Thursday, August 13, 2020

Suffrage Centennial Quilt Challenge

A year ago, we published this a challenge for quilters.  You can read it here.  To be honest, we didn't know if anyone would respond to the challenge although there was a lot of interest from the guilds we visited before the pandemic.  Once the pandemic hit, we really didn't know if anyone would visit and we want to thank everyone for responding.  I did email Cass about her quilt to see if she wanted it considered for the challenge but I haven't heard back from her. I hope she is okay.

What has moved Beth and I the most about these quilts is how much research and thought you put into each of your quilts.  Here are the quilts that were entered for the challenge in alphabetical order by first name:

Diann's Quilt

"I grew up in Rochester, New York, also the home of Susan B. Anthony from 1845 when she was 25 until her death in 1906. The Susan B. Anthony Museum and House at 17 Madison Street in Rochester is a place I visited more than once while growing up there. With 2020 being the Women's Suffrage Centennial, I've enjoyed learning more about Susan B. Anthony and her contemporaries who worked so hard to give me, and all women, the right to vote. We owe them so much!

To honor Susan, and my home state of New York, I've made a New York Star. This is a paper-pieced block and can be found at the Quilter's Cache website. I made the New York Star in the American Suffrage colors of purple, white, and yellow which symbolize loyalty, purity, and hope. Evidently, the color yellow was also used to pay tribute to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who used the sunflower during a campaign for state suffrage in Kansas in 1867. The yellow floral fabric in my New York Star fits the suffrage colors and symbols as well.

While doing a bit of research to write about my suffrage quilt project I found this interesting article!"

Donna's Quilt

"I would like to enter my quilt in the Suffrage Centennial Challenge. I call it "The Esther Morris Quilt: A Celebration of a Remarkable Life." It is a sampler quilt, and the blocks represent people, places, and events in the life of Esther Morris: abolitionist, suffragist, and the first female justice of the peace in the world. In addition to the picture, I have attached a copy of the documentation which I printed on fabric and pieced into the quilt's backing. It explains the significance of each block. Esther lived in the Wyoming Territory. It is said that two days before the local election in 1869 she gave a tea party for the prominent people of the town, including the candidates for the territorial legislature. She convinced them to introduce a bill for suffrage if elected. The bill was introduced, passed, and signed by the governor on December 10th, 1869. On September 6, 1870, the women of Wyoming were able to vote, 50 years before the rest of the country. She continued to promote suffrage for all women into her 80's.

I did a lot of research on Esther as I made the quilt, and was amazed by all that she accomplished. A real inspiration, especially considering the times in which she lived. Thank you for this opportunity to share her story."

Libby's Quilt
"When Tennessee legislators were called back to a special session in August 1920 to vote on ratification of the 19 th amendment, they were greeted by suffragists wearing yellow roses, and opponents wearing red roses.  Thus the “War of the Roses” began.  By a single vote, Tennessee became the required 36 th state to ratify.  Supporters referred to Tennessee as The Perfect 36.  This quilt has 36 yellow rosebuds surrounding the state."

Lelane's Quilt

Gender equality is one of the Shaker tenets but Shakers usually kept their actions within their communities. 
Catherine Allen (1951-1922) was more active in both peace causes and equal suffrage outside her community at Mount Lebanon , New York. As a child she was sent to board with the North Family at Mount Lebanon in 1865. She stayed with the community and in 1908 she became an Eldress of the Central Ministry.
As a Shaker leader she was an active women's suffrage proponent.  She spoke at conferences and led petitions urging women's suffrage.
The production of Shaker "Dorothy" cloaks became a profitable business venture from 1890 to the 1930s. Mrs. Grover Cleveland wore one to President Cleveland's second inauguration in 1893. The cloaks were wool lined in satin with a satin ribbon at the neck.
  I chose to quilt a cloak as a representation of a Shaker I admire.
Samantha's Quilt

"My entry for the suffrage centennial quilt challenge is called Thimble Tree.  The thimble is created by using the tumbler shape.  When placed one way it looks like a small thimble!  

The polka dot fabric represents the women in my family tree.  The bottom row is my generation.  Above is my mom's generation.  My grandma is in the next row and my two great grandmothers are on the top.  Stories and family heirlooms have been passed down from generation to generation.  I often wonder what it would have been like to grow up during their era.  Surely there was progress during the eras of my grandma and great grandma; however, it would not have been possible without continued support and sacrifices.  

It is quilted with yellow roses.  Supporters of women’s voting rights—or suffrage—wore yellow roses. The quilting creates an eye catching view of a thimble from the back side.  

On Tuesday we will be posting the winners of the challenge!  Stay tuned!

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Congratulations Kamala Harris!

Congratulations to Kamala Harris!  She is the first African American/Asian woman to be chosen as a running mate in the United States!

Today I want to celebrate Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin.  Some sources say she was born in Washington D.C. and then moved to Reading, Pennsylvania.  Others say she was born in Reading, Pennsylvania.   As an adult, she moved to Pittsburgh, met her future husband, and became involved in the suffrage movement.
Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin (1883-1965)

Involved with various suffrage and African American clubs, she fought for suffrage, civil rights and consumer rights.  Her work with the NAACP changed history.  She is credited with having encouraged Thurgood Marshall to become the lawyer for the NAACP.  Marshall successfully argued Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka.  As you know, Marshall would later become the first African American Supreme Court Justice.

Her home in Pittsburgh was later honored by the Pennyslvania Historical and Museum Commission with a marker placed outside her home.  She was the first African American woman to be celebrated this way in Pennsylvania.

