Tying the Knot by Linda K. Hubalek

Tying the Knot

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Author Linda Hubalek vowed to write a book about her great-grandmother Kizzie Pieratt after one of Linda’s last visits to the Pieratt homestead in 1982. Besides raising eight children and farming, Kizzie made dozens of quilts for three generations of her family, plus quilted for other people.

Over thirty years passed since that day, as life took Linda Hubalek on several different paths and careers. After researching and writing ten historical fiction books on pioneer women, then taking more than a decade off to raise bison on her land, Linda has written her book series about Kizzie and her quilts.

 Tying the Knot, the first historical fiction book in the Kansas Quilter series follows Kizzie Pieratt as she packs her family’s belongings to move from Kansas down to the Indian Territory.

As Kizzie receives trunks and quilts from her family to use on their trip, she learns about the significant moves previous generations have made for the betterment of their children, just like she is about to do.

This book series shares the stories and photos of Linda Hubalek’s pioneer ancestors that homesteaded in Kansas in the 1800s. The Kansas Quilter continues the family stories written in Hubalek’s Trail of Thread series.

Trail of Thread by Linda K. Hubalek

Trail of Thread

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Historical Letters 1854-1855

Taste the dust of the road and feel the wind in your face as you travel with the Pieratt family by wagon trail from Kentucky to the new Territory of Kansas in 1854.

Find out what is was like for the thousands of families who made the cross-country journey into the unknown.

In this first book of the Trail of Thread book series, in the form of letters she wrote on the journey, Deborah Pieratt describes the scenery, the everyday events on the trail, and the task of tasking care of her family. Stories of humor and despair, along with her ongoing remarks about camping, cooking, and quilting, make you feel as if you pulled up stakes and are traveling with the Pieratts too.

But hints of the brewing trouble ahead plagued them along the way as people questioned their motive for settling in the new territory. Why didn’t a Southern family have slaves with them? Would the Pieratt vote for or against legal slavery in the new state? Though Deborah didn’t realize it, her letters show how this trip affected her family for generations to come.

Thimble of Soil by Linda K. Hubalek.

Thimble of Soil

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A Woman’s Quest for Land
Book 2, Historical Letters 1854-1860

Experience the terror of the fighting and the determination to endure as you stake a claim alongside the women caught in the bloody conflict of Kansas in the 1850s.

Follow the widowed Margaret Ralston Kennedy as she travels with eight of her thirteen children from Ohio to the territory of Kansas in 1855. Thousands of Americans headed west in the decade before the Civil War, but those who settled in Kansas suffered through the frequent clashes between proslavery and free-state fractions that gripped the territory.

Margaret was dedicated to the cause of the North and while the male members of her family were away fighting for a free state, she valiantly defended their homesteads and held their families together through the savage years of “Bleeding Kansas”.

Told through her letters, Thimble of Soil describes the prevalent hardships and infrequent joys experienced by the hardy pioneer women of Kansas, who struggled to protect their families from terrorists raids while building new homes and new lives on the vast unbroken prairie.

Stitch of Courage by Linda K. Hubalek

Stitch of Courage

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A Woman’s Fight for Freedom
Book 3, Historical Letters 1861-1865

Face the uncertainty, doubt and danger faced by the pioneer women of Kansas as they defend their homes and pray for their men during the Civil War.

We think the Civil War took place in the South, but the plains states endured their share of battles and tragedy. Not only did Kansas and Missouri experience a resurgence in the terrorist raids that had plagued them in the years before the war, but the Confederate Army tried several times to sweep across the Great Plains and capture the West.

Stitch of Courage, the third book in the Trail of Thread series, tells the story of the orphaned Maggie Kennedy, who followed her brothers to Kansas in the late 1850’s. The niece of Margaret Ralston Kennedy, of Thimble of Soil, Maggie married the son of Deborah Pieratt, who story was told in Trail of Thread.

In letters to her sister in Ohio, Maggie describes how the women of Kansas faced the demons of the Civil War, fighting bravely to protect their homes and families while never knowing from one day to the next whether their men were alive or dead on the faraway battlefield.

Smör i brunnen

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Smör i Brunnen is the Swedish translation of Linda Hubalek’s Butter in the Well book.  The translation was done by Sylva Kleveby and the book is distributed in North America through the link above or through Butterfield Books Inc. NOTE: This book is in the Swedish language not English.

Excerpts from News Release in Sweden

 Smör i Brunnen (Butter in the Well) is an interesting story about what it could be like to immigrate to the U.S. as a Swedish woman in 1868. The book is about the Swedish emigrant woman Kajsa Svensson Runeberg and tells the story about how she, together with her husband and children, built their new home and their new life on the Kansas prairie. The book is written in the form of a diary between the years of 1868 and 1888.

The fictionalized story describes Kajsa’s life during the first 20 years on the farm in Kansas and is based on interviews with relatives and neighbors, church records and information from archives and cemeteries.

Order a quality paperback autographed book right now. (This book is not available in ebook form.)

Prairie Bloomin’

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The Prairie Blossoms for an Immigrant’s Daughter
Book 2, Historical Diary 1889-1900
Through her book Prairie Bloomin’ (formerly titled Prärieblomman), Linda Hubalek continues the story of the Swedish immigrant family featured in her book Butter in the Well. Even though born on the same farm in two different centuries, Prairie Bloomin’s main character, Alma Swenson Runneberg, and the author shared uncanny similarities while growing up in the Smoky Valley region of central Kansas. Both the third child of their families, they lived in the same house, played in the same yard and worked the same acres until each married and moved off the farm.

