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!


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Comment by Faye Burden on November 27, 2013 at 5:54pm

I think I would do a crazy quilt without the embroidery because her life is full of uncertainty with lots of blue tones for the vast amt.of sky above her, some greens for the grass all around her, a small amount of soft gold for the seed heads blowing in the wind. Then I'd add a small amt. of red for her heart full of love.

Comment by Linda Smothers on September 23, 2013 at 3:26pm

I would definitely incorporate prairie grasses into some blocks, using the pastels of spring. Butterflies, grasshoppers, and birds nesting among the tall slender shafts of the new grasses. Maybe a sunshine block and a rainbow.  A medallion block in the middle with a special scene, and surrounded by smaller blocks all carrying out the outdoor theme.

Comment by sherri on March 28, 2012 at 11:06am

The block I would use is Flowers in the Attic. During that time period I would think that there weren't many fabrics to choose from. I would do it with fabrics from mama, grandma, daddy ect. All the relatives clothes from maybe the old trunk that grandma had.  

Comment by Linda Hubalek on February 14, 2012 at 9:03pm

Hi Theresa. You just gave me the idea of the whole quilt as one big scene of grass to prairie sky...done in batiks maybe?

Comment by Theresa Leonard on February 10, 2012 at 10:06am

What an adventure to accomplish!  You write so descriptively and I'm sure you have some ideas in mind already.  Since I love some art quilt ideas, I don't have a particular quilt block in mind.  I would love to see some bright colors for the fields and sky and maybe a sunset.  Maybe there should be a day, dusk and night quilt portraying more than one scene.  I love all of the suggestions that have been made and I know you will come up exciting for all of us.  Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Comment by Janet Espeleta on October 22, 2011 at 8:57pm
I just read your earlier post so I'm thinking a sunflower block would be pretty too.  Done in pretty yellows, greens and browns. 
Comment by Janet Espeleta on October 22, 2011 at 8:56pm
I would have to know where this young woman is from originally.  I was thinking Carolina Lily if she is from that part of the country done in pretty pinks and greens.  If she is settling in MO I was thinking the Sante Fe Trail block done in blues and creams. 
Comment by Michelle Smith on October 22, 2011 at 12:46pm

Hi Linda,

     The first thing (name of a quilt) that I thought of was PRAIRIE QUEEN! Butter N Lilac colors,have always been my favorite. I would like to add a desire: I'd like to read about prairie women, their young daughters,learning quilting and talking about their lives. Much luck for your sucess!

Comment by Linda Hubalek on October 21, 2011 at 3:07pm
Thanks so much for your insight and thoughts Arlene. I'm sorry to hear you lost your husband this year too. Have you thought of designing and making a quilt to represent him and your years together? You sound like a great quilt designer. I think it would be a very special remembrance of your marriage. Thanks again.
Comment by Alene Knox on October 21, 2011 at 2:51pm

I would be inspired to make a quilt using various shades of spring (young at 23).  Those shades being yellow, greens, pink, clear blues, and various flower colors, or tree blossom colors.  I would use old log cabin blocks and place them around the outside of the quilt.  In the center I would try to make some stars that you see at night using OLD original blocks that are found in Jennie Beyer books.  At age 23, I had 2 daughters, being married to my husband for 5 years, so life was bright and beautiful with my new family and the love of my life (I lost him this year of almost 49 years of marriage.)  I'd use fabrics that were from family members clothing so that I could remember them each time I used the quilt.  I would be looking forward, yet I would also include my past, along with my husbands as well.  Trees made from flying geese would also have to be placed somewhere, but it would have to be when you play - so, my answer to you is that I'd use various blocks and various happy colors.  I'd TRY to find some happy birds to add by applique, but most of the quilt would be hand done - sewing ALL by hand, including the actual quilting. 

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