When to Get a Quilt Appraisal

Appraisals may be needed for the following circumstances:

Secure Insurance Coverage:

To set a value in order to protect new and old quilts in case of fire, damage, or theft. (Check with your insurance agent about the coverage you’ll need.)

Many insurance adjusters are not knowledgeable about the value of quilts and will rely on an appraisal by a certified appraiser to substantiate the value of the piece.

Making Donations:

To determine the value of the personal property for which tax deductions will be taken. Donations are always appraised at fair market value.  Always consult a tax professional for tax advice.

If “gifting” someone with a quilt on a special occasion, you may find an appraisal a valuable addition. (Folks are amazed you can make something valuable!)

Settle an estate:

To determine value upon the death of the quilt owner.

To determine value in a divorce settlement.

Ship a quilt or enter a contest:

To establish value for shipping and show insurance.

Claiming insured value on a shipper’s form doesn’t guarantee reimbursement.

Insurance adjusters usually want proof of value and will not accept self-appraisals.

Selling a Quilt:

To determine Market Value based on sales of comparable items.


Sometimes you may just want to know the quilt pattern, date, and other information an appraiser can tell you about your quilt.

NOTE:  Appraisals cannot put a dollar amount on sentimental value. That value is PRICELESS!


The Written Quilt Appraisal

Eye Popper 2002, by Carlene Buck

Is a written document prepared by a certified appraiser offering an unbiased opinion of value along with documentation to support the appraiser’s conclusion.

Determines the Purpose of the appraisal such as insurance, donation, or sale.

Utilizes the most appropriate valuation which is either cost to reproduce or comparable sales.

Requires a physical inspection of the item being considered.

Appraises antique, vintage, newly made (traditional and contemporary) and art quilts and quilted garments for owners, makers, and exhibitors privately or at venues such as quilt shows

Qualified Appraisers

1940 Double Wedding Ring
maker “unknown” from Marion, KY
Sandy Schweitzer, owner

PAAQT appraisers have a concentrated focus on quilted textiles. With their background, experience, education, and membership in professional associations, they are qualified to make appraisals of quilts and quilted textiles.

Many appraisers have additional training and appraise other textiles such as coverlets, shawls, and quilted clothing.

Are defined as someone who holds a certified designation from a recognized appraisal society and regularly performs appraisals for which compensation is received and follows the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices.

The chosen individual should be independent.

Are expected to perform ethically and competently in accordance with accepted appraisal standards of their professional organization and by the accepted standard of the appraisal industry as defined by federal guidelines of The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


Value Considerations

“Fractured Moonlight”
by Sandy Schweitzer, 2002
Log Cabin set “Twist ‘n Turn” by Sharyn Craig
Owner Beth Zange

Each item being appraised is unique and specifically analyzed by a Certified appraiser. Value is based on factors such as:

  • Condition – a major factor in determining a dollar value of a quilt. Fading, holes, stains, and shredding of fabric will reduce the value. Quilts well cared for will retain their value.
  • Construction techniques – well-sewn seams, smooth curves, and sharp points will give more value than poorly executed examples.
  • Amount of quilting and distribution of quilting stitches – not only give pleasing appearances to the quilt but will add or detract from the total value.
  • Hand or machine quilting – does not automatically give an increase or decrease in value.  Each method is evaluated on its complexity, execution, and amount.
  • Artistic concepts – include such factors as the subject matter of the design, the color choices (is it pleasing to the eye?), and the balance of the design.
  • Artist’s resume – a well-recognized, prize-winning artist will have more value to her/his works because of the fame of the maker and possibly a record of sales.
  • Provenance – the history of the quilt, its maker, place of origin, and reason for making the quilt may all influence the determined value.

Find a Quilt Appraiser