Loss of quilts an unfortunate pattern
A prize-winning quilt handmade by Janet Atkins hasn’t been seen since February, yet she still hopes her cherished work of art, titled “Kaaterskill,” will come home to her studio in Coxsackie, N.Y.
Atkins had sent it to the offices of Quilters Newsletter magazine in Golden to be photographed and featured in the publication. The large quilt, measuring 82 inches by 82 inches, was reportedly picked up in February by a UPS driver from the magazine’s office in Golden, but it didn’t make the return trip to its New York owner.
An exhaustive search over the months by UPS and the magazine has been unsuccessful. Atkins finally received a check for $3,300 — the quilt’s declared value — but she says no amount of money can replace what the quilt means to her.
“I feel like a piece of my life is missing,” Atkins says.
She spent four years piecing and appliqueing, by hand, the compass block design in vibrant red, purple and yellow, as well as quilting her masterpiece by hand.
“Kaaterskill” was juried into four shows, winning awards for outstanding hand workmanship in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Houston.
The quilt and its title were inspired by waterfalls and foliage near Atkins’ home in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains.
A photo of “Kaaterskill” appeared on the cover of the June/July issue of Quilters Newsletter, but that was little consolation to her.
Unfortunately, she’s not the only quilter missing a quilt. An entire website is dedicated to lost, missing or stolen quilts, and hundreds of people have posted their pleas for help in locating their prized possessions at http://www.lostquilt.com.
Recently, a Grand Junction reader, Janet Popish, alerted me to distressing news about three other quilts and a table runner last seen on exhibit at the International Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City. These were displayed at the C&T Publishing booth in May, where author’s quilts promoted the company’s latest books.
Popish, a fan of crazy quilts, was upset to learn that the cover quilt on the book, “Allie Aller’s Crazy Quilting: Modern Piecing and Embellishing Techniques for Joyful Stitching,” was missing from the shipping crate that was returned to the publisher’s headquarters in California.
The quilt titled “Crazy in the
Garden” measures 46 inches square, is heavily embellished and covered with three-dimensional flowers. Made by Aller of Washougal, Wash., it won second place in a Houston show in 2010.
“Those of us who follow her (Aller’s ) blog have watched this quilt go from concept to reality,” Popish says, “and the theft or loss of it is a real blow.”
Also missing from the same exhibit are Joyce Becker’s quilt, “Dryer Lint Etc.” from the cover of “Quick Little Landscape Quilts;” Deborah Kemball’s “Floral Sampler” from the cover of “Beautiful Botanicals;” and Sweetwater’s Gathered Table Runner from the book “Fresh Fabric Treats.”
A letter to C&T Publishing readers from Publisher Amy Marson says the entire company is mortified by this situation.
“We recognize how important the quilts are — the expertise, time and love that goes into each and every stitch,” Marson writes.
One of the saddest responses to this dilemma is Popish’s:
“It has also made many of us feel reluctant to enter quilts into shows where our hard work might be at risk.”
I speak for all of those who enjoy quilt shows, big and small, when I say, that is a real shame.
Email Sherida.Warner@ gjsentinel.com.