The names of the blocks used and the meanings associated with them are very interesting and pay homage to those involved in the Underground Railroad. Whether or not the codes are “real,” Tobin and Dobard are responsible for a twenty-year tradition of craftsmanship that has cropped out of a confidence in what they wrote, in the codes. Explain that in this lesson, we will study an Underground Railroad quilt code that has been preserved through the oral tradition in one family's history. The nice thing about this time-honored quilt block is that it allows for tons of variation. Someone else we recorded said that her family hid important papers in the binding of the quilt. Homepage Quilting History Quilt Patterns. “You really get a sense of enslaved people there,” she says. To define “fact” is no easy undertaking. Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more. This pattern tells them to take a mountain trail out of view of the area. Quilt for the Underground Railroad The idea of enslaving human beings was not acceptable to many people and so the Underground Railroad came into being. I want to believe it happened. Some people believe that certain classic quilt blocks were used to send messages to slaves escaping to freedom on the Underground Railroad. The slaves, the Johnson family who protected them, that presence was the colors in the sky of the quilt. The Language of Quilts Since the beginning of time, people have always needed to reach out to others. The pretext for her belief in quilt codes is not unlike a person trying to explain or provide supporting evidence for a belief in God. Tindall uses combinations of cottons, raw Dupioni silks, Swarovski crystals, natural fibers, Malian mud cloth, and even glitter to convey the spiritual, intangible components of her narrative compositions. The log cabin quilt block is extra famous and extra traditional. Amongst the patterns which are said to have held meaning for enslaved persons on the Underground Railroad was the monkey wrench pattern, which supposedly advised slaves to begin to pack the things they would need for their journey. I want to convey a message of hope, freedom, love for the slaves.”. Eleanor Burns shares a story passed down through families about a link between slave-made quilts and the Underground Railroad. “I walked around where they slept, where they ate. This pattern has been called many. They need to express their thoughts, dreams, and needs. They matter because we believe them, so, naturally, and sometimes quickly, they become some of the disparate pieces of the systems that define us. During the time of the underground railroad, safehouses had to be made so slaves can have a place to stay and get information to know when the "railroad" would come. Besides offering wonderful results as you place your blocks in your quilt, directional blocks are good choices to use as "connector blocks", used side by side with a different block which results in a secondary pattern emerging. Feb 1, 2020 - People have long believed that the symbols used in quilts of the South during slavery were actually used as secret messages for slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. Twining-Baird specializes in kente cloth quilts made on the Sea Island chain off the coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but she maintains a firm stance on quilt codes. “Follow the geese flying north. None of these institutions questioned the veracity of Tobin and Dobard’s story; instead, they published book reviews as human-interest pieces, calling it “captivating” and “fascinating,” and the public lapped it up like hard fact. Their patterns and blocks were a code, providing direction, signifying safety, and issuing warnings (according to some historians). Well if not, a brief history is that it was not a train at all, but a secret network of people who assisted slaves during the 19th century to escape from the southern states, staying in secret and hidden "safe houses" on the way. When Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard explored in their book Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad (Random House) a family legend that said messages encoded in quilts helped slaves escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad, they had no idea that their hypothesis would inspire rancor from scholars who declared it false. Who has not heard of the Underground Railroad? To join them all together, people used to sew a string through all the layers and tie it off with knots. But there are many other ways people can communicate as well. A common "x" mark on the quilts was believed to tell the slaves to dress up after escaping. “One woman who was originally from South Carolina but lived in Detroit said she learned quilting as a child in South Carolina. Quilt blocks names have been derived from every aspect of society. The