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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Every Quilt has a Story to Tell

I love quilts and quilting – and the story’s that they tell… 
Quilts can be works of art as well as a story teller through pictures. Quilts are a part of many cultures. Historically, traditional quilts were made by hand, by quilter bees. Quilts can also tell a story about their creators and about the historical and cultural context of their creation…

Like in the Underground Railroad…

It was said that "The Underground Railroad" used secret codes to pass hidden messages to and from slaves who were escaping slavery.  These codes and symbols were used in quilt patterns. The symbols were an effective way for slaves to communicate non-verbally with each other and help each other to escape. The quilts were hung out on clothes lines and porches for all to see.

Here are some of the symbols that were used to indicate routes:

  • Geese symbolizes flying North
  • Crossroads symbolizes  indicated Cleveland, Ohio
  • Bears Paw symbolizes a message to take a mountain route
  • Bow tie symbolizes necessary to change from slave clothing
  • The log cabins symbolizes secret symbol that could be drawn on the ground indicating that a person is safe to talk to. It also advises seeking shelter.
  • Monkey wrench symbolizes  weapons or tools would help on their journey
  • North Star symbolize follow the north star to freedom
This is a quilt with some of the Underground Railroad symbols!

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