Posts Tagged ‘quilting’

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.

A scrap of fabric and an 1881 photo

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

Butter in the Well by Linda K. HubalekI remember the thrill of seeing the final cover design of my first book, Butter in the Well back in 1992. Back then it was sketched out by hand, and it was a long process of ideas and time, because it was being mailed back and forth between me and the publisher.

(Recently the cover designer found me on Facebook and told me the background design for this cover was actually her kitchen wall paper.)

My publisher, Butterfield Books Inc. decided to update the covers of all my books this year for the 20th anniversary of my first book.

Boy, has time and the internet changed on how you do book covers and work with a designer.

I emailed jpegs of possible pictures to use in the first cover. Ideas flew back and forth in seconds by email. The feel wasn’t right so the designer would send something else.

Finally she went to her mom’s house and looked through the stash of quilting fabric her mother used to make quilts.

What she found worked perfect for the background of the Butter in the Well book cover, along with the 1881 photo I had of the original house.

The old and new- from different centuries- made the perfect cover…

How Valuable is that Quilt?

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

Isn’t it funny how we used “old bedding” when we were growing up, and now realize how valuable these antique quilts are due to the work and love put into each of them?

This fall I moved my parents from the farm they had called home for 65 years to a smaller home in town.

Because my parents didn’t have room for two trunks of quilts, I was lucky to inherit them. Inside these wooden chests were the handmade quilts, made by my great grandmother and grandmother, which we had used on our own beds when I was young.

My childhood years in the 1960s were spent in a wood frame house built back in 1870. This house was featured in my Butter in the Well book series. The only heat for my upstairs bedroom came from a floor vent, which let a little warmth drift up from the room below. Therefore, during the winter months, there were “blanket sheets” on my bed, plus three or four quilts on top.

Then I grew up, left home, and started using the light modern blankets on my bed.

Looking through the inherited quilts again brought back many memories. Not only of the quilts, but other flashes—like tucking my feet up inside the flowered flannel nightgown I wore to bed, pink sponge curlers, and having only my nose sticking out from under the pile of bedding.

Now I think of how I treated those quilts that we had used for everyday bedding, and am amazed that they survived.

Pink quilt used by author Linda Hubalek while growing up in the "Butter in the Well" house.(Pink quilt used by Linda Hubalek while growing up in the “Butter in the Well” house)

I marvel at the thousands of tiny handmade stitches and the variety and colors of the fabric—all scraps from past clothing of my ancestors.

How many hours did the quilters spend cutting out the block pieces, and then sewing them together?

Who sat around the quilting frame to quilt them?

What was the conversation those days back in the late 1800s and early 1900s?

Did these women ever consider their handwork would keep their decedents warm after they were gone? Or that I would treasure these quilts and the memories of the quilters a century later?

Just think, whether it was a hundred years ago—or present time—a quilt made by someone’s hand, is keeping another person warm.

How valuable is that? Priceless…

(This post is currently featured on The Quilting Gallery, so be sure to read it to see more photos and enter in the contest to win an ebook copy of Butter in the Well  for your Kindle.)

Why were these Quilts kept?

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

Double Wedding Band quilt owned by author Linda HubalekWe had a warm sunny day this week, so I pulled out a tub of quilts I inherited from Lois, my mother-in-law. They had been stored in a cedar chest, made as a high school project by her future husband back in about 1925.

I spread a white tablecloth on the driveway and unfolded the first quilt. The double wedding band quilt is a beautiful display of color, stitching, and handwork. The intricate machine stitching alone had to take days to do. The quilt is a real work of art, in perfect shape, probably rarely used except as a display on the bed for when company came. It could have been a wedding present.

The second quilt I spread out was almost past the “thread bare” stage, faded from years of use and washings. Scraps of fabric, with no color scheme, just made from what was available. I’m sure it dates back to at least my mother-in-law’s days of growing up in the 1920s- 1930s. Researching the pattern, I’d say it is a Double Quartet quilt block pattern featured in Capper’s Weekly in 1927.

Double Quartet Antique Quilt owned by author Linda HubalekThey are both machine stitched, with no signature or date on either quilt.

Lois was a very practical, organized woman, and never seemed attached to mementos from the past. She only kept and used what she needed. So now looking at this old worn out quilt, I wonder who made it, and why did she keep it.

I’m guessing the first quilt was kept because it was a gift, and a treasure due to the workmanship. The second quilt though, even plain and worn out, must have had very special memories attached to it.

My writer’s imagination flashes through many scenarios. Was it on Lois’ bed when growing up or on her sister Helen’s bed who died when the girl was a teenager? Made by a grandmother and used by the grandfather that lived with her family. Or, was it just an old quilt used as a picnic blanket in their first car?

I’ll never know the history of these quilts since the previous owner is now gone. I’m just guessing they were kept for some special reason besides for display and warmth.

Maybe I’ll honor these quilts with new “memories” in one of my future books like I did in the Trail of Thread series …

Orphaned Quilt Blocks find a new Home

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

Orphaned quilt block made by Irene Akers

Orphaned quilt block made by Irene Akers

I found three quilt blocks, tucked in different drawers in different dressers, when sorting for my parent’s move from the farm into town recently. I wondered when these orphaned blocks were sewn, and why they were not incorporated into a quilt.

I handed the first one to Mom, which she promptly flipped over.

“It’s hand stitched, by my mother because I recognize many of her dresses in fabric pieces.”