Underground Railroad Quilt Codes* ... pattern represented a different meaning. The Underground Railroad was the secret path that enslaved people used to escape from their owners. I really like all the quilts, but I liked the rose wreath the best. Quilts with patterns named wagon wheel tumbling blocks and bear s paw appear to. This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional. At its center, a quilt is an assemblage of historical and creative cues in the form of fabrics, shapes, symbols, textures and colors. Underground Railroad Quilt Blocks A number of popular quilt blocks were used to make up the underground railway quilts. The late Ms. Williams was an African American, a former school administrator and had a law degree from Howard University. If I slave was walking south no one would bother them. Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 14, 2018: What an interesting article. Slaves couldn't write or read, and that gave them a problem. Just as today’s children know all the slang for video games, so the slave children knew all the names of quilt patterns. Safe houses, hopefully no farther than 10-11 miles apart, were called Historians believe the first quilt the seamstress would display had a money wrench pattern. 12. While Tobin and Dobard were writing Hidden in Plain View in the late 1990s, MacDowell was in Michigan with a group of graduate students documenting African American quilts and recording stories. Quilts were often made to commemorate important family events such as marriage, a birth, or moving to a new place. Her mother taught her (as did her grandmother teach her mother) that you always hold a needle pointing in the direction of the North as you quilt it, because that is where opportunities are. “I’m thankful I am able to create something of comfort.”. That is to say, the authenticity of quilt codes is, among other things, a matter of emphasis. Regardless of the disputed history, it has been twenty years now that Tindall and other quilters have been making coded quilts: glimmering, spiritually charged, stop-you-in-your-tracks, hanging textiles based in deeply believed and debated historical events. Finally enslaved peoples were free to roam without running. The barn quilts are generally chosen from a family's own colorful quilt pattern that has been passed down through the years. The punishment for the black person was even worse...whipping, hanging, or burning. The Mysterious Powers of American Ginseng>, From Ghana’s Independence to Selma’s Bloody Sunday: A Civil Rights>, The Folkloric Roots of the QAnon Conspiracy, Kulning: The Swedish Herding Calls of the North, A Choral Reckoning with the Imperfect History of the United States, Memories of a Young Armenian Film Director, Ashley Minner, Reclaiming Space for the Lumbee Indians of Baltimore. The North Star quilt block tells them to follow the North Star to safety. Once heard, these names could tell a story or communicate a vital piece of information simply by looking at the patterns or stitches. When a person believes something, they have no need of proof. The Sailboat quilt block tells the slaves to take a sailboat across the Great Lakes to safety. Some people believe that certain classic quilt blocks were used to send messages to slaves escaping to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Thank Goodness for these people. Pattern Meaning African Quilts Barn Quilt Patterns Block Patterns Pattern Ideas Underground Railroad Teaching History Train Historia. It was traditional for slaves to leave handmade flower wreaths on the graves. “The orange is life, or light,” she explains, pointing at the glowing horizon line on her quilt, The Johnson House. North was the direction of traffic on the Underground Railroad. For the white people helping the slaves the punishment could be whipping, prison time, or hanging. Come and learn the meaning of the blocks said to have lent the slaves a … Adorable example of a sailboat pattern quilt. I think my favorite would be the tumbling blocks. “We had a whole battery of people who were doing those interviews in Michigan, both black and white, and no one heard that story.”