Saturday, October 27, 2012

9. Brick Pavement: March on Washington

Brick Pavement
 By Becky Brown

Fifty years before Martin Luther King led "The March on Washington" for equal rights for African-Americans, women staged a spectacular parade in Washington's streets on March 3, 1913, the eve of  President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration. Organizer Alice Paul hoped to show Wilson, who'd refused to support the cause during his campaign, the political power of protest and the importance of the woman suffrage movement to Americans.

Five thousand marchers were led down Pennsylvania Avenue by Inez Milholland Boissevain astride a white horse.

Floats and divisions represented suffrage pioneers, state organizations, occupations such as doctors and librarians, men who supported equal suffrage and representatives of countries where women had the vote.

As they turned towards the Treasury Building the parade ran into a blockade of men in the streets.

Policemen refused to clear the path, siding with the mob.
Women were insulted, groped, and beaten. It was estimated that 300 were injured.

A few marchers made it to the Treasury Building where a pageant celebrating Liberty continued.

Brick Pavement
By Georgann Eglinski
We can recall this protest march on Washington's streets a century ago with Brick Pavement. This week's block is adapted from a 1938 pattern by the Nancy Page syndicated newspaper column.

The Nancy Page version (BlockBase #2823).
Brick Pavement
By Dustin Cecil

Cutting an 8" Finished Block

The red numbers are a little more generous when the EQ rotary cutting default is set to 1/16th of inch. Black numbers are set to 1/8" inch.

A -Cut 2 squares 2-3/8" (2-3/8")

Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 4 triangles.

B - C 1 square 6-1/4" (6-3/16")
 Cut with 2 diagonal cuts to make 4 triangles. You need 2 triangles.

C - Cut 1 square 3-3/4" (3-11/16")

Cut with 2 diagonal cuts to make 4 triangles. You need 4 triangles.

D - Cut 2 squares 2-1/4" ( 2-1/4")

E - Cut 4 rectangles  2-5/8" x 4" (2-5/8" x 4 1/16")

F - Cut 1 square 2-5/8"  (2-5/8")
Piece the C triangles to the D squares. Make 2 units.
Then piece those units to rectangles E and add triangle B. Make 2 units.
Add triangle A to the corners.
Make the center strip.
Piece the 3 sections.
Brick Pavement
By Becky Brown

Since I adapted the pattern and drew it in Electric Quilt you won't find this block in BlockBase. If you want to print it using EQ try importing #2413a (Grandmother's Pride) into EQ. That will give you the basic structure. Erase a few lines to match the pattern. Then print.

Read more about the March 1913 parade here:
The march was well-documented by news agencies of the time and the Library of Congress has many photographs. Click here and do a search for these words

Women's Suffrage 1913

Saturday, October 20, 2012

8. Rocky Road to Kansas: 1912

Rocky Road to Kansas
By Becky Brown
November 2012 marks the hundredth anniversary of suffrage in Kansas. On November 5th male voters approved an equal suffrage amendment to the state constitution, making Kansas the eighth state to enfranchise women in all elections.

Campaigning in a decorated car Lawrence, Kansas,
My home town.

It took a whirlwind marketing campaign to convince men to vote in favor of women's rights. The suffragists decided against a campaign of civil disobedience in favor of public relations saturation. Inspired by the women of California who'd won the vote the year before, Kansas focused on grassroots action with local parades, plays and pageants touting the amendment.

A vignette from a pageant or play.
"The suffrage play 'How the Vote Was Won'...
produced by the DouglasCounty Equal Franchise League...
 a novel way of campaigning which is proving to be quite popular."
Lawrence Daily Journal World, July 30, 1912
Women went door to door to influence voters, persuaded newspaper publishers to editorialize and politicians to endorse the cause. Big names in the national movement barnstormed the state.

Illinois women on the road in 1911.
They won the vote in 1913.

Why did woman's suffrage pass in Kansas in 1912 when it didn't in earlier 1867 and 1887 campaigns? One reason is better organization aided by the advent of the automobile. Motoring over the rocky roads in Kansas allowed campaigners to get out the vote. The "suffrage Automobile," a decorated, rolling propaganda machine, provided a platform and an advertisement in the days when a brand new auto was a sight in a small Kansas town.

 Martha Farnsworth
One of the women who worked the polls was Topeka's Martha VonOrsdol Farnsworth. On election day 1912 she had time to write in her diary:

 "Up early, got Breakfast, but only took time to eat a wee bit and hurried away to the Polls for its Election day."

The amendment passed by over 16,000 votes. Martha was thrilled.

 "Wed 6. 'This is the day after.' And so bright and sunny---a glorious day, and 'there is sunshine in my heart,' for while I went to bed last night a slave, I awake this morning a free woman."

Another photograph of the Illinois auto campaign, 1911.

Remember the suffrage automobiles with Rocky Road to Kansas. This string quilt pattern was popular in the early years of the automobile, given that name by the Ladies Art Company pattern catalog. It's a variation of Amethyst. See pattern #2:

You can use the same PDF and templates.

