Saturday, July 27, 2013

48. Fair Play: Canadian Suffrage

Fair Play by Becky Brown

The fight for Women's Suffrage, so contentious and frustrating in the early teens, began to achieve its goals in the latter part of the decade. The disaster of World War I changed attitudes about many things, including women's roles and rights. Old arguments were replaced by new logic based in fairness.

Canadian nurses
Men in government came to believe that it was only fair to permit women to vote but also a trade for their service and sacrifices during the war. In 1917 Canada's Parliament passed the Wartime Election Act, which selectively gave the vote not only to women serving in the military as nurses but also to those with close family members serving overseas.

Canadian Nurses voting in France 1917

In 1918 with the Allies victorious, most female adult Canadians who owned property were awarded the right to vote.

The Weaker Sex?

Canada was ahead of its English cousins who also passed a 1918 enfranchisement law, but London's Parliament limited female voters to those over 30 who met minimum property qualifications (men could vote at 21.)

Victory was not a prerequisite for change. In defeat Germany and Austria granted the right to vote to women in 1918.

American women had to wait two more years for a constitutional amendment.

"If You Are Good Enough for War You
Are Good Enough to Vote,"
Public Opinion tells American Womanhood

Fair Play by Becky Brown

Fair Play is a four patch block given the name by the Ladies' Art Company in the early 20th century. We can use it to remember the post World War I victories in several countries.

It's BlockBase #1482.

Cutting an 8" or a 12"  Block

The block is all templates if you piece it conventionally.
To print the templates click on the pictures below and save.
Print it 8-1/2 x 11".

Here's a little how-to on stitching these curves.
  • You need about 6 or 7 straight pins.
  • Place the smaller piece on top of a larger piece face to face.
  • Center the two and put a pin there.
  • Flip the pieces over as you pin.

You could applique the B ring if you prefer.
Applique to squares cut 4-1/2" for the 8" block or 6-1/2" for the 12".

Brigitte at Zen Chic has another way to construct a similar block. See this:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

47. Heroine's Crown: Choose Your Own

Heroine's Crown by Becky Brown
AAA----Applique---but simple applique

We've mentioned many soldiers in the battles for women's rights but leave a long list of omissions. Some of the omissions are people who achieved enough fame to be remembered today, like Carrie Chapman Catt and Simone de Beauvoir.

Others are the anonymous heroes we see in these photos.

Every step forward had a woman unafraid to make a statement; every region had a leader; every sign had a standard bearer.

So with Hero's Crown we can recall someone whose name has been omitted---your great-Aunt, our first female Supreme Court Justice, my neighbor who insists we all vote. The applique block is from Ruth Finley's 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them.
8" Pattern

12" Pattern

I lightened Becky's block so you could see the extra seams she added.

Cutting an 8" Block

Cut the background 8-1/2" or 12-1/2" square. Fold and press so you have guidelines for laying out the applique.

Cut templates (be sure to add seams) and then cut 4 of each piece except for C.
You only need one center circle C.
And really you only need 1 B cut as a single 4-lobed floral.
But Becky cut the floral B as 4 pieces
And here's why...

Heroine's Crown by Becky Brown
So she could fussy cut the floral.
Here's how she did that center floral.

She pieced these over freezer paper
Using a glue stick she glued the edges
and then whip stitched the 4 pieces together.

Very nice.

Heroine's Crown by Dustin Cecil

Do notice I don't have an applique by 
Georgann to show.
48 Blocks makes a very nice quilt too.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

46. Barrister's Block: Legal Battles

Barrister's Block
by Becky Brown

"Application from three infatuated young women for admission to [Columbia] Law School. No woman shall degrade herself by practicing law, in New York especially, if I can save her. Our committee will probably have to pass on the application, pro forma, but.....'Women's-Rights Women' are uncommonly loud and offensive of late. I loathe the lot."  George Templeton Strong, 1869

One of the major legal battles in the history of women's rights was the fight for the right to conduct legal battles. Like George Templeton Strong, many felt the legal profession was degrading. As Supreme Court Justice Joseph Bradley phrased it in 1873:
"The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life."

English barristers wore white wigs.

Proof of this was found in the early demise of attorney Lavinia Goodell who died at 42 in 1880. The Chicago Journal asked readers to consider "whether women are able to endure the hard usage and severe mental application incidental to a legal professional career."

Many women thought that was bunk, among them Regina Mills Chambers, a schoolteacher in the Kansas state capital of Topeka who married a young legislator. She studied law in his office and they opened a joint practice in rural Hoxie, Kansas in 1890.
Hoxie about 1920

Among her acquittals was the case of Myrtle Coulson who ran away from a violent husband to her sister's home. Unable to obtain a peace bond to restrain him, she shot and killed him when he broke into the house.

"Attorneys who heard [Chambers's] closing argument say it was the best made in the case,"
reported the Hoxie Sentinel.

Regina Mills Chambers (1867-1910) left this signature quilt, made in Alma, Kansas, when she taught in the 1888-9 school year. To see the whole quilt at Kansas Memory click here:

Alma, Kansas

Regina's granddaughter Camille Nohe wrote her biography in a 1998 book Journeys on the Road Less Travelled: Kansas Women Attorneys. I also worked on that book, interviewing women who went to law school before 1970. Among my favorite stories were those told by retired Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Kay McFarland. As a young lawyer in the 1960s she was sent by the senior partner to try a case in a small town. "I was so pleased that he had the confidence in me."

The confidence was well-placed. She won, but during the trial the opposing attorney insulted her by calling her "Girlie" and making jokes about getting her hair done. She later found out that her boss had sent her just to prove to the opposing counsel the case was so "open and shut that even a woman could win it."

Justice McFarland

Barrister's Block
by Dustin Cecil
Barrister's Block is a repeat design for four of this design unit. The name was published by the Ladies Art Company about 1890 and later called Lawyer's Puzzle by Ruth Finley

BlockBase #1363
If you want to resize the block in BlockBase, print rotary-cutting directions for a block twice as large 
so you get the measurements for one repeat.

Cutting an 8" Finished Block

A - Cut 6 squares 2-7/8". (3 light and 3 dark)
Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 12 triangles.

B - Cut 1 square 2-1/2".

C. - Cut 2 squares of contrasting color 6-7/8".
Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 2 triangles, one of each color.

Cutting a 12" Finished Block
A - 3-7/8" squares
B - 3-1/2" square
C - 9-7/8" square

Barrister's Block by Georgann Eglinski

Barrister's Block by Becky Brown
She flipped her darkest piece to the bottom.