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Comment: 2010 Krause Pub. softcover. Autographed inscription by Author inside cover. Small faint crease on cover corner tip. No writing or highlighting in text!
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Hobo Quilts: 55+ Original Blocks Based on the Secret Language of Riding the Rails Paperback – May 6, 2010


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Hobo Quilts: 55+ Original Blocks Based on the Secret Language of Riding the Rails + The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt: Letters from 1920s Farm Wives and the 111 Blocks They Inspired
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publ (May 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440204128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440204128
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 8.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Debra Henninger is an active member of the quilt community. She owns three quilt shops and attends national and regional quilt shows. Debra also operates and organizes quilt cruises and retreats. In addition to being a quilter, Debra is also a history and railroad buff.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Looking forward to reading this and making some Hobo quilts in the future.
Cooki Welsh-McClatchie
This book has some of the most fascinating stories of bums or Hobo's, like I have described above.
mary
I have wanted to get this book for some time and decided to give myself a Christmas present.
quilting grandmother

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Cherrybomb VINE VOICE on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I think there is a tendency to romanticize times gone by and remember the parts that catch our fancy, whether that is knights in shining armor, civil war tunes or the hobos of the Great Depression. There was plenty of misery that went hand in hand with the more romantic images of good-hearted folks riding the rails in search of better futures. Hobo Quilts recognizes both sides of the story - the adventure, the freedom as well as the hunger, the danger. It uses craft to remember and preserve the code symbols that hobos used to communicate with each other about such important things as clean water, danger, kindly people and where work was available.

Each of the blocks recreates a symbol. The symbol is shown as it would have been drawn and then as it is interpreted as a quilt block. Beside the block, the author has included a quote from someone who actually experienced the era and knew first-hand the life and times of the hobo. There are great photos sprinkled throughout the book, giving faces to history.

After the blocks have been shown, the author shares 21 detailed projects for using the blocks in quilts, with variations provide for many of the projects. The directions are clear and provide both a material list and a cutting list, as well as assembly instructions.

As a beginner quilter, I was excited to see that many of the blocks looked simple enough for me to tackle. The techniques for making the blocks including piecing, applique and paper piecing. I think the projects provide room to grow, showing different levels of difficulty for the quilter. I might not be able to tackle the "hobo jungle" or "bindle stiffs" quilts yet but I can keep them in mind as my skills grow.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I really did enjoy the historical aspect of the book. The stories and pictures were really great. But that's NOT why I bought the book! I bought it for the quilt patterns and most of them are wrong! If you follow the cutting directions exactly and use the standard 1/4" seam allowance when you sew them together, many (most) of the regular blocks don't turn out right. The pieces don't fit together right, and none of the cut and piece blocks turn out the right size (6 1/2"). The instructions at the beginning of the book do say to add the seam allowances to the appliqued and paper pieced blocks, which I did, and those worked. But the cut and piece blocks are such a pain because piece sizes are wrong! I've had to go back and add borders to all the pieced blocks to make them 6 1/2", and now that I know the math is wrong, I'm adding a 1/4" here and there where the cutting sizes don't seem to match the picture's proportions. But honestly- I don't buy pattern books as an exercise in problem solving. If I'd known the patterns were wrong before I bought the book, I most likely would've passed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Beth on August 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been wanting a book like this for a long time. We used to have hobo's come to our house for food. One was so nice I would watch for him to come again. This book is just the perfect well written information I need to make the quilt I want to make.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cathy E on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading through this book and looking at the pictures. I especially love the train quilt made with the secret sign blocks.

After reading some of the reviews, I was concerned about making the quilt because some of the reviewers said there were so many errors in the patterns. However, I contacted the publisher and they sent me the corrections over email within 2 days of my inquiry.

The blocks with errors are: Bad Drinking Water, Dangerous Drinking water, housewife feeds for chores, no one home, poor man, sit-down feed, and Ridin' the Rails Engine block. All of the block corrections involve cutting measurements.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sandra A. Douglas on August 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift for a friend, it is a wonderful book, even if you are not a quilter.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Neva S. Fenwick on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished Hobo Quilts...and it is a wonderful mixture of history and surprises and to top it all off...quilt patterns and the symbols of the road...You do have to be an experienced quilter to make some of the blocks...It is a book well worth having for even a non-quilter..My grandmother lived by the railroad tracks in a very small town in Oklahoma and even in the late forties and early fifties she would send me to another room while she fed the Hobos and they always did some small chore that she didnt really need done...I know she did that to spare their feelings because some felt bad about asking for a "hand out"..I also know now she sent me to another room just for my safety, just in case they might be a little rough with the language..The price cant be beat as usual from Amazon...Thank You
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Moffatt on September 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are into American history this is a brilliant book. Hobo signs are a rich part of our history. The ability to communicate in such a simple yet complete way translates so well to quilting. It is a good companion to the Underground Railroad quilt books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy on February 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My father loves trains, so I thought this would be a fun quilt to make for him. I had the same problems as the other readers who had problems with the blocks. I cut out all the pieces for all the blocks and put them in ziplock bags until I got around to making each block. All of mine turned out too small. I ended up having to sew strips on most of them to make them work for me. I also ended up trimming mine down to 6 1/4" and made my sashing a bit bigger than suggested in the book. Loved the book, just wish it was more accurate.
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