If there was a Quilt Police™…
What would his purpose be?
What would he look like?
Would he a good guy or a bad guy?
These questions can be answered by designer Linda Everhart. Linda shares her story so that others can travel safely.
Three days before Linda’s first Quilt Market, her husband bought a van so she could travel without breakdowns. On the return trip from the exciting, wonderful quilt show in Houston, 2002, she and her friends Amy and Dorothy spent the night at a hotel in Dallas. With the van loaded and dreams of making a future quilting business, no one could predict what was going to happen — the next morning her vehicle was not there. It had been stolen!
The van held Linda’s sewing machine, 16 wall quilts, her digital camera, checks, money, clothes, Amy’s quilt and luggage, plus much more. Two years of hard work disappeared overnight.
“It seemed unreal!” Linda remembers. “How were we going to get home? Gone were my featured quilts from the Simply Quilts show, which left my heart broken as these treasures were going to be passed down to my kids. I had programs scheduled but no quilts to show! What was I going to do?”
Linda decided to rebuild and be an example of how to survive when life suddenly takes challenging swerves and curves.
“Five days later, my van was found damaged and empty, except for a piece of white fabric,” said Linda. “Blessings and encouragement from friends poured in and I began remaking quilts. The whole time, I kept thinking that I need a Quilt Police™ to protect my quilts from this day forth! Some quilters have guardian angels, but I wanted a Quilt Police™!”
“Take the pieces left and begin again” was Linda’s motto. White fabric from the van became the white gloves for Mister Quilt Police™ and they became Linda’s symbol to attend quilt shows again. Her idea turned into a quirky character with a feather in his hat, bolt of fabric, scissors, spool of thread, buttons and thimble, complete with an attitude indeed!
”He was born in a quilt pattern, but has grown into pins and embroidered shirts,” said Linda. “He’s guaranteed to be a good laugh in a bad situation!”
Linda said she is pleased to have the opportunity to share her story to prevent this from happening to others. Her desire is to build safety awareness when traveling to shows.
“Ideas that help each of us to stay safe are encouraged,” said Linda. “I checked into a nice hotel, parked under a light, and made sure no one was around when I got out of my van. When I parked at this hotel, security was cruising the parking lot.”
These were good safety measures, but what else could Linda have done for safe travel? She shares this advice, “Money! Because show hours are the same as banking hours, I struggled with what to do. After the fact, I was given great ideas on handling cash. I now know not to leave money in my van! People have keys to hotel rooms, so that is not the best solution either. The best suggestion I heard was to turn money into a money order at a grocery store. Money orders can be mailed home or to a bank. Other advice was to minimize volume for cash. Pay off in ones to eliminate bulk in bills. This makes it easier to tuck money away. And, don’t flash your cash! Checks can be copied, endorsed ‘Deposit Only’ to your account, and mailed. If you are fearful, don’t put all your checks in the same envelope. These tips will allow you to maintain a low profile with your cash.”
Another lesson Linda earned: DO NOT LEAVE QUILTS IN VEHICLES!
“If I had heard all the heartbreaking stories before this distressing experience, my quilts would have been with me,” she said. “Don’t assume your quilts have no value. Ask yourself, ‘Do I want to chance remaking them?’”
Additionally, Linda said if you walk to your vehicle in an unfamiliar area, you should have a friend with you. Do a visual people alert, beware when citizens are around you, and keep a good clutch on your purse.
“Since this has happened I have learned of options for vehicle alarms,” Linda noted. “Check car alarms and see if they meet your needs. Know your license plate number or have it written down so you can obtain it if needed, and have a record of your vehicle VIN number.”
Thinking back on her experience Linda said she made a mistake by leaving her quilts in her van, and she wants others to learn from her experience.
“I encourage people to share safety tips that are helpful to them,” she said. “And I pray the insights I’ve shared with you will protect you in your adventures. The next time you see or think Quilt Police™, put safety first. And, may your quilts be passed to future generations!”