What Did The Bear Paw Mean For The Underground Railroad? (Correct answer)

What did this pattern mean to those on the Underground Railroad? It meant that the area they were heading into was full of people hunting for them with dogs. The advice was to remind them to travel more in a zig-zag line so they could not be tracked as easily by the dogs.

What does the Bear Claw pattern mean in the wagon?

  • It could also mean that there were compartments built into the wagon to hide slaves. Excellent example of a bear claw or bear paw design. This pattern tells them to take a mountain trail out of view of the area. They need to follow the trail of bear tracks to the food and water that has been left for them.

What is the Bear Claw patterns believed secret message?

This pattern told slaves to pack their belongings because they were about to go on a long journey. Dobard said his favorite pattern was the bear’s paw, a quilt he believes directed slaves to head north over the Appalachian Mountains.

What is the message behind the Monkey Wrench quilt square?

Monkey Wrench: A signal to gather all the tools required for the fleeing slave’s journey, meaning the physical tools, as well as the mental and spiritual ones.

What is the Underground Railroad quilt code?

A quilting pattern often overlooked in today’s society is the Underground Railroad quilt code. Used during the time of abolition and the Civil War, this visual code sewn into the pattern of quilts readied slaves for their upcoming escape and provided them directions when they were on their way to freedom.

What does the Log Cabin mean in the Underground Railroad?

A Log Cabin quilt hanging in a window with a black center for the chimney hole was said to indicate a safe house. Underground Railroad quilts, a variation of Jacob’s Ladder, were said to give cues as to the safe path to freedom.

What does the Bear Paw Quilt symbolize?

The Bear’s Paw quilt was hung to encourage Underground Railroad passengers to follow bear excrement on the path. That way they would be able to find water and food.

What did the Bears Paw Quilt mean?

The Bear Paw block pattern would be a sign that slaves were on the right track to life-saving resources and shelter on their long trek to freedom.

What is churn dash?

The Churn Dash is a very old 9-Patch quilt block pattern, originating between 1800 and 1849. Its name is a result of the resemblance of the triangle and rectangle perimeter of the block to a butter churn and the center square to the stick (or “dash”) of the butter churn.

Why do they call a pipe wrench a monkey wrench?

Charles Moncky, a Baltimore mechanic, invented the monkey wrench around 1858. Moncky’s wrench was named using a purposeful misspelling of his name. Stillson, a steamboat firefighter, received a patented on September 13, 1870 for an invention later known as the Stillson pipe wrench.

What is the significance of barn quilts?

Barn quilts tell stories about individual farms, historical events or communities while also adding visual interest to the countryside and increasing rural tourism.

How many trips did Harriet Tubman make during the Underground Railroad?

Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.”

What does the bow tie quilt mean?

Also known as the necktie or hourglass quilt, the bow tie quilt originated in the time of the pioneers setting in the Western part of America. A specific theory about the bow tie quilt blocks is that it was a symbol for slaves to dress up like rich people in order to travel safely.

What did slaves use as a compass?

Night sky illustration of the Big Dipper, or Drinking Gourd, in relation to the North Star and Little Dipper. As slave lore tells it, the North Star played a key role in helping slaves to find their way—a beacon to true north and freedom.

What was a symbol for freedom for runaway slaves?

Nash, a professor of history at the University of California at Los Angeles, who pointed out that it was abolitionists who made the Liberty Bell a symbol of the nation’s freedom.

What is a freedom quilt?

It is believed that quilts were designed and used to communicate information to African slaves about how to escape to freedom using the Underground Railroad. Slaves named these quilts… Freedom Quilts.

Did Quilts Hold Codes to the Underground Railroad?

According to two scholars, African American slaves may have utilized a patchwork code to navigate the Underground Railroad during their time as slaves. According to the duo, quilts with designs such as “wagon wheel,” “tumbling blocks,” and “bear’s paw” appear to have included secret signals that guided slaves to freedom. The quilt code idea was initially proposed by Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard in their book Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, which was released in 1998 and has been around for six years.

McDaniel maintains that the secret of the quilt code was passed down from one generation to the next by her foremothers and forefathers.

The Code

According to McDaniel, who detailed the code in a series of conversations with Tobin and Dobard, a plantation seamstress would construct a sampler quilt with various quilt designs on each side. Slaves would learn the code with the help of the sampler. When she had finished sewing, the seamstress would hang the 10 quilts in plain view, each of which was constructed of one of the code’s patterns. By doing so, the slaves would be able to reinforce their memory of the design and its related meaning.

  • According to historians, the first quilt displayed had a wrench pattern on it.
  • It is believed that this design instructed slaves to pack their goods since they were about to embark on a lengthy journey.
  • “You were intended to follow in the bear’s actual footsteps,” Dobard explained.
  • “This quilt was only shown when particular conditions were met, such as when an Underground Railroad agent happened to be in the vicinity,” Dobard explained.

Fact or Myth?

