Saturday, September 22, 2012

4. Kansas Sunflower: Yellow and Gold


Kansas Sunflower
by Becky Brown

American women's groups chose an identifying palette based on yellow or gold.


Historians trace the emphasis on yellow gold to the Kansas sunflower, a reminder of the pioneering suffrage campaigns beginning with Territorial constitutional conventions in 1859.
Editor Clarina Nichols came to Kansas from Vermont
 and led the first suffrage campaign in the territory in 1859

Former Governor James Denver recalled that first Kansas "universal suffrage" proposal.

 "Every man, woman and child, every horse, every cow, everything that had life in it, should have the right to vote in Kansas. Well, that was only an illustration of the wildness of the times."

 Not a supporter, Denver was given to hyperbole. The 1859 campaign failed.

Felt banner from the early 20th century

Undaunted, Kansas women tried an 1867 suffrage referendum in which Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone and other women's rights leaders toured the new state in vain. In 1887 suffrage campaigners revived the campaign, this time with a yellow ribbon as a symbol.

Topeka voters in 1916
It took decades but Kansas became the seventh state to enfranchise women---a century ago---in 1912. We are celebrating the Centennial of Kansas Women's Suffrage on November 5th this year.


This Crazy Quilt once belonged to Lucy Browne Johnston of Topeka. It features many gold ribbons from women's organizations. At top right is one from the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association (K.E.S.A.). See more of this quilt at the website Kansas Memory here
http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/224721

Inspired by the Kansas colors of 1887, national organizations adopted a color ranging from butter yellow to cheddar.



Becky is fussy-cutting flowers for the centers
of her purple, green and white version.
 
You can see why every suffrage quilt must have a sunflower. This one with nine points comes from Carrie Hall, a life-long Kansan, who included a Kansas Sunflower in her 1935 index to quilt patterns The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America.

Dustin is using dots and woven geometrics.
 
Georgann pieced the sunflower and then appliqued it to the background. There are 8 points in her sunflower.
Kansas Sunflower
BlockBase #3448
 
Cutting an 8" Finished Block
See the PDF for templates. You can piece the whole block or applique the sunflower to an 8-1/2" background.
Click here for the template PDF
https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=DdBb3R8*IA2DVYXR7nKqOw

Here's a how-to on piecing the block
 

 
 
If you have BlockBase you might want to print out the templates for an 8" block rather than using my PDF, which is floating on a cloud somewhere above us. The PDF will print out different sizes on different printers---but the BlockBase templates on your own computer will always be accurate. Print templates for #3448 at 8 inches.



The Kansas Suffrage Reveille was a monthly newspaper published by the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association (KESA) from 1896 to 1900. The Kansas State Historical Society prides itself on an excellent newspaper collection. You can read issues on line by clicking here.
http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/220498

There maybe an online archive of regional suffrage newspapers in your local historical society.



30 comments:

  1. I realize this is a Women's Suffrage Quilt, but do we have to suffer too!? LOL.... this one looks like a real challenge, but we are women and we can do it!

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    1. Agree! My heart sank when I saw this week's block, beautiful though they were! Thankfully, the PDF printed perfectly which was my issue with Block 2. I saved the PDF, then opening the saved PDF and print it to "Actual Size", and it worked this time around. Looking forward to a busy few hours and seeing everyone's choice of fabric, Ni.

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  2. Oh, I know!! It's going to be a real challenge! Still, I can but try. Good luck everyone!!

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  3. Are you kidding me? I just need some pointers on where to begin putting this block together. I guess I would sew piece D to piece C first. Then attache the pieces in sections to the circle, then attach piece B then A. Any help in putting this togehter would be great! I don't own Block Base at this time so I can not get the direction from the program. If you need my email address let me know.
    Barbara-Ohio

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    1. I took a class in making these and I like this method which works for hand or machine piecing. Both piecing and applique are involved and there are set in accuracy counts! Referring to the blue, yellow and white diagram, take a Lon diamond shape and attach one blue triangle to the right side top edge, then attach one white triangle to the lower left edge of the diamond. You have a piece composed of three units with the yellow diamond in the center between the blue and white. Sew all diamonds, blue triangles and white triangle into the same three piece unit. Then using inset or "y" seaming techniques, pin and sew all units together one by one. For this step, hand piecing might be easier, but I'm no judge because I'm not that good on the machine. You now have a circle with a hole in the center. It's easier to applique the blue center circle now to the seam allowances that form the center edge of the pieced circle than to try to piece in that little circle. When that's done, applique the outer edge of your pieced circle to your background. Appligueing the circle rather than the points avoids wonky points. Piece or don't piece the background as you prefer. My teacher had us iron a circle cut from freezer paper the fullsize of the sunflowe
      r to the back of the sunflower and turn under the round edge before applying it for evenness. Remove freezer paper by cutting away some background under the block.

