Are you intrigued by the idea of collecting antique or vintage quilts? Perhaps you love the idea of the fellowship of quiltmaking. Do you imagine the women who made them and appreciate the time that went into piecing a quilt together? Each genuine article is a piece of our history that connects us to our past. Here are some tips to help you spot antique quilts among the imitations.
Collecting QuiltsIf you are considering beginning a quilt collection, approach the process as you would if you were collecting in any other area.
There are really just two rules: collect what you love and always do your homework!
- What kind of quilts appeal to you (size, color, fabric, pattern)
- Area of specialization, if any (regional, historic time period, ethnic origin, contemporary)
- Whether you plan to use your quilts, display them, or store them
- What price range you can afford
- Whether you have the time and means to care for them properly.
Want some tips for buying antique quilts, and getting your money’s worth?
Tips for Buying Antique Quilts
Price tags for antique quilts can run into the thousands. Remember that fabrics will deteriorate over time, and with use. To make sure you’re getting value for your dollar, always consider these factors:
- Condition (pay more for good condition)
- Quality of repairs (if any)
- Age (as with any antique, the older the quilt, the more valuable it is)
- Rarity (an unusual design is typically more valuable)
- Craftsmanship (the quality of design, piecing, stitching, use of appliqué or other embellishment)
- Provenance (pieces that are signed, or attributable through history to a particular family, will bring a higher price).
Always establish the credibility of the source you are purchasing from, as with anything of value. Many antique quilt dealers are members of state-specific or regional antiques associations.