Craftsy Offers $5,000 Reward for Return of Lost Quilt

Posted by on Sep 6, 2011 in Cake Decorating, Crocheting, Gardening, Jewelry Making, Knitting, Paper Crafts, Quilting, Sewing | Comments

Have you seen this quilt? 

We are offering a $5000 reward for its return.

If you have any information as to its whereabouts, contact immediately. 

If you’d like to be kept up to date on the status of the lost quilt, keep an eye on Janet’s Kaaterskill page, and post any updates, sightings, or just leave a note of encouragement for Janet.

Most importantly, spread the word! Click the “tweet” and “like” buttons above to let all of your friends know about this tragic loss, and how they can help in Kaaterskill’s recovery.  If you’ve got a blog, let your readers know about Kaaterskill, and link back to us.

Here’s what happened:

As any artist knows, a work of art is a piece of the soul, and there’s a piece of Janet Atkins’ soul that’s mysteriously gone missing. “It hurts a lot not to know where it is, and I’d really like to see it back,” Janet Atkins, creator of the award-winning quilt “Kaaterskill,” tells the camera in a brief interview with The Times Union.

Janet’s quilt was lost earlier this year after winning numerous awards and gracing the cover of Golden, Colorado-based Quilters Newsletter for its June/July issue.

The quilt was last seen on Feb. 16, when it was picked up by a UPS driver at the Golden, Colo., office of Quilters Newsletter after a photo shoot.  The package is reported to have been picked up, but not scanned, and is now lost.

To read more about the mysterious disappearance of this amazing work of art, see links below:

Four years in the making, the loss of this quilt is a tragedy for its creator.

Janet Atkins has been crafting her entire life, starting with knitting and later moving into sewing.  She is a person who loves to work with her hands.  In fact, Kaaterskill was entirely made by hand.  The quilt is hand pieced, hand quilted, hand bound.

Kaaterskill has come away with high honors from four juried shows, so far, including last year’s Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Virginia, best hand workmanship; the Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, Pa., best hand quilting; and the International Quilt Festival in Houston, where the quilt was awarded an overall third place for handmade quilts.  Click to read more about the amazing hand quilting that went into the creation of Kaaterskill.

We here at Craftsy can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be to lose such an irreplaceable labor of love.

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be kept up to date on the status of the lost quilt, keep an eye on Janet’s Kaaterskill page, and post any updates, sightings, or just leave a note of encouragement for Janet.

Most importantly, spread the word! Click the “tweet” and “like” buttons above to let all of your friends know about this tragic loss, and how they can help in Kaaterskill’s recovery.



  1. Stephani Beattie says:

    I hope you find this quilt, it is absolutely splendid. I’ll keep my eye out.

    1. Diane says:

      This is really terrible! What city and state was this quilt missing from?

      1. Stefanie Japel says:

        The quilt was last seen in Golden, Colorado.

  2. It’s heartbreaking that this happened. Let’s hope it turns up very soon.
    I posted a little something on my blog. Hope it helps.

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Thank you so much for posting about it on your blog! Every bit helps!

    2. Erika huebner says:

      I posted something on my FB page as well . If your like me ,a little piece of you goes into every piece of your craft . It will be found sweetie .

      1. Stefanie Japel says:

        Thank you so much for the post on Facebook! We really appreciate anything that you do to spread the word.

  3. Gina says:

    What an awful thing to happen and I will definately keep eyes and positive thoughts towards a swift reunion.. (((hugs)))

  4. Ana says:

    I hope that your quilt makes its way back to you, I’ll have my peeps here in NM keep their eyes open

  5. Tami Martin says:

    I CANNOT believe someone would actually take something like this. Don’t they know that
    there is never going to be anything they can do with this quilt besides hide it?! If they were a true quilter or crafter they would understand what something like this means to the creator. I will post this on facebook and ask all that see it to re-post it. If we keep this up someone is bound to have seen someone who knows who has this quilt. I am so sorry for your loss (temporary). It WILL be found one day and returned to it’s rightful owner. Best wishes to you.

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Thank you so much, Tami, we really appreciate all that you can do to help us spread the word. We have hope that the quilt will surface!

  6. Sue Atkinson says:

    So sorry this quilt is missing. Hope it will be recovered soon. I had a miniature quilt go missing from a shop where it was on loan a few years ago. I never stop hoping that one day it will turn up.

  7. Joy Turchie says:

    That is just heartbreaking to lose this amazing quilt. Hopefully someone will see it that is also aware of it being separated from Janet.

  8. Elfi says:

    I will pass it on on my FB profile. I do hope it will be recovered soon and whoever might have it and know it’s not theirs to keep will have a rattling conscience and sleepless nights!!!

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      We appreciate you posting about Kaaterskill on Facebook! That’s a great way to let people know what has happened, and to keep an eye out.

  9. Lara Smith says:

    How very sad hope its found soon as I am sure it will be sitting somewhere waiting to be discovered .all the best .

  10. carole clement says:

    How sad after so many hours of handsewing! Your heart must be broken. Although not looking for it at the time, I was at a quilt fair in Bridgton ME this summer but did not see it there. I will be on the lookout for it as I hope many others are too. Good luck.

  11. Linda S says:

    I sure hope you find this beautiful one of a kind piece of artwork. I sure hope you find it real soon!

  12. Lin says:

    Oh how devastating for you, Quilts are made with a piece of ourselves and for those whom we know will appreciate them. I really do hope that it is found, I can’t do anything from here in Australia, but I can pray you get it back. (big hug)

  13. sonia montini says:

    in this day and age of the internet I am sure you will find this if anytime in history this is the best for finding lost things keep hope.

  14. Phyllis Adamson says:

    So what does UPS have to say about tracing the quilt? They should know exactly who the driver was, and the truck number, and which facility it was attached to. And you need a police report, and written statements from witnesses to the UPS pick-up without scanning. Get a copy of their policies / procedures for tracing lost packages. This is incompetent.

    1. connie s balthrop says:

      very good advice Phyllis,,they should search and re search that truck and the station,also overgoods in the hub,,the label could have come off of the box.,

  15. Karla says:

    I sure hope U find it. It’s a wonderful piece of art work.

  16. Mildred says:

    So sorry to hear this , I’m going to re post this on my fb page , an I will pray that it will be returned back to it’s owner

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Thank you so much for reposting! We appreciate any and all help spreading the word! Someone must know where it is.

  17. Mel Bryant says:

    I can’t imagine the heartbreak of having this beautiful piece of artwork come up missing. I for one would be completely devastated as I am sure Janet is. After reading this I am going to be making and keeping documentation of all my quilts that I place any where in shops for sale just in case this ever happens. I pray that it is returned to her in the same condition it was taken in.

  18. Floozie Dietz de Broise says:

    I can understand the tragic loss you must feel that this has gone missing, especially as it is likely it has ended up with someone that has no idea of it’s worth to the creator.
    It is a magnificent piece of artwork and one of which I hope you are justifiably proud even though it is not in your hands at the present.
    I will pray for it’s safe return to you somehow because God works in mysterious ways and somehow miracles do happen. Especially when you least expect them.

  19. Linda cain says:

    The sad news of the lost Quilt has reached all the way to “AUSTRALIA” !!! We “Quilters” can feel your sadness as well .
    We will keep an eye out for it down here ,as one never knows where things can turn up !!!
    It is a outstanding piece of work !!!

  20. Robbie says:

    I posted this to my facebook, I have contacts that live in Colorado..

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Thanks so much, Robbie, for posting! We appreciate any and all help letting everyone know to be on the lookout!

  21. Mrs.Crafty says:

    Truely heartbreaking. I can only imaging how heartbreaking this is for Janet. I’ll be posting this on my blogs in hopes that someone will see it. I am in Colorado (though not Golden) and will keep and eye out around here as well. Good luck Janet, I hope you and your quilt are reunited very soon.