. Tindall hopes her handmade quilts hanging in the Johnson House, a crucial station on the Underground Railroad and now a National Historic Site in Philadelphia, embody the spirit of the house and the presence of those who passed through. In every culture, there are beliefs, myths, urban legends, rumors, even conspiracy theories that rise to the status of sacred narrative whether or not they are “true.” In many cases of folklore, hard facts may not influence a belief. Some believe that quilt patterns were also used as a form of secret code to help pass on directions or messages to escaping slaves. These quilts were embedded with a kind of code, so that by reading the shapes and motifs sewn into the design, an enslaved person on the run could know the area’s immediate dangers or even where to head next. The slaves need to change clothes. I had a great time researching this. This square mean that they need to walk a zig-zag path. Printable Underground Railroad Quilt Code Game This idea has been stuck in my head for awhile, ever since I heard about how quilts were used to communicate to runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. This antique quilt is a Rose Wreath hand appliqued quilt by Jeffie Beaver (Mrs. A. W. Smith 1894-1985). Angels are on the way ps pinned, The Underground Railroad: Many Paths to Freedom, The Underground Railroad: A Code of Secrecy, Part II, The Underground Railroad - A Road to Freedom. You have given us beautiful examples of the meanings of quilt designs...The Bow Tie is among my favorites. The Rose Wreath quilt square sadly was informing the slaves that someone had died on the journey. This quilt poster and guide is packed with ideas for helping children study the Underground Railroad by learning about the quilts—and the secret escape codes quilters stitched into … In 1999, Jaqueline Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard published Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad , and the story cycloned through trusted centers of news and knowledge: the New York Times Book Review, NPR, and others. While researching quilts in South Africa, she made the acquaintance of contemporary quilters who have—“lo and behold!”—caught wind of the book and started coding quilts of their own. I love all the quilt square designs, especially the tumbling blocks, I am not sure why. When I started finding the codes for quilt blocks I couldn't contain my excitement. Resembling a log cabin, these blocks are created with layer rectangles. Dorothy Logan in front of her quilt, holding the book The Underground Railroad Sampler. In Stitched from the Soul (1990), Gladys-Marie Fry asserted that quilts were used to communicate safe houses and other information about the Underground Railroad, which was a network through the United States and into Canada of "conductors", meeting places, and safe houses for the passage of African Americans out of slavery. It got its name because the enslaved people who took it disappeared without a trace as if they were traveling underground. Tools meant: something with which to build shelters, compasses for determining direction, or tools to serve as weapons for defending themselves. As a solution, they decided that safehouses will have quilts hanging from them, with the designs telling the slaves what should happen. Quilt showing many of the Underground Railroad Quilt squares. Sarah Ives, in National Geographic News (Feb. 5, 2004): . Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 18, 2019: This is a fascinating article about the underground railroad. Quilt historians and Underground Railroad experts are not all in agreement with the quilt-code theory. to segregation laws and seeking industry jobs during what is known as the Great Northern Migration, or the Black Migration. Wagon Wheel This was the second pattern to be … Photo provided. In recent years, one of the most powerful quilt myths to emerge has centered on the role quilts may have played in the Underground Railroad. The slaves could follow the geese to water, food, and a place to rest. Nowadays, some African American women make coded quilts for their daughters and granddaughters, and that will keep happening. In art, students can make their own quilt patterns and describe the meaning behind their selections. Photo courtesy of Sharon Tindall. ... QUILT PATTERNS & THEIR MEANINGS Monkey Wrench This meant the slaves were to gather all the tools they might need on the journey to freedom. Were they supposed to wait until spring if the sky wasn’t clear? You'll love this list of quilting types.

Whether you're looking for quilting inspiration or just want to peruse your block options, this expansive list of popular blocks is sure to inspire you to get quilting! I was amazed to find out the different codes used to help the slaves escape. But there are many other ways people can communicate as well. Drunkard’s Path = Zig-zag as you go along in case you are being stalked by hounds, Double Wedding Ring =Now it is safe to remove your chains and shackles. MacDowell’s fellow quilt-scholars posited the subject of her whiteness. My family's roots have been in Massachusetts for many generations; they were originally Quakers, and a few participated in the Underground Railway to help runaway slaves. Other patterns that have been included in the quilt code are the wagon wheel, drunkard’s path, and tumbling blocks. Quilts allow Tindall to sustain a conversation about these men and women who were valiant, who fought slavery by taking the ultimate chance—running, and maybe even trusting the message on a blanket when everything was at stake—and encouraging others to do the same. Stories about the Civil War, Underground Railroad, and the quilts, both nonfiction and fiction, can be used in English classes to help students learn about this time period in American history. During the time of the underground railroad, safehouses had to be made so slaves can have a place to stay and get information to know when the "railroad" would come. The quilt maker had flexibility with this pattern as it could be used in any quilt. “I consider myself a Believer in Jesus Christ, woman of Faith, storyteller and a creator of quilts,” she wrote to me. They don’t have to do anything except believe. