We were very lucky to have a visting speaker at our meeting this month. Ruth Mundy is a keen patchworker who works in the Women’s Prison system and teaches patchwork to some of the inmates.
While searching for topics to interest them in she came across the “Underground Railroad” a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States in efforts to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause.
It is believed that women who made quilts used a system of symbols as quilt blocks which were hung on washing lines or fences to indicate the direction to travel or where safe houses, food and clothing could be found. For example the wild geese pattern could be used to show the direction they should travel and the log cabin may have indicated a safe house. Many other patterns have been linked to this system of coded messages although the theory has been challenged by researchers in the United States.
We also had a wonderful collection of gifts made for our gift stall at the exhibition next month.
Marion Dines showed finished versions of her work from our recent Fun with Felt workshop and Barbara Mullan’s Maharani’s Fishpond class.