Back to Writing

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

Linda Hubalek's gardenAfter the cool weather and twelve inches of rain we’ve had the last part of July, I feel like August is going to slip right into fall.

My buffalo grass lawn, flower beds, and vegetable garden are looking lush and productive for this normally hot and dry time of year. I’ve really enjoyed the busts of color and produce I have around our acreage. Pictured in this post is zinnias with a patch of corn behind them. (I mix flowers and veggie’s together to make a unique visual scene to view from my porch.)

I take the summer off from writing to enjoy my outside flower and vegetable gardens, so our cool, rainy weather is shifting my brain to fall writing and projects. Plus school starts in a couple of weeks here in Kansas, so it makes me feel like I need to get back to a schedule of “ reading and writing” too.

I’m back working on the second book of the Kansas Quilter series now. This book is based on my great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt’s growing up on the Kansas prairie, and her moving to the Oklahoma Territory during the land rush era. Her son, my great uncle Ralph, had lots of stories about this time frame—don’t know if they were true or tall tales—but they make the perfect background for the book.

You’ll just have to wait and guess how the book turns out… But at least I’m back to work after the summer break so you’ll hear more from me now in my blog and social sites.

Hope you have had a good summer too.

Millfest Quilt Show

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

Linda Hubalek's Ozark Star QuiltI’m putting together a quilt show that will be open to the public at the Millfest Festival in Lindsborg, Kansas, from May 3-5, 2013.

School groups from around the area come in on Friday to have some hands-on learning about pioneer history.

Later on Friday afternoon, MaryJane’s Sisterhood “Farmgirls on the Loose” groups are coming in with their vintage campers (they call it “glamping”) to enjoy the weekend festival and a special program on these antique quilts.
If you’d like to enjoy this special weekend in May (or any other time), please visit Lindsborg, known as Little Sweden USA.
Here’s a few quilts made by my grandmother, Irene Pieratt Akers that will be on show, besides those made by my great grandmother Kizzie.
Linda Hubalek's Pink Fan QuiltKizzie had eight children and a farm to run, so her life was different than her daughter’s. Irene had three children and was a housewife with more time on her hands. Irene’s quilts are more stylish with the patterns of the times (1920-1940s) and had much more detailed work.
Pictured with this post are Irene’s Ozark Star quilt, and my favorite—the pink Fan quilt.
Please check out my website for more information on my quilts and book series at http://lindahubalek.com/.

Spring and Eggs

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Butter in the Well book series

Egg Gravy by Linda K. HubalekWe’re seeing signs of spring in Kansas. In other words—we’re having longer days of sunshine and temperatures up to the 70’s, then a few days of a good old windy snow blizzard. Yep, that’s Kansas…

But we’re also seeing daffodils blooming, wheat fields turning green, and people like me already buying first pick of plants in the garden nurseries—even though that means they are enjoying time in my sun room for a few weeks before going outside permanently.

This year Easter makes its appearance in March, and that brings me to eggs, both to decorate and hide from kids and pets, and to bake with.

Spring for the pioneers meant hens starting to lay more eggs after the long winter so here are two of my favorite “egg recipes” from my old-time recipe cook book, Egg Gravy.

Angel Food Cake

Whites of 11 eggs, pinch of salt, 1½ cups sugar, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 cup cake flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Sift sugar and flour together 7 times. Put cream of tartar and salt in eggs and beat very light, fold in sugar and flour, add vanilla. Put in cold oven and bake slowly 1 hour.

Sunshine Cake

1 cup butter, 11 egg yolks (beaten light), 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour (sifted 3 times) with 2 teaspoons baking powder added to the flour, and  1 cup sweet milk.  (Make your own cake flour by sifting 4 cups of flour and 1 cup of cornstarch together four times.) Bake in tube pan 45 minutes.

(I know the cake recipes don’t have time and temperature on them, but every good cook knew her own wood stove, so they didn’t  record those on their recipes.)

Try your hand at baking like a pioneer and let me know how they turned out.

If you’d like more recipes that pioneer women used (or just like to read an old-fashioned cookbook), please enjoy my book Egg Gravy and the whole Butter in the Well series.

National Quilting Day

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

NQA quilt patternNational Quilting Day was established in 1991 by the National Quilting Association. Officially, National Quilting Day is the third Saturday in March (March 16th this year). Unofficially, the celebration has expanded to the entire month.

The theme for 2013 is “Celebrate America”, which coordinates with the show theme for the 44th Annual National Quilting Association Quilt Show. A Nine Patch Stars and Stripes quilt for this year’s theme was designed by Kathy Lichtendahl, former NQA Communications Chair. One version of the finished quilt is featured with this blog.

Click into the NQA’s website for the free pattern to create this quilt. Donate your finished quilt to any organization supporting our veterans, or to someone now serving in the military.

I think it would also make a great memorial quilt for anyone who has had family serve our great country.  The quilt will look great in any color scheme, and in any size,  not just as it’s featured.

Get inspired with this stunning quilt pattern, and “celebrate America” by making this quilt for someone special!

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…

The Woman’s Role in the Birth of Kansas

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

Kansas State Flag

Kansas State Flag

As the state of Kansas celebrates their 152nd birthday this week, one wonders why people decided to venture out into the open prairie of the Great Plains in the first place.

The answer was free land with the 1854 opening of the Territory of Kansas and Nebraska. A surge of settlers took that opportunity to move in, stake out land claims, and build brand new towns.

