I thought long and hard about this theme. My recurring thought kept returning to the boundaries that women have faced for centuries. After our surprising election, I made the decision to go with my gut feelings for this quilt. I thought of all the American women who have fought for the rights of women - from Abigail Adams to Eleanor Roosevelt to Maya Angelou. In my own 76 years, I thought about times when as a teenager, I wore only skirts, and never jeans. I remembered that the only career choices for women in my day were nurse, teacher or secretary. I cringed at the memories of crude insults from some doctors at the hospital where I worked as a nurse. I laughed at the time when I was required to have my husband's approval to open my own bank account and apply for my own credit card. I painfully considered the time in the mid 70's when I finally became brave enough to file a sexual harassment complaint against a male co-worker. I also thought about my female friends and their struggles. I stood in awe of the two women from our church who, in the 1950's, became the first female elders in the Presbyterian Church. I shared the grief of friends who had to change denominations in order to become the ministers they were called to be. And, I thought about all of the women I never knew on whose shoulders I stand because they bravely worked for equality.
I chose a subdued pink fabric for my background. I decided that Rosie the Riveter, that symbol of strength and can do, would be my theme. I drew a picture of Rosie without facial features to represent all women everywhere. I fused the gray Rosie to a green background to represent "growth." Using Wonder Under, I fused Rosie to the pink background, colored in features with fabric pencils and dots of pink ink. Then I machined stitched around all of her features. Next came the bars representing boundaries we, as women, still face. I wanted to honor the women throughout American history up through the present who have worked on behalf of female equality. I considered many different ways to do this and finally decided to handwrite the names with fabric pencil. If you look closely, you may even find yourself listed there. Lastly, I fused the entire quilt with a light brown tulle to signify that our work is incomplete. A zigzag border in pink, gray, black and green finished the piece.