Monday, January 6, 2020

Grandmother's Choice: 2020 Suffrage Centennial

2020 is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote. We will be celebrating all year.

Several years ago I designed a weekly Quilt Along of 49 blocks with names and references to
the story of the worldwide fight for women's suffrage. It's time to revive it.

From the Rural New Yorker in 1919

I've got two Facebook pages that you can join to follow along.

Grandmother's Choice, Block 1
by Becky Brown

The first block is up there now.

You'll see the link for a story and pattern is to the Grandmother's Choice blog, which is how we shared the blocks in 2012. It's still up there and so are all 49 patterns with lots of suggestions for colors, fabrics and setting ideas.

Georgann Eglinski made model blocks in red and white

Because the patterns are all derived from BlockBase and my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns I thought they'd be good for our BlockBaseBlox Facebook group to use in the revised editions of both coming out in 2020. BUT the rules for those submissions say blocks 9"-12" and the patterns in Grandmother's Choice are 8". So I guess I'll give additional 12" instructions in that group every Saturday.
Join one or both.

Becky Brown made 2 tops (2 granddaughters), this one in
symbolic colors---purple was a big part of the suffrage image in the U.S.

Or just go to the 2012 blog:

Martha used William Morris prints

Vicki Welsh used her hand-dyed cottons.

Dustin Cecil used his amazing scrap bag with
an emphasis on purple and gold (the British symbolic color)

There was a whole lot of fussy cutting going on. This one by

Start stitching says Alice Paul

"Alice Paul is shown sewing the thirty-sixth star on the 
suffrage ratification banner, the stars having been 
added from time to time as the various states ratified,” 
1920. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.


  1. It will be interesting to revisit the Grandmother's Choice blocks. I enjoyed making my quilt.

  2. Wow! That hand dyed block is amazing!

  3. This was an incredible project & one I recommend if you're at all interested in history or women's rights. I learned so much, dug into various topics deeper thanks to Barbara's links and enjoyed making every block - yes, even the challenging ones. It's good to see it's back again for another round of quilters.

  4. This was the first one of your projects I ever did as a very new quilter, being introduced to them by Dorry! I still love the quilt I made!!

  5. This was so much fun the first time round so I heartily recommend it to those newbies who might not have known about it then. My quilt was dedicated to Kate Sheppard who was one of the fearless leaders seeking to achieve suffrage for women in New Zealand (my country of birth). Ultimately New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant the right for all women to vote in the election of 1893.

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