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When to get your Quilt appraised

Have you ever made a beautiful quilt that you were so proud of and wondered how much it was worth? I have, and I bet you have too!


Back when I owned my shop I brought in Carol Butzke, a quilt appraiser, for a few events we were doing. She was booked for the entire day each time. She provided a written appraisal and description and photos of each quilt. It was nice to have so many quilts documented. It’s also IMPORTANT to have your quilts documented.


Most of the time our quilts can be finished with a label on the back that includes:

1. Name of the maker

2. Date of completion

3. Name of the recipient

4. Purpose of the creation of the quilt (optional)


I don’t have every quilt I make appraised, but I have had an appraisal for a number of them. There are times that we want a valuation. Sometimes it is because there is something extra special included on the quilt - embroidery, hand appliqué, hand quilting, one of kind quilt, special fabric…these are some things that may make you to want to have an appraisal. But there are other reasons and information that may surprise you.


Special Occasions

Years ago, I made a quilt for my then-sister-in-law and her husband. They had gotten married and I had been collecting fabric for a king-sized quilt for them for years (yes, 6 years!) It was a version of the wedding ring block but it was constructed by paper-piecing. I worked on that quilt for over a year and I used hundreds of different fabrics. I thought it was beautiful. I had never made anything quite like it. Since this was a wedding gift, I decided to have it appraised. (I also wanted it appraised because if she knew the value of it, she might keep her big dog off of it!) When I wrapped it up, I included a copy of the appraisal.


Shipping or displaying at a show

Over the years I have had to ship some of my larger quilts to trunk shows or to various places. When I do that, I have my quilt appraised. That way I have a record of it if it gets damaged or lost. There are companies that will insure quilts.


Antique Quilts

Many of us feel it's important to have antique quilts appraised. It is really surprising what you can learn about your quilt. An appraiser can often tell you the approximate dates from the fabrics or block designs that are used in the quilt. If the quilt is a family heirloom it is great to have it documented for future generations. If there is any label on the quilt it is especially helpful for the provenance. This history may make it a quilt that a museum may desire. (Be sure to store it in a way that won’t allow its condition to deteriorate.) My grandmother made quilts that were backed with flour sacks. This was done during the depression since fabric was costly.


Contemporary Quilts

Contemporary quilts typically have a higher fair market value than antique quilts. This is partly because the fabrics can be identified and the costs are determined based on current pricing. If your quilt is an art quilt or a One-of-a-Kind it should be appraised. If it is insured, you can place a claim if they are damaged or destroyed - as long as you have the rider for the quilt, similar to a piece of art.


Donating a Quilt

If you ever donate a quilt, some organizations will require an appraisal - for their own records. It's also good to know what they should be getting for your quilt!


How do you find a Quilt Appraiser?

Google American Quilter’s Society (AQS) and look for appraisers in your area. Appraisals are about $50-$60/quilt and should be done by a Certified Quilt Appraiser. There is an evaluation done with a written description and photos of the quilt. You will be given a fair market value for your quilt. This is what it would take to purchase the fabric and have it created by someone with similar skills. If you have a local quilt shop - ask if they have a quilt appraisal event.


Please let me know about quilts you have had appraised and why - I always love to hear!


Quilt with joy!

Caroline




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