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S A T U R D A Y

The use of textiles for subversive purposes has a history that’s as old as the Fates: In 19th-century America, for example, certain quilts left hanging on a clothesline indicated a station stop along the underground railroad. Howard University art professor Raymond Dobard has made a study of these African-American quilts, noting that, like early Christian mosaics and frescoes, they often invoked Biblical scenes of redemption or, as he puts it, the “ultimate emancipation.” Among the patterns that indicated a safe house were Evening Star and Jacob’s Ladder, which, appropriately, depicted a vision of heaven with a ladderlike (or railroadlike) design. Dobard, himself a member of the D.C. quilting group Daughters of Dorcas, will discuss famous Bible quilts, display antique samples, and invite audience members to bring their own when he talks on “Folklore Quilt Patterns Inspired by the Bible and the Underground Railroad” at 10:30 a.m. at the Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. FREE. (202) 667-0441. (Liza Mundy)