(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.
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 www.LindaHubalek.com. 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