Why? If your quilt is damaged or stolen you will have documented proof of its value. If you donate your quilt to a non-profit organization, or are gifting or selling it you need proof of its value for tax purposes. An appraisal will also be needed for estate valuation. "Insurance companies require a written appraisal done by a certified appraiser to document losses due to fire, flood, theft, damage, or loss." [Elli Molstad]. Most quilt shows also require documentation of your quilt's value.
Does it cost money? Yes. My daughter charges $45 in WI and my appraiser in CO charges $50.
What is the background of a certified appraiser? They spend at least two years learning about and practicing with both new and old quilts. They know fabrics, threads, history, current market value and are qualified to ascertain workmanship as well as many other factors. Their knowledge is amazing. They become certified after passing rigorous testing, both written and practical.
How do you prepare for an appraisal? You must keep track of the hours you spent making your quilt (ripping and redoing don't count!). You must keep track of the products you use and their cost. Is the design original? If not, by whom was it created? Is your work done by hand or machine? What methods have you employed (piecing, appliqué, painting, etc). You also prepare a list of your quilt awards and sales. I have a little notebook beside my machine for keeping track. Below is the template that I prepare for my appraiser. All this data is applied in the formulation of an opinion of the value of the quilt.
|Template in Excel|
The value is determined by replacement cost, but there is no guarantee that an insurance company will give you the appraised value, nor does it guarantee that you can sell it for that amount. It does provide information for recovery or sale, and is proof that your quilt is not just a bedspread purchased from the nearest big box store.
The first quilt I had appraised is only 40 x 40 inches (below). I was stunned in 2011 when the appraiser valued it at $2975.00. I had no idea quilts could be so valuable. Suddenly my husband began to take note of my quilting with far greater appreciation!
|Reverie 40 x 40|
Sew some happy seams this week. I wish you time to appraise the true value of your hard work.