Missing: One Quilt

comments: 17

Quilt Ah, Saturday morning. I think the hubby is going to work for me today at the shop. Thank you, sweetie. I've turned into a snot-nosed pumpkinhead. I know there's no such thing as a Big Gulp of Airborne, but that's all I really want. Oh, and this quilt would be nice to sit on the couch with as I moan annoyingly. Alas, it is no longer mine.

I took this picture on regular film six years ago, shortly after we moved into our little house. I made this quilt for our new bedroom, the first one I'd made in years and years. In college I made quilts all the time, and I always enjoyed it. I picked out these fabrics with my friend Pam, who I went to college with, and who likes to make quilts, too. She was visiting me in the new house. I think she picked out fabrics for her own quilt that weekend, too. Pam has great taste, edgier than mine. I see her influence here and I love that.

Our room was mint green then. I loved making this quilt. I didn't love making the ruffle, which went all the way around it and took forever to hem and gather, and then get on there. I think I had everything put together but just hadn't quilted or tied the top when I left on my train tour of the West Coast. In the fall of 2000 I took the train from Portland to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Phoenix by myself, just to visit friends along the way, for about a month. I took the quilt with me, intending to tie it on the train. Well, that didn't happen. Nevertheless, it was great to have it with me. I had a sleeper car all to myself and snuggled every night under my quilt with my books and my little reading light, the ocean flashing outside.

The return trip, from Phoenix to Portland, was long; I was ready to be off the train the minute I stepped onto it. I was missing Andy terribly, when all of a sudden, I looked out the window as we sat in the Santa Barbara station, and there he was! He was getting on the train! I was completely shocked. Unbeknownst to me, he had arranged to fly to L.A., stay with a friend overnight, and get on my train as it left L.A. early the next morning. Unfortunately, however, there was a sink hole that rerouted us by bus to Santa Barbara. We were on different buses from L.A. to S.B., but luckily, the train was waiting in S.B., and as I sat once again in my little private room, relieved to be on the rails again, there was Andy on the platform, carrying his little suitcase. Oh, joy!

Oh it was fun! We played cards and ate in the dining car and avoided other passengers and read and watched scenery. I had taken the train many, many times, all over the country, but had rarely traveled with him that way. By the time we reached Portland a couple days later, however, I was soooo ready to be home. I was a sack of potatoes. All through my trip I had managed my own stuff according to my little travel-inventory system: Suitcase -- check. Backpack -- check. Quilt -- check. Well, when Andy arrived, it was like I completely fell apart and forgot about my little travel-inventory system. That night as I climbed happily in to my own bed, I looked down at my covers. No quilt. Ohmigod! Where was it? With our stuff, downstairs awaiting the washing machine? Nope. In the Portland train station? Nope. Called Amtrak -- we knew exactly which car we had been traveling in, our porter's name, etc. The quilt was left behind a pillow. Did they have it? NOPE. We never got it back.

Aren't I stupid? Man. Someone out there has my quilt. I hope they love it as much as I did. If you see it, make a citizen's arrest. Though I suppose at this point it would be a case of finders keepers. Anyway, I miss my quilt. I made another one shortly after but I never really liked it.


I read five lines into your post and felt a pit in my stomach. Oh God, the quilt was left on the train! And, alas, it was. All that work! But now you've immortalized it even more than it was before. It probably doesn't help for me to tell you that it is one amazingly beautiful quilt.

I think I may have seen it...for sale in "The Land of Nod". Nah, their's wasn't as pretty.

Feel better, Peter swears by "Emergen- C" which is some sort of vitamin booster powder he mixes in with orange juice.

I never, ever, thought it would be useful or appropriate for me to know about the website I'm about to refer you to: http://www.lostquilt.com/

Isn't life (and memory) strange sometimes?

oh my god! that just makes my heart ache. all that hard work lost. at least you do have this photo to remember it.

OMG that's horrible. That quilt was so gorgeous. :( On the other hand, I bet it was nice to spend time with your husband without having to think about anything! But, yes, such a sad loss, still.

Oh that is heartbreaking! So much work and love - whoever found it should have known that and given it back. That is just sad! But I like the part where you guys got to travel back together. I think my hubby and I could use a weekend like that.

Oh Man!! I knew that was coming. That was a beautiful quilt, sniff. Hope you are well very soon!

Oh that's such a shame! What a beautiful quilt it was. And shame on whoever kept it (although it is understandable that they would want to!).
Hope you feel better soon.

I'm so sorry to hear about your quilt. And I hope you get better soon!

i am so sorry about your quilt! i enjoyed your story about the train trip. i am afraid to fly as well and have always wanted to take a long train trip someday. any suggestions?...and is it hard to be in a little room for days at a time??

Oh, that is so sad. I heard a similar story one time, although it was about a book. Later, much later in life, the person happened to run into the reader that took their book and heard an amazing story about how it changed their life. :) Maybe your quilt has the same story... well, us dreamers can meditate on that and feel better about the hand that life deals. :) Feel better soon. :)

I'm reading and reading this entry and thinking, "oh please no, don't let her say it...oh please no." How heartbreaking. I'm glad you saved a photo, and even happier you shared it.

Thank you for sharing this story! I have a feeling thereĀ“s a meaning in these kinds of incidents, or maybe I just want to believe it :) Get well soon!

Oh, this is the quilt we discussed before? How sad? Yes, it's lovely. I hope you'll make another one that is as beautiful! Meanwhile, I still haven't mailed your package, and I'm missing yet another box in the mail... Boo hoo!

That's so heartbreaking! I made a really great teddy bear in college and left it in storage at a friend's house for a summer break and never saw it again :o( I can only hope that a cute little kid somehow ended up with him and became his best friend.

Oh no! That's just too sad. I've also lost many a treasured item to trains (most recently: my nice black scarf from Harrods, and I can't bring myself to go back there to buy another), but never something I'd spent so much time and energy on.

I bet whoever found it treasures it and can't believe their good luck! (But they should have turned it in to lost and found.)

Oh..this post makes my stomach hurt. I can only hope that someone that really needed it found it and is warm..

oh dear! how awful. at least you can be sure wherever it ended up it is much loved because it is so beautiful. but ouch, what a loss. you're making me worry about Oscar taking his beloved Kanga out with him everywhere he goes. I dread the day we leave her on the train.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.