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    2. Thank you so much for sharing this procedure for making the block. I am 2/3 finished piecing it by hand following your instructions, and it's working out great!

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  4. I have a plan....using an English paper piecing technique would work very nicely if you don't mind a little hand piecing to make the flower unit with a bit of applique or reverse applique to finish off the block. :)

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  5. I have a really stupid question but hope someone will pity me and answer. What is an "8 inch finished block"? Is this what it measures when you are finished sewing the block or is it when you put it in the quilt top? Mine are measuring up to 8 inches when finished laying on my table after squaring up a bit, not 8 1/2 inches. Does this question make sense?

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    1. The blocks should measure 8-1/2" when you lay them out on the table. You may be using seams that are slightly larger than 1/4" and when you are working this small that can total up to a 1/8" on either side. BUT DON'T WORRY. Everybody's blocks will have some size differences and if yours are all a bit small they will fit together at the end.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. I am very sorry for this sunflower. Suffrage indeed, but you HAVE to have one. I'll do a how to chart and add it.

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    1. Thank you very much! Oh what fun this will be.

      Barbara-OH

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    2. Don't apologize! I think it's beautiful and appropriate and I am looking forward to making it, actually.

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  7. On september 12 the Netherlands voted for a new Parliament. I always vote and I always try to encourage every one I know to vote. No mater what they vote. Vote! This time I was very much aware of my right to vote and the struggle it took to get women's rights to vote I gave this blogs button a nice place on my blog.
    Happy quilting, Marina.

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  8. Thank you Barbara. As soon as I saw "Sufferage" I knew I had to make these blocks. Your research is wonderful and so appreciated, and your writing and choice of graphics is so amusing. You make Herstory come alive. I'm hoping you will eventually extend this herstory into the second wave that happened when I was a young woman. Maybe that is another quilt. Karen - Vancouver, WA

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  9. My grandmother grew up in Olivet, Kansas and kept a diary every day during 1916, the year she turned 21. You might enjoy reading her take on the Presidential election that year: http://starwoodquilter.blogspot.com/2012/06/voters-choice-quilt-block.html

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    1. Great blog idea and a wonderful family treasure you have.

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  10. A wonderful block! I am glad you choose it and got us out of our comfort zone this week! I got mine done already and while it is not my best job, it taught me a few things and I'm glad I did it! Thank you Barbara for this weeks' lesson and for showing us Becky and Dustin's awesome blocks for inspiration!

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  11. I really like the great images you are posting along with the text. Since I'll be making a few extra blocks to make my quilt queen-sized, some of the more striking graphics will become applique blocks for me, I think.

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  12. This is a tough one for me! I used EQ7 and created a foundation block for the sunflower. Even that was tough for me! haha Today, I hope to sew this sunflower block.

    Thanks for the challenge!

    Sue in Belton TX
    http://stitchingwithsue.blogspot.com
    http://picasaweb.google.com/txsueh

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  13. I cannot open the PDF. Any suggestions? All I get is a black screen. Tried all different ways of getting it to open. No luck.

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  14. Oh, boy was this reall was a tuffy! I ended up using paper piecing, curved piecing, straight piecing, fussy cutting, and hand work - all in just one block!!! Somehow, it came out to a perfect 8.5 inch block! Whew! This was probably the hardest block I have ever made!

    Sue in Belton TX
    http://stitchingwithsue.blogspot.com
    http://picasaweb.google.com/txsueh

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  15. I have a group of girls that is making this quilt with me and I try to help them and this one was a challenge but I had to do. The middle was bigger than the outside..... I took the seams in a little on each and finally got it to lay down. I found sewing the "flower" to the background to be the easiest part of the whole block and I don't like curves/circles. Some of the girls are refusing to make this block and I found an alternate block called "Sunflower" to replace it which is made like a Dresden Plate. It is #3453 in BlockBase. The only change I made was I made the "flower" and appliqued it to an 8-1/2" background block. I would not want to make this block any smaller. Nancy in Blue Springs

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  16. This was probably the most difficult block I have ever made, but I never would have tried it if it hadn't been here either! I was successful, but it was a challenge! I hand sewed the center circle after piecing all the petals together. That worked out well. I also cheated by drawing all the seam allowances on the backs so I could get them perfect. Thanks for challenging us Barbara!

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  17. Loving these quilt blocks - in fact, I'm making two of each... I hope to make the quilts for two very special women who will truly appreciate the history behind each block. Thank you for this challenging and fun series! :)

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  18. Did someone say that this block would be made in paper piecing? I am an appliquer, so paper piecing would be easier for me. Pleae let me know and get back to me.

    jkinyon1@verizon.net

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  20. I'm just having a hard time getting to the PDF!! I've made a block like this before (handpieced) and turned out beautiful but for this one I just need to pattern/templates yet can't get to the PDF! HELP! Thanks!

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