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  • WarmQuilts

Recovering Lost Quilts

"Did you see today's newspaper?"

"No, not yet."

"Did anyone call you?"

"No calls, who will be calling me?"

That night, I learned that someone had climbed through an open window, in one of the buildings at the fairgrounds, and taken five quilts that had been entered for the upcoming country fair. I dropped off two quilts and an afghan the day before and wasn't really worried about my items. Somehow, I knew that my items were safe - they just had to be.

What about the stolen quilts? And, what were other quilters thinking?

Naturally, the incident was covered by the local press, several people removed their hand-made items from display and the fair organizers investigated and set up new protocols that remain in effect today.

Two months later, two quilts were found when police were called to a home for a domestic dispute. Four months later, another quilt was found (in good condition) in a plastic bag on the sidewalk near the Police station.


An online search reveals hundreds of missing quilts - photos and detailed descriptions can be viewed. These three are posted on


Posted: June 8, 2018

Please help Melanie Testa find this two sided, hand printed ZigZag Through the Garden quilt. There are some commercial prints on the back, but most of the fabrics are of her own printed creation of reds, yellows and blues. The quilt measures 68″ x 75″

Melanie’s quilt was made in 2017, machine pieced and machine quilted and is not labeled. It was last seen during the winter of 2017/18. Of the quilt Melanie says, “I made this two sided quilt and gained its entry into two well loved magazines, International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene 2017 and Fons and Porters, Modern Patchwork …The front was completely hand printed using Melly Marks stamps and thermofax screens.”

“Unfortunately, when the quilt was shipped back to me, it was left on my stoop, by the shipper, and was stolen off my doorstep. I live in New York City. My doorstep opens out onto the street and there is nowhere to discreetly hide a package.” Please help us locate this unique quilt! If you have any information please contact Melanie Testa at:


Posted: April 20, 2018

Pam Carnes hopes to recover a quilt she made for her late mother, Pauline James. The quilt was last seen in 2016 in Vassar, Michigan. The family believes a friend who visited Pauline may have taken the quilt because no one was able to find it any where in the home after Pauline passed away. The quilt may possibly have been sold at a garage sale.

This quilt is a large lap quilt, possibly about 40″ wide. The main colors are blue, black, yellow, red, and florals. It has an iron-on label on the back lower left corner. The label says either “Mom” or “made by Pam.”

If you find this quilt, please contact Pam at


Posted: May 20, 2018

Gabriella Duncan is looking for a 50″x 62″ quilt she designed of turquoise, mauve and charcoal fabrics she personally procion dyed. The quilt is a modified version of a tumbling blocks pattern with blocks arranged in flowing color gradations. The quilt has a label on the back with Cataclopia, Gabriella Duncan, April 1991 written or typed on white muslin.

Speaking of her quilt Gabriella says, “It had been on the wall (of my home) for a number of years, then put with other quilts on a dedicated shelf, so I never routinely checked or inventoried to see that it was there, until I went to look for it last week.”

Gabriella believes “it was taken by person or persons unknown some time in the last 18 years” from her home in Tucson, Arizona.

Gabriella further states, “This was the best piece I ever made and it means the world to me. It won a prize at the 1993 Tuscon Quilter’s Guild annual show. I offer a no-questions-asked reward for its return.”

If you have information regarding this quilt, please contact Gabriella at

Given the length of time that has transpired since Gabriella has last seen her quilt, please share this post, regardless of your location. Thank you!

Found, Recovered and Returned quilts are also displayed on the website.


There are also sites that list techniques that quilters can use when creating a work of art so that a specific project can be identified and recovered. Reading through the posts, here are some hints:

- Several quilts were thought to be in bags donated to Goodwill or Salvation Army. When cleaning out and sorting through items to donate, fold quilts you wish to keep and stack them away from where you are sorting. Only after you are finished putting donations in bags or boxes should you gather up the quilts you wish to keep.

- Photograph your quilts. It is heartbreaking to read about lost quilts that have no accompanying photograph.

- Label your quilts. In addition to a visible label, consider writing something unique on a hidden seam so that the quilt can be returned if the exterior label is removed.

Lost Quilt Come Home - dedicated to displaying lost and stolen quilts and to providing information on protecting quilts.

Or, check out their FACEBOOK page.

Comments on various blog posts reference this little verse: “Dear St. Anthony, come around, something’s lost and can’t be found”.

Every once in a while, you learn the history of a quilt and it touches your heartstrings. Read about The Quilt From Gingercake.

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