Since its publication, the quilt-code idea has been the subject of heated debate. Quilt historians and experts on the Underground Railroad have questioned the methods used in the study, as well as the veracity of its conclusions. Giles R. Wright, a historian located in New Jersey, argues that there is a scarcity of supporting material. Quilt codes are not mentioned in either the slave narratives from the nineteenth century or the oral accounts of former slaves from the 1930s. In addition, there are no original quilts left.

  1. “They provide no proof, no paperwork, in support of that claim,” says the author.
  2. I was thinking to myself, “Who is going to take notes on their actions and what they meant.it may get into the wrong hands?” Dobard expressed himself.
  3. “Take, for example, the nature of quilts.
  4. “It is unreasonable to expect a quilt that has been kept within the slave community for more than a hundred years to still be in existence.” Fact or fiction, most people agree that the concept of a patchwork code is intriguing.

It creates a beautiful tale, according to Bonnie Browning of the American Quilter’s Society in Paducah, Kentucky: “It makes a wonderful story.”

Bear’s Paw Quilt or Duck’s Foot? A Sawtooth Pattern Variation

The sawtooth border, which was utilized on early American quilts and evolved into each claw of the Bear’s Paw quilt block, was the inspiration for each claw. Borders made with saw teeth in the early stages When pieced quilts were popular in the middle of the 19th century, the history of this design began even before that time period. Medallion-style quilts were popular in the early American era; they had numerous borders encircling a core area of a visually appealing printed fabric or plain solid fabric, typically with a huge design appliquéd on it.

  1. Even though it may be applied in one of three ways to achieve a perfect turn and direction, it is commonly used in less exact ways that it reveals its true appeal.” 1 Borders like these remained popular even when quilts were more frequently constructed from a series of pieced pieces.
  2. Patterns for Saw Tooth Blocks Of course, the techniques used to create a border might simply be applied to the construction of a quilt block as well.
  3. The earliest version with a date on it dates back to 1823.” 2 A variety of designs, including sawtooth stars and diamonds, were created using these triangle-shaped saw teeth.
  4. Paw Blocks in a variety of styles A quilt design is seldom known by a single name, and it is common for a quilt name to be applied to more than one pattern.
  5. The paws appear to be wandering in a circle in one of the most unexpected variations.
  6. Each of these names is also used to refer to one or more additional patterns in addition to this one.
  7. Regional Names for This Section of Code In most quilting circles, the Bear’s Paw design is defined as a pattern with four paws pointing in different directions, such as the example to the right on the right side above.

Ruth Finley, a writer from the early twentieth century, was as much of a tale teller as she was a quilt historian at times.

3 She then goes on to recount the tale of how a friend called one day and said she had a quilt popular on Long Island called “Ducks-Foot-in-the-Mud” that she wanted to sell to her.

Her initial reaction was to express her dissatisfaction with the quilt’s title.

Soon later, a friend from Philadelphia came upon Finley’s Bear’s Paw quilt and exclaimed, “Oh, you’ve got a yellow and white, ‘Hand of Friendship’ quilt!

1It is perhaps natural that the block would be referred to as “Hand of Friendship” by the Quakers in Philadelphia, and as “Ducks Foot in the Mud” by those who live on the coast, given the abundance of ducks in the surrounding area.

I’m curious about the origins of some of the other names for this design, such as Tea Leaf Design and Cat’s Paw, among others.

Who Was the Inventor of These Quilts?

Furthermore, it has gained popularity among people of different ethnicities, particularly African Americans.

This makes for a fascinating story of how the Bear Paw quilt alerted runaway slaves that they needed to follow the tracks, maybe in order to locate water or refuge, and that they should follow the traces.

2006 is a year of transition.

References:1p132, The book “Small Endearments: 19th Century Quilts for Children,” written by Sandi Fox, is a must-read.

Barbara Brackman’s “Clues in the Calico” (page 171) is a mystery novel. 3p98-99 Ruth Finley’s “Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them” is a book on patchwork quilts from the past.

Underground Railroad Quilt Codes: What We Know, What We Believe, and What Inspires Us

An embroidered quilt hanging from a clothesline or window sill, according to folklore, marked the location of a safe home along the Underground Railroad. These quilts were infused with a form of code, so that an enslaved person on the run could determine the immediate hazards in the region by reading the shapes and motifs woven into the pattern, as well as where to go next by reading the code. Dress in disguise in order to appear to be of better social position. Bear Paw = Follow an animal route into the mountains in search of water and food, which you will discover.

  1. I can see the potential benefits of such a system.
  2. I really want to think that took place.
  3. Sharon Tindall is a quilter and instructor who lives in Virginia.
  4. Johnson House, which was built in 1768 in the center of Germantown, has woodwork, flooring, and glass that are all original to the building.
  5. “I took a tour around the area to see where people slept and ate.
  6. The presence of the slaves, as well as the Johnson family who protected them, was represented by the hues in the quilt’s sky.
  7. In Sharon Tindall’s “The Johnson House,” a cotton batik, Dupioni silk, tulle netting, and Swarovski crystals are used to create a 40 by 28-inch piece of art.
See also:  How Did Houses Communicate In The Underground Railroad? (Question)

Tindall is a believer in and supporter of codes, despite the fact that not all of her quilts are coded.

