Friday, July 22, 2011

Lost Quilts

First a public service announcement. Check out the posting at on Missing quilts. Three quilts went missing at Spring Market and they are trying to spread the word. One of those quilts is in the photo below.
I saw a couple of her quilts at Paducha and they are really beautiful. Hopefully this one will find its way back to her.

If you are going to ship or show your quilt you should get an appraisal. If you don't want to do that at a minimum make sure you have a label on the quilt with enough information that if is is found they can find you. Finally, take a good quality photo of the quilt...even better keep the photo with samples of the fabric and measurements of the quilt.
When I lived in Baltimore my house was broken into. They took a quilt..most likely to help carry some of the other things they stole. Anyway, I had a photo of the quilt along with sample of the fabric and all the measurements. The police officer looked at me like I was a bit crazy...I wanted him to take the photo and all he wanted to do was list "quilt" on the sheet. Anyway it must have made an impression because late that evening I got a phone call from one of the crime scene techs who had overheard the conversation - he was in a bar not far from my house and there had just been a man there trying to sell some CD's and inside the bag the tech noticed a quilt! The tech offered him $5 for it. I was so happy to get my quilt back! (Later they did arrest the man who broke in my house but that is a long story.....)

So morale of the story...document, document, document. (And if you ever are broken into make sure and be nice to the crime scene folks...he also remembered I gave them chocolate chip cookies and coffee!)

Some other quilt-y stuff...yesterday I went out to a quilt bee off the backroads of South Carolina. Really nice quilters, really nice quilts, and a really, really hot church. The first convenience store I stopped and bought a T-shirt so I could get out of the soaking wet one I was shivering in! The purpose of the trip was to find vintage quilts made from scraps from the local textile mills or "salesman samples."

Of course since this was the first time they met me they all brought their best quilts (for that read several wedding rings, a couple of sunbonnet sues, several around the world and a poppy kit quilts) that we have talked about the old mills and drank lots of very sweet tea I hope they will show me the others....I think of these old scrap or utility quilts as a type of lost quilt too - people only want to show their "best."

I did learn a new southern phrase the other day..."moonshine kin." It is someone you are related to by marriage. The photo below is from a cell phone so not that clear but it is a great old quilt. It has wool bat and lots of woven plaids. There are at least 6-8 different double-pinks in the corners. The maker may not have had fancy fabrics to work with but she pieced perfectly!


sewprimitive karen said...

What an incredible story about the crime scene tech (talk about alert!). That is so terrible about the missing quilts from Market.

Impera_Magna said...

I hope that lovely quilt, and the others that are missing, turn up... just heart breaking.

Hope the next time you head down the backroads of SC you get to see lots of everyday quilts!

quiltmom said...

Good advice about quilts- I haven't recorded dimensions but I do have most of my quilts labeled. I will have to make some labels for the ones in my home.
It is terrible to think of someone taking someone else's quilt.
I love the phrase Moonshine Kin- I will have to tell my brother in law that one. He will love that expression.
It is funny how we think that only the fancy quilts are worthy of our attention- not the ones that were made from whatever the quilter had on hand at the time.
I love the Gee Bend quilts - they are so fun and have wonderful designs that many modern quilters are emulating.
Thanks for sharing.

Merilyn said...

Glad you got your quilt back!! I do exactly as you described, I take lots of photos, keep fabric samples and lots of details and put all that into a photo album that has 3 pockets/page. I didn't start this because I thought my quilts would go missing but to keep a record as most of the quilts I have made live at other people's homes (friends/family). I can look back over my work and see that I actually have some completed projects, when all around me at home I see UFO's LOL!!!!

Janet O. said...

That is so sad about the missing quilts. The one you pictured is incredible. I'm sure someone is sick over that disappearance! Hope the end of their story is as happy as yours.

Clare said...

Wasn't there another story about a woman whose quilt was posted back to her by a show organiser, but postal service lost it? I don't think it was one of these, but I'm interested to know if she ever got it back.

I hope you eventually get to see some of those quilts. They are the best ones.

Sharon said...

What a great advice.
I have an album and now in digital form of all of my quilts. Since I am one of those people who either makes quilts for others or to sell, it is wonderful to look back at my work or to show others my background.

I never thought of someone breaking in and taking the ones I have in my home.
Thanks for the reminder.

Tonya Ricucci said...

scary to think of a quilt being made off with even when there are all those people around. terrible. love that last quilt you posted.

Jan said...

Fun Southern saying - there are some good ones, aren't there?
So happy that you got your quilt back. What a lesson to be learned!

Gail said...

I'd be heartbroken to lose a quilt like the missing one. You bring up some great points and I think I'm going to follow through on them.

I could care less about theives stealing the TV or my pc, but to have them take a vintage or antique quilt and use it for packing material or worse yet, cut it up for rags.....can't even think about that.


Andee said...

I love a story with a happy ending...I am SO glad you got your quilt back and I hope the other three missing quilts turn up and get to their owners as well!

Kim said...

Love that last quilt you showed and the lovely fan hand quilting.

Good advice about documentation...... I am not very good about that or labeling like I should.

Happy Sewing

Sew Create It - Jane said...

It's heart wrenching to think a quilter is without her quilt...I hope it makes it back to its owner.

Thanks for the the top tips about documenting your quilts...I suspect, like yourself, they are often scooped up as a hold-all.