For May I chose the Underground Railroad Block. After my Triple Link Chain I decided I need to work on something a little less stressful. This was the perfect block.
There is speculation that quilts were frequently used as signals for slaves to know when it was safe to approach a "station". As great as that makes for a story, the truth is NO evidence has been found to support that quilts were used in the underground railroad. One must remember and understand that many former slaves could not read or write. They were assisted in writing their stories by white sympathizers. Many diaries were written, and they are certainly a valuable source of information about the Underground Railroad. A more reliable source however would be the thousands of interviews that were done by the Federal Writers Project in 1936-1938. These interviews documented many escape routes both on and off the railroad. There is not a single mention in these documents of any quilts being used for other than bedding
If you are interested in more about civil war quilts; a great blog to follow is Barbara Brackman's CIVIL WAR QUILTS. Barbara is a fabulous quilt historian.