What role did the woman of the family have in the decision to move, and in the building of a new life out in the middle of nowhere?

While researching for my Trail of Thread book series, I was plagued with the questions the women would be asking of themselves and their husbands about the reason for the move, and how to prepare for it.

What were these women’s feelings when they were told they were moving to an open wilderness without family or towns nearby? How could they decide what to pack and what they must leave behind? At what point did these pioneer women feel they were making progress in starting a new state?

Unfortunately, after the early homesteaders settled in the new territory, the clashes between the free-state and proslavery forces made life hard for all. While the men were out fighting for their picked cause, the women were left at home to build and defend their new homesteads.

Even though women didn’t have a vote in what was going to happen to their state, it was often the women that were holding the state together and talking care of the farms- establishing the state and its future.

So, as the 34th state looks back on its history and ahead to its future, we say thanks to the pioneer women that made Kansas a state.

Review from Melissa’s Lilac Lane Blog

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

Linda K. Hubalek’s second book in the Trail of Thread series is just as delightful as the first. Join Margaret Ralston Kennedy as she decides to give up a good life in Ohio to join her children in Kansas. You will find her facing droughts, freezing temperatures (it says -40 at one point!), and political upheaval. I really appreciated how strong pioneer women really were. To think of living in a drafty log cabin where you woke up with frost or ice on yourself every morning!

The book addresses Bloody Kansas as our state was torn between slavery and freedom in the mid 1850s. You will recognize characters such as John Brown. By the end of the book, we are on the verge of Civil War.

Thimble of Soil by Linda K. Hubalek.

There is also tons about starting a new household, gardening and of course quilting. I especially enjoyed a newspaper article included at the end of the book documenting Margaret who lived to be 87 years old.

I was touched by how frequently people were killed by plagues and yet, life went on. These women were tough, hardy pioneers who were thrown into a situation where they had to protect their families from raids and cold alike. And yet they stood for what they believed in.

Once again in the form of letters, it is a tale of survival, and you will enjoy it. For more information or to order the book, please visit Hubalek’s website at http://lindahubalek.com.

Reviewed by Melissa Stramel,
(Pattern Designer- enjoy her Etsy Site too!)

 

Welcoming the New Year

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

Author Linda Hubalek's great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt

Linda Hubalek’s great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt

The year 2012 went by fast for me as my husband and I built our own house, plus me taking care of my aging parents. Both “jobs” were filled with work, trauma, and joy. But, these were important things that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.

Now I’m starting the new year by moving into my new home office and planning my dad’s 90th birthday open house on Jan. 20th.

I’m enjoying a sunny winter snow scene from my office window and getting back in gear…and still wondering what I did with… where I put… certain files… that envelope of research photos, etc.

I wasn’t able to concentrate on my writing as I would have liked to last year, but now I’m working on my next book.

I have enough research done to start writing the story of my great grandmother, Kizzie Pieratt who was a spunky pioneer, and an avid quilter.

It’s going to be fun to write her story. Please keep tuned in to see how the new book progresses.

Time to Start Christmas

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Butter in the Well book series

I know I’m behind in Christmas decorating, shopping and my annual holiday letter- compared to everyone else around my neighborhood. Most people put up their house lights and their tree right after Thanksgiving, and will take them down right after Christmas.

But growing up in a Swedish community meant that the Christmas season was from Dec. 13, which is St. Lucia’s Day, to January 13, St. Knut’s Day, when you take down your Christmas tree. And I still stick to this time frame because it was a tradition in my family, and for the last several generations. It just makes me feel good to remember my Swedish grandparent’s custom and how their living room was decorated this special month.

Butter in the Well by Linda K. Hubalek. Published by Butterfield Books Inc.Here’s an entry from Butter in Well that tells about the start of the Christmas season for “us Swedes”.

December 13, 1868– At home in Sweden the Christmas season starts today on Saint Lucia’s Day. When I was living at home, Sara, my oldest sister, would wake us up early with coffee and cakes in bed. She wore the traditional white robe, crimson sash and a crown of lighted candles that illuminated the dark to represent Saint Lucia, the patron saint of Sweden. Special food was prepared for the holiday season. Fader was in charge of the meats and Moder baked enough pastries for us and anyone who came to visit. The smörgåsbord on Christmas Eve was loaded with the traditional Christmas dishes. Seemed like we had barely gone to bed when it was time to rise and walk to Julotta. The rest of the day was spent quietly at home with our family. We would open our gifts, handmade items that everyone had secretly worked on for weeks before Christmas. I remember the ljus krona that sat on the corner table in the living room of my parent’s home. The tree, carved out of wood, was wrapped in white paper and had small handmade candles tied to its branches. Each branch represents a member of the family. It was my favorite Christmas decoration. Now I feel homesick. (Excerpt from Butter in the Well, ©Linda K. Hubalek)

I hope you’re remembering special people and traditions this month too. I’m starting my Christmas season today!

Linda’s Books & Series

Cate Corrals a Cattleman

Autographed. Book 6, Brides with Grit series.
$11.95 (tax incl.)
by lindahubalek

Cultivating Hope

Autographed. Book 2, Planting Dreams Series.
$11.95 (tax incl.)
by lindahubalek

Looking Back

Autographed. Book, Butter in the Well Series
$11.95 (tax incl.)
by lindahubalek

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