A Suffrage Movement in 2015

We asked Tamara Schmiege, our editorial assistant, to tell you about PieceWork’s newest issue. Here’s Tamara!

There is a wonderful article by Katherine Durack on the National Suffrage Fair of December 1900 in the November/December 2015 issue of PieceWork. It’s amazing to me to read about women editors being publically criticized for crocheting during their breaks, while it was perfectly acceptable at the same time for male editors to smoke pipes during breaks! At most meetings here at F+W in 2015, you might see no less than 10 editors knitting or crocheting. A conference room is reserved for lunch time every Friday; any one working on a project is welcome.


Katherine Durack’s washcloth project that accompanies her article on the 1900 Suffrage Fair in the November/December 2015 issue of PieceWork. Crocheted washcloths were among the items for sale at the fair.
All photos by Joe Coca.

Back to the fair, I was also astonished by all of the work, time, and effort that went into the 1900 Suffrage Fair: Women made products to sell at the fair such as handmade soaps, jellies, preserves, canned fruits, syrups, paper flowers, and crocheted washcloths. Dignitaries and politicians supported the fair with large gifts and donation, including paintings, textiles, Oriental embroidered hangings, livestock, automobiles, and more. Every state was represented at the fair and women at the booths dressed in their finest clothing.


Katherine Durack designed her Sunflower Suffrage Shawl to Crochet in tribute to sunflower’s association with the Suffrage Movement. It also accompanies her article on the 1900 Suffrage Fair in the November/December 2015 issue of PieceWork.

As I read this article, I thought several things. First, could we pull off such a fair today with as much national support and enthusiasm? We might run a 5K race, or open an Etsy shop and give some of the proceeds away, or set up a GoFundMe account. But, could we make the kind of impact that they made then? Could we make as much progress toward change? Second, I thought, how grateful I feel toward those women and men who supported the fair and the Suffrage Movement. What a great debt we owe them for many things we now take for granted.

I think you will love this article and be just as engrossed in it as I was. I think you’ll even want to learn more about the Suffrage Movement, as I do now. There’s a movie opening October 23 called Suffragette. What a great coincidence and timing for PieceWork! So, pick up PieceWork November/December 2015, read it, and then go see the movie!