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Thank you SO much for blogging about this story! The more people who see the photo and read Janet’s story, the more likely we are to find the quilt!

  22. Ronda Beattie says:

    I hope you find it! It’s beautiful just beautiful!!!

  23. Jen says:

    I’m so sorry this has happened. A lot of time, work and love obviously went into that quilt. I really hope it’s recovered soon.

  24. Chrissi Matusevics says:

    well it’s now got to the UK as well I heard on FB, and will repost it too it is such a lovely quilt with loads of work in it I really hope that you get it back soon
    Love and Light

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Thank you so much for re-posting the story on Facebook! The more “shares” and “likes” we can get, the more people will be on the lookout! We appreciate it.

  25. Cyndee says:

    I agree with Phyllis, UPS, unlike USPS, has automatic tracking included with every shipment. There is no extra charge, it is automatic. The tracking number is automatically recorded on the receipt when the package is sent. How could the package be processed for shipment without being scanned. I have been sending pkgs through UPS since 1996, that is 15 yrs. One time my receipt with the tracking number wasn’t given to me, but the info was still available in the computer system through the UPS site …. I definitely hope that the quilt is found and returned, but something does not sound right here.

  26. Ana says:

    What happened to the driver of the UPS truck? Did they find the person and ask them?

  27. Lori Olson-Peters says:

    I sure hope the quilt was insured…I’d SO be suing UPS’ butt up and down, back and forth from here to there. That’s simply inexcusable. Shared on FB!

  28. Daniel says:

    Anyone investigate/search the UPS driver’s house? It wouldn’t be the first time a package was stolen by a driver.

    1. Daniel says:

      Oh and if UPS did this to me, there would be one hell of a can of whoop ass going on with UPS.

  29. Mary Lou says:

    I sewed a jacket over 35 years ago. I was so pleased with the way it turned out! My husband and I went out with friends and I put it on the coat rack. When we left, it was gone. I can still see that coat in my minds eye, and miss it to this day!

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Mary Lou, I’m so sorry to hear about your jacket. Thank you for your kind note.

  30. Deborah says:

    I am a quilter too, and had the privilege of admiring that quilt in Hershey. It is amazing, and I thank you for sharing it with the world. As I read this report, my heart aches for you, Janet. I can only imagine how it would feel to have one of my quilts go “missing.” Yes, our art flows out of a precious place within us and is part of us. I only hope that whoever has it will imagine how important this would be to the owner and seek to ensure its safe return to you.

  31. Lucy says:

    That is terrible! I will definitely ask St Anthony for a little help. Hopefully it is winging it’s way home as we all type…

  32. LG says:

    I am not making a specific accusation in this case, but I will mention that on many occasions, UPS employees have been arrested for taking packages and selling the contents on ebay or craigslist. We can all help Janet immensely by checking these sources regularly. I will do so and pass on the word. I hope you get your quilt back; that kind of handmade craft is so rare these days and so very valuable in all senses of the word.

  33. Patty Ashworth says:

    There is a site to post lost quilts. Put this on there also. Lost Quilts. Several have been found and the send out automatically to everyone who is a subsciber. You’ll get a few more people watching for it! I had one stolen once years ago. I know the heartache. When shipping quilts, NEVER say it’s a quilt. Call it a blanket, or box of fabric. Fewer people will ever worry about what’s in it then.

  34. Nan Jacobson says:

    Such a sad loss. My heart goes out to Janet. I will spread the word in my Upstate NY area and pray for the safe return of this wonderful quilt.

  35. Lori Crawford says:

    Oh this is terrible. Not only do I make jewelry but I make quilts too! And I know how it feels to be attached to them and how much work and time it takes to make a handmade quilt. I worked it up one time when I was selling on and it came up to .02 and hour. But the love of the craft was work if. So $5000.00 if a just reward for finding it.
    I hope you don’t mind if I spead this on facebook so that it can hopefully be found.

