Part Thirteen of the PP forum Block of the Month - Underground Railroad
There will always be conversation and discussion over the so called designated use of ‘quilt codes’ for the runaway slaves. It has been read that the ‘code’ was a way of saying something to another person, while at the same time being in the presence of other people, but not letting on that there was some sort of direction or information being given.
Since the first publication of the ‘quilt code’, it’s theory has met with considerable controversy. Even today quilt historians and Underground Railroad experts question the methodology of the creation of the quilts and their patterns as well as the accuracy of the code itself. Whether the code of the quilts actually existed or not, we continue our Block of the Month to celebrate those slaves that made it to freedom.
This block was to play a significant role in the journey of the runaways on their flight to freedom. The ‘Drunkards Path’ quilt pattern reminded slaves to move in a staggered path to keep the slave hunters confused and tracking more difficult. The block simply stated, ‘Do not travel in a straight path, you might be followed. Weave your way to freedom along the crooked path, even doubling back occasionally so as not to be caught.’ It was designed using quarter circles, swapping dark and light and rotating in endless, fascinating arrangements.
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