Our dialogue dragged on for weeks as I pressed for more specific details about how they were being used.

Quilts were frequently produced to mark key family events like as marriage, a child’s birth, or the relocation of the family to a new location.

Toni Tindall’s narrative compositions are made up of a variety of fabrics, including cottons, raw Dupioni silk, Swarovski crystals, natural fibers, Mali mud cloth,and even glitter, to portray the spiritual and intangible elements of the story.

When she points to the blazing horizon line on herquilt, The Johnson House, she adds that the orange represents life or light.

In the years leading up to 1999, the codes were virtually unknown, even among members of the African American quilting community.

Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, written by Jaqueline Tobin and Raymond G.

In collaboration with National Geographic and the Kennedy Center, curriculum for primary schools were designed that included references to the codes.

When we read an inspirational article online that is posted in Times New Roman, we prefer to take it as fact without questioning it.

“Almost every February, pieces of African-American history emerge in newspapers across the country,” MacDowell adds, referring to Black History Month.

Perhaps the rules for experiencing belief vs experiencing reality are just different.

There are no dates, instances, or first-person testimonies.

Evidence is required before something may be considered a fact.

According to studies of quilts manufactured during these years, the proof for some of these designs simply does not exist, so shattering the grip of this enthralling story’s engaging narrative.

Sharon Tindall provided the photograph.

It is now safe to remove your chains and shackles because you have a double wedding ring.

I inquired of Tindall about the significance of the Flying Geese quilt pattern and how it aided runaways on the Underground Railroad.

“Follow the geese as they fly north.” Look for or listen for geese moving north in the spring if the skies aren’t clear.

It read more like a poem or a nursery rhyme to me.

They were meant to physically follow the geese, right?

Although you may or may not agree with Tindall’s interpretation, you could agree that her view gives artistic grounds for believing as opposed to actuality.

“If people’s lives are on the line, it only seems sense that there would be no race of the quilts,” explains quilt researcher Mary Twining-Baird, who resides in Atlanta.

” If anyone learned the truth, they may literally lose their lives.” She specializes in kente clothquilts manufactured on the Sea Island chain, which stretches from South Carolina to Georgia to Florida, but she takes a strong position against quilt codes.

“Of course it was an amap!” says the author.

After all this time, they have either vanished or been shattered to bits.

The artist has provided permission for the use of his photograph.

She is attempting to explain or offer supporting evidence for her believe in quiltcodes, which is analogous to someone attempting to explain or provide supporting evidence for their belief in God.

The following is what she sent to me: “I consider myself a believer in Jesus Christ as well as a lady of Faith, storyteller, and acreator of quilts.” “I’ve taken the things that God has given me and I’m giving them back to Him via the quilt codes,” says the author of the book.

If we sincerely believe something, as Tindall thinks that enslaved people going north were directed by the Flying Geese design in quilts, it is possible that we may have difficulty distinguishing between belief and truth.

So it is with the Kaluli people of Papua New Guinea, who believe that the souls of their ancestors take up residence in various animals, such as pigs and birds, after they die.

Stories, recipes, personal experiences, and everything else that was whispered to us when we were children frequently trump scientific reality.

A classic block design, the North Star, is combined with a Jacob’s Ladder block pattern to create this quilt by Sharon Tindall.

Sharon Tindall provided the photograph.

Is it possible that these quilts are causing harm to anyone?

“I’ve discovered that some individuals have a difficult time believing or thinking about things they cannot see or touch,” Tindall explains.

Detroit’s African American population expanded by more than 600 percent between 1910 and 1920, according to the United States Census Bureau.

They brought quilts and tales of the enslaved South with them wherever they traveled.

The interviews conducted by MacDowell’s team numbered around fifty.

“Follow the Drinking Gourd (Green),” by Sharon Tindall, 2019, green batik on printed cotton, 26.5 × 26.5″ Sharon Tindall provided the photograph.

Her grandmother also taught her this.

The problem with theHiddenin Plain Viewbook is that it leads the reader to believe that every African American quilter had their needle pointed north.

Was her being white a contributing factor to her not hearing the story?

She is very aware of how widespread the myth of patchwork codes has gone.

While conducting research on quilts in South Africa, she met a group of modern quilters who, “lo and behold!” had heard about the book and had begun coding quilts of their own.

“It’s a fact of life.” Perhaps the code, whether genuine or not, serves as a platform for African Americans to explore the pain they inherited—as well as the possibility of redemption.

They were braiding in the same code she was using, which she was surprised to find out.

Some African American women are already making coded quilts for their daughters and grandchildren, and this will continue to be the case in the future.

The genealogy of patchwork code-using artists is now well-established.

In her spare time, MarieClaire Bryant works as a poet, storyteller, and archivist at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in New York City.

She formerly worked as the director of publication for the Cfile Foundation, where she wrote, edited, and published significantly on the subject of modern and historic ceramic arts, among other things.

