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Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: - This book is in great condition and looks like new. - Dust cover is intact, with no nicks or tears. - Spine has no signs of creasing. - Pages are clean and not marred by notes or folds of any kind. There is no remainder mark on outside edges.
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Hobo Quilts: 55+ Original Blocks Based on the Secret Language of Riding the Rails Paperback – May 6, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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  • Hobo Quilts: 55+ Original Blocks Based on the Secret Language of Riding the Rails
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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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publications (May 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440204128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440204128
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
I agree with one of the other reviewers who said many of the measurements are wrong, and I have to wonder if the reviewers who gave it such high marks have actually tried to MAKE the darn thing yet. As of this writing I am getting ready for the third go-round of "sleep in the hayloft" block, and it's been a freaking nightmare. I finally took out a ruler and started measuring the pieces in the picture, adding a quarter inch for the seam allowance, and found that the measurements are off. Okay, okay, yes, I am a beginner quilter and my skills may not be up to a 23 piece block with points right off the bat. But it would probably help to have known that a good portion of the problems are NOT me, but the pattern itself. And excuse me, but would it have killed the author to take a page and explain things like 'stitch and flip'? I had to look it up on the internet, and even then had to adjust the seams and remeasure the pieces so the block turned out the right size. The three paper-pieced blocks were a dream to do, and while I haven't tried any of the applique blocks yet, not a whole lot complicated about that. But I can't understand why she made so many pieced blocks, and then she or the editor or whoever blew the measurements.

The stories are pretty interesting, and I still love the completed quilt enough to keep going, but so not trusting any of her measurements and glad that I checked it out of the library instead of buying it, because I'll never make another one.

****UPDATE****

I finished it, (well, the top, anyway. I haven't quilted it yet)and it is really cool - even won a couple ribbons at our local quilt show for "unquilted top" and "viewers' favorite".
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