This tender, touching diary continues the saga of Kajsa’s family through her daughter, Alma, as she blossoms into a young woman.

“Hubalek takes the reader on a journey to another time and place with this sequel to Butter in the Well. Swedish traditions are intertwined with tidbits from Kansas history in this unique historical diary.” Andrea Glen, Editor of KANSAS! Magazine.

Planting Dreams by Linda K. Hubalek

Planting Dreams

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A Swedish Immigrant’s Journey to America
Book 1, 1868-1869

Readers have compared the Planting Dreams series to The Emigrants series by Vilhelm Moberg and a more realistic Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

This first book in the Planting Dreams series portrays Swedish immigrant Charlotta Johnson as she ponders the decision about leaving her homeland, how they will travel to America, and worries about her family’ future in a new country.

This book series is based on the author’s ancestors, and contains actual maps of where they traveled and settled. Each chapter is written as a thought-provoking story as the wife of the family travels to a new country to find a new life for her children.

Why did this family leave? Drought scorched the farmland of Sweden and there was no harvest to feed families or livestock. Taxes were due and there was little money to pay them. But there were ships sailing to America, where the government gave land to anyone who wanted to claim a homestead.

Can you imagine starting a journey to an unknown country, not knowing what the country would be like, where you would live, or how you would survive? Did you make the right decision to leave in the first place?

Follow Charlotta and her family as they travel by ship and rail from their homeland in 1868, to their homestead on the open plains of Kansas.

Looking Back by Linda K. Hubalek

Looking Back

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The Final Tale of Life on the Prairie
Book 4, Historical Diary 1919
The inevitable happens-time moves on and we grow older. Instead of our own little children surrounding us, grandchildren take their place. Each new generation lives in a new age of technology, not realizing the changes the generations before theirs has seen-and improved for them.

The cycle of life has change the prairie also. Endless waves of tall native prairie grass has been reduced to uniform rows of grain crops. The curves of the river have shifted over the decades, eroded by both man and nature. The majestic prairie has been tamed over time.

In this fourth book of the Butter in the Well series, Kajsa Svensson Runeberg, now age 75, looks back at the changes she has experienced on the farm she homesteaded 51 years ago. She reminisces about the past, resolves the present situation, and looks toward their future off the farm.

Don’t miss this heart-rending touching finale!

Harvesting Faith by Linda K. Hubalek

Harvesting Faith

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Life on the Changing Prairie
Book 3, 1886-1919

Imagine surveying your farmstead on the last day of your life, reviewing the decades of joys, hardships, and changes that have taken place on the eighty acres you have called home for the past fifty years. Would you feel at peace or find remorse at the decisions that took place in your life?

This third book in the Planting Dreams book series portrays Charlotta Johnson as she recalls the events that shaped her family’s destiny. A mixture of fact and fiction, this book reviews the events that shaped this Swedish immigrant’s family as her children reached adulthood and has families of their own.

Join Charlotta as she reminisces about the important places and events in her past as she bids farewell to her mortal life on the Kansas prairie.

Egg Gravy by Linda K. Hubalek

Egg Gravy

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Authentic Recipes from the Butter in the Well Series
Book 3, Diary Quotes and Recipes

Fades recipes- we’ve all come across them from time to time in our lives- either handwritten by ourselves or by another person in our family, or as old yellowed newspaper clippings stuck in a cookbook of sorts.

While doing the research from the Butter in the Well series, the author found old recipes and home remedies along with the family and community histories. The recipes had been handwritten in old ledger books, on scraps of paper, in margins of old cookbooks, and forever etched in the memories of the pioneer’s children Hubalek interviewed.

As a result, Egg Gravy is a collection of recipes the pioneer women used during their homesteading days. Most of the recipes can be traced back to the original women that homesteaded the real-life setting of Butter in the Well.

Everyone who’s ever treasured a family recipe or marveled at the special touches Mother added to her cooking will enjoy this collection of recipes and wisdom from the homestead family.


Cultivating Hope by Linda K. Hubalek

Cultivating Hope

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Homesteading on the Great Plains
Book 2, 1869-1886

Can you imagine being isolated in the middle of a treeless grassland with only a dirt roof over your head? Having to feed your children with whatever wild plants or animals you could find living on the prairie? Sweating to plow the sod, plant the seed, cultivate the crop- only to lose it all by a hailstorm right before you harvest it?

The second book, in the Planting Dreams series portrays Swedish immigrant Charlotta Johnson as she and her husband build a farmstead on the Kansas Prairie.

This family faced countless challenges as they homesteaded on America’s Great Plains during the 1800s. Years of hard work develop the land and improve the quality of life for her family- but not without a price.

Butter in the Well by Linda K. Hubalek

Butter in the Well

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A Scandinavian Woman’s Tale of Life on the Prairie
Book 1, Historical Diary 1868-1888

Read the endearing account of Kajsa Swenson Runneberg, who recounts how she and her family built up the farm on the unsettled prairie.

“Go back to a time when there are no streets, roads or cars. Imagine there are no buildings, homes, hospitals or grocery  stores around the corner.  All of our family’s belongings fit in a small wooden wagon. The year is 1868. There is nothing but tall, green waving grass as far as the eye can see. The scent of warm spring air after a morning rain surrounds you. Spring blows gently in your face. The snort of the horse and an occasional meadowlark, whistling its call, are the only sounds. You are along on the virgin land of the vast prairie.”- opening paragraph of Butter in the Well.

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