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
Or a smaller star. Pattern below.

  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 here for the stars. 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.

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.

How to print:
Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11".
Click on the image above.
Right click on it and save it to your file.
Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". Note the inch square block for reference.
Adjust the printed page size if necessary.
Add seams.
For a 12-Inch Block

For the strips cut 3 strips 12-1/2" x 4-1/2".
For a 12" block the star has to be slightly smaller in relation to the stripes (to fit on the printer's page). 

A Toast to Victory, 1920


  1. Wow! Woodrow Wilson just became my favorite president! Ginny in PA

  2. I love this piece of History, I will sew my star a bit unregular, in memory of Alice's banner.

  3. Those who knit might want to browse the current issue of Piecework magazine's special issue 'Knitting Traditions" which contains an article on knitted Suffragette Collars and Cuffs worn in both the US and Britain with appropriate colors to signify support for women's right to vote. Patterns are included should you want to wear a collar while making this quilt.

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  7. Interesting that Wilson recommended it finally, after having the women arrested and imprisoned when they demonstrated in front of the White House! Alice Paul, herself, spent 7 months in prison. That was where she staged her famous hunger strike, leading to her being force fed. Amazing times, and amazing violence the women endured so that we have the right to vote.

  8. What dimensions for block size should be used for printing out templates for either star (3680 and 3675) in BlockBase?
    Thank you!

    1. I chose the size of the block I'm doing. My blocks are 5", and the star came out just right. A friend is doing 8" blocks (as shown on the blog) so I printed the star in that size for her.

    2. I'm afraid I do it trial and error and waste paper but I'd start with an 8" block and see if that looks good.

    3. Thank you Barbara and Anonymous!

  9. Love the idea of a quilt in recognition of women's I have joined in, all caught up, ready to make block 7! I'm a Canadian, so the history north of the border may be a little different, but the end result is on the same page. Thanks for leading the parade! I have joined Flickr and am so impressed with the numbers of quilters taking part and the beautiful blocks!

  10. I wanted to say thanks, Barbara, for the lovely block - and also for an interesting page from an American History book that was never written, and was certainly never taught, at least while I was in school.