Open Line Friday–Do You Insure Your Quilts?



As you know, Open Line Fridays is one of my favorite posts…I love to hear your advice on everything from  Quilt Abbreviations HERE  to How to Use Scraps HERE

The conversations are always lively with the combined expertise of all…

I know I’m repeating myself…The More, The Merrier!…So please chime in today–

Free Motion Quilting


First a little background…Several years ago at a Quilt Retreat “Show and Tell”, one of the retreat-ants showed a gorgeous Mariner’s Compass wallhanging.

The next year– back at quilt retreat–she reported the quilt had been destroyed in a fire at her summer cabin.  (The fire started at a neighbor’s house and burned down both houses.  No on was hurt.)

But…everything was lost.   She had photos of the quilt and fabric samples and got an after-the-fact appraisal.  In the end, she was happy with how the insurance company valued her quilt….

Recently, I have been thinking about my quilts…and I called my insurance agent to inquire…Her advice:

Document all quilts:  photos, sizes etc, and try to attach a value...

                 HOW DOES PRICELESS SOUND???

Free Motion Quilting


How does one attach value to a quilt?

The value is far greater than the materials…(And how many of us have even calculated that for our quilts?)

It would be too costly to have all of our quilts professionally appraised…

If anyone could lead me to a quilt appraiser or info about this, I’d be happy to do a little research for the group…or maybe we have a quilt appraiser out there willing to do a Guest Post?


What do YOU think?  What do YOU do?

I’d love to hear…


PS…All photos, tutorials and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, Pin, Like on Facebook, tweet with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other uses, please contact me at






25 thoughts on “Open Line Friday–Do You Insure Your Quilts?

  1. How to attach value to a quilt. When I try to sell a quilt I first use the measurements to determine how much fabric I used for both the top and backing (how many yards) times the estimated cost of fabric, plus the cost of the batting, plus the cost of the quilting and thread Then add for my labor…and this is where I get stumped. Does someone have an “in general” amount they use?

  2. Still working on my first quilt….not sure how I would attach value. Would hope that would be covered under my homeowners insurance??

  3. at $20 an hour for labor and the cost of materials, my first quilt has probably cost me $300. But it is priceless and could never be replaced. Yes, there are glaring mistakes! But how do you place a value of a first quilt. There will NEVER be another. Now after my tenth quilt, I look back and smile at my first.

  4. The AQS has certified quilt appraisers. Last year our guild featured a professional appraiser at our triennial quilt show, Judy Lyons (Canadian but AQS certified) . Several quilters took advantage of having monetary value given for their quilts. We found that was a great way to have quilts appraised at a reasonable cost. Our appraiser indicated how many quilts she could value per day and at $50 per session, our quilters were delighted. I don’t recall the time allotted for each session. I’m sure the AQS will have a guideline and a list of certified appraisers for anyone, or guild, who wishes to employ their service. Judy looked at absolutely everything including how much topstitching was used, thread type, and took into consideration any information the quilter could provide.

  5. OH…that is a hard one…as in how do you value all that beautiful stitching (on your quilt anyways…haha! JK..mines improving greatly thanks to you) and the minutes of your life it took to do it plus all the love that went in…priceless for sure! I guess materials and time is where to start and I am taking pictures and measurements this morning! I don’t have hardly anything I’ve made, they were all gifts…but! I have so many little gifts of my own from my daughters and my dear friend Mickey who got me going on the quilting I would be so sad to lose!
    !!! what about the stash!!! I would be sad to lose that too!
    Glad Open Line Friday is back!

  6. What an interesting topic. I have never thought about my quilts value except priceless. We are full time RVer’s and travel all the time with my quilts on board. I take pictures of parts of the process and the finished quilt. So I have that covered but will check with our home insurance company about protecting my priceless quilts. Thanks for bringing this up.

  7. well if I am commissioned to make a quilt for someone I generally take the cost of it and double for my fee… its not enough but that would be how I would value any of my quilts….so a generous lap quilt about 300…..I could never figure out the hours involved…..I think I will give my home owners a call ….this is a great question laurie

  8. I have had 4 quilts appraised and have given those appraisals to my insurance agent who attached a rider to our homeowners insurance to cover them. (Those 4 quilts appraised at $14,000 total). The appraiser takes into account the costs of making the quilt – material, thread, time, etc.; but also takes into account the artistic value – which is a lot more difficult to appraise. This is especially true when a quilt is an original pattern and the quilting is heirloom style including original motifs. I don’t appraise my “everyday” quilts, but do get an appraisal all of my “good” quilts. If you’re entering in a show, you definitely need to get an appraisal for that reason alone. I keep photos of all my quilts (as well as customer quilts).