  36. rhonda says:

    I’ve had crocheted Afghans stolen right out of my house! Along with movies and what tiny bit of cash I had on hand. I never considered my afghans to be valuable until then. But my friends kept going on about how sad to lose such works of art. Hmm. I can relate to all the time you put in.
    I hope you get your quilt back. UPS has mislaid my packages before. But they always showed up. Hang in there!

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      I am so sorry to hear about YOUR losses, as well, Rhonda! Thank you so much for the encouragement.

      1. Moira McCullough says:

        What a beautiful work of art, I can see why you’ve won prizes with it. I’m so sorry to hear of it’s sad tale. Any news now?
        I wish you the very best. I’m a beader, I put my all into a piece of work, some only take a few hours but others take longer and it is these that I value more, so although my pieces are finished in a few weeks, maybe a special one in a month, I understand and my heart goes out to you.

  37. Peg Saintcross says:

    UPS would have a record of who worked that run that day – it seems like the obvious place to start! Ask which is more important – a quilt or his job?

  38. Krystal Bennett says:

    Has anyone tried to contact a tv source like The Martha Stewart Show or GMA or other morning show to get a large audience notification? UPS is usually very good about deliveries, but I have had boxes left on my door step and in my back yard on occasion. On the off chance that someone either stole or just kept a misdirected box, maybe seeing the story on just what this quilt means to someone might bring it home.

  39. Joanne Bisssonnette says:

    I’m sorry about that. I posted it on my facebook. I,m french and I live in Province Québec .Hope you find it soon!

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Thank you so much for posting to your Facebook! Every re-post helps to spread the word.

  40. Johanna says:

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your quilt. It is truly beautiful. We sent a Christmas present from Northern VA to Boston, MA. It didn’t show up. Tracking said it was delivered, but it was not. We gave up that the gift would ever turn up. Low and behold one year later, the package was received; just in time for Christmas, just a year late. Go figure. Hang in there, it may just show up one day.

    Good Luck,

  41. Kathryn says:

    Has anyone considered that the package was not addressed to the artist/creator of the quilt but to another person and UPS made the delivery to that address? I know this casts dispersion on the magazine and those involved in the photo shoot but…if the shoe fits, wear it. I hope it is found and returned to Janet Atkins.

  42. KnitPurlGurl says:

    How heartbreaking! I can’t even imagine. I sincerely hope it turns up.

  43. Zamiel says:

    I tweeted @UPS and got a very fast reply from their CS dept.

    @zamiel @beCraftsy Has a lost pkg investigation been initiated by the sender? DM/Follow your track #. ^ST cc: @ups

  44. Roy Unger says:

    Everyone should email and snail mail this story to UPS. They won’t like negative publicity. I used to be a shipper and UPS would break a package, and then deliver the wrapping without the contents, because the wrapper had the label. The magazine should write a story and everone send that in to UPS. They might make an effort to locate it instead of using it as a moving blanket

  45. Marilou Shough says:

    We know more than just of piece of you went into such a beautiful work of art. I am praying for its safe return in a supernatural way. Very sorry for such a loss!

  46. ChristaV says:

    I’m sorry for the loss, hope it will find its way back. (retweeted in the Netherlands, you never know)

  47. Chris Oinonen Ehren says:

    I think it is a pity that this isn’t being treated as what it is – an art theft. Has the quilt ever been appraised? I suspect it is worth a lot more than the $5000 and that it may have even been a premeditated theft, not this quilt necessarily, but the driver knew this was a pick up from what magazine, and that there was likely to be a very nice, very valuable quilt in the package. I would think the police should search the driver’s home, and the homes of the driver’s close family and friends, but until they recognize that what has been stolen isn’t a blanket, that it is a valuable piece of art, they aren’t going to take the investigation seriously. Perhaps some of the $5000 should be invested in a private investigator.

  48. Diane Moody says:

    Such a beautiful work of the soul and art. The quilt is truly priceless. If it did make it to Craig’s List or bay, maybe the buyer will come fwd and return it. How did UPS driver explain a pick-up and no-entry in his/her log? Our UPS guy in FL was wonderful about getting deliveries to us and went out of his way to deliver packages after dark.

