Ode to My Stolen Quilts

No, not today or last week or last year. But in January 2005, on the front end of an 8 day teaching tour (California to Colorado) someone broke into my hostess's car and stole a suitcase with 30 (yes, thirty!) of my quilts. Why am I sharing this today? Because I found some old pics of them and wanted to revisit their beauty. I am not trying to make you feel sorry for me (or them). I am over it. I like to say that they are hanging on the Giant Quilt Rack in the sky.

This first one, 98 Dancing Squares was in my first book (which had only been out for 4 months!).

98 Dancing Squares
This next one I called Spinning Waterwheels and I really miss her. I did remake it somewhat for my current book. But this one was made with all Fossil Ferns from Benartex.

Spinning Waterwheels
OK. Another one, also from my first book (Bold, Black & Beautiful Quilts):
Dresden Butterflies
And one of the first quilts I made in my Cookie Cutter series. I still teach this class, but I was never able to remake the whole quilt as shown here. Sigh.
Cookie Cutter Leaves

A few samples from that workshop
Cookie Cutter Trees using batik scraps
Cookie Cutter Flowers
More Trees
This was going to be a table topper with the trees cutaways
Various block samples to show my students (which they didn't see)
My original Coffee Filter Fans quilt and quilt top:

Coffee Filter Fans, paper pieced on (wait a minute!) - coffee filters
 And the quilt top so my students could see the back/wrong side:

Coffee Filter Fans quilt top
Another quilt from my first book: Velvet Stars
I've never remade the next one, though it's on my 2013 bucket list:
Flying Swallows, all paper pieced
This one is sorely missed, though my Atlanta friend Joan G. remade it for me (bless you, Joan):

Carpenter's Wheel, all paper pieced
Where the Heck-o is That Gecko? (gecko fabrics)
One of the first Mariner's Compasses I made
A bad photo, but this is my Ultra-suede star on a velvet background
Tessellating Leaves
The following quilt I only brought on the trip because the hostess insisted she wanted to see it up close and personal. This one I truly miss and have never remade. And it's the only picture I have of it:

My library quilt with applique dishes, tea service, etc. Sigh!
I've left the last two (that I have photos of; some of them were never photographed).

Dogwood Blossom - one of the classes I had to teach in California!

The very first paper pieced Dogwood Blossom, based on an antique quilt
OK. Don't be depressed. Remember, they're hanging on the Giant Quilt Rack in the sky. But I hadn't thought of these in years, so you know I'm over it. They are sitting in someone's basement or in a landfill somewhere. The thieves thought they were getting gold, silver or gems - well, they did. But only to a quilter.

I love my quilts, but not like my family. I admire my quilts but I hug my husband and kids and grandkids, (and sons in law, too). Thanks for coming with me down memory lane!


  1. Hi Debby. I don't know why people have to be so mean. It is my hope that they did realize that they had something special and gave them to someone who will cherish them. They were all beautiful and I know that you miss them.Maybe they have a really good home.

  2. who knows...stranger things have happened and maybe with this latest post someone will remember they saw one recently!

  3. I remember this. I am hoping someone does come up with one or two of them. Hopefully they are being well loved. Awful, awful. So much time work and love went into them someone must have recognized the value. Love your fabric and designs!!

  4. Thanks for the show, Debby. It's still sad, even though you say you're over it. I know you didn't ask, but you usually do, my favorites are the cookie cutter quilts. I love the use of colors in the velvet stars. Like Anna said, maybe this will be a reminder.

  5. Just like missing pets, I believe one day they will show up at your front door because they found their way back home. :-)

  6. Debbie, keep bringing it back up, someone, somewhere will see them and they will be found I hope. That is just so mean of someone to steal someone's hard work and joy. It will come back to bite them and I hope it comes soon!

  7. This made me cry. Why are people so mean. A neighbor had his Grandmother's quilts stolen while he was in the hospital. It upsets me every time I think of all the hours of love that poured into your quilts and hers and some crazy person just takes them for no reason. So sad.

  8. What an awful thing to happen. I bet it took some time to recover from such meaness. I find I can't sell my quilts but love to give them away, how strange is that? Luckily I've never had any stolen.

  9. Im so sorry this happened. Your quilts are just lovely. And you are so right, our families are the gold in our lives. You have helped a lot of people over the years with your quilting, and given a lot of joy. Bless you for forgiving and moving on.

  10. That is truly horriable. All your hard work & time. Then stolen away in moments. I always say people will steal anything. And it is the truth. I heard a true story not long ago. About a cutomer at my borther in laws store. The man & his wife went to work, kids to day care & when he came home. His front door had been totally knocked down. He went inside. His entre house contents was missing. The childrens toys were gone out of the toy box. Toddler toys. His food was all missing out of the deep freeze. These people garden and put up their harvest. Packs of beans, & peas & squash and such. The bathroom tissue and wives sanitary napkins were gone... Even their clothes from the. closet. Only thing they left was this great big ol deep freezer. That all the food was missing out of. This was so horriable.

  11. Yikes, that was a tough loss to get over, kudos to you that you could. Did you ever read "The Paris Wife"? In it the story is told of how Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley, lost all his first stories. He didn't seem to get over it as well.
    You're the better person, and quilter!

  12. Such beautiful quilts , I hope that being posted someone will see a quilt they recognize and maybe even return it to you , I hope this happens. I am not sure if you know Valerie Hearder but she also had quilts stolen but did eventually get them back so there is always hope. Thanks for sharing the photos with us.

  13. Debby, I still remember the day you told us about your quilts being stolen. what a shame they were never recovered.
    I'm honored that you mentioned my name with the carpenter wheel quilt I made for you. You taught me your techniques in paper piecing,it's still my favorite form of piecing. thanks for your generosity.
    Joan in GA

  14. Very sad! Now years later you are making this theft known to the public by showing these beautiful quilts. They are so very outstanding and beautiful and I'm hoping they will return to you!

  15. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I can't imagine how you must have felt and especially with that happening at the beginning of your teaching trip. Like so many have mentioned, hoping they are discovered and returned to you. We can only hope, what goes around, comes around. Karma is a bad thing! Or a good thing depending on what side you're on, hehe.



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