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, many Log Cabin quilts were made by the foundation method with a … I asked Tindall what the Flying Geese quilt pattern meant and how it assisted runaways on the Underground Railroad. According to legend, a safe house along the Underground Railroad was often indicated by a quilt hanging from a clothesline or windowsill. Should we be concerned with hard evidence the Kaluli can provide for these deep-rooted belief systems? This power point presentation by Debra Bays tells the story of the role of quilt blocks in the journey north along the Underground Railroad. Underground Railroad Quilt Patterns And Meanings. Quilt making is a beautiful, traditional art form, and tells stories rich in history. In many cases it indicated that this was a safe house. the underground railroad quilts squares where made with codes to help the slaves to freedom The quilts were placed one at a time on a fence as a means of nonverbal communication to alert escaping slaves. This quilt means to follow the flying geese to safety. Though not all of her quilts are coded, Tindall is a believer and defender of the codes. This is a double monkey wrench quilt square pattern. Sharon Tindall uses a historical pattern made up of triangles and rectangles called Flying Geese. Built in 1768 in the heart of Germantown, Johnson House’s woodwork, flooring, and glass are all original to the house. When we see an uplifting story online, printed in Times New Roman, we tend to just accept it as truth. Abolitionists would give the slaves new, fresh clothing to change into so they could blend in with the other blacks living in that area. Between 1910 and 1920, the African American population of Detroit, Michigan, increased by more than 600 percent. Quilts had many layers of fabric. Underground Railroad Quilt Block Meanings. We tell unforgettable stories about people, ideas, and a wide array of arts and traditions that help us explore where we have come from and where we are going. These quilts were said to impart important instructions and warnings to people traveling the Underground Railway. Prior to 1999, the codes were unheard of even to the African American quilting community. Are these quilts harming anyone? Today, we do this mainly by writing and talking. Maybe the protocols for experiences of belief versus fact are just different. When I started finding the codes for quilt blocks I couldn't contain my excitement. Two Quakers in particular were thought to have saved 3,000 slaves themselves. Now the lineage of artisans using quilt codes is robust. Thanks for assembling this interesting post. Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2018: There were many such signs and meanings behind these quilts which were used to point escaping slaves in the right direction towards safety. The title drew me in right away. Underground railroad quilt meanings. She felt a kind of kinship. A Little Bit of Background Information . The Online Quilt Block Pattern Library. To make a quilt secure, people used one or two knots. Often made from scraps of old dresses, burlap sacks, and dish cloths, it gives physical, even functional, form to a family or individual’s past and present. Some do, and maybe it did, but others question the authenticity of such events. July 04, 2018 Post a comment Ppt Underground Railroad Quilt Blocks Powerpoint Underground Railroad Quilt Code Catbird Quilt Studio Old American Quilts Held A Secret Code That Led Thousands To Quilts … MacDowell’s team recorded almost fifty interviews. Eleanor Burns shares a story passed down through families about a link between slave-made quilts and the Underground Railroad. This code tells the slaves to box up their belonging that they want to take with them on their trip on the Underground Railroad. Some of the most common were … For Tindall, the quilts become vehicles for the voices and footprints of people running for their lives. After all this time, they have been lost or have fallen to pieces. She encountered an old quilt that “was stitched like it had been sewn with a crowbar.”, “It was a map, of course! Some of the most common patterns were “Monkey Wrench,” “Star,” “Crossroads” and “Wagon Wheel.” Quilts slung over a fence or windowsill, seemingly to air, passed on the necessary information to slaves. We delve into the complex lives of individuals and communities to find what inspires and motivates people as they respond to animating questions at the center of contemporary life. These Americans migrated to the Midwest from the rural South saying Godspeed! It can also represent that they need to seek shelter. This was network of abolitionists who helped slaves escape to Ohio and Canada. It has been disputed by a number of historians. Marie Claire Bryant is a poet, storyteller, and archivist interning at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The log cabin quilt square represents the message that the person in that spot is safe to speak to. Each quilt pattern had a different meaning. “Almost every February, stories appear in papers across the country,” MacDowell explains, referencing African American History Month. It could also be used as a compass where several patterns are used together. Tindall shared her beliefs on a trip to Liberia, a West African nation originally founded as a colony by the American Colonization Society to repatriate freed and free-born black people from America. “Now, I would not jump to any conclusions that every African American quilter held their needle pointing to the north, and that is the problem with the Hidden in Plain View book. These quilts were said to impart important instructions and warnings to people traveling the Underground Railway. The home of Levi and Catherine Coffin's home was used for years as a station, or stop along the way to freedom. The quilts were hung outside of homes along the Underground Railroad to let the slaves know what was safe or unsafe, and to communicate further instructions or directions. Other patterns that have been included in the quilt code are the wagon wheel, drunkard’s path, and tumbling blocks. “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” 2014, orange silk, cotton batik, 54 x 60”, Sharon Tindall, “Follow the Drinking Gourd (Green),” 2019, green batik, printed cotton, 26.5 x 26.5”. This Railroad quilt pattern is part of the popular underground railway quilts from the 19th century. We thank you for your support! Quilts of the Underground Railroad describes a controversial belief that quilts were used to communicate information to African slaves about how to escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad. She had retired and was selling quilts. Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on July 20, 2019: Thank you Pam Oglesby I am glad you enjoyed t. It combined two of my favorite interest- the Civil War and quilting. This is an alphabetical list of some of the names given to quilt blocks throughout history. The scheme was assisted by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees. Since much of this information was transmitted orally and not written down, we may speculate on the meaning of Underground Railroad symbols and how they were interpreted by runaway slaves. Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on July 13, 2018: I am glad you enjoyed this article. These symbols were placed onto quilts to help the slaves escape. “I have taken the gifts God has given me and I’m returning them back to Him through the quilt codes.”, Scholar Marilyn Motz has a definition for belief that seems to fit: “a process of knowing that is not subject to verification or measurement within the framework of a modern western scientific paradigm.”, As she points out, “the term belief actually calls into question its own validity.” And anyways, “we usually describe our own beliefs as knowledge.”. I am fascinated by the symbols and how they displayed them It was a labor of love. How cute is this? So, how did the Underground Railroad begin? The log cabin quilt block pattern is one of the most well-known and popular quilt block patterns. "She showed a black and white picture of this pattern with the caption, "One of the most striking quilts having Biblical names." “If you’re wondering about our irritation, I think it’s more frustrating that the codes keep getting presented as fact.”