NEWPORT — Judy Anderson, owner of Coyote Creek Fabrics & Finery in South Beach, thinks a quilt thief might be going around the Pacific Northwest helping themselves to high-end quilts at various quilting shops.
“This one was $175,” Anderson said of the quilt stolen from her shop July 21. “They may have stolen other things, but I haven’t noticed anything else missing.”
Anderson’s beach-themed quilt wasn’t the only piece of merchandise to go missing from quilt shops on the coast in the last couple of weeks. A quilt priced over $1,000 vanished from a quilt shop in Tillamook, Jane’s Fabric Patch, and while Anderson thinks it might be the same person to steal both quilts, she doesn’t have a clue who it could be.
“There’s a lot of extra people in town, especially this time of year,” Anderson said. “It’s a shame, because it wasn’t that they needed it. They’re obviously doing it for the fun or something.”
With at least one valuable quilt being stolen on the central coast and reports of similar thefts in other parts of the state, Anderson hopes to warn merchants and quilters in the region to be on the lookout for their merchandise and keep an eye on their shops.
“Hopefully we destroyed their quilting theft days,” Anderson said.
The quilt that was stolen from Coyote Creek Fabrics & Finery was 56 inches by 43 inches, and was priced to reflect not only the fabric and materials in the quilt itself, but also the labor of the quilter. Piecing a quilt together can take a lot of time, and most of the cost of the quilt reflects the processing of the materials that go into it.
“I don’t know if they [the thief] knows anything about quilts,” Anderson said. “It takes many, many hours to have that one done.”
Anderson said it’s very unusual to see theft in the quilting world, since most in the community are not the stealing types.
“It’s highly unusual,” Anderson said. “In the quilt world, we usually have pretty honest people.”
The shop filed a report with the Newport Police Department, and as of Tuesday afternoon, officers from the Newport Police Department couldn’t comment on the case.