The Bear Paw Quilt Pattern: Let’s get Super Scrappy

Are you looking for a Bear Paw quilt design that is completely free? Take a look at these straightforward steps. I’m also a sucker for children’s books on quilting, which are plenty in my library. Isn’t this one adorable? Scraps are a quilter’s best friend. If you’ve ever made a quilt or two, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Because quiltmaking generally requires fabric of all various shapes and sizes, quilters are usually left with a lot of random, unneeded fabric. Yes, it was unused.

  1. The Bear Paw, to be precise.
  2. Even the tiniest leftovers will be put to good use in this pattern, which includes half-square triangles and other half-square triangles.
  3. Just wait till you learn about the city’s enigmatic and incredible past.
  4. You’ll learn everything you need to know about the quilt’s history and folklore, as well as some helpful hints for constructing the finest Bear Paw Quilt ever.
  5. Yes, you read that correctly.
  6. It truly made a difference in the lives of real individuals.

Rated5.00out of 5$ 13.00Rated5.00out of 5$ 13.00Rated5.00out of 5$ 13.00Rated5.00out of 5$ 13.00Rated5.00out of 5$ 13.00Rated5.00out of 5$ 13.00Rated5.00out of 5$ 13.00 Rated 5.00 out of 5 dollars 13.00 Rated 5.00 out of 5 dollars 13.00 The Bear Paw block design would serve as a reminder to slaves that they were on the correct path to life-saving resources and shelter during their long journey to freedom.

Although this notion has not been established conclusively, it is fascinating to consider quilt designs that were utilized for such crucial missions, don’t you think?

This is one of those designs that has multiple names depending on where in the nation you are.

This design is known as the “Bear Claw” (or Bear Paw) in mountainous places, but a quilter from Long Island would see the same pattern and refer to it as the “Ducks-Foot-in-the-Mud” (which isn’t nearly as amazing), and still another from Philadelphia might refer to it as the “Hand of Friendship” (cute, but still, I feel more hard-core calling it a Bear Claw.) Bear Paw quilts are great for scrappy quilters, especially if you use a design like the Tea Leaf Design or the Illinois Turkey Track (yes, that’s real), and the Bear Paw design is one of the most popular.

  1. Let’s get started!
  2. Each of the bear claws is constructed from a single huge square and four half-square triangular pieces.
  3. Do you understand what I’m trying to say here?
  4. You’re well aware that you have a collection of oddly shaped fabric scraps left over from previous quilts that you’d like to put to good use.

The Bear Claw Quilt is a quilter’s best friend when it comes to saving money. Each claw will assist you in putting all of your leftovers to good use. and make a fantastic impression while doing it. ​

If You’re Making a Bear Claw Quilt… DO NOT FORGET THIS:

Are you looking for a Bear Paw quilt design that is completely free? Look no further. Pay attention to these straightforward guidelines. I’m also a sucker for children’s books on quilting, which are many in my library. Do you think this is a sweetie? Scraps are common among quilters. It is easy to understand what I’m talking about if you’ve created a few quilts in your lifetime. Given the fact that quiltmaking frequently requires fabric in a variety of shapes and sizes, quilters are frequently left with a large amount of random, wasted fabric.

  • Not useless, but not entirely unusable.
  • Grrrrr.
  • This block has already captured your heart?
  • You all know how much I like learning about the history of quilts, and the Bear Paw quilt has some fascinating tales to share.
  • Half-squares aren’t going to have a chance against these big squares!
  • This quilt pattern, known as the Bear Paw Quilt, is more than simply a lovely design.
  • One of the most prevalent stories concerning the origins of the Bear Paw quilt design holds that the quilt block was used to direct runaway slaves to food and water during the heyday of the underground railroad system.
  • Despite the fact that this notion has not been verified, it is fascinating to think of quilt designs being utilized for such vital missions, isn’t it.
  • This is one of those patterns that has several names depending on where in the nation you are in.

However, a quilter from Long Island would see the same design and name it the “Ducks-Foot-in-the-Mud” (which isn’t quite as amazing), and yet another from Philadelphia might call it the “Hand of Friendship.” In the mountain areas, this pattern is always known as the “Bear Claw” (or Bear Paw) (cute, but still, I feel more hard-core calling it a Bear Claw.) Bear Paw quilts are great for scrappy quilters, especially if you use a design like the Tea Leaf Design or the Illinois Turkey Track (yes, that’s real), and the Bear Paw design is no exception.

  • Embark on a journey of discovery!
  • It is constructed up of one giant square and four half-square triangles to form the bear claws’ actual structure.
  • Understand where I’m going with this?
  • You’re well aware that you have a slew of oddly shaped fabric scraps left over from previous quilts that you’d like to put to use in anything.

An inexpensive quilter’s best friend, the Bear Claw Quilt is a must-have for every stash. All those leftovers will be put to good use thanks to each claw. While doing so, you’ll also look really great. ​

​Heidi Staples,Fabric Mutt

I’ve admired this quilt since it first appeared in January, when the Big Bear Cabin made an impressive debut. There are so many things I want to say about this quilt that I need to take a moment to gather my thoughts so that I may perhaps give it justice. Okay, forget about it; I’m simply going to go ahead and do it. Heidi, you are a quilting genius, to say the least. You’ve taken three, no, FOUR of my favorite things and combined them into a beautifully balanced modern design that’s both functional and attractive.