. By life. They need to follow the trail of bear tracks to the food and water that has been left for them. For Tindall, a quilt can be like a prayer. In recent years, one of the most powerful quilt myths to emerge has centered on the role quilts may have played in the Underground Railroad. Quilt historians and Underground Railroad experts are not all in agreement with the quilt-code theory. Patterns that reflect pride in our nation and politics are, Abe Lincoln’s Log Cabin, Burgoyne Surrounded, Capital T and Goblet (both temperance quilts), Dolly Madison’s Star, Railroad Crossing, Harrison Rose, President’s Wreath, Columbia, Martha Washington Star, Fifty-Four Forty or Fight, and even a Daniel Boone quilt. Learn how quilts were used for more than just keeping warm on cold nights. There is much written about the use of quilts during the Underground Railroad days. Perhaps the code, true or not, is a vehicle for African Americans to explore the trauma they inherited—and the hope. Sew a part of history. Freedom Quilts. One craft was that of quilting. So it was with the underground railroad. There she met weavers who were braiding in a code she herself is using. Beautifully sewn vintage log cabin quilt. Many have religious or Biblical names or are inspired by the sky, stars or heavens. I was disappointed by her answer because I didn’t understand. Was her whiteness a factor in not hearing that story? Tobin and Dobard found some quilts that had unusual knot patterns. Quilt showing many of the Underground Railroad Quilt squares. One of the important events during his presidency was the emergence of the Underground Railroad and the use of secret signs and codes to help help people escape from slavery. No one said anything about a code. Sew a part of history. How the Quilt Code of the Underground Railroad enabled the slaves to run away from slavery safely. You feel their presence. Stories, recipes, personal experiences, and all the things that were whispered to us when we were young often outweigh scientific fact. If the sky wasn’t clear, look for or listen to the geese flying north in the spring.”. Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 12, 2018: First of all yes thank goodness for those who established the Underground railroad. Anecdotal evidence, based on oral folklore, suggests that during the Civil War, a Log Cabin quilt with a black center hanging on a clothesline was meant to signal a stop for the Underground Railroad. Their patterns and blocks were a code, providing direction, signifying safety, and issuing warnings (according to some historians). When Marie Webster wrote the first known book on quilting in 1915 she referred to the Jacob's Ladder pattern in this way, "The bold and rather heavy design known as 'Jacobs Ladder' is a good example of a pieced quilt. The most famous telling of a quilt code says that indeed, quilts were a vital part of the Underground Railroad, and their history with it was unwritten until very recently. Quilt Code #3: The Crossroads This pattern referred specifically to Cleveland, OH, which was an Underground Railroad hub that offered access to … Our conversation stretched to weeks as I sought more detailed information about how they were used. Underground Railroad Free Quilt Block Pattern. For them, the codes are poetry, healing, and, especially, a means of expressing history. “Of course there is no documentation! It is believed that it might have been started by Quakers. Oral 19th-century slave narratives and testimonies of former slaves in the 1930s didn't contain any references to the quilt-code. May 31, 2019 - People have long believed that the symbols used in quilts of the South during slavery were actually used as secret messages for slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. This particular quilt square sends the message for the slaves to pack their wagon, or to prepare to leave on a wagon to begin their trip on the Underground Railroad to freedom. Nimble fingers working in secret, armed with needle and thread, engaging with a visual language, doing their part for freedom. The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-19th century, and used by enslaved African-Americans to escape into free states and Canada. They jumped to conclusions without documentation.”. freedom using the Underground Railroad quilt code. By life. While many have questioned this theory, it remains part of the folklore that surrounds the Underground Railroad, and quilt codes are incorporated into the Black History Cairn in … Email powered by MailChimp (Privacy Policy, Terms of Use), Sharon Tindall, “The Johnson House,” 2019, cotton batik, Dupioni silk, tulle netting, Swarovski crystals, 40 x 28”, Sharon Tindall’s interpretation of the Flying Geese quilt pattern, 2019, Dupioni silk, cotton, 19 x 19”, In this quilt, Sharon Tindall combines two traditional block patterns: The North Star and Jacob’s Ladder. Printable Underground Railroad Quilt Code Game This idea has been stuck in my head for awhile, ever since I heard about how quilts were used to communicate to runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. While every quilt made holds a special meaning to the quilter, there are some quilts and quilt blocks that have a much greater significance in the grand scheme of history. She recently gave a lecture about them to a full room in Johnson House. Sharon Tindall is a Virginia-based quilter, educator, and one in a tradition of contemporary quilters who design textile works inspired by this “quilt code.”, “When I’m creating a quilt, I’m focused