Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quiltin' on the rivah

Yesterday I went over to my friend Maggie's house to stitch. She lives right on the "rivah" as they say around here (try saying river without moving your lips and you'll be close...)
Anyway, I sat around the kitchen table and talked quilts but didn't stitch much. Good food and good conversation counts for a lot though! And isn't her cat Tom just too cute...he so wanted to on everyones lap or fabricbags...Time was split between the traveling Kaffe case (a group of quilters pooled their fabric to work on an applique quilt), the cat, strawberry pie and chocolate cheesecake....

Later I stopped at our county library to find out when the exhibit of quilts need to come down...of course they need to be down by Saturday so there goes Thursday night...feels like we just hung the exhibit! The librarian said they had a really good response to the exhibit and wants us to have one again next year. One of the library volunteers asked about joining the guild! If we even get one or two new quilters out of it then it was worth the effort!

I also picked up a couple of books at the library. Two on starting a small business and one on Georgia quilts. Of course I read the quilt book first!
Don't you just love the funky tulip on the cover quilt! Like I need another project!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Visits to Antique Malls

One of the items on my list of to-do's is to become a regular visitor to the local antique malls. There is a concentration of them in our downtown so this weekend I wandered through two of the largest. A quilt appraiser I shadowed for a day kept a notebook with "observations" on availability and values when she went to stores and shows so I am starting to do the same thing. I find it much easier if walking through the doorway I remind myself "I am only stopping for quilts and quilt related items...." (Otherwise I am in there it was I stayed at the stall selling vintage Christmas "stuff" way too long! Thankfully I convinced myself I didn't need the silver Christmas tree, the salt shakers in the shape of drunken reindeer, nor the musical Christmas tree stand from the 1960's...but it was so fun to see!)
One of the challenges in this area is not many quilts make it to market an the ones that do are in poor to fair condition. In the case of doing appraisals most of them I would have to let the client know it wasn't really worth an appraisal. (and that happens a lot.)

The owner of one of the malls was really nice when I told her I was working towards quilt appraisal certification. Her take on the local market was really nice quilts never make it to the market because either a. the family holds on to them b. when she buys them at auction she sells them to known collectors/decorator so they never even get into the store (limited supply) c. if they do make it into a stall a good to excellent condition quilt sells quickly.

On the other hand fair to poor condition quilts that just a few years ago still sold well are now not moving. They had several quilts in the under $200 range. Only one of them was interesting. The same is true for quilting accessories or related items. Only the very best sell and then sell quickly.

So all in all a good learning experience. I'll continue to visit at least one a week and keep my notebook.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Starting out....

For the past 25 years I have been collecting antique and vintage quilts. I have assisted in documentation days for my guild and local museum but at the end of the day the owner of the quilt always asks..."so what is it worth."
Now I have a degree in business so I take a question like that seriously. Finally I decided if I was going to put my toe in the water then I best go all in. This year I am taking my interest in quilts and doing appraisals seriously. This blog is about the "journey" from taking the classes in Paducah last week to my going back to Paducah and testing next April.

First the classes...definitely something anyone who is interested in quilt appraisals should take...heck even collectors could benefit from taking the course. Gerald Roy and Bobbie Aug were the instructors this year. I came away feeling pretty good about what I know and didn't know but feel ok with now (IRS paperwork for donations and doing replacement insurance values) and most importantly know my limitations. Part of this year to to work on those limitations!

So here may not be cooking my way through the Joy of Quilting but I'm sure it will be a wild ride!

(just a note...I will always respect the privacy of my clients and friends. Quilts that I appraise will only be posted with their permission and I will not post appraised values. This blog is about my learning process not a site listing quilt appraisal results!)