There has been much controversy over the claim that Underground Railroad quilts contained hidden messages to guide runaway slaves to freedom.
Since the publication of Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt in 1993, this romantic notion has captured the imagination of many people and has grown to urban legend proportions.
In 1990, the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society (KHQS) organized a "Quilters' Day Out" on the third Saturday of March to celebrate the rich tradition of quiltmaking in Kentucky.
In 1992, the National Quilting Association was so enthused with the concept of Quilters' Day Out that they voted to make it national.
It was used to decorate a bed in the John Russell House as late as the 1970s, and likely served several purposes over the years.
The Hardy quilt was officially gifted to the Arlington Historical Society by another Hardy, living close by to Mary and Wellington, by the name of Charles A Hardy in 1923.
Teaching such an implausible and simplistic legend is a disservice to Underground Railroad history and the remarkable people who lived it. in Library Science from the University of Kentucky, and an M. degree in Folklore from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
In Europe quilting appears to have been introduced by Crusaders in the 12th century (Colby 1971), in particular in the form of the aketon or gambeson, a quilted garment worn under armour which later developed into the doublet.
One of the earliest existing decorative works is the Tristan quilt, made around 1360.
Since 2005 approximately 1,900 quilts have been made and donated by 52 volunteer quilters from the Ashland area and Hospice Quilters from Ohio .
Also the Hospice Quilters from Ohio will have a table of items for sale.