Judi Benson next to the women’s suffrage quilt made by nine women from Black Butte quilt guild Peggy’s Pin Pals. photo by Jodi Schneider
Judi Benson next to the women’s suffrage quilt made by nine women from Black Butte quilt guild Peggy’s Pin Pals. photo by Jodi Schneider
This past summer East of the Cascades Quilt (EOCQ) guild member Susan Cobb and other guild members yearned to have a special exhibit on the 100th year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 2020. Ed and Kathi Beacham, owners of Beacham Clock Co. in Sisters, were happy to be of assistance and 14 quilts were displayed August 14-21, 2020. The quilts were also showcased at Deschutes County Historical Society in Bend August 25-September 23, 2020, and Sisters Historical Society for three days in October.

The Women Suffrage quilts, “She Gets to Vote,” are now on display in the Aspen Lodge at Black Butte Ranch throughout the month of November. This will be the last show for these quilts in Central Oregon.

Cobb said, “The idea for this special exhibit began because we wanted to honor the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment. In a planning meeting of the EOCQ guild, we decided, due to the importance of the topic, that we would open this special exhibit up to include quilters from the various guilds in Central Oregon.”

The women’s suffrage movement was a decades-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the United States. Oregon led the way in giving women full voting rights in 1912. Oregon then joined other Western states and territories in extending the vote to female citizens and providing crucial legitimacy to the woman suffrage movement nationally.

“A lot of research went into each one. And it was a lot of education,” Cobb explained. “Since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788, women, and men, across the USA worked towards a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to give women equal rights, including the right to vote. It took 268 years for women to have the right to vote nationally and even then, not all women were included. Asian, indigenous, and women of color continued to struggle through mid-20th century for their voting rights.”

Cobb has two quilts on display, “Equality” and “Liberty.”

Each quilt followed the theme of the 100th anniversary of women suffrage. The size of each quilt is 45” square to honor this special exhibit starting during the 45th Anniversary of 2020 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Each quilt must include the mid-1800’s U.S. suffragists’ colors gold, purple and white and it must have a label and sleeve on the back.

Judi Benson, a member of the Black Butte Ranch quilt guild “Peggy’s Pin Pals” joined forces with eight other women from the guild creating a nine-star quilt.

Benson told The Nugget, “This project caught my interest because I can remember my mother, who was a very independent woman, talking about how long and hard women had to work to get the vote. I felt she would be celebrating this 100-year anniversary along with the rest of us. Our quilt group, Peggy’s Pin Pals, is a very collaborative one, and we decided early to make it together. After counting the number of participants, we designed the size of the squares to fit into the required size of the quilt so that we could each make one square. We decided on a star theme, as each state ratifying the vote was especially important. We are all so glad of the rights women have, and hope they continue to increase in this century.”

Benson has been sewing since she was a young girl and made a lot of her own clothes. Her grandmother was a quilter and was the catalyst that led her to quilting.

“When we retired to Black Butte Ranch 22 years ago, I took some lessons at the Stitchin’ Post and have been quilting ever since,” she said.

The Aspen Lounge is open Daily from 3 to 9 p.m. Pick up one of the handouts that describes each quilt and let it guide you while viewing the quilts.