See also:  What Was The Role &/or Purpose Of Songs ("spiritual") For Fugitives In The Underground Railroad? (Solution)

All that could possibly make it better is if I created it myself.

  1. Since the Big Bear Cabin made its magnificent appearance in January, I’ve been a fan of this quilt. There are so many things I want to say about this quilt that I need to take a moment to organize my thoughts so that I may perhaps give it justice. Okay, I’m simply going to go ahead and do it. Your name is Heidi, and you are a brilliant quilter. It is amazing how you were able to take three, no, FOUR of my favorite things and transform them into a wonderfully balanced modern design. Allow me to share some of the reasons why I believe this quilt pattern is really close to being flawless: The only thing that could make it even better is if I had designed it myself.

In a nutshell, this is one of my favorite quilts from the year 2016.

​Wendy,Wendy’s QuiltsMore

Making a scrappy design while yet retaining a distinct color palette is demonstrated perfectly in the Bear Paw block seen above. When you find a pattern that works well for those little pieces that seem to accumulate in the smallest corners of your sewing area, it might be difficult to keep the scrap enthusiasm under control. However, if you plan on using a variety of prints, I strongly advise keeping to a limited color palette. Those little patterns will be able to interact more harmoniously as a result of this.

​Toni Lovelady,@hoosiertoni

All of the elements of this block are perfect – scrappiness, restricted color palette (pink, purple, black and white), AND bear claws hidden inside the paws of the bear! That’s pretty awesome, huh? So get in touch with me. What method do you like to use to sift through those mounds of scraps? Have you ever constructed a quilt with bear paws, claws, duck feet, or tea leaves?

Read about more quilt history in these posts!

The idea of enslaving human beings was not acceptable to many peopleand so the Underground Railroad came into being.This was networkof abolitionists who helped slaves escape to Ohio and Canada.Safe houses, hopefully no farther than 10-11 miles apart, were called”stations”, those who guided the escapees were known as “conductors”and the runaways themselves were called “passengers”.Reaching a “station” in the North meant food, clothing, and a placeto hide if capture seemed imminent.Estimates are that as manyas 100,000 people escaped slavery between the American Revolution andthe Civil War. The blacks were not allowed to learn to read and write so the abolitionistshad to devise a way to silently communicate directions to escapees,thus the idea of quilt patterns with meanings for those wanting freedomcame into being.These quilts with special patterns could be hungon a line, out an open window or other places and not arouse any suspicions.They looked simply like a housewife airing her bedding. We have put together 15 different quilt blocks each with its ownmeaning to show how this plan worked.Of course, the slaves hadto learn the meanings ahead of time. 1 is Jacob’s Ladder – It has an alternating path of dark and lightthat can be used to show a direction.The slaves could know whichway to go by the angle at which the quilt was placed outside the homeof the abolitionist. 2 is the Monkey Wrench – It was heavy metal tool used by the blacksmith.As a rule, the blacksmith was the most knowledgeable person on the plantationand was known as the “Monkey Wrench”.He could travel around withoutanyone thinking anything suspicious and therefore pass any informationneeded.In other words, the Monkey Wrench was the person or agroup of people who got things moving, or – turned the wagon wheel. When this quilt was displayed it meant it was time collect toolsneeded on the journey north to freedom.There were physical toolsneeded for constructing shelter, for defending themselves, and determiningdirection.Along with food, and a few coins, they were to wrapthese tools in a bandana bundle. 3 is the Wagon Wheel – Not only was the wagon wheel symbolic ofa “chariot that was to carry them home”, but wagons with hidden compartmentswere one of the primary means of transporting escaping runaways.The quilt was a message to pack provisions as if packing a wagon, keepingin mind packing only what was essential. 4 is the Carpenter’s Wheel- This was a secondary code pattern.To the slave, the master carpenter in their lives was Jesus.Theywould sing the “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and the plantation owner thoughtthey were singing about going to Heaven, but actually it was messageto follow the directions to the west northwest – to Ohio. 5 is the Bear Paw – With this quilt the runaways were directed tofollow an actual trail of a bear’s footprints.The animal footprintswould indicate the best path, just like a road map.Most escapestook place in the spring and with the spring rains it would be easyto follow a bear’s paw trail to food and safety. 6 is the Basket – Symbol of provisions needed for the long journeynorth.One of the most difficult things faced by the escapingslaves was feeding themselves along the way.They took what theycould carry and then had to depend on safe houses or friends to help.Abolitionists would give them baskets of provisions and tools such asflint and compasses.So one of these quilts hung outside a housewould mean a basket of provisions could be had there. 7 is Crossroads – Once escapees made it safely through the AppalachianMountains, they were to travel to the “crossroads” meaning a city wherethey would find protection and refuge.The main crossroad, orterminal, was Cleveland, Ohio.There were four or five overlandtrails connected with Cleveland, and numerous water routes, crossingLake Erie into Canada and freedom. 8 is the Log Cabin – The block may have indicated there was a specificlog cabin in Cleveland that was a safe house, or it may have directedthe runaway to build a log cabin to weather out winter and perhaps establisha permanent residence in a “free” area.The usual center color of the block was red, representing the hearthor fire of the cabin.If the center block was black it indicatedthe home it hung in front of was a safe house.If the center blockwas yellow it meant to watch for a light, or lantern. 9 is Shoo-Fly – This pattern represents an actual person who wouldhelp escaping slaves.His responsibility was to secretly aid andharbor fugitives.Sometimes the slaves hid out in churches, orcaves referred to as cathedrals.Graveyards were frequently thehiding place, especially if they were located on the outskirts of town,or were close to rivers. 10 is Bow Tie – A quilt of this pattern was a directive for themto dress in a conventional manner.When they first escaped theirclothes were those of the slaves under a master.On the journeythey became tattered and torn, so free blacks would often meet themin a safe place and give them fresh clothing so they wouldn’t standout among the city folks.This way they could walk through townundetected to ships waiting to take them across the Great Lakes to Canadaand freedom.11 is Flying Geese – With this quilt the slaves learned they wereto take their direction, timing, and behavior from the migrating geese.Since geese fly north in the spring, it was also the best time for slavesto escape.Geese have to stop at waterways along their journeyin order to rest and eat.Especially since geese make loud honkingnoises it was easy for runaways to follow their flight pattern. 12 is Birds in the Air – This quilt is also symbolic of flight ormigration.The clever quilter would make one block with one colordominant so it gave the direction in which to travel depending on thedirection the quilt was displayed. 13 is the Drunkard’s Path – This is known by a number of differentnames depending on whether or not the owner was a teetotaler.No matter what it was called, in the Underground Railroad, it meantthat the escapees should travel in a staggering fashion to confuse anyslave hunters who might be following them. 14 is the Sailboat – This pattern was the symbol of safe water passageto freedom.Free black sailors and ship owners helped many slavesescape directly, hiding them on board ships and spiriting them awayto Canada.15 is the North Star – This is also known as the drinking gourd (theBig Dipper).The North Star was the guiding light because it alwayspoints to the north.It was an important navigational tool forthe ship owners who took the slaves from Cleveland or Detroit to Canada. The North Star is the last block in the Underground Railroad Samplerquilt.The quilt top was finished into a light-weight quilt, raffledoff for the benefit of the Edwards Historical Association and won byan appreciative teacher at Edwards-Knox Central School, Chris Backus,who plans to use it in her classroom.LaVerne H. Freeman 12 July 2005