  9. Wow — I am been concerned about this for a while now. Please give any advise on how to value. I am sure that several of mine are worthy of an appraisal. I just want to make sure they don’t end up around a fridge on the back end of a pickup, once I am gone ! I need to put the photos and appraisals in with our trust papers.

  10. I can recommend a wonderful appraiser in Longmont, CO, if you want to talk to someone. She is nationally known as a collector, lecturer and appraiser. Jeananne Wright She appraises all my quilts.

  11. Another thought to go along with an appraisal…..When mailing your quilt to a show, does the extra insurance you add to the standard insurance amount cover a quilt in the event of loss, etc., without having a certified appraisal. I have heard from numerous sources that the post office will not acknowledge “what you think your quilt dollar amount is” and won’t pay without the appraisal. Anyone know the answer to this? Thanks.

    • The post office will only insure quilts at the cost of making them (cost of materials) unless you have a certified appraisal. I had a miniature quilt appraised at $400 and requested extra insurance at the PO. It was a small package so they ask what was in it and I told them. They said they could only insure it for cost of material, which for a miniature would have been about $20! I showed them my appraisal and they insured it for $400 but would not have otherwise.

      • Over the years, a number of quilting magazine articles i have read have recommended when mailing a quilt, never to identify the package contents as a quilt – just say linens or bedding, lest a package handler who is less than trustworthy be tempted to steal it. Perhaps now with sophisticated electronic tracking systems, the risk of that is greatly reduced, but I feel it is still a risk. When I have mailed a quilt, the post office has only asked me if I want to insure the package and for how much, and I’ve never been asked to provide proof of value.

        If you are shipping a quilt to a show, I would read the show’s rules carefully to determine what, if any, insurance is provided. My quilt guild does not accept mailed entries, but we do purchase insurance for the quilts that are in our possession from the time they are received until they are picked up after the show. Each entrant must complete the insurance form provided in the registration packet, which includes a detailed description and size, and must be accompanied by a color photo. Values are up to $500 for a bed quilt, up to $350 for a wall quilt, and up to $150 for any other size (including wearables and miscellaneous items). My guild has an AQS certified appraiser at our biennial show who will provide a written appraisal for insurance purposes for a reasonable fee. I think she charged $40 at our 2012 show but I don’t know if the price will be increased for our show this October. At any rate, I would suggest getting an appraisal and a rider on your homeowner’s insurance for any quilt that you would want to receive more than a nominal amount for if you had to submit a claim. Check your insurance policy to determine if it covers an item when it is away from your home.

  12. Definitely interested in these answers! I insure my t-shirt quilts when I ship them to the owners…but they are really irreplaceable. If the PO loses the box, I can’t get a race shirt from a 2010 half marathon again. (Which I know isn’t the same thing as real insurance.) I’m starting to look into real insurance in case, God forbid, something happens to my house with client t-shirts…but it’s hard to come up with a value. Plus all my regular quilts and the disturbing amount of fabric…

  13. No, I wouldn’t insure a quilt unless it was considered an investment, or if a show required it, or if it were an income-producer for me. For me an insurance payout should allow me to continue as before or lessen the hardship. If one of my quilts were lost, no money would replace its value and no money would make it “whole” again unless I expected to BUY a comparable quilt . An insurance payout could allow me to buy nice material and pay for someone else to replicate it… but generally that’s not the point. If the quilt is someone else’s or intended to be someone else’s and money would be an acceptable substitute, AND the risk of loss was a higher probability than I was comfortable with, then an insurance policy would be acceptable.
    So generally: I’d self-insure and accept the risk myself. Would I set aside “my premium?” Hardly! I’d go buy some fun fabric to use in the meantime and live on the edge.

