September's block is Underground Railroad. Only five more blocks to go after this in our Alphabetical Block of the Month series.
The theory that particular quilt patterns guided slaves on their journey on the Underground Railroad has been debunked. As charming as the idea is, it apparently was a fiction invented to gull a credulous historian and more rigorous research has shown that it simply isn't true. Nevertheless, I can imagine a traveler on the Underground Railroad being told something like, "Look for the fence with the blue and white quilt on it. The people who live there will give your a meal and a safe place to spend the night." It is pleasant to imagine that a quilt that gave physical warmth and comfort to family members gave spiritual and psychological comfort to people fleeing slavery.
The block we now call Underground Railroad has been known by several names. It's part of a block family I call "Road" or "Ladder" blocks. It's a nine-patch with a chain running through it, and there are a number of variations on this block. Jacob's Ladder and Contrary Wife are other blocks in this family that are part of our BOM series.
You can find the pattern for Underground Railroadhere.
The Spools block is our July block. It's not difficult, but the small Spools units will reward your patience. If each spool is pieced carefully, the full block will go together easily and its size will be accurate.
As we hit the home stretch on our 26-month Block of the Month series, the Spools block -- along with the up-coming X and Z blocks -- are designed to help us use up small pieces of fabric we've used in other blocks along the way. This isn't simply thrifty; it will also help pull our final projects together.
You can find the pattern for the Spools block here. Enjoy!
Here is the March Block of the Month, Octagon and Twist. This block would look great in a larger quilt. The blocks "link" together to form an interesting lattice pattern.
The "Twist" unit uses the partial seam method we used in the E block. The "Octagon" patches are large enough to fussy-cut a motif in your fabric if you like. This block is interesting and fun, but not difficult. We'll see if Yahoo! will let me upload the file to the group site. Otherwise, you can get the pattern here.