Quilting Gallery Blog

How Valuable is that Quilt? – By Linda Hubalek

Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger Linda Hubalek as she reflects on the value of quilts. Linda’s also giving away a Kindle copy of one of her books too for those that help name one of the quilts she used as a child in the comments below.


Linda Hubalek

Author Linda Hubalek

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.

oil tinted house

Oil tinted photos of Kajsa Swenson Runeberg standing in front of her house featured in Linda K. Hubalek's book Butter in the Well

My childhood years in the 1960s were spent in a wood frame house built back in 1870. 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.

Author Linda Hubalek and her little sister in front of the "Butter in the Well" house in 1966

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 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?

pink quilt back

Pink quilt used by Linda Hubalek while growing up in the "Butter in the Well" house

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…


About the Author of Today’s Post

Hello from the Kansas prairie! I’m pioneer writer Linda Hubalek. Because one of my book series, Trail of Thread weaves stories and quilts together, the Quilting Gallery is the perfect place to share some thoughts about antique quilts.

3_series_quilt

Book series by Linda K. Hubalek

Today I’m thinking about my first book series though as I write about the quilts I used while growing up. Butter in the Well series, written in dairy form from 1868 to 1888, features the Swedish woman Kajsa Swenson that homesteaded the farm I grew up on. The series continues in Prarieblomman as her daughter Alma Runeberg blossoms into a young woman. Egg Gravy is a reading recipe book that features quotes from the first two books about food, and then features the old-time recipe. The series finishes with Looking Back as Kajsa reminisces her final week on the land she homesteaded.


Enter a Give-Away

Want to win one of my ebooks for your Kindle? Please enter my ebook give-away by leaving a comment below, and a randomly picked lucky reader will receive a Kindle version of Butter in the Well, featuring the old house I grew up in.

Because quilt patterns can have more than one name, please tell me what you’d call the hand tied quilt I used growing up (pictured above – that I got in trouble for pulling out some of its yarn ties) as your entry for the ebook drawing. Winner will be chosen next Tuesday.

Many thanks from the Kansas prairie for following my trail of thoughts about quilts!

Linda K. Hubalek
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The give-away is now over. Congratulations to #19 Annette Boersma.

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This post was published on February 7th, 2012. Post topics: Guest Bloggers. Post tags: .

28 Responses to “How Valuable is that Quilt? – By Linda Hubalek”

  1. gail says:

    I’d call it Wandering Dreams — how wonderful to have lived in such a house!

  2. Margaret Parks says:

    Wow what great memories and great quilt as well, really like being wrapped in love of family.
    cheers
    maggie

  3. Margie Young says:

    Enjoyed Reading your article so much ! I would call the quilt
    ” Bubble Gum Memories “

  4. Sheri Swansen says:

    I would call your quilt “plucking threads”since that is one of your memories of this quilt.

  5. ~ Julie ~ says:

    I love old quilts! And stories about them! What a treasure you have!!! A name for your childhood quilt??? It looks like a form of a string quilt to me so how about “Strings of Memories”???

  6. Nancy B from Many LA says:

    It reminds me of Cotton Candy!

  7. Cherri Hess says:

    string pieced

  8. Cheree says:

    Just wanted to give a “hello” from one Kansas girl to another! I grew up in an old (and in the winter, very cold!) farm house as well, tho ours was built in the early 30’s I believe. Lucky me–I get to live right where that old house used to be. I love to quilt but I’m terrible at naming them. Did they bother naming quilts 100 years ago? Somehow I think most didn’t. (other than “Tom’s quilt” or “the baby’s quilt” LOL) Quilting was a necessity, not a hobby. I know from my parents how hard things were, and how every little scrap was used–I look at that quilt and see scraps from dresses, curtains, shirts. I love the practicality of my KS ancestors! I think I would just call it Windows to the Past–each square is a window displaying samples of all of the fabrics the quilter had sewn into other things.

  9. From the author…

    I love all these suggestions! Keep them coming!

    (I sent this guest post to my sister too so she can see how we looked 46 years ago…)

  10. Retta Mae Woodward says:

    I was young in the dirty thirty’s and remember well sleeping in a cold bedroom under several quilts or comforters. I also have several quite old quilts. I am not entering a name but enjoyed the article very much.

  11. Ruth B says:

    How about “Ties of Home”? Looks like a quilt I had as a child made by my Aunt Mrytle.

  12. Sharon Scott says:

    I love your books. I have read all the “Trail” books and will continue to get them.
    I love the history and family in your books. What a legacy.
    thank you for sharing.
    And I would name the quilt “Ties that bind”

  13. Mary Pat says:

    As I read your entry….it remined me of the house I raised my 7 children in. The upstairs was cold and the heat came from a stove in the living room. The kids talk about how much they loved their childhood and the ways in the old home. Thanks for sharing and thequilt you pictured is wonderful.

  14. Deb Morrissey says:

    Well Wishes

  15. Carol Vickers says:

    Remember when would be a perfect name for the quilt made of family garments. Book looks fascinating!

  16. shirl says:

    WHat great memories. I would call the quilt Family Ties.

  17. I love your comments and memories…and maybe gave me some ideas for future book titles too…
    Thanks to all of you!

  18. I love that little cozy memory quilt! It has the look of an old fashioned string quilt. I think I would call it “Strings of Love”.
    I enjoyed reading your blog and love reading memory, non-fiction stories!

  19. Ann Mitcham says:

    Linda
    As I set here reading you post ,I have tears running down my face It makes me happy and sad to rember my love ones and all that they handed down to me and my 5 sisters ,The days my mom and grand mom and all of us girls setting around a quilting frame and the talk O My could we carry on .Thank You for bring that back for me .

  20. LJ says:

    I really enjoyed reading about some of your memories of growing up. They are some of my memories, too. Ohhhh, it was so cold and that little register that let warm air travel upstairs was so small; I do remember standing over it so I could get dressed!! When it was really cold, Mom would fix a hot-water bottle and my sister and I shared the warmth.
    I’m thinking the quilt should be called “Trouble”… as you well remember ‘the trouble’. :)
    I do not have a book reader but thanks anyway for the giveaway. I put a hold on one of your books at my local library and hope to enjoy it soon.

  21. Sue says:

    Love the story behind the quilts!

  22. I would call it “Pieces of the Past”, since it looks to have been made from clothing remnants and such from your mom’s scrap basket.

  23. Cindy Hair says:

    I love to remember the quilts of my youth. I hope that I will inherit some of my grandmother’s quilts.

  24. I’d call it “candy pink”

  25. My kindle needs you books. I love reading about quilt history. Priceless Pink is the name I came up with. I can just imagine a family sitting around picking out pieces that came from their shirts or dresses. You are so blessed to have two trunks full of such treasures.

  26. Debbie Bass says:

    Grandmas “Bits and Piece of Memories” through A String Quilt.

  27. Sandy says:

    Sweet Memories
    It looks like it was made of out-grown clothing. A little of this and that. All with memories of when they were worn.

  28. Thanks to all that sent in a comment. I appreciate it!
    Happy Quilting and Reading!
    Linda Hubalek

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