Archive for February, 2013

A Cat and Three Quilts

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, quilts and quilting

Linda Hubalek's cat

Linda Hubalek’s cat

Lilac Lane Patterns had me as a guest blogger today about my quilts. (Here’s the story below, but go to their website to see all the photos of the quilts I talk about.)

What’s on my bed? Gray Cat, my 10 year old male cat that sleeps on my bed most of the day.
Oh, but what’s UNDER Gray Cat? A washable comforter…
What would I like to have on my bed besides gray cat hair? My antique quilts that my ancestors made—and I have twenty-seven to choose from…
And each quilt makes the bed, and room, look totally different.

Today I’ll show you some of my great grandmother, Kizzie Pieratt’s quilts, and next Friday I’ll show you some of my grandmother, Irene Pieratt Akers’ quilts.

Kizzie raised eight children, was the main farmer in the family, and quilted other people’s quilt tops for additional income. Most of the quilts I have of hers were made to be functional, and used on our own family’s beds when I was growing up in the 1950s.

She made enough quilt blocks for more than one quilt at a time, and then used different material for between the blocks and the backing. For example I have two Pinwheel quilts, one with a blue backing, and the other with a pink one.
Most often the heavy quilts were tied, like this wool tied Fan design, instead of quilted.
But, I have a few wonderful quilts that she stitched tens of thousands of stitches in that material too.
The bright yellow Log Cabin Star quilt was made from feed sacks. That was a lot of chicken feed to get that many sacks of yellow material.
It’s fun to reminisce about these quilts and the woman that made them. In fact, I’m working on a book about Kizzie and her quilts now titled The Kansas Quilter.
To learn more about this book, and my ten other books about pioneer women that homesteaded on the Kansas prairie, please visit my website at http://LindaHubalek.com.

And please check back to this blog site next week to see even more antique quilts on my bed.

Robert Pieratt- Civil War Soldier

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

Robert Pieratt, Civil War soldier, 1862.

Robert Pieratt, Civil War soldier, 1862.

Today I’m going through old photos that I’ll include in my next book. These are pictures I took in 2002 with my camera, of old portraits that were in my great uncle’s chest of family history.  Now—eleven years later— I’m scanning, cropping and figuring out where to put in my book, The Kansas Quilter.

As I sort them by family, and study the photos with a magnifying glass, I’m finding clues to my ancestors’ pasts.

For example here’s a photo of Robert Pieratt, probably taken when he enlisted in 1862. He died on Feb. 19, 1863—at the age of 17.

Here’s how I wrote his death in the letter, Feb. 26, 1863 in Stitch of Courage.

“Robert died at Fort Scott on February 19. He had the measles, then succumbed to pneumonia. We barely knew he was sick until Mr. Pieratt got word that he was dead and buried. I curse this war! If it hadn’t been for the Secession, Robert would have been home, alive and well. I can’t stand to think what conditions Robert lived in and must have died in without his family around him in his last hours. In my mind I picture him lying in a spindly cot without enough blankets, no one to bathe his fevered brow, all alone. Did he still have my quilt with him? Did he lose it, or wasn’t it thick enough to keep him warm and safe? Questions keep haunting me, along with his friendly face. I saw it only two months ago!”

(Excerpt from Stitch of Courage © Linda K. Hubalek)

Now look at the photo again and think how bittersweet it would be to have a picture of your son as he’s ready to go to war, and then to hear you’ll never see him again.

And then there’s more in this letter in Stitch of Courage, and you realize…

“The word of Robert’s passing came after his stepmother, Nancy, died of bronchitis on the 20th. She hadn’t been well for the last month but turned worse quickly at the end. The Pieratt children have lost two mothers. I feel their pain as I relive my own loss. Life can be so hard on children. “

The father, John Pieratt (from Trail of Thread) lost a son on the 19th and his wife on the 20th.

These are the emotions I try to portray for my books, because they were real—especially when you find an old photo like this one and know the story behind it…