Today's Quilt Historians
Women at Work
New Pathways into Quilt History written by Kimberly Wulfert,
Brackman's Underground Railroad Quilt Club
An online E-club of monthly in-depth articles,
sources and references, patterns and discussion
History, facts, quotes, links, more history
facts- the articles she writes each month, about an individual's experiences
during the early 19th century through the Civil War, are meaty to say the least.
They are not just about quilts, or fabric, not at all, but about the
circumstances of daily life at that time from one person's perspective as
evidenced through their diary excerpts and newspaper articles. You can't get
more primary than that.
There is a quilt block pattern each month, in a PDF for downloading. They are
star patterns thus far.
Historical photographs of the days before the War are in another section. Old
photographs of black people or slaves are rare., but these primary source
documents indicate experiences of their life as they depict it, not a
professional rendering through some medium, or a painting. One that is
especially amazing shows a huge area on the ground of white cotton, spread
about, with slaves sitting on it. The caption tells that they are on a southern
Plantation getting the cotton ready for the gin.
Readers can ask Barbara specific questions in The Forum section. One question
can lead to her sharing all kinds of thoughts she has on the subject at hand.
It's like having a personal conversation with her. One question was about
whether Harriet Tubman was a quilt maker and if she quilted on the trail, as has
been put forth by some. Barbara answered this and then went on to give links for
a "marvelous pictorial quilt dedicated to Harriet Tubman, designed by architect
Ben Irvin and made by a group of quilters in Marin County, California in 1951.
It's now in the collection of the Robert W. Woodruff Library in the Atlanta
University Center." She gave a
link to the quilt featuring Frederick Douglass. and for the one
honoring Harriet Tubman. They are both viewable on Quilt Index, but if you
didn't know that they were made, then you may not look there. Barbara has done
allot of the groundwork for you. Details like this make being in the UGRR Club a
value to Civil War era researchers and fans.
There is also a posting section where you can share what you know about the
women and men abolitionists, the UGRR and the people and places involved with
Don't worry that you've missed anything either, as a member you can click into
the archives of every month's article, pattern and links. I have seen all the
months, and the preview they give you of the first month is a very good
indicator of the quality you will get from the others. In fact, they remind me
of her other book "Civil War Women." Barbara has so much to give and share, if
you love this era then you will love this club.
Go here to see the first month
Review by Kimberly Wulfert
Myths of Quilts on the Underground Railroad
© 2005 - 2016 Kimberly Wulfert, PhD. Absolutely no copies, reprints, use of photos or text are permitted for commercial or online use. One personal copy for study purposes is permitted.
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