Sisters quilters presented commemorative gifts to the Sisters History Museum recognizing the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. From the left, Karen Swank, Sisters History Museum treasurer; Susan Cobb and Diane Tolzman, presenters; Zeta Seiple, museum secretary. photo by Sue Stafford
Sisters quilters presented commemorative gifts to the Sisters History Museum recognizing the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. From the left, Karen Swank, Sisters History Museum treasurer; Susan Cobb and Diane Tolzman, presenters; Zeta Seiple, museum secretary. photo by Sue Stafford
This past October, the Sisters History Museum hosted a collaborative exhibit of quilts created by members of local quilting guilds in honor of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920.

The Amendment states, “The rights 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 the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The museum was recently presented with commemorative gifts as a reminder of the 100th anniversary of the suffrage amendment. A quilted table runner/wall hanging was crafted by Susan Cobb, Diane Tolzman, and Linda Weick in the suffragette colors of purple, gold, and white, plus two sashes in the same colors reminiscent of those worn by the women who marched, demonstrated, and spoke in support of the suffrage movement.

The two sashes are each secured with antique pins similar to those popular a century ago. The squares of the runner contain signatures of the women whose quilts were displayed at the October museum exhibit, the name of their quilt, and the name of the guild to which they belong.

Cobb, a member of both East of the Cascades Quilters (EOCQ) and Studio Art Quilters Association of Central Oregon (SAQAOCO), designed and pieced the top of the runner with the signed squares and made 12 sashes. Tolzman, who is the president of EOCQ, did the quilting of the runner which included stitching in the shape of an eagle’s head. Weick, also a member of SAQAOCO, made another 12 sashes and created the labels that went on the back of the sashes, which were presented to makers of the suffragette quilts as well as the Deschutes County History Museum, which also hosted the exhibit, and the local League of Women Voters.

Karen Swank, Sisters History Museum treasurer, told Cobb and Tolzman, “The museum certainly appreciates receiving these commemorative gifts and they will have a home in Sisters forever here in the museum.”

The Deschutes County League of Women Voters sent a letter to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show last year inquiring about the possibility of a display of quilts commemorating the 1920 ratification. The letter was passed on to local quilting guilds which took on the project, producing 14 distinctive quilts which were filmed and displayed virtually. Cobb became the project coordinator for the effort, working with EOCQ (Sisters), Peggy’s Pin Pals (Black Butte Ranch), Central Oregon Modern Quilt Guild, Mount Bachelor Quilt Guild (Bend), and SAQAOCO. Following the virtual presentation, the exhibit traveled to Beacham’s Clock Shop, Deschutes County Historical Society, Sisters Historical Society, and Black Butte Lodge Restaurant and Aspen Lounge.

In April 2021, the exhibit will travel to Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg.