Posts Tagged ‘quilts’

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!

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

Planning a Move in 1854

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

Pretend your husband—or father—decided to leave the home you’ve always known and you’ll be traveling through several states to a new territory he heard about. It’s the nineteenth century and you may not even a paper map to guide your family to this new free land—but he is determined to start a new farm in some wild land behold civilization.

My ancestors, John and Deborah Pieratt—with six young children along—left Kentucky in 1854 to move to the new Territory of Kansas. Their journey was the basis of my book Trail of Thread, which was written in the form of letters that Deborah wrote and mailed back to family in Kentucky. Deborah describes what she saw, and what their family experienced on their three-month journey.

The family had to carefully plan first so they would be prepared for the journey, and for the wilderness land they would eventually homestead on.

Pretend you want to prepare for this journey as a class or family project.

What—and how—do you pack in the four by ten foot wagon for a family of eight? (And what do you need for your trip to begin with?!) How much weight can the wagon hold and the oxen (or horses or mules) pull?

How long will the trip take? What will be your route? What roads (or rough trails) will you use and what towns will you be traveling through?

How will you cross rivers with your wagon? Is there any rough terrain along the way that may make the trip hard and dangerous?

How much food should you pack? How do you keep it from spoiling?

When you’re done researching the trip preparation and route, look for stories from old newspaper clippings of what was going on in the Territory of Kansas during 1854-1865. The Pieratts settled in an area and time frame known as the Bleeding Kansas conflicts due to the tension mounting about the slavery issue that exploded into the Civil War. (You can read more about these conflicts and how it affected the family by reading the rest of the Trail of Thread series, Thimble of Soil and Stitch of Courage.)

I brought the Pieratt’s story to life in the pages of Trail of Thread. Now can you plan your own trip in 1854?

The Meaning of Quilts

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

Thimble of Soil, Book 2 in the Trail of Thread book series.By definition, a quilt is a coverlet or blanket made of two layers of fabric with a layer of cotton, wool, feathers, or down in between, all stitched firmly together, usually in a decorative crisscross design. The top layer may be a single piece of fabric, or it may be a made from a variety of scraps of material that were pieced together to form blocks, that are then sewn together to make the top layer.

When one thinks of pieced quilts, pioneer women automatically come to mind. This group of women often had to move, start new households, and work with what they had on hand. Their quilts would have been used daily, made and patched to last through the rigors of pioneer life.

Pioneer woman's story by Linda K. Hubalek.For example Deborah and John Pieratt, featured in the first book of my Trail of Thread series, left Kentucky in 1854 when the Territory of Kansas was formed. They were part of the thousands of families that packed wagons and headed west for the promise of a new life. Quilts would have been used for bedding—in the wagon or on the ground, as a hanging shelter, or as a partition for privacy. They were also used for burial of loved ones along the trail.

Thimble of Soil, the second book in the series, features Margaret Ralston Kennedy. She was a widow who moved with eight of her thirteen children from Ohio to the Territory Kansas in 1855. She was dedicated to the cause of the North, and helped with the Underground Railroad in both Ohio and Kansas. It is possible that some of the quilts she made had special blocks giving direction to runaway slaves.

Stitch of Courage, Book 3 in the Trail of Thread book series by Linda K. Hubalek.Orphaned Maggie Kennedy, portrayed in Stitch of Courage, the last book in the series, followed her brothers to Kansas looking for a better life as the states fought out the history of the Civil War. Women made and gave quilts for the soldiers to use during their journeys and battles.

What was the meaning for all these quilts? They were all just fabric to provide warmth and protection, but they also connected the hearts and souls of the past, present, and future.

The young woman on the trail packed quilts to use, but also to bring memories of her family left behind to her new frontier home.

The older woman—who stitched directions in her quilt that hung outside to air— gave freedom to people trying to escape a bad life.

The soldier wrapped in a dirty quilt, trying to keep warm and get a bit of sleep, was given the security of knowing that someone from home was thinking of him and waiting for his return.

Think of the countless hours of work and devotion it took to create these pioneer quilts. These finished masterpieces of the fingers gave a sense of accomplishment to the makers, and comfort and connection to the users.

Do you have a special quilt passed down through your family? What does it mean to you?

Guest Blog on the Quilting Gallery

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


Linda Hubalek

Hello from the Kansas prairie!

I’m pioneer writer Linda Hubalek, roaming the Internet—via my laptop—on a WOW! Book Blog Tour. Because my Trail of Thread book series weaves stories and quilts together, the Quilting Gallery is a perfect stop to tell you a little bit about the series.

I’ve written ten books about pioneers; about women that forged trails and built homesteads during the 1860s to the 1910s. These main characters were my ancestors who decided to make the Kansas frontier their home. A woven mixture of facts and fiction, you’ll be drawn into their pioneer stories.