    Another prayer to St. Anthony!

  49. Denise says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your quilt, and can sympathize with you. I am a needlepoint canvas designer and shipped 4 large boxes of display materials (mostly stitched models) to a trade show several years ago, and one of the boxes “disappeared off the face of the earth”. I insured each one for $600.00, and sadly when I actually calculated the replacement costs of the items that were “lost”, it came to just over $4,000.00, but truly the amount is greater because of the time it really does take to create handwork, just like your beautiful quilt. Of course UPS only reimbursed for the insured amount. I have a relative who has worked for UPS for 20 years and he told me there is a high rate of theft by drivers and loaders. Of course UPS denied this. I hope the outcome of your lost quilt ends better than my experience.
    Best of luck.

  50. Kat Bennett says:

    My husband & I are from The Times Union area originally. I will send this post to as many people as I can. I can only hope you get a lead on it’s location and get it back. My heart is broken for you. That’s a stupendously gorgeous quilt!! Best of luck in your search.

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Thanks so much for helping to spread the word, Kat!

  51. LIBBY ANN OCHOA says:

    MS. JANET,

  52. Linda Hall says:

    I just posted this story on my blog. Let’s all make an effort to get the word out about this! The more people that know about it the more likely it is to be found. Keeping my fingers crossed that this will have a happy ending.

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Thank you so much for posting, we are so hoping to spread the word and get this quilt back home!

  53. Jennifer says:

    I will post this on my Facebook wall….I have apx 800 friends from all over the US & UK….Hope it turns up for you! :)

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Excellent! Thank you so much for posting, it all helps!

  54. Lori says:

    What about the person who mailed it? Why didn’t they get a receipt? If it was insured it surely had one. Everyone was quick to jump on the UPS driver but the sender was responsible too?

    1. Stefanie Japel says:

      Yep, Lori! It’s all part of the mystery. We just don’t know what really happened.

  55. Doris Jaffe says:

    Janet, I understand how you feel. I hand embroidered a very large Belgian Linen table cloth which I worked on for a year and a half. Finished it while watching John Glenn’s rocket ride February 20, 1962 – two days before my son was born. My grandma suggested I have it professionally blocked, which I did. Used it for my son’s first birthday party, and a holiday. Gave it to be dry cleaned. Driver brought it back with big scorch mark in a prominent spot where it could not be covered up. He said he’d take it back and promised “we’ll make it right.” After not seeing Mendenhall Cleaners/Happy Day Cleaners trucks for several weeks, I read in the paper they went into receivership. Never got my table cloth back. I mourned over it for years because it was the first table cloth I ever embroidered and I had an emotional attachment to it. I really understand how devastated you are and pray your quilt is returned to you quickly and in perfect condition.

  56. Cookie says:

    This just breaks my heart. Being a quilter I know what goes into a master piece. I certainly hope that UPS is fully involved in an investigation of the loss of this gorgeous piece of art.

  57. Cookie says:

    I also meant to mention I will post on my FB page and in both of my Yahoo Quilt groups.

  58. Ireland Here says:

    Story spreading fast…will keep a look out on this side of the Atlantic. Good luck. Wishing a speedy return.

  59. Marianne says:

    Posted this terrible loss on myFB page a few days ago. I keep checking here hoping to hear good news. I have made three quilts. Two have very strong sentiments attached to them and I would be devastated to lose them. Although one I gave to someone as a gift and some psycho took a pair of scissors to it. I was able to repair it and up close it looks repaired but I am so happy to still have it. The person I gave it to did not want it back because of the memory of what happened to it. It now resides permanently on my living room couch. My other imortant quilt is posted on this site. I feel for you and hope you get your quilt back soon.

  60. Janet, I am so very sorry for your loss! I am not a quilter, but a crochet designer. Although I can never compare my work to yours…. mine did not take 4 years of dedication and hard work as yours did. However, last week, I received some similar and painful news from my publisher. The samples I had crocheted for my first ever pattern book and were in possession of the technical editor had been gone missing, and possibly even trashed (!). I was devastated too. This was my first ever book, it has become a best seller, and I wanted to have those samples as a memento.

