A red and white quilt block with red and white flowers.

Month 7 in the Underground Railroad Quilt Code Block of the Month is the Bow Tie Block (aka Hourglass).Underground Railroad Block of the Month Block 7

Dressing up in cotton and satin bow ties was a direction to the slaves to dress in cotton and stain bowties and go to the cathedral church.    It’s thought there was an actual church where slaves would go and be aided in taking off their chains.  The stained glass windows often found in churches would afford cover so that no one might look inside the church and discover the fugitives.

Escaping slaves were clothed in the most distinguishable of garments.  Since their clothing would be worn and tattered and give away their status as runaways.  Perhaps the free blacks would meet the slaves to give them fresh clothing. After that, they would accompany the free black citizens back to their houses.  It was easier to hide fugitive slaves with people of their own color.

You will see in the pattern, it shows a four-color bowtie block.  Feel free to make yours all one color if you wish.

Reference: Hidden in Plain View, Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard, PhD



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