Stopping by Aunt Pitty Pat's

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

(Here’s my guest post that’s on Aunt Patty Pat’s website today. She gave Trail of Thread a great review too!)

I’m pioneer writer Linda Hubalek, stopping by to say “Hello!” here on Aunt Pitty Pat’s website while on my WOW! Book Blog Tour. Because my Trail of Thread book series weaves stories and quilts together, talking about quilts seemed like a perfect fit for this post.

Quilts have always been part of my life

When I grew up on the farm featured in my Butter in the Well book series, the upstairs bedrooms were not heated–except for a floor register in each of the two of the bedrooms that let a little warmth rise up from downstairs. At night us kids would leave the living room which was heated by a propane stove, race upstairs and crawl into our beds that were lined with blanket sheets and heaped with piles of handmade quilts. It was the standard way to keep warm during the winter months. (And in the morning we’d bring our clothes downstairs to dress in front of the stove.)

Almost all of these quilts were made by my great grandmother Kizzie (Hamman) Pieratt, plus a few by her daughter, my grandmother, Irene (Pieratt) Akers. Kizzie was a very prolific quilter, even with eight kids and a farm to run. She made a quilt for each child, grandchild, their spouse, and all her great grandchildren, PLUS hand quilted other people’s quilts as part of their family’s income.

I can’t say I knew the quilt patterns back then; just that they were all different, a combination of leftover fabric for a variety of decades. Several were heavy crazy quilts made from old wool coats. Most of the quilts made during the 1920’s through the 1940’s with popular quilt patterns of the times, and made from feed sack material. There were also a few unusual ones, like my Dad’s quilt made of men’s silk ties.

Antique quilt made by Kizzie Pieratt and owned by Linda Hubalek

Linda Hubalek's Postage Stamp Quilt

We called the quilt she made me during the 1950’s “the postage stamp quilt” because it was made of one inch squares of material, (plus she made a matching quilt for my doll bed). The full size quilt has thousands of hand cut and stitched pieces of material in it.

When pondering the theme for my second book series, these old quilts came to mind because I have always planned to write a book about my great grandmother Kizzie. I ended up writing the Trail of Thread series, three books about women settling in the new state of Kansas during the Civil War era, while weaving in twelve quilt patterns within each book.

Instead of writing the books in a story form with dialogue, I have the main character writing a letter to a loved one, describing the life events that were happening to her.

Deborah Pieratt’s letters in the Trail of Thread book follows her wagon trail journey to the Territory of Kansas in 1854. The second book, Thimble of Soil features Margaret Ralston Kennedy’s letters in her decision to move her family from their safe Ohio home to the unsettling territory in 1855. And the final book, Stitch of Courage, reveals Maggie Kennedy Pieratt’s letters to her sister, as she grows up and marries James Monroe Pieratt during the Civil War.

As I work on my fourth series, The Kansas Quilter, I’m taking a closer look at the family quilts that my great grandmother Kizzie made during her ninety-seven years.

Would you like to learn more about my writing and how to read my books (available in both book or ebook format)? Please visit my author website at To follow my research and writing on my next series, please sign up for my blog or “like” me on Facebook too.

You’ll love the stories of these Kansas pioneer women!

Many thanks from the Kansas prairie….for allowing me to visit with you today!

Linda K. Hubalek

Writing Fiction Based on Facts

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

Pieratts featured in Trail of Thread book by Linda K HubalekWhile I base my stories on facts or photos I’ve found on my main characters, I still need to expand the story to bring the people and places to life.

Quite often a piece of information will only lead to more questions —which I think is the fun part of researching.

For example, the picture featured with this post is my great-great grandfather John Pieratt and a young woman.

Researching my family tree, John (1817-1868) and his first wife, Deborah (1821-1859) left Kentucky in 1854 to move to the new Territory of Kansas. (Their journey was the basis of my book Trail of Thread, which is a great book to use as a class project about traveling by wagon trains during the 1800s.) They were both listed in the 1850 census of Bath County, Kentucky, but John and his second wife, Nancy (1830-1863) were listed in the 1860 census of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas.

Looking at these two people in the photo you see a big age difference between them. That leads me to believe the woman with John was wife number three, Sarah (1846-1914) whom he married in 1865. Notice she is holding a bible in her lap?  That gesture was seen in photos of that era if the woman was pregnant.

So, I already know that John lost two wives and was 29 years older than his third wife when this picture was taken, probably in 1866 when Sarah had her first child. Imagine the stories you could write—and the emotions of not only John—but his children of his first marriage that were older than Sarah?

Add stories from newspaper clippings of Lawrence’s problems during the Bleeding Kansas era and the Civil War (which are featured in my books Thimble of Soil and Stitch of Courage), and it’s easy for me to write fictional accounts of what was going on around their area, and the emotions that had to be felt by my family during that time period.

One more look at birth and death dates and I realize Sarah gives birth to her second child two days after John dies from blood poisoning.  Oh my! Can you imagine what she went through?!

I just put myself in Sarah’s place and pour her emotions into my words. Is it fact or fiction? It doesn’t matter to the reader at this point because the reader has become a young mother and widow in 1868…

WOW! Book Blog Tour

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

WOW! Women On Writing announces Linda Hubalek’s blog tour!

Early Kansas and Civil War historical fiction by Linda K. Hubalek.Blog Tour dates: May 9, 2011 – June 2, 2011

Come and join the fun! Meet Linda and visit her fabulous blog hostesses.

May 9, Monday (today!) @ The Muffin: Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!

May 10, Tuesday @ Writers Inspired: Learn about “Writing Fiction Based on Factual Events” from historical fiction auithor Linda K. Hubalek. You can also win an ebook from Linda’s first series about pioneer women, Trail of Thread.

May 12, Thursday @ Aunt Pitty Pat’s: Have you ever wondered about the life of pioneer women? Linda K. Hubalek, author of four historical fiction series about pioneer women, will be giving readers the facts. She’ll also be giving away an ebook of Trail of Thread, a book about Kansas, quilting, and family.

May 13, Friday @ Fresh Fiction: Stop by today to learn a bit more about historical novelist Linda Hubalek and enter to win a copy of Trail of Thread!

May 16, Monday @ Lori’s Reading Corner: Stop by for a surprise guest post and the chance to win an ebook from Linda’s Trail of Thread series.

May 18, Wednesday @ Cathy C.’s Hall of Fame: Will you inspire your descendants? Historical novelist Linda Hubalek writes about how her ancestors inspired her series Trail of Thread and gives away an e-copy!

May 19, Thursday @ The Book Tree: Stop by for a book review of Trail of Thread today!

May 23, Monday @ Caroline Clemmons: Caroline reviews Trail of Thread by Linda K. Hubalek today. But don’t forget to come back on Wednesday for an interview and a chance to win one of her books!

May 24, Tuesday @ Quilting Gallery: Linda tells us about how quilting is intertwined in her historical series. She’s also giving away an e-copy of Trail of Thread.

May 25, Wednesday @ Caroline Clemmons: Stop by for an interview with historical fiction author Linda Hubalek and a chance to win an e-copy of her book!

June 2, Thursday @ Books, Books, The Magical Fruit: Learn more about Linda Hubalek, author of the Trail of Thread historical series, as well as three other historical series. Also, enter to win an ebook copy of Trail of Thread.