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Some of the quilt blocks are newly designed by the author.After reading Hidden in Plain View, quilt historian Patricia Cummings thought that the story "did not add up." After hearing a talk by L'Merchie Frazier of Boston, Massachusetts, in January 2004, at the New Hampshire Historical Society, Cummings went home and within four days wrote a more than 4,000 word essay, "Symbolism in Quilts ... " and illustrated an ensuing newspaper article with photos of antique quilt blocks or new examples that she made for the occasion.The study into quilt history is a rapidly growing area of research in American history: the important role women played in our history; domestic life in the 18th-20 centuries; development of the textile industry in the Asia, India, Europe and America; the purpose for making quilts; their pattern and style development over time; current reproduction fabrics; and last but not least, dating a quilt or a single piece of fabric by its dyes and the method used to print it.

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The blocks, according to information reportedly passed down in Mrs.

Williams' family, are said to have been created for the purpose of communication, namely, how to get ready to escape, what to do on the trip, and how to follow a path to freedom.

Triangles in quilt design signified prayer messages or prayer badge, a way of offering prayer. The best known is Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, in which a girl makes a quilt that acts as a map of the area surrounding the plantation upon which she's a slave; the author, Deborah Hopkinson has repeatedly stated that it's a work of fiction inspired by Stitched from the Soul.

The idea, clearly presented as fiction in Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, that slave quilts served as coded maps for escapees, entered the realm of claimed fact in the 1999 book Hidden in Plain View, written by Raymond Dobard, Jr., an art historian, and Jacqueline Tobin, a college instructor in Colorado.

The slave quilt code is the idea that African American slaves used quilts to communicate information about how to escape to freedom.

The idea was introduced and popularized throughout the 1890s.

Barbara Brackman, author of Clues in the Calico, considered to be the "Bible of dating antique quilts", has written a book, Facts and Fabrications.

The book uses "poetic license" to offer other quilt blocks that were not used in association with the Underground Railroad but whose names suggest historical connections.

Dobard's interpretations of the geometric configurations of certain quilt blocks is based on the oral statements of Ozella Mc Daniel Williams, a quilt vendor in South Carolina.

Williams pointed to certain quilt blocks and recited a poem to Tobin, in short segments, over three years (before the total "code" was revealed).

Giles Wright, an historian and authority on the Underground Railroad in New Jersey (who wrote a book on the subject that is now out of print), was one of the first to actively debunk the notion of the secret quilt code.

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