Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ABC Wednesday F

This blog has never been about politics.
 Long back in the days before suffrage, in the times when the United States was a young and growing nation--expanding into the frontier, women didn't necessarily have much say in politics. But they could express their opinion in other ways, and in quilting they often did. During the 1844 Presidential campaign, expansion and war were big issues. With dispute over the border in the Southwest continuing, could the nation afford to add possible war with Britain over northern boundaries with Canada to the ongoing unrest with Mexico. Oregon fever swept the nation in the 1840s, and an 1818 treaty allowed for joint occupation of the Oregon territory for Britain and America. At a time whe it was realized that that was no longer going to work, candidate James Polk campaigned on a slogan of 54-40 or Fight. Polk, a relative unknown, insisted that the border would be set at the latitude lines of 54-40. Public sentiment on the issue won him a landslide victory over Henry Clay.

When reality set in after the election, Polk fairly readily agreed to the British suggestion that the border be set at the 49th parallel.

The quilt block known as 54-40 or Fight was a popular statement in support of James Polk and still a great graphic image. I made this one for a project a friend is doing as a fundraiser and memorial quilt for a regional Kiwanis project. What I love about the 54-40 or Fight block is the illusion of curves that you get from the elongated triangles combined with other elements of the block. Do you see the almost circles in the sketch below?

You will find
ABC Wednesday
participants gathered
at the dedicated site.

8 comments:

Paulie said...

I can't see them. . . sigh I guess you have to be a true quilter to do so.

I played your odd shots yesterday but it has been so long that I made a link, I did something wrong. sorry as I really liked that weird pond photo.

Roger Owen Green said...

love that piece of history.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Misfit in Paradise said...

Great entry. And I do like the hint of circles.
Donna - ABC Team

Tumblewords: said...

Great post - love the history that's sewn into this gorgeous square.

Christine said...

Quilting is an art form, wonderful to see your craft.

Martha Z said...

I think I remember this illusion from a college psyc class, The instructor spent some time on these perceptual illusions.
The block makes a nice quilt.

diXymiss said...

ThanX for sharing the history behind the beautiful handiwork.

Janie said...

I've heard the political slogan, but I never realized there was a quilt pattern associated with it. Interesting.