Diana Reese doesn’t remember much about her grandmother, Ruth.
Ruth died when Reese was nine years old, but Reesse was able to keep a physical token of her memory alive with a hand-sewn quilt her grandmother left her.
“She cleaned houses during the day and came home in the evening and embroidered,” Reese recalled.
The quilt was robin egg’s blue and white, with squares depicting all 50 state flowers and their names embroidered on each patch.
Now, Reese is on the hunt for her grandmother’s treasured gift, which she says was accidentally donated last month to City Thrift at Shannon Valley Shopping Center in Overland Park.
“It’s extremely precious, it’s one of the things I would grab if the house were on fire, if I had time to grab anything,” Reese said. “I am heartbroken. There are worse things that could happen for sure, but I am really sad that it has been lost.”
A $500 reward
Reese was afraid the quilt might have accidentally ended up in the pile of items destined for City Thrift at Shannon Valley in Overland Park. When she visited the store, an employee verified that she remembered the quilt and was surprised anyone would donate something so “precious.”
Once she realized the quilt was missing, she began trying to think of ways to find it.
Complicating her search was the fact that she couldn’t find any pictures of the quilt until earlier this month.
After thumbing through “tons of loose pictures,” she turned up some old shots of the quilt in an old family album that were taken two decades ago.
Before discovering the pictures, she had also bought a similar-looking quilt for $250 on eBay and made flyers with pictures of that look-alike quilt asking folks to keep an eye out for the real thing.
She posted the message on social media and contacted the thrift store to explain the problem.
The store’s response
A City Thrift store manager told the Post the store is doing all they can to help find the quilt, including putting one of Reese’s flyers near the register.
There’s no way to track the quilt or confirm if it was indeed donated to the store, the manager said. Oftentimes, items are donated by people who don’t request invoices.
After reaching out to several quilt groups in the Kansas City area, Reese said someone suggested she simply commission a quilter to replace it. But Reese said she doesn’t want a replica because it won’t have the same sentimental value.
She wants the quilt her grandma made.
“She died when I was so young, and I don’t really have many memories of her,” Reese said. “I know she loved me, and I know she made this beautiful quilt for me, and I would like to have it back because I’d like to pass it on to my kids.”
Those who have information about the quilt can contact Reese at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is offering a $500 reward for its return.