It was pretty scary for Melissa Sobotka when her award-winning quilt, Silk Road Sampler, didn't return home from Houston as planned. After many anxious hours, it was finally discovered in Michigan.

Star Members will be able to watch Melissa when she comes to TQS in April, 2017.

We just got some great information from Nancy Prince (another Houston Best of Show Winner) on a better option for tracking your quilts. Here's what she has to say:

(NOTE: We are going to keep looking into the problem and will update if new solutions are found.)

The Tile Mate works on Blue tooth technology and the app on the quilt owner’s cell phone has to be within 30 feet of the Tile Mate device for it to work. Basically the device emits a sound once the cell phone is within 30 feet. So if the quilt is on a FedEx truck or at a distribution center, the Tile Mate cannot notify the owner of its location. There is always that outside chance if the quilt is in a distribution enter or on a truck that someone could walk buy that has the app and possibly notify the owner, but this is a long shot at best. I am always on the lookout for a smaller device to track my quilt so I forwarded the Quilt Show link to my husband, Techie Tom, and he gave me the above information.
For my quilt "On This Winter Day" I do have a tracker in it. My quilt is rolled on a 4” PVC” tube and my husband bought me a product called Spot Trace. The device is secured inside the PVC tube. Spot Trace is a bit pricey - $100 but you can get them on sale for $50 – but effective. Now the device is too large to sew into the quilt so I can only track the quilt when it is in route. But I figured that the biggest chance for the quilt to get lost is on the road and not at the venue where it will be hanging. Does it protect the quilt 100%? No, but enough for me so I know where it is all the times on the road. The device can be set to alert me (you can determine the time between alerts) on a regular basis so I know where it is. I can even see the FedEx truck on the road – bit spooky but at least I know where it is. The device does run on batteries so I always make sure that it starts out on a trip with new ones. The more alerts you have the faster the battery will run out. So we have set the alerts so that the batteries in the device will last about a month. There is a yearly subscription fee but I feel the cost of that and the device are well worth the price to protect my quilts while they are on the road. Obviously if the quilt is not on a PVC or cardboard roll, the device cannot be used.

#22 Kat 2016-12-31 13:58
I have no advice about how to track your quilt. I just want to say that I'm sooo grateful this lovely quilt was found and returned to you. I saw it at the Houston Quilt Festival and it was truly amazing! Whew! Glad you got it back.
#21 Norrie 2016-12-10 09:42
My Son-in-Law works in IT Security and suggests inserting a chip into the quit binding that contains all your information--mu ch the same as chips are used for cats and dogs to locate their owners.
#20 CynthiaFromCA 2016-12-05 03:09
o suefromkansas -- I've heard from reputable sources that it doesn't matter what you insured it for, the Post Office will only reimburse for the cost of materials of your "blanket".
#19 CynthiaFromCA 2016-12-05 02:22
to suefromkansas -- I've heard from reputable sources that it doesn't matter what you insured it for, the Post Office will only reimburse for the cost of materials of your "blanket".
#18 Foxgyreutk 2016-12-03 10:10
What technology is used in a cell phone chip that allows the closest cell tower to locate the phone? If the chip is in a cell phone it can't be very big and it has to be durable. These quilts are, in general, never washed; so, short of a catastrophic event, they should survive.
#17 runzwithscissors 2016-12-02 13:49
So glad this wonderful quilt was found. Another consideration for this situation: Many major shows will not reuse the packaging that was sent with a quilt, (Such as The Houston Show). A device inside of a rolling tube may not be included with the returned quilt. It really would be best if there were a way to embed a long-range effective tracker IN the quilt.
#16 JoybyRobin 2016-12-02 13:38
These 2 products don't appear to be good suggestions for quilts. The one is too large for a quilt and the other ineffective. Per my EE husband, the signal in a warehouse would NEVER be found. There has to be a better product for your quilt than either of these!
#15 Dot 2016-12-02 11:37
Tile uses Bluetooth, which is good only at short ranges. Items have to be within 300 feet from you (or even closer, depending on the version of Bluetooth that Tile uses). Even if you used the "Tile Community", you'd have to have someone else with the Tile app on their phone, who was near the lost item, to find it and report it. My husband has short term memory problems, and uses Tiles to find his keys and his pillbox. It's great for that, but the lost items are never far away.
#14 Naomi U 2016-12-02 11:06
The tile can be used from a cell phone or a laptop

When a tile is out of range one can set to a mode which engages anyone with a tile (anywhere in the world) to see if it picks up your missing item...an example on their website shows a bicycle being stolen and sold and traveling across the country, every time it gets near ANY tile the owner receives a location update
#13 Ann 2016-12-02 11:04
Same question as from Lori #5. How far is the tracking range? I can see using these for seniors with Alzheimers and for children walking to and from school, etc. and also for pets that wander away or are stolen. We can track terrorists from a satellite so why can't we track our missing quilts, cars, loved ones. I would love to know more about this.
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