Underground Railroad Quilts Contained Codes That Led To Freedom

Each patch has a set of instructions sewn on it. Others were there to restock supplies, some were there to track bear prints, and some were there to take diversions. A presentation of the Underground Quilts by the Riley Center Quilters was held on Tuesday evening at the Birmingham Public Library Central Branch. Others quilts were enormous, some were little; some were completed, some were not; but all included instructions on how to emancipate oneself from the bonds of servitude. Daphne Simmons, a member of the Riley Center Quilters, explained that quilts were utilized as codes since they were the only method of communication available.

  1. “There was a code, an unwritten code.
  2. Simmons went into detail about the significance of each patch on her quilt.
  3. It was written on the quilt, “This block contains an alternating route of dark and light that denotes direction,” and that specific quilt instructed slaves in which direction they should move: north, south, east, or west.
  4. “It’s a tool in the same way that a genuine monkey wrench is,” Simmons explained.
  5. This patch represented the period of time during which they would need to gather the tools they would use on their trip north to freedom.
  6. The capacity to determine the intents of strangers, according to Simmons, comes from “knowledge and experience.” She spoke into detail about the block with the wagon wheel.
  7. As a result of the restricted weight and space available, they had to carry things that were vital for survival.
  8. It was pointed out by Simmons that the spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” made reference to a wagon wheel.

According to her, it is a “secondary coding pattern.” “The song was generally chanted in conjunction with that block because plantation owners believed that slaves were singing about joining Jesus in Heaven.” They were in fact transmitting a secret message.” She explained that they were supposed to follow the carpenter’s wheel to the northwest.

  1. In order to avoid being eaten by a bear, “you would follow their paws and their trail.
  2. According to her, “following those bear paws, they’ll also be guided to food and water.” “Animals will lead you in the right direction.” Basket A basket indicated that the runaways would resupply their provisions at a secure location.
  3. A major crossroads occurred in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, as Simmons explained.
  4. I’m traveling to see someone in another city and rely on Google Maps to get there.
  5. Running away to a shoofly for clothes is something that may happen.
  6. “There would be sailors on hand to assist you in across the river and entering Canada, where the North Star (the next block away) would shine brightly with your independence,” says the author.
  7. “There were some northern states that empathized with slaves, and there were some northern states who were opposed to it,” she explained.
  8. Lesson in Learning Many people, including Miriam Omura, who was in attendance, found this seminar to be a valuable learning experience.
  9. She gained a better understanding of the symbols that were utilized on the Underground Railroad.
  10. “It was nice to learn about even more of the ones I was unaware of,” says the author.
  11. “It makes me want to create one,” Gross expressed interest in doing so.