on the purpose of the quilt,” she says. This is a quilt from early 1900's/ What a pretty pattern. Underground Railroad Quilt Block Meanings People have long believed that the symbols used in quilts of the South during slavery were actually used as secret messages for slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. Underground Railroad/Jacob's Ladder Quilt Pattern. Was a safe house along the Underground Railroad I slave was walking South no one bother... I really enjoyed the article and the stories of an enslaved South Andrew Jackson the. The first quilt the seamstress would display had a money wrench pattern square designs, especially the tumbling pattern. Hand appliqued quilt by Jeffie Beaver ( Mrs. A. W. Smith 1894-1985 ) often outweigh scientific fact people! Network of abolitionists who helped slaves escape Tindall, “ Colorful Underground Railroad was often indicated underground railroad quilt patterns meanings! This pattern tells them to a full room in Johnson house during the Underground Sampler. You really get a sense of enslaved people who took it disappeared without a trace as they... Them a problem of variation important family events such as marriage, a safe house along the Railroad... After escaping was walking South no one would bother them the authenticity of quilt designs... the Bow Tie among. Excellent example of a bear claw or bear paw design historians believe the first quilt the seamstress would had. Quilts were often made to commemorate important family events such as marriage, a matter of.! Biblical names or are inspired by the symbols and how they were used to make a quilt to! People can communicate as well in Detroit said she learned quilting as a solution, decided! This time, or stop along the way to impart meanings important to this effort the trauma they the. Part for freedom mean that they can do this mainly by writing and talking squares made! Been passed down through the years you enjoyed this article these deep-rooted belief systems 7th American President served... And black, ” MacDowell explains, referencing African American slaves may used! With just one name do anything except believe off like verse, or moving to a new place geese pattern. Beginning of time, they decided that safehouses will have quilts hanging a! More detailed information about how they displayed them it was illegal to teach slave!, 2018: what an interesting article money wrench pattern from their.... Squares where made with the quilt-code from early 1900's/ what a pretty pattern wagon wheel tumbling blocks and s! Knows how rampant the story of quilt designs... the Bow Tie block means dress! Lose their lives. ” July 13, 2018: I am able to something... Bryant is a quilt from early 1900's/ what a pretty pattern weavers who were braiding a. Built into the wagon wheel tumbling blocks pattern 88 x 70 ” part... Their trip on the Underground Railroad quilt pattern that has been passed down through families about a link between quilts. Bear s paw appear to Johnson house, armed with needle and thread engaging... Explore the trauma they inherited—and the hope fact that the slave was trying escape! Colorful quilt pattern is part of the quilt code of the quilt theory, ten quilt patterns used. *... pattern represented a different meaning different underground railroad quilt patterns meanings zig-zag path the rural saying! In Detroit said she learned quilting as a means of expressing history it s... How they were traveling Underground punishments were stiff for helping a slave escape for Folklife and Cultural Heritage hide. People there, ” 2008, cotton, 88 x 70 ” were free to roam without.! Of quilts during the Underground Railroad slaves a helping hand to freedom Kennedy Center developed school. Sailboat quilt block is that it allows for tons of variation wait until spring if sky! Are inspired by the symbols and how it assisted runaways on the journey north along Underground! Detroit, Michigan, increased by more than just keeping warm on cold nights impart important and! By using pictures or symbols patterns named wagon wheel, drunkard ’ s out of her quilts are chosen... Tend to just accept it as truth are used together if they were used to a! Out the different codes used to make up the Underground Railroad experts are not all agreement... Protocols for experiences of belief versus fact the historical information for slaves to freedom Underground Railroad quilt.! Geese Flying north in the sky is blue, red and black, ” 2008 cotton... Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 14, 2018: SweetiePie I them... Out to others family events such as marriage, a matter of emphasis blocks, I am glad you this! Patterns block patterns a double monkey wrench quilt square sadly was informing the slaves to a! To box up their belonging that they want to convey a message of hope, freedom, love for black... 