What to expect at a quilt appraisal

Why should I get my quilt appraised?

A quilt appraisal provides you with a document that accurately describes the quilt, evaluates its workmanship, and provides a value for like and kind replacement of the quilt.

Many people get appraisals so they can obtain the replacement value from an insurance company if the quilt is damaged or stolen.  For this reason, a copy of the appraisal should be kept with valuables and provided to the carrier of your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Another reason that people seek an appraisal is to determine the fair market value of the quilt in order to sell it.  Keep in mind that you may not be able to sell the quilt for the fair market value, as interested buyers or collectors may want to get it discounted in order to resell the quilt themselves. However knowing the fair market value gives you an idea of the worth of the quilt.

If you are considering donating a quilt for a raffle or to benefit a tax-exempt organization, an appraisal must be done in advance so that you can deduct the value of the quilt on your tax return.

While all of the above are compelling reasons to have an appraisal performed on your quilted textile, another reason is simply to have someone with expertise tell you more about your quilt.  The appraisal includes information on the time period in which the quilt was likely made, construction techniques, and expert opinion on the skill level of the quilt maker.

It may come as a surprise that the value of a quilt that you made may be higher than the value of a prized antique quilt. That is because the value is determined by the cost of having the newer quilt remade, as opposed to the cost of finding a similar quilt in the marketplace.

What Can I Expect at an Appraisal?

My goal is to prepare a professional written appraisal of your quilt following the guidelines of the American Quilters Society of Paducah, Kentucky.

I will take some pictures of the quilt for my records to accompany my copy of the appraisal.  All information and photographs are kept confidential.  They are not shared with anyone unless the quilt owner so directs.

Bring any information that you have about the quilt maker or history of the quilt to the appraisal.  The information that you bring to an appraisal can include any information or history of the quilt including provenance, awards, where the quilt has been displayed, records on costs of materials used or records of sales of comparable items by the quilt maker.  It is all right if you do not have anything but the quilt to bring!   By the way, “provenance” is the term for information about who made the quilt and/or where it was made or purchased.

You will leave the appraisal session which lasts from 30 to 40 minutes with a completed and signed appraisal form.  The only exception would be if I wanted to do further research on comparable values for your quilt. In that case, I will mail the client the completed appraisal within two weeks.

Payment for services is expected at the end of the appraisal and before my signature is affixed to the appraisal form.  My qualifications will be attached to the appraisal.  A receipt can be provided upon request.

My fee for one quilt appraisal is $45.00, and I will provide a small discount for appraising more than 3 quilts.

What does American Quilters Society Certification mean?

The American Quilter’s Society offers the only recognized Certification Program in the country for appraisers of quilted textiles.  Insurance companies rely on appraisal values furnished by AQS Certified Appraisers.  Collectors base some of their purchase decisions on the value placed upon a given quilt by AQS Certified Appraisers.  AQS Appraisers are required to maintain their skill level and undergo re-certification every three years.

AQS notified me of my status as an AQS Certified Appraiser in May 2013.  See the list of AQS  certified quilt appraisers at  www.americanquilter.com/about_aqs/appraisers.php.

See my professional qualifications statement for more information about me.

Cleaning and Care of Your Quilt

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions about the proper storage and care for your quilt.  A few basics are important to know.  Never store your quilts on wood surfaces or in cedar chests, do not store them in plastic bags, and never leave a treasured quilt in direct sunlight which can fade the quilt’s colors.  It is best to never fold a quilt in half for storage purposes – I have seen so many quilts with a middle crease that can never be removed.  It is best to gently fold a quilt in thirds and refold it in different ways every few months.  Cover or protect your quilt using clean white cotton sheets or museum quality unbuffered acid-free tissue paper.  More details about storage and care are contained in The AQS Guide to Quilt Care.

I recommend The AQS Guide to Quilt Care which is available for $9.95 from the American Quilters Society, P.O. Box 3290, Paducah, Kentucky  42002-3290.

One thought on “What to expect at a quilt appraisal

  1. I have two quilts that I would like appraised I live in Alamogordo but have a relative in Silver City so could make a trip come spring Please llet me know your availability in April Thank you Jean

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