Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight quilt block

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight
March 10, 1933-Fifty-Four Forty or Fight was the block introduced by Nancy Cabot in the Chicago Tribune on this day eighty years ago.

The phrase Fifty-Four Forty or Fight was a slogan for President Polk's campaign having to do with the fight over the border of Oregon.  Fifty-Four Forty was the latitude of the boundary that the U.S. was fighting Britain over.

Nancy Cabot however refers to it as a battle between Russia, England and the U.S over Alaska in 1884!  I'm not sure what she is talking about.

She also mentions that women of the period (1844) "had no effective outlet for their political opinions"  and that this block is the "spontaneous expression of patriotic American women."

This is a very easy block to make in the six inch finished size that I have been making.  There are just two basic parts- a four-patch and a triangle in a square unit as shown at the right.

Those parts are sewn together in three rows like this-

The four patch units are made up of 1 1/2" squares.  You need to make 5 four patch units.  They are 2 1/2" square unfinished.

I made the triangle in a square block by paper piecing because I felt it was more accurate and I didn't have to cut odd size triangles to make the block.  You need four of these units.  You can download the paper piecing template here.  If you prefer to make them a different way, they need to be 2 1/2" unfinished.  This block can also be found in Electric Quilt's BlockBase  as #1627a.


1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the history lesson. We are doing this block in class today and this will help!