  14. I have insured some of my quilts. My aunt was a gifted quilter of the “old school”. She used templates made from linoleum or cardboard, she cut these with scissors. She cut her fabric with scissors, sewed the blocks and joined them together by hand. Then she quilted them by hand. Some of her quilts have feed sacks and original 30s fabric. Her fabric ranges from the 30s till the 80s.

    I had them appraised because I wanted to know all the wonderful details that an appraiser can give. I’ve never been disappointed. The appraiser has always told me things about the quilt that I never would have picked out.

    I have insured these quilts because I wanted them to be valued for their worth. If any of them were destroyed, I would like to receive their value rather than just money for a blanket. Money won’t bring them back, I know that. Far beyond their monetary appraisal, they are priceless in their memories.

    I haven’t ever made a quilt on my own that I would consider worth appraising. My quilts, although pretty, are utilitarian. I want them used and loved and worn out from all the cuddle they provide.

  15. My husband thinks our quilts are covered by our homeowners insurance.. After reading some of the letters, I don’t think so. The quilts were sewn by my 2 grandmothers, my mother, my mother-in-law and myself. The cedar chest is full of those not on display or in use…That remark about what about our stash really got my attention. I also have 7 quilts.. WIP…3 of them for money for a customer..I have not been able to afford the appraisers at the quilt shows I attend. Hmmm, better get these moneymakers done asap !!!! Lori, Thank you for bringing up this issue. PS, I have finished 3 of my UFO’s since we started that emphasis. I discovered that I had procrastinated the sandwiching and quilting because they turned out much larger
    than I expected and I was overwhelmed. Now I have been blessed with a large drafting table to use, a walking foot, and an extension table… Makes all the difference.

  16. I start with the cost of the materials… full quilt shop prices, not “sale”, even if they were bought at that rate. Add what I would charge to quilt it (based on per square inch…….simple, not dense, loopy meader approx.– $0.02/sq. in. to custom, SID, many different stitch designs/thread changes–$0.035+) PLUS construction labor (many factors….design complexity, etc). For a larger lap quilt (most top fabric provided) and simple edge to edge quilting design was approx $300.00. It boils down to what you can “live with”, also. As artists, quiltmakers’ art is so undervalued that it is a struggle to assign such to our finishes. A painter specializing in acrylics/oils/water colors, etc has no problem commanding $1000+ per painting and they are considered “legitamate” values. We aren’t just artists we are educators(!!!) and must stand tall!!

    • Hey Doreen,,, Oops I had to chuckle..I have a university art degree. At school, we struggled with the same issues as with quilting prices… and I might add, as a gourd artist for 8 years, we did too. And actually we used to have discussions about charging for our work in my photography classes. Appraisals, winning awards in exhibits and shows,
      all contribute to garnering respect for whichever our art field. There is a lag time from beginning on an art journey ( natural or schooled) to being able to charge $ 1000 for a piece of art. Most never get to that level.
      I have found that if someone falls in love with a piece of art, they will find a way to pay the price. True Story: During the time when I was selling my photos, I took an image of a tree branch that grew out over the surface
      of a river at a public park. It was done in the rain. A lady saw it in exhibit and told me it was “her” tree for years and she loved the photo, “How much?” From continued talk, I think she assumed maybe $15-20. Well. I had taken the image, developed the film in dark room, printed the negative over and over to get a good one, bought the frame, mat board, nonreflective glass ( in consideration for the rain in the image), hangers, entered the exhibit and, tongue in cheek, what would you tell her? I told her $ 85,00, She stared at me, took in a big breath and said, “I’ll get it.” And she did a week later. By the way, I had been photographing that tree and park for almost 30 years at that time..but she had an affinity for the tree. I felt I had $ mercy on her because she loved the tree and after all, I own the negative. When we sew a quilt, there is not automatically another one at home. They are usually one of a kind but not always.
      Do we not do the same thing with quilts… feel of fabric, love color combos, favorite pattern, etc..Therefore, I believe quilts are due top prices. PS.. I got that art degree at age 54 in 1996. Never give up!

  17. I have heard this before, You should do this will all your household stuff. But where do you store this information. Not in the house that burns. It would have to be something that I can access yearly to update as my collection continues to grow.
    I have tried the cloud and so far have not been happy with it, but maybe that is the right place

  18. Also wondering if anyone adds a rider to their homeowner’s policy to cover the sewing machines and quilting machines. There’s a lot of money tied up in these machines!

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