Saturday, August 3, 2013

49. An Arc: Bending Towards Justice

An Arc Bending Towards Justice
Becky Brown

As we come to a close with this Block-of-the-Week, we've had 48 blocks celebrating victories and considering despair. Block 49 reminds us that the quilt may be finished but the fight for women's rights is not.

Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968

When worrying about injustice, I try to think of a statement from Martin Luther King, Jr. "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice." King was paraphrasing minister Theodore Parker in an earlier but related fight for justice.

Theodore Parker 1810-1860

Parker, an abolitionist, said, "I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice."

Theodore Parker lecturing in New York

A drawing in the London Illustrated News, 1856. The audience, segregated by gender, seems to react differently to Parker's words. He spoke in favor of women's rights and abolition.

An Arc Bending Towards Justice by Becky Brown

The Arc Bending Towards Justice is a comforting thought whatever the fight. My image of an arc is close to this variation on a fan block.

It's BlockBase #3302.5 with several names, among them Mohawk Trail from the Nancy Cabot quilt column in the Chicago Tribune in 1933. Maybe a starry sky behind the arc could represent the moral universe.

Cutting an 8" Block

Again this week it's all templates with two sizes, 8" & 12".

Print the templates out 8-1/2" x 11"
To make the pattern fit the printer page you have to assemble Template B.
For B in the 8" block cut an 8-1/2" square of fabric and fold it diagonally. Place the line on the fold and cut.
For B in the 12" block cut a 12-1/2" square, fold diagonally, place the template and cut.

First piece 3 A slices together

See last week's instructions on how to pin these curves
and add to B.

An Arc Bending Towards Justice
Dustin Cecil

You could also applique the fan to an 8-1/2" or 12-1/2" background.

Read the original sermon by Theodore Parker at Google Books and notice that the copy they scanned has a marginal mark. Parker's optimism has inspired many people.

Click on the book to read The Collected Works of Theodore Parker: Sermons. Prayers

If you visit the Oval Office at the White House you may notice Dr. King's quote about the arc woven into the carpet's border along with several other mottoes.
The above paragraph was written when Justice inspired the White House during the Obama era. Now, not so much.

Next Week: Sets!


  1. What a good ride it's been! Thank you so much for hosting this wonderful blog and BOW. I have grown from both the stories and in my quiliting prowess.

  2. Oh Pink you are a great audience. And I love your blocks for both this blog and the Dixie Diary. Can't wait to see them finished.

  3. Barbara,
    I want to add my thanks as well, Barbara. I have learned a great deal over the past 49 weeks and although I am excited to finish my quilts, I am a little sad, too. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this amazing block of the week experience!

    Amanda, (aka Patchwork Princess)

  4. Thank you from Scotland for a very interesting blog - I've only recently found you so am looking forward to looking back to the beginning. When I reached voting age (many years ago!) my mother was adamant I must always exercise my vote, as my grandmother had been a suffragette before the first world war, and the right to vote was very precious. And however irritating the politicians become, it still is!


  5. I have enjoyed this block of the week, learned so much. I want to go back and take notes on all the blocks. It just won't be as much fun to turn on the computer next week.
    I have some crazy patch blocks yet to make, and then the final setting.
    When does the next quilt start? (she typed hopefully)

  6. Thank you so much for this terrific block of the week. I don't know what I will do with my Saturday mornings from now on--guess I'll have to go for a walk or something not nearly as much fun.. My top is together, and I love the blocks that I probably never would have attempted, but I was determined to do every one that you posted.

  7. I'm so sorry that this must end! What a wonderful exploration of the topic. I hope your blog is up long enough for my granddaughters to read when they get just a few years older!

  8. dear Barbara, thank you very much for all, very interesting to read you every week ! a next bow ? amicales pensées de France

    Not for a while.
    Nothing in mind right now. I loved doing this one because I spent a year last year learning about women's rights, a subject not often taught in school. This year I am thinking about modernism and its history. It's not a good topic for a block of the week or even a block of the month.But I do a twice weekly blog on the topic:

    In 2014 Becky and I are going to do a block of the month about the Underground Railroad on my Civil War blog. We'll have some previews in the fall:

  10. Thanks Barbara! It's been very interesting learning about the fight for women's rights and so much fun looking forward to seeing what block you will come up with each week! Now to figure out how to set all those blocks....

  11. Thanks Barbara for all the wonderful blocks. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts. Learning new techniques.
    I have started to put my blocks together but still have eleven more to make on my Purple Green & White quilt...
    I am happy as the last BOW I only made eleven blocks...

  12. Thank you Barbara for this fun BOW. I enjoyed reading all about last years CW one but did not make the blocks. I was determined to make them this year and am happy to say I have one leaf to stitch down for week 47 but all the rest are done. Now to stitch the names of each block onto the sashing and then I can put the top together. Thanks again.