Quilts and quilting seemed like a perfect theme for the stories of my mother’s side of the family after my mother told me the story behind one special quilt she’s had since she was a teenager.

In 1938 my mother’s great aunt Martha Pieratt gave her a quilt. At that time the quilt was over 100 years old and had been handed down through her mother’s Kennedy family. Doing some research on it while planning my Trail of Thread book series, it turns out to be the Cleveland Tulip pattern and it traveled with Martha’s mother Maggie Kennedy when she moved from Ohio to Kansas in 1858.

Cleveland Tulip

So I wove a quilting theme into the titles and the Trail of Thread book series by featuring twelve quilt patterns in each book.

My Trail of Thread book was about my ancestor Deborah Pieratt’s wagon trail journey to the Territory of Kansas in 1854. The second book, Thimble of Soil featured Margaret Ralston Kennedy’s decision to move her family from their safe Ohio home to the unsettling territory in 1855. And the final book in the series, Stitch of Courage, followed Maggie Kennedy Pieratt during her young years as she marries James Monroe Pieratt during the Civil War.

Next Quilting Series by Linda Hubalek

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 Hamman Pieratt made during her ninety-seven years.

I think of the time it took to make each quilt, the preparation, the cutting of the material, the hours sewing the blocks and then quilting all the layers together. And who helped her put them together? What conversations passed across the quilt frame? What was going on in the community, state and world during the construction of that particular quilt?

These are just a few of the questions I’m trying to “stitch” together as I research and write about this pioneer woman that spent so much time making quilts. Please join me in this new “quilting” project by reading my blog and “liking” and following me on Facebook as I post tidbits and photos about Kizzie Pieratt. I think she’s a Kansas pioneer quilter you’d like to meet.

What will inspire my descendants?

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

(Here’s my guest blog today at Cathy C’s Hall of Fame.)

My mother gave me a page-a-day diary for Christmas the year before I got married. She thought that I could record the planning of my August wedding in this little hard bound book.

I started on January 1st, my fiancé’s birthday, telling of what we did for his special day. And I continued to write short bits of my daily life, besides the intended lists of preparations for our wedding.

Thirty-five years later I’m still writing in a page-a-day book. I sometimes get behind and don’t write for a week or two, but the majority of my life is recorded the 35 books that are stacked in a file cabinet.

The neat thing is I can go back to any given day in any of those years to see what I did, or what the weather was like. I can go back to remember a special person’s birth or death, and be drawn into the same feeling I had that exact day.

My family knows I’ve written down my life—and theirs— through the years. I haven’t written down anything that will embarrass anyone, but I think the entries will give the next generations a good glimpse of their ancestor’s lives, and the times we’ve lived in.

Will that inspire them to keep their own diaries? I really doubt it, although it would be great if someone was motivated to write and pass down more of the family history.

What I hope my diary entries would do is to inspire descendants to remember family members as I mention their birthdays, to learn the history of the family pieces they inherited, and to give them a sense of whom their family was— and did during their lifetimes. My Trail of Thread series, written in the form of letters to other family members, gives the reader a sense of the character’s lives and the history that was happening at that very moment.

Please read the books, and then think how you could pass on your life story to your descendants. How will you inspire them? It’s up to you….

Cleveland Tulip Quilt

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

Pieced quilt made in Ohio in the 1830s and traveled to Kansas in 1858.In 1938 my mother’s great aunt Martha Pieratt gave her a quilt. At that time the quilt was over 100 years old and had been handed down through her mother’s Kennedy family.  Doing some research on it while planning my Trail of Thread book series, it turns out to be the Cleveland Tulip pattern and it came with Martha’s mother Maggie Kennedy when she moved from Ohio to Kansas in 1858.

Quilts and quilting seemed like a perfect theme for the stories of my mother’s side of the family, so I wove a quilt theme into this book series and featured twelve quilt patterns in each book.  The titles also went with the quilt theme.

My Trail of Thread book was about Deborah Pieratt’s wagon trail journey to the Kansas Territory in 1854. The second book, Thimble of Soil featured Margaret Ralston Kennedy’s decision to move her family from their safe Ohio home to the unsettling territory in 1855. And the final book in series, Stitch of Courage, followed Maggie Kennedy Pieratt during her young years as she marries James Monroe Pieratt during the Civil War.

Postage Stamp Quilt

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

One inch squares make up this quiltAlmost all of the quilts my family used when I was growing up 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 raising eight kids and a farmstead to run. She made a quilt for each of her children, their spouses, grandchildren, their spouses, and all her great grandchildren, plus hand quilted other people’s quilts for part of their income.

 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. Someday I’ll have to count them!



Linda’s Books & Series