Linda Hubalek
  • Female
  • Lindsborg, KS
  • United States
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Linda Hubalek's Discussions

Need quilting stories, memories, tips, wisdom for next book series

Started this discussion. Last reply by Cheri Foster Apr 22, 2013. 6 Replies

I'm working on my next book series so would appreciate any memories of your quilting ancestors and their quilts that you wouldn't mind me "weaving" into the story lines. (I'd rewrite it into my own…Continue

Tags: pioneer, women, memories, books, fiction

Prairie Thoughts from the Pioneer Writer

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Linda Hubalek's Page

Profile Information

Tell us about yourself—as much or as little as you like.
I write books about pioneer women (mostly my ancestors) that homesteaded Kansas during the 1800s. My Trail of Thread book series talks about quilting too. My great grandmother was a talented quilter and I still have, and treasure, about a dozen of her quilts.
How many quilts have you made?
Not as many as I'd like to!
How long have you been a quilter?
Since high school...long ago.
Why do you quilt?
To connect with the talent my great grandmother passed on to her family.
Do you have a website?

Pioneer Quilts

Pioneer Quilts

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 rooms that let a little warmth rise up from downstairs. At night we’d leave the living room which was heated by a propane stove, and crawl into an upstairs bed that was 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 for part of their income.

Postage Stamp Quilt

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 and had then popular quilt patterns 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 I moved to college, the quilts stayed home and I moved on to store-bought blankets, not only plain in color, but very light in weight. (I still have problems sleeping on a cold night without the weight of a heavy blanket since today’s microfiber blankets are so very light.)

Moving forward a few decades and looking for a theme for my next series after Butter in the Well, quilts came to mind because I have always planned to write a book about my great grandmother Kizzie.

Cleveland Tulip Quilt

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 the series, Stitch of Courage,followed Maggie Kennedy Pieratt during her young years as she 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.

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? Who was born in the family to commemorate the patches of material and time put into this quilt?

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


Linda Hubalek's Blog

20 years & Kindle Unlimited

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 12:26pm 2 Comments

Dear Readers,

Thanks so much for your continual support of my writing. It’s been twenty years since I started Butterfield Books Inc., and I appreciate your support over two decades!

I have two series in the works right now that I want to tell you about.

Tying the Knot, the first book in the Kansas Quilter Series is already available, and there will be two more books in it. It’s about my great grandmother and her quilts.…


Tying the Knot is done!

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 1:38pm 0 Comments

I wrote in my diary on April 24, 1982 that I wanted to write a book about my great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt and the many quilts she made. Although that idea started my writing career, I didn't get around to starting on Kizzie's book until 2003. Then other things in life took priority...

Now I'm proud to say the first book in my great grandmother's story Tying the Knot is finally out this…


Audio book contest AND I need book reviews

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 4:02pm 0 Comments

Hello from snowy Kansas! We could get up to a foot of snow before this storm is over, but I’m staying warm and cozy in my office today. Luckily the electricity is still on and I’m typing away, while watching the snowy scene just outside my window.

I have three bird feeders right outside my office window. I took…


YouTube View of Stitch of Courage

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 2:45pm 0 Comments

Heather Farrar, the narrator of my Civil War woman's book, Stitch of Courage, put together a video that shows photos of the quilts my great grandmother made, along with narrative of the book. Enjoy!

Stitch of Courage video

Comment Wall (419 comments)

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At 9:36am on August 12, 2014, Bonnie Miller said…
Thank you so much for my birthday is such a surprise! I had a fantastic is getting warmer here now and the days are noticeably is lovely to look forward to summer.
At 8:39pm on July 20, 2014, Janice Cerney said…

It's been quite a few years ago that I read your books.  I began writing family histories and then became involved with the Images of America Series published by Arcadia Publishing. They are a history series of vintage photographs.  I am writing fiction now.  My first book for AQS is The Cheyenne River Mission Quilts.

At 5:49pm on June 28, 2014, Janice Cerney said…
I have read all your books and loved them. In fact you inspired me to write my first book.
At 5:49pm on June 28, 2014, Janice Cerney said…
I have read all your books and loved them. In fact you inspired me to write my first book.
At 5:49pm on June 28, 2014, Janice Cerney said…
I have read all your books and loved them. In fact you inspired me to write my first book.
At 11:06am on May 19, 2014, Diane Norden said…

Hi Linda!  Thank you for the welcome.  I'm a traditional quilt gal, and love scrap quilts!  I love the whole process of making quilts - finding a pattern, selecting fabric, piecing, and quilting.  I purchased a long arm quilting machine last fall, so I spent the long, cold winter quilting some of the tops I've pieced over the years.  Now to figure out what to do with all these quilts??!! 

At 12:16pm on May 16, 2014, Judy A. Weaver said…

Right now Im working on a mystery quilt. Hope I like it when its finish.  My Grand daughter helped with fabric selection and she will have it when Im finished. Antique quilts are very interesting to me especially if we know the history behind the quilt. All sorts of quilts are fun to me. Love the process, fabric color, cutting, and sewing are all exciting! But the finished quilt is the greatest!!

At 9:15pm on May 13, 2014, Dixie Miller Martinez said…

The last quilt I did was a scrap Granny Stars. At the end of this month I will be semi retired and look forward to having time to learn new techniques. 

At 9:44pm on May 12, 2014, Dottie Campbell said…
I like traditional scrap quilts best. I love to read so I will be looking for your books. I have a quilt my grandmother made back in the 60's. In cherish it. My dad was in the Air Force so we move often. I never knew my grandmother quilted until after she passed. Looking forward to Chatting and reading posts
At 5:32am on February 28, 2014, Helen Bunn said…
A very belated thank you for your welcome and friendship!


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