone have a quilt that is said to have been used for this and want to share the story?

  2. #2

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    I have taught a couple of classes on this topic making blocks from Eleanor Burns book: Underground Railroad Sampler; there is some controversy with this topic and no known hard facts to substansiate that quilts were used to navigate the underground railroad; however, there is evidence that the information was passed down verbally via stories; at any rate the underground RR is a part of our history and there is a possibility that some did use the quilts as part of the Underground RR; but whether you believe the stories, or not enjoy the process of making the blocks;

  3. #3
    Super Member dotcomdtcm's Avatar
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    I think it's true. I also read that book & Jennfer Chiavareli uses the story in one of her books.

  4. #4
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    If search this site for URR quilts, several folks here have done them.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-10116-1.htm
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-22541-1.htm

    These are a couple to get you started.

  5. #5
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    There's a lot of arguments on this subject. Some say it is NOT true, others say it IS true. I enjoy the stories, and the quilts that go with them, there fore, I choose to believe it is true. I also believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Clause, because I enjoy all those stories. I think everyone just needs to make up their own minds. Do you plan to make any of the quilts? You could change to colors to your own liking. Enjoy!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bj
    If search this site for URR quilts, several folks here have done them.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-10116-1.htm
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-22541-1.htm

    These are a couple to get you started.
    What beautiful quilts. I'm going to get the pattern and make one myself. And...I believe in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny too. LOL

  7. #7
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I think sometimes people discount history they don't want to acknowledge by denying it ever happened. I believe the stories of quilts used as signals for illiterate escaped slaves are true. It would be just like some of our clever quilting sisters to come up with such a scheme. How innocent would a quilt hung out to dry appear?

  8. #8
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i made 2 underground railroad sampler quilts, one in 1800's repo fabrics (which i have to be honest and say is still blocks, some with sashing strips living in a pizza box) the 2nd one i made in 1930's fabrics, white back ground...it turned out very pretty and was sold i think the day i finished it and showed it off at a little festival in town...the darker one? well, every once in awhile i get the box out, look through the blocks and think...i should finish this some day; problem with that one? well, the fabric i decided to use for sashing...not enough...and maybe...just not my thing....some day maybe i'll just send it off to someone else to do something with...hmmmmmm there is a thought.

  9. #9
    Super Member dotcomdtcm's Avatar
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    Addie, The American Girl doll who is a freed slave has a quilt.
    It's a real beauty. We love AG dolls in this house. My girls read every book & still do!

  10. #10
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    My DD always loved the American Girl stuff too, now my neice does as well. When they get those free catalogs, they practically drool, lol!

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