    My publishing house was very sympathetic and offered to pay me for the samples. The gesture and ethics were indeed welcomed, but still it hurts to know that those originals which gave me so much joy and proud to crochet are now nowhere to be found.

    I’m originally from Brazil and we have a saying there that I don’t know how to translate into English, but literally it’s something on the lines of “The rings may be taken away from me, but the fingers will remain mine…”. What this means is that although we might have a great material loss of valuable items that we produced… we still have the hands, the skills, and the talent to recreate them, or make something even better.

    The loss of your beautiful, work of art quilt is indeed painful. I am so very touched by how your community of crafters and especially how Craftsy is offering a reward for your work! Hopefully this channel created by Craftsy will help consoling you a bit during this difficult times.

    I wish you the best and that your work of art comes back to your hands once again.

    Lianka Azulay
    Bonita Patterns

  61. Mary Deforge says:

    Dear Janet, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your Beautiful Quilt. I can’t imagine how this must feel to you for having this quilt in your hands for four years with needle and thread and making it all by hand. Then to have it go missing and not knowing if you will ever see it again. I do hope you get your Beautiful Quilt back soon. I will post this on my Facebook and in emails in hope of helping spread the word of your lost quilt.

  62. Anetria Bowers says:

    I’d be interesting in knowing what UPS says and does about this problem…..quilters use them too much for word to really spread about the loss. Will certainly keep our eyes open in St. Croix….

  63. Jane Newman says:

    Your terrible loss breaks my heart…it is like the “Holy Grail” of textile arts! I do truly hope it comes to light someday & if so it should be in a safely guarded museum where many may appreciate your gifts.

  64. Brenda says:

    It’s so sad that someone would have the audacity to steal something so beautiful. I truly hope that it will be found and returned to you, in the same condition as it was in. You made a work-of-art, and I know how much of ourselves we put into our creations. I’ll be praying for you and the return of your beautiful quilt.

  65. sonya hyde says:

    I posted the pic and story on my facebook page hope it helps I have close to 900 friends on my page so thought it was worth a shot! good luck to her and never give up hope!

  66. Carylanne says:

    I have reposted this on Caryls Creations FB page. I am sickened by this report, & pray that it is just lost and not stolen.

  67. Zem says:

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  68. Millieannie says:

    If the package was not scanned, it seems the driver must have known what he was picking up. They always scan any packages upon pickup. Someone knew what this was. So what if they have to hide it. They have a beautiful quilt for their use.

  69. Kim A Boring says:

    I also lost a quilt, I made for my neice, also hand quilted, not near this beautiful…but it is so sad. It fell off the car when my sister was taking her to college coming through Denver during a rainstorm, she switched the luggage that held the quilt & clothes. Never again will I make something like that for anyone….too much of your life goes into it….we ran newspaper ads offering a reward…& I posted it on a lost quilt website, nothing….why would anyone want a quilt that is so personal, it had all kinds of family pictures & her name etc??? Stupid…the one consolation….we reap what we sow in this life….the person that stole it, will get his…if not now then later….

  70. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually realize what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally talk over with my website =). We can have a hyperlink trade arrangement among us

  71. Minister Arub A. Tyson says:

    Greetings, I am so very sorry that someone would do such a thing. I mostly sew, however I do make quilts for my grandchildren and for myself. I truly pray that who ever has taken your quilt will realize this horrible wrong and return your property undamaged and back to you. You are in my prayers as well as the quilts safe return. Blessings for peace and ease of mind and spirit,

    Minister Arub Tyson

  72. Lavon White says:

    This is so unbelievable, and I am very sorry. Hopefully your quilt will soon be returned to you. I am posting your quilt picture and info. on my face book site. What a great way to spread word of its’ disappearance.

  73. I hope you find your quilt! My mother in law had a similar problem.. and it was never found.