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Should I Have My Quilt Appraised?

Summary

Written appraisals are required to enter many quilt shows, but for the average quilter, what is the value of a quilt appraisal?

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Should I Have My Quilt Appraised?

Written appraisals are required if you are going to send your quilt to an on-the-road quilt show or one of the major national shows but for the average quilter, what is the value of a quilt appraisal?

Should I Have My Quilt appraised?

 

"If you don't have a written appraisal and something happens to the quilt, your insurance will only give you the cost of a blanket from a big box store." We've all heard this statement when planning for a quilt show that will offer the services of a certified appraiser. Generally, this is true.

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But my first experience with a quilt appraiser was so much more! The appraiser asked so many good questions about my quilt. It really made me think that I should probably be recording some of this information even if I don't plan to have a certain quilt appraised. For example, she asked what batting was used in the quilt. Over time, this would be helpful to know.

 

She also asked about the origin of the fabric and KNEW when I wasn't complete in my answer. She told me that some of the fabric was older than what I had purchased. Oh yeah, some of it came from my mother's stash. I forgot about that.

 

Here are some things that you might not know about appraisals that might be helpful to you.

  • There are standards that quilt appraisers follow. Quilt appraisers are well educated and are certified by professional organizations. If you are curious, you can research this information.
  • Be aware that a retail associate at an antique store is probably not certified. Also, if the person offers to purchase the quilt, you most likely aren't dealing with a certified appraiser as this violates their ethics.
  • The appraiser will need to see the quilt in person. A photograph will not tell the appraiser enough about the fabric and the workmanship.
  • There is more than one way to appraise a quilt. Just as in real estate, some are valued at the fair market price. That means the value assigned is the same as that for which a similar quilt has sold. This method means that you may be able to purchase a similar item for the specified amount. The comparable quilts would be similar in pattern and fabric. These quilts may not appraise for as much as the owner might wish, but certainly more than a big box store blanket.
  • Fair market value is the only method available for vintage and antique quilts.
  • Another method is reconstruction of a similar quilt. This method might be used when a quilt is unique in idea, construction, etc. These quilts generally have no market equivalent and might appraise at a higher value than expected. Labor-intensive design elements used in reconstruction would increase the replacement price.
  • Due to the above, an appraisal should be done every three to five years. Let's face it, times change.
  • A history of quilt sales by a quilter would also be taken into consideration. Sales receipts for such sales should be given to the appraiser.
  • A complete description of the quilt, including photographs, measurements, and the appraiser's workmanship comments are included with the appraisal.

 

Today's Internet feed contained a photo of a quilt recovered after the tornadoes in Tennessee. Luckily, the quilt was in pristine condition. The finders are trying to return the quilt to the rightful owner. An appraisal document would most certainly establish the ownership of such a treasure.

 

Asking the question, "Should you have your quilt appraised?" The answer is:

What if your children found your great grandmother's quilt carefully stored in your attic? Would they value it? Would they treat if differently if a certified appraisal statement was packed with it? I think we know the answer is, "Yes!"

 

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Glossary

Batting
The layer in the middle of a quilt sandwich between the Top and Backing layers consisting of wool, polyester, blends, silk, or cotton.

Same As: Stuffing, Filling, Wadding, Filler
Stash
A quilter's personal collection of fabrics. Buying more fabric is adding to your stash.
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