Rocky Road to Kansas
By Becky Brown

Here Becky's laid the "strings" down at different angles in this version. At top she used more orderly strips.
Rocky Road to Kansas
By Dustin Cecil
The easiest way to get the look of the traditional Rocky Road to Kansas is to use striped fabric for piece C like Dustin did. That stripe fits in perfectly with his dots and wovens look.

Red and white striped fabric?
Or make your own.

Rocky Road to Kansas
BlockBase #2979
or use Amethyst

Cutting an 8" Block
A & C - See the templates on the PDF by clicking here:

Check your measurements by measuring the seamline of piece B corner to corner. It should measure 3-3/8".

B - Cut 1 square 3-3/8" (3-5/16" if you use the 1/16th inch default in BlockBase.)
If you want to string-piece those points the way it would have been done 100 years ago:

Cut 4 pieces of backing fabric or paper using template C. Do not add the seam allowance. Beginning at the larger end add random size "strings," narrow strips of fabric, until you've covered the triangle. Trim the edges to match the seam lines. Piece these triangles as you did on Block 2.

If you have BlockBase it would probably be better 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 #2975a (Don't forget the "a" when you do a number search) at 8 inches.

Kansas First Lady Stella Stubbs borrowed the Governor's car and driver to campaign in Topeka in 1912. The members of the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association are squiring a visiting speaker from the Kentucky Equal Rights Association, Laura Clay. Photo from the Kansas State Historical Society.

Read Martha Farnsworth's diary in print:
Marlene Springer and Haskell Springer, eds., Plains Woman: The Diary of Martha Farnsworth, 1882-1922 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986) Page 73
Or online at Kansas Memory.

Mrs. George Trout in Chicago
From the Library of Congress

The Illinois photos are from a 1911 article in the American Magazine
"Getting Out the Vote: An Account Of a Week's Automobile Campaign by Women Suffragists,"
By Helen M. Todd. Click here to read it at Google Books.

The University of Delaware owns a catalog with this observation about fashion and philosophy:  "The automobile has been a great factor in advancing the independence of woman. It may be that when universal suffrage happens we can place a goodly part of the credit to the automobile."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

7. Alice's Flag

Alice's Flag
Alice's Flag recalls Alice Paul's Ratification Banner. She sewed a star as each state ratified the 19th Amendment.

After decades of frustration working to obtain votes for women in state-by-state campaigns, American  organizations focused on a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the vote as national law.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

The amendment was written by 19th-century leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and first introduced into Congress in the 1870s, but legislators could not get it through both houses. Women saw to it that the bill was introduced in every session. In 1918 President Woodrow Wilson appealed to Congress to pass it by reminding them of women's war work.
 "We have made partners of the women in this war. ... Shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of privilege and right?"

Finally on June 4, 1919 the Senate gave final approval.
The next step to a constitutional amendment is ratification by a majority of the states. At the time 36 of the 48 state legislatures were required to approve. The first three states Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan ratified quickly but then the pace slowed.
22 stars with 14 still to go.
Alice Stokes Paul, president of the National Women's Party, had marched with English suffragettes where she learned how to create public awareness for the campaign. In 1919 and 1920 she publicized her Ratification Banner, sewing a star as each state legislature ratified the amendment.

The battle for ratification
required coordinated effort across the country.

Alice unfurls her completed banner with 36 stars after Tennessee ratifies the
Suffrage Amendment in August, 1920.

Alice's Flag
By Becky Brown
Alice's Flag is an original pattern by Becky Brown and me. Becky loves a challenge (see the fussy-cut piecing). You can always cut a single star rather than one pieced of five shapes.

Alice's Flag
By Dustin Cecil
Alice's Flag
By Becky Brown

There were numerous versions of the banner done in the American color palette of purple and gold. If you are using a purple and green color scheme you may want to use a yellow-green here to echo the flag.

Alice's Flag
By Georgann Eglinski

  For a red and white color scheme use the smaller star so it shows.
Cutting an 8" Finished Block
For the background cut 3 strips 8-1/2" x 3-1/8" (3-3/16"--- if you want to use the 16th inch default)
Use the template in the PDF for the star. The large star finishes to 6-1/2" from point to point. The small star 2-5/8".Add seams to the star---a little bit less than 1/4" is what most appliquers use.

Click here for the PDF:*J2Ug0u*6qB8w
 Piece the strips and applique the star on top...

At an angle, straight up and down....Alice's were rather jaunty, at an angle.

Because we designed this in
Electric Quilt there is no BlockBase number.
But you can print out star patterns using these numbers in the Five and Six-Pointed Star category.
#3680 for a plain star; #3675 for one pieced of 5 spokes. Just use the star--ignore the other parts.
A Toast to Victory, 1920

Saturday, October 6, 2012

6. Aunt Eliza's Star: Child Custody

Aunt Eliza's Star
by Becky Brown

When Eliza Custis married at the age of 19 her step-grandfather George Washington wrote a letter giving her permission to "taste the sweets of Matrimony...If Mr. [Thomas] Law is the man of your choice...[and] after a careful examination of your heart you cannot be happy without him...." Washington sent fervent wishes that she'd be as happy as she could ever imagine.

