Scrap Bag: stolen quilt trailer update, Quilts of Valor busy week, and more

Welcome to this week’s installment of quilt news tidbits, which will hopefully offer some respite from the busy week of political news we’ve had as well as offer some inspiration for your quilting mojo!

IMG 3112 Scrap Bag: stolen quilt trailer update, Quilts of Valor busy week, and more

Last week I wrote about a trailer full of quilts and products that Jamie Wallen of Quilters Apothecary had brought to Houston for Quilt Festival that was stolen from his hotel parking lot. The story continues to develop; below are two updates that Jamie has posted on his personal Facebook timeline over the past week.

[Nov. 5]
Update… Yesterday the Harris County Sheriffs Department contacted us to let us know they had found some of the quilts. Rich and Lynn went down to there office while I was teaching class and picked up what they got. Unfortunately it was only a small fraction of the quilts lost. 1 of the 6 customer quilts were found along with my class samples, a thread painting, the giraffe quilt and a few others.
Most are still missing. The Sheriff has arrested the man charged with this theft and we hope in plea bargaining he will give the remainder up. We will load up the remainder of our possessions and assess our losses when we get back to home base. From the bottom of our Hearts… Thank You Thank You to our quilting community for all of your love and support. We would have not made it without you. Please take care of each, know your loved…. and we will see you down the road……We Promise!!!


 [Nov. 10]

Bad News:
No new word on Stolen Product nor the Majority(40 plus) of the Missing Quilts.

A Good Samaritan found a Garbage Bag with what she thought was Clothing in it but actually Turned out to be 5 of the over 50 quilts. She recognized a few from the TV News and contacted us. We’d already returned home But Fellow Vendors and Friends Offered to go retrieve them.

Thank you so much JoAnn Gemmill from Jo’s Quilting Studio and Machine Dealership for Acting so Quickly for us to recover the pieces found which included the “Tree of Life” as well as One of The “Fire Island Hosta” Quilts. the “Little Girl” and “Boy with Frog” were also in the bag.

God Willing More bags will be found with more quilts!!!!!!

Jamie and Rich


After a fire gutted part of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in September, a quilting group that had been using the church as a home base for making charity quilts learned they lost 14 completed quilts and all of their supplies — machines, fabric, batting, all of it. The community has rallied to help them, with nearby Grace Lutheran Church clearing space for them to meet and other churches and organizations pitching in with donations so the group can continue making the quilts they donate to local homeless shelters.


The TV program “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation” hosted by Mo Rocca included a segment about quilter Susana Allen Hunter in a recent episode. Hunter was the wife of a tenant farmer in Alabama who hand pieced and hand quilted more than 100 quilts from the 1930s to the 1970s; her improvisational quilts are in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum.

Curator of Domestic Life Jeannie Miller says of the collection, “Susana Hunter teaches us to use whatever we have, whatever life gives us and create something beautiful out of it.”

You can watch the entire episode for free or click forward to the fourth segment starting at about the 14:20 mark.


The Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Perth recently was the site of an unusual “airing of the quilts” while in Muscat, Oman, for an operational deployment port visit. Quilts that were custom-made for service members by supporters of Aussie Hero Quilts were draped along the deck and missile launchers in a show of appreciation for the support offered from back home. The HMAS Perth was due to return to Australia on November 11 after a 22-week deployment.


I don’t include news tidbits about Quilts of Valor in my Scrap Bag posts because the organization is so busy and so active that it’s just not news to read about a veteran receiving a homemade quilt in a special ceremony — it happens every day. However, today being Veterans Day here in the U.S. and Armistice Day elsewhere, it’s as good a time as any to honor the work done by QOV volunteers during their busiest time of the year. Here are some links to just a few of the many stories about recent QOV recipients.

Spokane veteran surprised with Quilt of Valor

Quilts to be presented to Kentucky veterans

Simi Valley WWII vet receives Quilt of Valor

18 veterans honored in Tennessee

About Mary Kate Karr-Petras

Mary Kate is an associate editor at Quilters Newsletter. If you ask her what type of quilter she considers herself, she'll answer, "Slow." Favorite techniques include hand quilting, both traditional and big stitch, but she also loves her walking foot and keeps meaning to get better acquainted with her open-toe embroidery foot.
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6 Responses to Scrap Bag: stolen quilt trailer update, Quilts of Valor busy week, and more

  1. I’m glad you found the missing quilts. The man should be ashame of him self.

    I’m glad you found part of the quilts. The man should be ashame of himself
    for taking the quilts. Think of valor quilts and other homeless people that could use these quilts.

  2. Barbara Kerns says:

    I don’ like your statement about Quilts of Valor. You could have just said, please check out these websites for information about current happenings in The Quilts of Valor groups. Your attitude seemed to dismiss veterans and role in our society.

  3. Mary Kate Karr-Petras says:

    Hi Barbara,

    That was not at all my intent and I apologize if the way I phrased the paragraph came off as disrespectful. I was trying to convey just how busy and prolific QOV is as an organization, so I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize their work. I’m sorry if I didn’t convey that feeling properly.

    Mary Kate

  4. Ruth Rockidge says:

    I agree with Barbara. My husband is a Vietnam Combat Veteran. I’ve contacted organizations to try to get him a Quilt of Valor with no luck. My daughter and I are in the process of learning to quilt to make him one ourselves. You stated that it happens everyday where a Quilt of Valor is received by a Veteran. I bet that Veteran wouldn’t consider it “an everyday occurance”.

  5. Lina says:

    I am writing this with love, not anger but I do feel you need to correct your error. I must agree about your comment concerning Quilts of Valor. My husband is a Vietnam Vet, and I can tell you that receiving a quilt was a very emotional and healing experience for him. So many of our Vietnam Veterans don’t even let anyone know they are a Vietnam Vet because of the hate that was directed against them when they returned home. My husband was spit on as protestors shouted obscenities at him when he got off the plane from Vietnam. Please in your next post, apologize and list places where a Veteran or one of their loved ones can go to apply for a Quilt. I know you did this out of ignorance, not malice, because anyone who has loved a Vet would know what you wrote would be considered offensive and dismissive. Thank you!

  6. Karen Shear says:

    I was reading the QOV comments, and the fact that the group running the QOV program are very picky about the quilts they accept. As long as it’s red, white and blue and at least the size of a throw quilt should be all that matters. I make my own red, white and blue quilts and send them to vets I know or have heard of.

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