“Any feed sack material,” I ask?

She rubs a couple of materials between her finger and thumb. “No, all the material is from dresses.”

Orphaned quilt blocks made by Ione Johnson

Orphaned quilt blocks made by Ione Johnson

The next two blocks match in pattern, but one is blue and white, the other peach and white. Mom didn’t bother flipping them over and laughed, “I made these blocks while in grade school and never finished it”.

Yes, she spent time around the quilting frame with her mother, grandmothers, and neighbors when visiting them, but she never made a whole quilt by herself.

I now know the answer with my mother’s abandoned quilt blocks, but not my grandmother’s. But that’s okay because even if these patches of sewed together fabric never became part of a quilt, they still have a memory to pass on from one quilter to another.

Mom inherited several trunkful’s of quilts from her grandmother Kizzie Pieratt, so I guess she just didn’t need to make her own. Moreover, with WWII, family priorities and types of bedding changing, maybe young wives didn’t quilt as much in the 1940s.

Now these quilts and memories of Great Grandma Kizzie are mine to savor and share.

Is this a talent that is learned, or passed down? I guess it depends on the family. The love (and necessity) of quilts and quilting done by her mother, and especially her grandmother Kizzie did not pass on to my mother, but they did skip a generation down to me.

Because it’s the beginning of the New Year, I’m thinking about projects to start—and to finish—in 2012. Where can I put my talents to the best use, to get the most out of my time, and make something lasting that can be enjoyed by me, and others, now and in the future?

What talent and legacy are you passing on in 2012? Please let me know —and share it with your family so they know the story too!

What quilt pattern would you use?

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

Here’s the first paragraph in my book Butter in the Well that sets the scene for the story.

“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 your 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 alone on the virgin land of the vast prairie.”

Just from reading those first words, can you feel and see what Kajsa, the young pioneer women, is seeing for the first time? Scared, exhilarated, relieved? Can you imagine the excitement of owning land at age 23?

Now….if you were going to make a quilt from this description alone and the feelings it brought out in you, what colors would it feature and what quilt block pattern would you use?

And…would you choose the same now, as you would have when you were 23?

Please share your thoughts with me!

Morning Glory Quilt Block

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

morning glory quilt blockFinally, today, now that September is fading into history, my morning glory vine outside my kitchen window bloomed for the first time this summer. It’s been such a hot summer in Kansas that the vine just didn’t have the strength to bloom. Now that the weather has cooled down it’s covered with buds ready to burst—and my bet is we’ll have an early frost and I won’t get to enjoy its promising potential.

But as one My Quilt Place friend mentioned in an email to me, we can still enjoy flowers year round in our quilts and quilt making.

Another quilter friend completed the quilt featured in the book Prairie Flower: A Year on the Plains by Barbara Brackman. The quilter posted several of the individual flower blocks on her page so I’ll share her “morning glory” block with you.

I hope you’re enjoying the last of the summer flowers as we move into the fall season. Even with the summer flowers fading away, we have the changing fall colors to inspire us for our next quilting project…

Linda Hubalek, Featured Quilter

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

Gosh, it’s exciting to be a featured quilter today on My Quilt Place! (Okay, so I just probably got randomly picked out of the 3451 quilters, but hey, it still made my day…or maybe they DO LIKE my posts…)

Historical fiction books about pioneer women by Linda HubalekSo to celebrate I just posted a special promotion for the historical fiction books on my Linda Hubalek website. Put promotion code QUILT in the shopping cart when you order any of my paperback books and you’ll can get 20% off your total book order, PLUS I’ll autograph your books and mail them free to you. The code is good until Aug. 21st, and you’re welcome to pass the code on to your friends and family.

Or if you prefer to read my Trail of Thread series on your Kindle orNook, I have them on special at $3.99 each.

So for whatever the reason, enjoy some great books about pioneer women at a discount. Hey, it’s Friday and they “like” me!

Many thanks from the Kansas Prairie!
Linda Hubalek

Thimble of Soil Quilt

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

Quilt made by Margie Lock, featuring quilt blocks from the book, Thimble of Soil by Linda K. HubalekI must admit…
I love hearing from people that have read my books, and how the real pioneer women portrayed in my historical fiction series have touched their lives.

My Trail of Thread series also brought quilters into my reading circle, inspiring them to use the quilt blocks featured in the back of the books for block-of-the-month, quilting clubs, and personal quilt projects.

This month a special reader found me through the internet, wanting to show me a quilt she made featuring quilt blocks from the Trail of Thread series. Margie’s mother gave her my book Thimble of Soil because Margaret Ralston Kennedy, the main character in this book, was actually her own great, great, great grandmother.

Margie picked out twenty patterns, made the blocks using material that looked old-fashioned and hand-stitched the quilt featured with this blog. She embroidered the quilt pattern underneath each design, and a signature plate on the back.

What a great way to commemorate her ancestor, and to have a quilt she has handmade to pass down to her own descendants.

Quilt made by Margie Lock, featuring quilt blocks from the book, Thimble of Soil by Linda K. HubalekAnother plus from her email—I found a cousin from my Kennedy family tree because our great, great, great grandfathers (Michael and Hugh Kennedy) were brothers!

So please email me a note if you have enjoyed reading my books. It keeps me writing, knowing I have touched your hearts with stories and memories about special pioneering women.

Many thanks from the Kansas prairie, Margie…where both of our ancestors lived!

Linda K. Hubalek

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