Eliza's portrait by Gilbert Stuart
 the year she married, 1796
As Martha Washington's eldest granddaughter, Eliza was an American princess, heir to a fortune, bride of the richest man in Washington. Law, about 40, was a recent English immigrant with a mysterious past in India. He also brought two boys to the marriage, illegitimate sons whose mother(s) were never identified. Eliza soon gave birth to their half-sister, another Eliza.

The Law House still stands in Washington

Visitors to Washington City often described visiting the Laws in their new mansion, one of the most impressive buildings in the capitol city. Law was what we'd call a real estate developer. Some of us might also call him obsessive and a bit manic as we read about his leaping from project to project.

Thomas Law as a young man
In 1802 Eliza lost her grandmother Martha Washington. That year her husband sailed for England to secure investors for a new enthusiasm, a canal system. He was gone for over a year. Rosalie Calvert noted, "I am quite intime with Mrs. Law, truly a woman who has no equal. Her husband still has not returned."

In late 1803 Law was back in Washington with another boy in tow. In 1804 Eliza moved out and went to stay with Rosalie, who gossiped about her, "Since childhood Mrs. L demonstrated a violent and romantic disposition....After rejecting some brilliant offers, she married Mr. L...against the wishes of all her relatives. Never were two people less suited to live together, but during the life of her grandmother Mrs. Washington, to whom she was most attached, they restrained themselves in order to spare her pain."

All Washington discussed the Law's marriage. In her new biography Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte author Charlene M. Boyer Lewis quotes a letter from Catherine Harper who wrote her husband that "the cause of Mrs Laws separation from her husband was owing to him keeping publickly a mistress & still does so."

The Laws remain together on the sign
 describing their historic home

Eliza knew that she could not take her 7-year-old daughter with her. Children, like a woman's inheritance, remained with the man after a separation or divorce. She wrote a friend ten years later, "You saw the misery I endured when she was taken from me. I fear'd then it was separation forever. Mr. L. never intended to restore her [to me] & I have suffered more than I can express from his enmity, to gratify which he has prevented my staying near her."

Eliza lost her fortune too. Five years later friend Rosalie wrote, "She should have received a considerable sum which General Washington left her [but] still hasn't been paid." Her grandfather, who worried more about Law than he admitted, secured a prenuptial agreement that Law pay her an annual annuity if the marriage broke down. Law rarely paid.

In punishing his wife by forbidding her to see her daughter Law was following social and legal tradition on both sides of the Atlantic. His brother Lord Ellenborough, chief justice of the King's Bench, set British precedent for the male's sole right to custody in an 1804 case, returning a child to a violent man because the father "is entitled by law to the custody of his child."

Eliza managed to visit her daughter while she was at boarding school and was lucky enough to establish a relationship with her as an adult for a few years before the younger Eliza died in childbirth at 25.
Child custody rights were a basic demand in women's rights platforms but progress was slow. Divorce and custody rights were a state-by-state issue. In 1818 a New Yorker obtained custody of her three children but only because her ex-husband wanted to place them in a Shaker religious community. In 1839 English law permitted women to obtain custody of young children and in 1873 the right was extended to children of all ages. A New York law passed in 1860 gave women joint custody over children, a first step in rights that were not obtained until the 20th century.

Aunt Eliza's Star
by Georgann Eglinksi

 Aunt Eliza's Star
 BlockBase # 2830

The Ladies Art Company gave this classic pattern the name about 1890. It's a block that goes back to Eliza Custis's grandmother's time. We can use it to recall the rights of child custody and to remember so many women like Eliza Custis who had to choose between their children and their right to be free of a failed marriage.

Aunt Eliza's Star
By Dustin Cecil
Cutting an 8" Finished Block
Becky is an advocate of the 1/16" mark on the ruler. She is right---it makes the blocks more accurate-- so I am also going to set my BlockBase default to "Round to 1/16th inches" and add those measurements in red next to the 1/8" measurements. YOU CAN CHOOSE (That IS the theme here).
A - Cut 4 squares 3-1/8" (3-3/16")
B -  Cut 3 squares 3-7/8" (3-7/8")

Cut each with 2 diagonal cuts to make 4 triangles. You need 12 triangles.
C - Cut 1 square 4-1/4" (4-1/4")

Make 4 units of A's and B
Then add more triangles B to the sides of 2 units
Add square C between two of those units

Aunt Eliza's Star
By Becky Brown
See more about Eliza's bridal house here:

Read a preview of Rosalie Stier Calvert's letters and all the Washington gossip in Mistress of Riversdale: The Plantation Letters of Rosalie Stier Calvert By Margaret Law Callcott
Her snipiest discussion of the Law divorce is on page 111.

And see a preview of Charlene M. Boyer Lewis's Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte: An American Aristocrat in the Early Republic (University of Pennsylvania Press), which discusses the Law's divorce and others on page 135.