QUILT CORNER: Of course your quilt is special -- but how much is it worth?
By the Quilt Lady: Billie Ruth Standbridge 

Aug. 20, 2006 -- The worth of a quilt to most quilters would be in the eyes of the beholder. If you had been the fortunate recipient of your great-grandmother’s Wedding Ring quilt made in the late 1800s, what could that possibly be worth? Obviously, if anything happened to it, it’s irreplaceable, regardless of how it might financially be valued. As insurance people have told us, the emotional, historic value of a special quilt to you does not necessarily translate to increased value for insurance purposes. 

My attention was drawn to an article, “Insuring Your Quilts,” in the October 2006 issue of McCalls Quilting, which focuses on the importance of having quilts appraised. Authors Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan felt compelled to bring attention to this issue at this time because of the many natural disasters occurring around our country the past few years. But it doesn’t have to be a natural disaster. I remember a friend telling me about the damage to her quilts, which were stacked in the bottom of a closet and a pipe burst. 

In terms of getting my quilt(s) appraised, how exactly is this going to affect me? The following are some circumstances that would bring up the need of appraisals: 

Let's say you were taking a quilt to the Post Office to mail it to enter into a show and you tell them that you want to insure it. 

Without proof that your quilt is valued at more than $200, that will be the maximum amount for which you can insure it. If you have quilts damaged by fire, water, smoke, flooding, theft, or by any means beyond your control, and you take your problem to your insurance agent, but without proof of its value, it is worth no more than replacement of fabric. That replacement might be nothing more than going to WalMart and replacing it with a blanket.

But what about your homeowners insurance? Couldn’t it be adequately covered by that? Without proof, it will be nothing more than $250. If your quilts are listed among the unscheduled items, with such things as jewels and furs, you are covered customarily for no more than $500. You can secure a rider coverage, but again you must have a professional appraisal.

 Another reason you might want to validate a quilt’s value is if you want to sell it, or maybe you’ve even considered donating it to a cause or to a museum, in which case that could substantiate a tax deduction. 

For a non-quilter, the general public or a representative of a company, there is no way that they could begin to understand the time and money that is put into completing a quilt. The fabric alone could easily be between $200 and $300, and many a quilter spends more than that. Counting the creative planning, choosing fabric and hand quilting, there would absolutely be no fewer than 200 hours. If the quilter were compensated at minimum wage, (what a shame!) you can begin to see how much is invested in completing a quilt. 

Probably a common question that you might have would be: “While I can see the value of appraising, how would I go about doing this?"  

While I’ve written about the value of appraising in the past, it’s not every day that a certified quilt appraiser is available to us. Well, as you all know, the Fall Festival quilt Show is just around the corner, Sept. 15-16, and we are so fortunate -- our quilt show judge this year is Lisa Erlandson, an AQS (American Quilt Society) Certified Quilted Textile Appraiser. She will be available to anybody who wishes to get quilts appraised during our show on Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at $30 per quilt.

Each appraisal is accompanied with a written appraisal certificate that is acceptable to insurers. Appraisals will need to be set up by appointment and will be available only on the 15th unless there is a need to carry over to the 16th. Walk-ins are acceptable, if time is available. For setting up appointments, Lisa may be reached at 1-940-668-6758 or lisa@lequilts.com. Payment can be made directly to Lisa at the time of the appraisal. If for any reason you cannot reach her, call Billie Ruth at 903-439-0862. 

We are so fortunate to have this service available to us. Let's take advantage of it. 

Lisa would like for you to bring, along with the quilt(s), all the information you have about the quilt: maker and date made (if known), any awards it might have won, together with any other information you have about the quilt.

If you have any other questions about the appraisals or the show, please call Billie Ruth.  

Members, as you know, your attendance at the upcoming guild meeting is very important, since that is our last planning meeting before the show.  

See you there!

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