Monday, 26 March 2007

Belated Blog Birthday and Quilt History

Belated Happy Blog Birthday to me. Hard to believe that just over a year ago I started blogging and look at what has happened! I'm so busy with Quilts 4 Leukaemia that I haven't got time for anything else; I have made friends with fellow quilters all over the world and hope some day to meet some of you in the flesh; my idea of quilting has changed beyond recognition thanks to a certain person; and I have well and truly amazed myself. A big hug to each and every one of you and thanks for stopping by over the last year. Onto the second part of the title. As you probably know, this last weekend saw the 200th anniversary of the abolishment of the slave trade. On BBC Radio 4 on Sunday evenings there is kids programme called Go For It. Yesterday evening the programme was devoted to the slave trade. I wasn't really listening (rarely do), but suddenly heard a woman saying how quilts were used to depict safe houses for escaping slaves and contained hidden messages ( Drunkard's Path, Northern Star, etc). Is this really true? I only ask because this topic came up on Stashbusters the other month and someone said it wasn't. Pictures soon hopefully.

9 comments:

Tonya R said...

Happy Blogiversary!

Quilts on the Underground Railroad? Myth. Check out this excellent piece in the Bent Needle:
http://forcemajeurefarm.blogspot.com/2007/01/bent-needle-2007-black-history-month_16.html

Katjaquilt said...

I read about this in two novels of Jennifer Chiaverini. Whether it is true or not - I don't know. I wish it would be true.
Happy Blogiversary!
Hugs
Katja

peggy said...

I wanted Tonya to be wrong! I have enjoyed the idea of the Underground Railroad and the meanings of the quilts hung along the way since I began quilting about 6 years ago. However, I checked her reference, as well as some others. It looks like Tanya is right. Darn! Thanks, Tonya, for sharing such an indisputable site.

Thank you, Clare, for your blog!

YankeeQuilter said...

There are lots of political/social movements that have links to quilts but the underground railroad isn't one of them!

Congrats on your blog birthday!

Conni Lu said...

Clare, Happy blog-birthday to you. I'm glad that I found your blog! The stories about the underground railroad and quilts have been talked about for years but it seems that it was only a story. If you want to read a good fictional story about the subject though, read "The Runaway Quilt" by Jennifer Chiaverini, as another comment mentions.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

I thought it was true as well! there goes another good American folk story dashed-next you'll tell me there was no Daniel Boone!Tracey

Jeanne said...

Happy One Year Blogging! According to many, many historians on the Quilters Heritage List, the UGRR stories are just that - stories.

Fiona said...

Belated anniversary! Isn't it strange how one thing leads to another? Serendipity,

Patti said...

I see others have chimed in before me. It's a interesting myth - but myth it is. What's really sad is that the quilt historians who are trying to set the record straight are being called all sorts of horrible names and receiving hate mail, etc. Barbara Brackman has written a very interesting book on this subject that came out this fall - check it out.