Two quotes I personally love by Lampkin include:

"Nothing is done unless women do it."
"You cannot be neutral.  You must either join with us who believe in the bright future or be destroyed by those who would  return us to the dark past."

Well said and thank you Daisy.

On a totally different note, I need to make a correction to my post on Monday.  I said that "Bloom Where We're Planted" will begin on August 17.  I looked at my calendar wrong (what can I tell you, we all have pandemic brain these days).  Bloom will begin August 24.  We will have a special post on August 26 to celebrate the signing of the 19th Amendment into law.

Thank you and have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Binghamton, NY

You may recall a previous post I did on a Thimble Party held in Binghamton NY (here).  Beth and I loved this group so much that we close our program, By the Chimney No More with a story about these suffragists.  

In 1912, the suffragists held a parade which was not uncommon for suffrage groups.
What you might find interesting is one of the ways they financed their parade.  Throughout this past year, we have told you story after story of quilts that were made to fundraise, or assist the community, etc.  I called these "Wish Quilts" as in--I wish we could actually see the quilt in question (and I'll be you do too). 

Wish granted.  Here is a photograph I found that was published in 1930 in the newspaper.  Granted, it's not the greatest photo but we finally get to see a true suffrage quilt.

According to the paper, the quilt was yellow and white and had hundreds of names embroidered on it.  The quilt raised nearly $200.  Fifty dollars was donated to the maternity ward at the local hospital and much of the money was used to fund the parade.

Ida Wales Gitchell was president of the suffrage organization at the time.
Ida Wales Gitchell passed in 1929 but her obituary celebrated her suffrage work.  She was the first president of the Binghamton Woman's Suffrage Club.  I mention this because it is so rare that I find mention that a woman was a local suffragist.  In fact, I've researched 45 women in my community and only one obituary makes mention of the woman's suffrage background.

Enjoy our wish quilt!  Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Greetings!  In 8 days we will be celebrating the ratification of the 19th Amendment! 

According to the United States Constitution, if the House and the Senate pass an amendment to the Constitution, it then needs to get ratified by 3/4 of the states.  In 1920, that meant that 36 states needed to ratify the amendment.

On August 18, 2020, the 36th state ratified the amendment.  The 19th Amendment was signed into law on August 26.  We'll be celebrating the great state of Tennessee later this week!

This final week, I'm posting some remaining articles and insights and we will have some celebratory quilts as well.  One day this week, I'll post the entries to the competition.  Next Tuesday we will be announcing the winners of the challenge!

This Friday is the last week of Suffrage themed Flower Fridays.  If you have flowers of yellow, white, or purple that you want to share to honor our suffrage foremothers, email me at   You are welcome to send me any floral image you want to share after this Friday.

Getting to know you all has been one of the great joys of publishing this blog.  Many of you have responded enthusiastically to the idea of the Bloom theme which will begin on August 17  24.  I'm changing it to "Blooming Where We're Planted" because that is what we need to do during this pandemic.  

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Flower Friday: August 7, 2020

It's Flower Friday and time to post flowers of purple, yellow, and white to honor our suffrage foremothers!  Here are today's selections:

Have a safe and happy day!

Thursday, August 6, 2020


This week we acknowledge the assistance of men in our suffragists fight for equality.  

If this topic interests you, you might want to pick up the book, The Suffragents:  How Women Used Men to Get the Vote by Brooke Kroeger.  The book was published in 2017 so the scholarship is recent and it received wonderful reviews.  

As a reminder, tomorrow is Flower Friday so if you have photos of yellow, white, or purple flowers you would like to share to honor our foremothers, email me at

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The men who helped the suffragists--and me.

There had always been men who supported women's suffrage.  A great article on some of these men is here.  The Men's Suffrage League was formed in the United States in the early 20th century and by 1912 had about 20,000 members.  

The men supported initiatives and marketing strategy.  They stepped up and marched proudly and helped smooth the 1913 Parade.

There were nameless men who behaved chivalrously when women were attacked.  This we know happened to the Silent Sentinels and when men tried to protect the women, were beaten and/or arrested themselves for a trumped up charge of "disturbing the peace."

We owe all of them a debt of gratitude as well.  Thanks men!

It's August and the last month of suffrage posts but I also need to thank men in my life that have supported this undertaking.

Dad was the first man in my life and encouraged a love of reading and research and taught me not only by words but by example.  He was and is integral to the person that I am. I think of him every day.  Thanks Dad.

My friend Chris who not only lets me drones on and on about my discoveries but encourages me to keep going and has been a big supporter through the last 12 years.  He doesn't just listen but reads my blog.  Thank you Chris!  You will never know how much your support has meant to me!

Earl was my dear friend who passed away in November.  An antique dealer, historian, and eloquent writer, I could always turn to Earl about discoveries.    He reminded me so much of my Dad and it has taken me this long to write this thank you because I still mourn losing him.  Thank you Earl.

Finally and most importantly, there is my husband Brad.  His support through the last four years has been invaluable.  He's been a good sport about all this and grumbled minimally at the lack of homemade meals, the piles of research and books cluttering our home, and my mornings spent writing.  We are a good couple because we accept each others different interests and most importantly, we still make each other laugh.

In 1914, there was a hilarious book published called How It Feels to be the Husband of a Suffragette  by an author named  Him and I have more than one time laughed because I know my own husband should have had a guide book on how to be a suffrage historian's husband.  One thing I have known for certain is that had I been out marching for women's right to vote, he would have supported my efforts then as well.  Thanks Brad!

Have a good and safe day!