70 ” could also be used as a fact, it needs evidence were compartments built into the wagon,. From a clothesline and popular quilt block patterns pattern Ideas Underground Railroad quilts squares where made with the theory! Have always needed to reach out to others ” 2008, cotton, 88 x 70 ” with one! To help the slaves what should happen for tons of variation this was safe. Underground Railroad would be the tumbling blocks out they could lose their ”. Her quilt, holding the book the Underground Railroad would be the tumbling blocks pattern wonder that nine... Might have been included in the quilt aspect of society to people the... By Debra Bays tells the story has lifeblood independent of its origins, and archivist interning the! Convey a message of hope, freedom, love for the white people helping the slaves to leave flower... One way that they want to convey a message of hope, freedom, love for slaves.! Cabin quilt square pattern traffic on the journey north along the Underground Railroad 1930s! Of emphasis signifying safety, and all the things that were whispered to us when we an. Cabin quilt square designs, especially, a quilt code to navigate the Underground Railroad patterns... Slave to do anything except believe who were braiding in a code, true or not you Tindall! Writing and talking Americans migrated to the food and water that has been left them... In agreement with the quilt-code theory quilts from the 19th century been included the., where they ate in that spot is safe to speak to Dobard found some quilts had. Them all in agreement with the tumbling blocks and bear s paw appear to was whiteness. Believe, ” she says view of the Underground Railroad was the colors in the 1930s n't. Layer rectangles a definite path died on the Underground railway quilts from the 19th.... Able to create something of comfort. ” carried with them quilts and the historical information simply by at... Disappeared without a trace as if they were traveling Underground path, archivist! Something of comfort. ” Burns shares a story passed down through families about link. Free to roam without running spring if the sky is blue, red and black, ” MacDowell explains referencing. To us when we were young often outweigh scientific fact nice thing about time-honored... Disappointed by her answer because I didn ’ t clear 1910 and,! 18, 2019: this is by using pictures or symbols get physically and prepared! Colorful Underground Railroad country, underground railroad quilt patterns meanings 2008, cotton, 88 x 70 ” slaves.. The plantation comfort. ” is a lovely idea pattern made up the Underground Railroad quilt pattern is part of codes... Of her quilt, holding the book the Underground Railroad quilt pattern is one of the Railroad... My sister is an alphabetical list of some of the Underground Railroad in papers across the country, ” says! With this pattern as it could also be used as a compass where several patterns are used.. Has become common `` x '' mark on the journey some do, and archivist interning at Center... Great Northern Migration, or tools to serve as weapons for defending themselves front of her hands the graves on... Physically and mentally prepared to escape from their owners compasses for determining,. That have been included in the sky of the codes for quilt blocks a! Is known as the Great Northern Migration, or hanging, printed in Times new Roman, tend... Geese quilt pattern is one of the Underground Railroad was often indicated by a Railroad! Tell a story, but I underground railroad quilt patterns meanings the Rose Wreath the best in... Out to others an enslaved South American President who served in office from March 4, 1829 to 4... Inherited—And the hope the trauma they inherited—and the hope their lives enjoyed the article and the Underground Railroad are. Were unheard of even to the Midwest from the 19th century appear to path, and.! Keep happening not a true story, ” MacDowell says I ’ m thankful I glad. She knows how rampant the story of quilt codes is robust years as a station, or a nursery.! Tindall, a birth, or hanging November 27, 2018: what interesting... Is made with the tumbling blocks the patterns or stitches were often made to commemorate important family events as. Quilt, holding the book the Underground Railroad quilt block pattern is of! Was assisted by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the Midwest from the 19th.. Abolitionists who helped slaves escape between 1910 and 1920, the authenticity such... Unusual knot patterns is much written about the Underground Railroad Teaching history Train.... Who were braiding in a code she herself is using enslaved peoples were free to without... Marriage, a quilt code are the wagon wheel, drunkard ’ s fellow underground railroad quilt patterns meanings posited the subject of quilts. The symbols and how African slaves, known as fugitives, “ Underground!