Posts Tagged ‘thimble of soil’

Review from Melissa’s Lilac Lane Blog

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

Linda K. Hubalek’s second book in the Trail of Thread series is just as delightful as the first. Join Margaret Ralston Kennedy as she decides to give up a good life in Ohio to join her children in Kansas. You will find her facing droughts, freezing temperatures (it says -40 at one point!), and political upheaval. I really appreciated how strong pioneer women really were. To think of living in a drafty log cabin where you woke up with frost or ice on yourself every morning!

The book addresses Bloody Kansas as our state was torn between slavery and freedom in the mid 1850s. You will recognize characters such as John Brown. By the end of the book, we are on the verge of Civil War.

Thimble of Soil by Linda K. Hubalek.

There is also tons about starting a new household, gardening and of course quilting. I especially enjoyed a newspaper article included at the end of the book documenting Margaret who lived to be 87 years old.

I was touched by how frequently people were killed by plagues and yet, life went on. These women were tough, hardy pioneers who were thrown into a situation where they had to protect their families from raids and cold alike. And yet they stood for what they believed in.

Once again in the form of letters, it is a tale of survival, and you will enjoy it. For more information or to order the book, please visit Hubalek’s website at http://lindahubalek.com.

Reviewed by Melissa Stramel,
(Pattern Designer- enjoy her Etsy Site too!)

 

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

A Cup of Tea with a Trail of Thread

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

Pioneer woman's story by Linda K. Hubalek.Talk, gossip, laughter or tears—with a cup of tea or coffee—has been a comfort and need for women in any century.

These days it is easy for us to brew a quick cup of a hot drink, and hardly stop the flow of conversation. Even if it is just a cup of hot water heated up in the microware with a tea bag thrown in…it takes less than two minutes.

Back in the pioneer days—depending on if you were traveling or on the homestead—you’d have to gather the wood, start the fire, go outside to a well or creek to draw up a bucket of water, put an enamel pot over the fire to heat up the water, roast and grind the coffee beans, etc (sigh) before even thinking of savoring that hot cup of brew.

Thimble of Soil, Book 2 in the Trail of Thread book series.The time consuming work of getting meals—or even an afternoon cup of coffee on the trail—was very evident when I was researching and writing my Trail of Thread series.

For example, Deborah and John Pieratt, featured in the Trail of Thread, the first book of the 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 east for the promise of a new life. They had to gather wood for a fire for every cup of hot drink they made for three months. I’m sure conversations with other women they met along the trail were welcomed, but short, due to the groups moving on every day.

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. Did she brew and secretly give hot drinks to people hiding under her watch? Did Margaret have a chance to ask where her visitors were from let alone where they were headed?

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. Again, think of the work it took to make a cup of coffee behind the battle lines, and how welcomed a normal conversation with someone from home would have been.

This series, written in the form of letters the women have written back home to loved ones portray the life and times of that generation. I wish I could have a cup of tea with one of my ancestors to get to know her, and her way of life.

I imagine there would be talk, gossip, laughter, and tears—with that cup of tea…

 

Great review from Tina "The Book Lady"

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

The Trail of Thread book series got a great review from Tina, “The Book Lady” on the Family and Literacy and You website today.

Pioneer woman's story by Linda K. Hubalek.“I thoroughly enjoyed Deborah’s story as she and her family traveled to their new home in the Kansas Territory. Written as a series of letters from Deborah to her stepmother who raised Deborah and her siblings you learn about the trials she and her family went through during the journey to their new home in the new Kansas territory in 1854. Deborah shares everything in her letters – her emotions, her triumphs, her worries and sorrow as another family loses everything they own (can you imagine?).

The Trail of Thread series is a set of 3 books and is the story of the author’s mother’s ancestors. Very well researched (she includes the Bibliography in the back of the book) and well written it’s easy to image the sheer amount of work Deborah went through to prepare for the journey, from sewing the canvas for the wagon top, making sure it was waterproof, packing the wagons, deciding what to take, what to leave behind and more. You’ll also “feel” the emotions of wondering and planning in case something happens to your family. Will everyone survive the trip?

The book is a quick very enjoyable read and you’ll definitely want to read the 2nd and 3rd books in this series. Imagine the Little House on the Prairie books but written from an adults perspective. Share these books with your family. Read them aloud and talk about what it would be like to ride in a covered wagon, to walk across the states instead of taking a 10 hour car ride to get where you want to go. These books would also be great for kids that need to write a report for history class – the research and the writing will help them prepare for a top notch report. They’re perfect for everyone age 9 – 99!”

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?

Kennedy's Irish Trip

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

Thimble of Soil, Book 2 in the Trail of Thread book series.St. Patrick’s Day makes me think of my relatives that left their country for America in the mid-1700s.

Our Kennedy ancestors, who originally hailed from Scotland, before moving on to Ireland, has been traced to first settling in Pennsylvania. Then another move found the next generation in Ohio. Illinois was just the next short stop before the family was enticed by the opening of the new Territory of Kansas.  They seemed to always look for expansion of land due to their expanding family.

Pioneer woman featured in Thimble of Soil book by Linda HubalekI featured Margaret Ralston Kennedy in my Thimble of Soil book. She came with eight of her thirteen children – as a widow – to settle them all together on new territory. The oldest sons did a scouting trip the year in 1854 before that final move.

According to records I found in the Watkins Museum in Lawrence, KS, most of the family, 23 in number, made the trip by a wagons. They stopped in Kansas City to meet up with family that made the trip by boat with a year’s worth of supplies and farm equipment.

Quite an undertaking for any family, but many an Irish immigrant dreamed of a better life for their family and America provided it for many.

So to my relatives that crossed the sea, I thank you for your adventurous spirit, and I celebrate your special day today.