Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54-40 Or Fight Lap Quilt | McCall’s Quilting Blog

Patterson Kathy 70px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap QuiltThis week’s Friday Freebie is appropriately patriotic, and comes with a bonus (very short) history lesson. The story goes that in 1844, a relative unknown named James Polk ran in the Presidential election against Henry Clay, a powerful man with an illustrious career. Yet Polk won the election, thanks in large part to a blood-stirring campaign slogan…54-40 or fight!

images Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap Quilt

If 54-40 had prevailed, the US would own part of Canada!

54-40 was the latitude line marking the northern reach of the proposed Oregon territory, a line that was in dispute with the British government at the time. Polk won the election on his platform of holding out for the US to claim all of Oregon, but once elected he compromised with the British and the dividing line between the western US and Canada became the 49th parallel, where it is today. I should note that this story is in some dispute; the slogan may have appeared in popular use after the election when the time to decide on a boundary neared. History is hard to nail down!

images 1 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap QuiltThis quilt block design was already known and in use before the 1840s. Patterns had already been published in women’s magazines, and during this era one of them decided to name a quilt with this block after the popular slogan and a piece of quilting history was born. Many 54-40 or Fight quilts have been made in the over 150 years since.

So on to the free quilt pattern! Our version of 54-40 or Fight is a lap quilt pattern with eight 12″ blocks set on point to give a firecracker effect. There is a bit of template piecing, but the quilt goes together quickly and would make a gorgeous gift for a veteran or member of the Armed Services.

54 40 or Fight 550px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap Quilt

Download the FREE 54-40 or Fight lap quilt pattern now…it’s a Friday FREEbie. And happy 4th of July weekend!

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all.

Need more red, white, and blue (or any other color) for your fabric stash? Keepsake Quilting is having a Firecracker of a Sale through July 5. Click the image to shop!

KQ FireCracker 1200x518 1024x442 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap Quilt

 

Leave a Reply