This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation.

Use a certified quilt appraiser to determine Fair Market Value

by Elisa
(Temecula, CA)

My great grandmother's quilt made in Elmsford, New York

My great grandmother's quilt made in Elmsford, New York

I have a beautiful 104" by 88" quilt I am interested in selling. I also have the antique bed dated back to 1880's that this quilt was made for. I know it is very old but it is in excellent condition for its age. The Arch quilt has rings around the whole quilt just giving it a beautiful design. I am just wondering how much this quilt is worth so that I may get what its worth.

Thank You,



This antique Double Wedding Ring quilt is certainly a treasure to have!

If you are interested in selling, I would recommend having the quilt appraised by a certified appraiser. An appraiser determines what your antique quilt's 'Fair Market Value' is based on:

  • The current market: What similar quilts are selling for now.

  • Condition: Fading fabrics, holes or tears from use or fabric weakness and staining all reduce the value of a quilt.

  • Construction techniques: Quilts by skilled quilters and well-made quilts are, generally, worth more.

  • Quilt design: Is it pleasing to the eye? Good color and design choices.

  • The quilting:
    • How much is there? Is there 'enough'
    • Does the quilting add or detract from the quilt, itself.
    • Hand or machine quilted. One is not appraised better or worse than the other. Regardless of the method used, the quilt will be evaluated on how much quilting there is, how complex it is and how well it was done.

  • History of the quilt: The quiltmaker, where, when and why it was made may all affect the value placed on your quilt.

You probably noticed that no where in this list is sentimental value.

An appraiser can't put a value on sentiment, only you can. After taking all of the above into consideration, you may find that the appraised value does not equal your sentimental value. It does happen. Then the decision is yours as to whether or not to sell. (I have several quilts appliqued by my mom who passed away last year. Their sentimental value is more than any appraised value would ever be.)

As a Donation

If you choose to donate this quilt to a museum, you will need to have a written appraisal from a qualified appraiser if the value is over $500.00. Such an appraisal will determine what the tax deduction for your donation will be. Since I am not an accountant, you should verify the requirements with your accountant.

Shipping a Quilt

If you ship the quilt to a buyer, DO NOT put the word 'quilt' on the package. Use a more general description like 'fabric' or 'blankets'.

Moreover, should the quilt be lost or ruined during transport, a certified appraisal helps prove/support the quilt's value that you entered on any shipping forms. An insurance company faced with a payout will want such proof.

Local Quilt Appraisers

Check your local and regional quilt show advertisements. Frequently, a certified quilt appraiser will be conducting appraisals during the course of the show.

If there are no upcoming shows in your area, below are links to lists of quilt appraisers in California:

Good luck to you. May you find the perfect new home for your treasures!


Julie Baird

Comments for Use a certified quilt appraiser to determine Fair Market Value

Click here to add your own comments

Very old quilts
by: Don Goss

I inherited several quilts from my Aunt in 1992! Her mother made these quilts that may be 150 years old !?

These quilts are in new condition and have been stored in airtight containers!

Just wondering what they are worth?

Thanks for your time,

Don Goss

From the Editor:

Hi Don.

Congratulations on your treasure!!!

I wish there was an easy answer to your question, but this I think is a job of an appraiser, maybe an antique dealer—but one who understands textiles.

In 'like-new' condition should, I'm my humble opinion, increase their value. The complexity of the quilt pattern and the amount and type of quilting will also impact value. Because of those assumptions, even if I had pictures I'm not qualified to give a reliable answer.

Again, a quilt appraiser is probably your best bet!

You are so lucky to have these! So jealous—but in a very good way!


Julie Baird

a fair reader
by: Anonymous

Sweat pea..i just received a quilt from my grandma..was looking around and saw your arrogant lack of explaining comment. I like the quilt, it seems you know it like the back.of your hand when the other gentleman said it should be appraised...well i think you should explain such a forward..hard to understand comment..thank you sweat pea

your quilt

your quilt, made in elmsford, ny is not old at all. the company, arch quilts has been importing these quilts from china for around 30 years. sorry but your quilt maybe worth approx. $50

Click here to add your own comments

Return to GQP's Quilting Forum.

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please let me know by clicking this button - thank you!

Quilt patterns, books and kits to tempt you!

Click any of the images or links below for more info...

Subscribe to our StashTalk Newsletter