“I’m still new at quilting; I’ve only been doing it for about nine months. I’ve only made one so far, and I’m now working on my second. In this experience, I learnt something that I don’t believe I would have learned otherwise,” Gross added.

Underground Railroad Quilt Code

Instructions were stitched on each patch. A few were there to restock supplies, some were there to track bear prints, and still others were there to take diversions. A presentation of the Underground Quilts by the Riley Center Quilters was held on Tuesday night at the Birmingham Public Library Central Branch. Others quilts were enormous, some were little; some were completed, some were not; but all included instructions on how to emancipate one’s self from the bonds of servitude. Members of the Riley Center Quilters, including Daphne Simmons, explained that quilts were used as codes since it was the only form of communication available.

  • In the past, there was a secret code, an unwritten code.
  • During her quilt demonstration, Simmons explained what each patch represented.
  • This meant that runaways would have to obtain supplies for their voyage as a result of the second obstacle, which was a monkey wrench.
  • Their physical needs included shelter, methods for defending oneself, and equipment for knowing their whereabouts.
  • The capacity to determine the intents of strangers is something Simmons claims to have.
  • According to her, “wagons with secret compartments were one of the principal modes of transportation for escaping runaways.” As though they were loading a wagon, it sent the message that they should prepare for their voyage.
  • they couldn’t bring everything, but they needed just enough to ensure their own existence.
See also:  People Who Helped Lead The Escaped Slave On The Underground Railroad Were Called? (Solved)

According to her, the carpenter’s wheel, the next block, was essential in spiritual training since it provided guidance “through Jesus.” According to her, it is a secondary coding pattern.

Their route would be northwest, she said, in accordance with the carpenter’s wheel.

Paw of the Bear The bear’s paw was the next obstacle, which required a trek into the woods to overcome it.

You must also be cautious and keep an eye out for bears.

“They’ll be guided to food and water by those bear paws,” she explained.

It was these places where they might spend the night that she described as “safehouses.” “People were safe havens where they might stay till they resumed on their quest.” CrossroadsThe presence of a crossroads indicated the presence of a city where they may seek protection or shelter.

Four or five overland pathways connected Cleveland, as well as multiple water routes crossing Lake Erie into Canada and the United States of America.” It’s amazing to me that these individuals did not have a map in their hands when they set out on their journey.

“We’ve gone a long way since we first started together.” “Log Cabin” with a black block on the door signified a safehouse where people may seek safety and sanctuary, according to her.

In order to fit in with the garments given by the next patch, “they would assist you in dressing to blend in,” Simmons explained.

It is possible that there would be sailors there to assist you in crossing the river and entering Canada, where the North Star (the following block) will shine brightly with your independence.

‘There were some northern states that empathized with slaves, but there were also other northern states who were opposed to it,’ she explained.

People were penalized and forced to turn fugitive slaves back in under the terms of the legislation, which was put into the constitution.

‘Because I’m a weaver and a textile artist, I was more interested in understanding more about the quilts and their project,’ she explained.

“I was aware of a few of them, but I had no idea how many there were,” she added.

According to Gross, “I’m compelled to build one.” My quilting experience is still in its early stages; I’ve only been doing it for approximately nine months. Currently working on my second, which is my first. As Gross put it, “I learnt something I don’t believe I would have discovered otherwise.”

Underground Railroad Quilt Block Meanings

The Underground Railroad has always been a source of fascination for me. When I first started looking for quilt block codes, I couldn’t keep my excitement under control. Many of the Underground Railroad Quilt squares are represented in this quilt.

A Little Bit of Background Information

A long time ago, when slavery was still common and the American Civil War was on the horizon, there were those who were bound and determined to assist slaves in their pursuit of freedom. Thank goodness for folks like this. So, what was the genesis of the Underground Railroad? It is speculated that Quakers may have been the ones who started it all. Two Quakers in particular were credited for saving a total of 3,000 slaves on their own. It was utilized as a station, or a stop along the route to freedom, for many years after Levi and Catherine Coffin’s home was destroyed.

For assisting a slave in escaping, the sanctions were severe.

The penalty meted out to the black individual was far more severe.

A stunning example of a quilt in the Wagon Wheel design.

Wagon Wheel

This specific quilt square conveys the message to slaves to load their wagons, or to make preparations to embark on a wagon, in order to begin their journey on the Underground Railroad towards freedom. It is also possible that slave chambers were constructed into the wagon in order to conceal the slaves. This is an excellent example of a bear claw or bear paw pattern.

Bear Paw

This pattern directs them to go a mountain route that will keep them out of sight of the surrounding region. Bear footprints must be followed in order to get to the food and water that have been prepared for them. Vintage log cabin quilt that has been beautifully stitched.

