The first mention I have found of a "Quilt Code" - the idea that quilts were somehow used as signals by or for escaped slaves in connection with the Underground Railroad - is a single line in the voiceover narrative for Hearts and Hands, a 1987 video about women and quilts by feminists Pat Ferrera and Elaine Hedges:
They say quilts were hung on the clotheslines to signal a house was safe for runaway slaves.
Strangely, the companion book, coauthored by Julie Silber, contains no such statement...
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