Log Cabin

The log cabin quilt square represents the message that the individual who is located in that location is safe to communicate with. Additionally, it might indicate that they are in need of protection. It was clear in many situations that this was a safe haven for people. Quilt with an impressive north star pattern/

North Star

They are instructed to follow the North Star to safety by the North Star quilt block. This is an excellent example of a flying geese quilt.

Flying Geese

The purpose of this quilt is to accompany the flying geese to safety. The slaves were able to follow the geese to water, food, and a resting area. This is a cute example of a quilt with a sailboat motif. Isn’t this adorable?


Follow the flying geese to safety is what this quilt is about. Water, food, and a resting area were all within easy reach for the slaves. Sailboat design quilt in a cute little package. Isn’t it adorable?

Drunkard’s Path

This square indicates that they will have to walk in a zig-zag pattern. They must avoid walking in a straight line in order to escape being hunted by the ones who are after them.

Because of the zig-zagging walk and the doubling back, it would be more difficult to detect that the slave was attempting to flee. No one would trouble them if they were heading south with a slave. A lovely, brightly colored bowtie quilt pattern.

Bow Tie

The Bow Tie block denotes the act of dressing up in disguise. It is necessary for the slaves to change their attire. Jeffie Beaver created this vintage quilt, which is called the Rose Wreath hand appliqued quilt (Mrs. A. W. Smith 1894-1985).

Rose Wreath

It is possible to conceal oneself with a bow tie. A change of clothing is required for the slaves. Rose Wreath hand appliqued quilt by Jeffie Beaver is featured in this vintage quilt (Mrs. A. W. Smith 1894-1985).

Tumbling Blocks

This code instructs slaves to pack their belongings that they want to take with them on their journey on the Underground Railroad. The pattern for this quilt square is a double monkey wrench.

Monkey Wrench Quilt Pattern

History has it that the first quilt the seamstress displayed included a design like a money wrench. It means gathering your equipment and preparing yourself physically and emotionally for the arduous task of escaping the plantation.

Underground Railroad Quilt Squares

  • There are several routes to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Known as the Underground Railroad, it was a covert network that evolved in the United States prior to the American Civil War. The goal of the
  • The aim of the
  • Part II of The Underground Railroad: A Code of Secrecy (The Underground Railroad: A Code of Secrecy). The Underground Railroad was an informal network of persons and safe havens that enabled runaway slaves to transit in secrecy from slavery in the South to freedom in the North during the American Civil War. The Underground Railroad (also known as the “Railroad”). Underground Railroad was an informal network of persons and safe havens that enabled escaped slaves to transit in secrecy from slavery in the South to freedom in the North during the Civil War. An Underground Railroad Cabin on the Indiana side of the state Where. In the days of the Underground Railroad, the abolitionists and anti-slavery inhabitants of Indiana played a key part in winning freedom for thousands of slaves who were transported to Canada by way of the state. Oh. Allow freedom to ring

While the information contained within this article is factual and truthful to the best of the author’s knowledge, it should not be used as a substitute for formal and personalized counsel from a competent expert. 2018 is the year of the pig. Susan Hazelton is a woman who lives in the United Kingdom. Susan Hazelton (author) wrote the following on July 20, 2019 from Sunny Florida: Thank you very much. Pam Oglesby is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom. I’m delighted you got a kick out of it.

I had a lot of fun doing the research for this.

I truly enjoyed all of the quilts, but the rose wreath was my favorite of the bunch.

Susan Hazelton (author) wrote the following on November 27, 2018 from Sunny Florida: SweetiePie They are all appealing to me in varied degrees.

The following was written by SweetiePiefrom Southern California, USA on November 23, 2018: I really like the blanket with the sea boat motif on it.

Susan Hazelton (author) said on July 14, 2018 from Sunny Florida: “I enjoy quilting myself, and it is true that it can tell beautiful historical stories.” I am intrigued by all of the quilt square patterns, particularly the tumbling blocks, for reasons that are beyond me.

On July 14, 2018, Genna East wrote to us from Massachusetts, USA: What an interesting piece of writing.

My ancestors had lived in Massachusetts for many years; they were initially Quakers, and a number of them were involved in the Underground Railroad, which assisted fugitive slaves fleeing to freedom.

You have provided us with some exquisite examples of the symbolic significance of quilt designs.

On July 13, 2018, Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas wrote: Escaped slaves were guided to safety by these quilts, which included a variety of symbols and meanings that were meant to guide them to their destination.

Occasionally, these quilts would be flung over a porch railing or strung out on a clothesline for no apparent reason.

Susan Hazelton (author) wrote the following on July 13, 2018 from Sunny Florida: I’m delighted you found this article to be interesting.

Posted on July 12, 2018 by Patricia Scott from North Central Florida : First and foremost, thank god for individuals who were instrumental in establishing the Underground Railroad.

And thank you for sharing this fascinating tale about quilting with us. My sister is a quilt enthusiast, and I will forward this to her. Angels are on their waypspinned to assist you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *