Home Forums Welcome Hello! selling a vintage quilt

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    • #159365
      rutheverhart
      Member

      I have two handmade quilts, neither one of which is from my family so they don’t have a lot of meaning for me. They are each beautiful, pieced quilts made in the 1930’s (or thereabouts) entirely by hand. Any suggestions about the best way to sell them to maximize their value? If I can’t get a high price I will keep them for my two daughters (who don’t really care much about them at this age, at any rate). When I checked eBay, it seemed like the prices were as low as $100 each which is crazy.

    • #188615
      Ella
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      I’m assuming you’ve checked the completed auctions? Find the closest match in age and quality among the completed auctions for your best pricing guidelines, and also follow current auctions that closely match your quilts to see how they do. The best quilts on eBay will be selected for featuring in the online publication Collectors Weekly. When I auctioned my mother’s collection of decoys, they were all picked up by CW because of their rarity, and I know that helped me get higher final prices.

      Here’s the CW link for quilts:
      http://www.collectorsweekly.com/folk-art/quilts

      Also, you can set a reserve price at the minimum you would accept. Even though people say don’t do that, I’ve done it and never been sorry. The last ceramic piece I sold on eBay I set a reserve of $800 and the final sale was $1100.

    • #188616

      selling a vintage quilt

      You’re in Maryland, right Ruth? You might want to contact one of the local quilt guilds
      http://www.needlechasers.org/otherguilds.htm#MARYLAND
      and see if they will do a rough appraisal for you.

      Or try one of the stores that specialize in quilts:
      http://www.baltimorequilters.com/shops.asp

      Before you get your hopes up it might be a good idea to know whether what you have is common or valuable.

    • #188618
      rutheverhart
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Those links were very helpful. Yep, the quilts like mine are going for under $300, which just seems too low to be worth selling. I think I’ll just store them carefully and keep them as clutter!

    • #188619
      Irulan
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      You could also consider donating them to the Shelburne museum in Vermont. They’ve got one of the largest collections of folk art in the US. I believe they accept quilts from the 18th to the 20th century.
      http://shelburnemuseum.org/collections/quilts/

    • #188620
      hlg
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Happens I’m a quilter. Ebay charges too much for fees these days, nearly 10% of your items price. Most antique quilts are NOT sold on eBay but by private sellers, one to one. If they are genuinely vintage, contact a quilt appraiser, get an appraisal done, then donate them to the quilt museum in Paducah and take a deduction off your taxes.

      http://www.quiltmuseum.org/ You can donate here (National Quilt Museum) and they should be able to hook you up with an appraiser as well.

      If you do decide to keep them, please, please, do NOT store them in air tight plastic containers of any kind. Get some acid free tissue paper made for storing quilts and carefully roll the quilts up with the paper in the between the layers. If you have to fold them, it’s recommended that you occasionally unfold them out flat on a bed for a day or two to air out, then re fold in a different way than you did the previous time, again with the acid free paper in between the layers.

      (Anyone living near Paducah KY or who likes to travel, you should go to the museum’s annual quilt show. It’s beyond amazing.)

    • #188715
      rutheverhart
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      hlg, thanks for the suggestion about correct storage, and Laetitia, what a good idea to just use the quilts.

      All of this has helped me realize what my problem is!

      One quilt has a ton of “emotional baggage” with it. I may simply return it to the person who gave it to me, now that I realize it’s not ALL that valuable. And then I can just put the other quilt on the guest room bed as a nice topper, and I’ll be set!

      oh, sometimes life is easier than we like to make it. . . .

    • #224085
      rutheverhart
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Bumping this thread because I am once again thinking about these two quilts. I have listed them on Craigslist, no luck. I really want to get rid of the one with bad memories — but because of those memories I guess I want to “get something” for it. Besides, it seems valuable on an objective basis. Sigh. The other quilt, I just feel done with. I’ll have to check out that quilt museum idea again, I guess. It’s funny, I just feel a weight as I type about these objects, which are beautiful.

    • #224086
      irishbell
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Ruth,
      Unless they are filled with memories you don’t want to revisit each time you see them,
      I suggest folding them up with a particularly pretty piece showing and put it in a shadow box
      to put on a wall as a piece of art.
      I have a beautiful silk crazy quilt that my Mom did this with, and it is hung in my foyer- it is stunning!
      (If I can figure out he picture thing again, I’d post a pic)

    • #224093
      Ella
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Ruth, put them up on eBay. There’s a huge nationwide quilt market there, and you’ll get hundreds more hits than your local Craigslist. Especially at this time of year. You can set a reserve price if you’re worried about selling them too low. I’ve done that with great success. I set an $800 reserve on one piece and it sold for $1100.

    • #224124
      bandicoot
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      hi ruth.
      you said “it seems valuable on an objective basis”….but it seems that the going price isn’t all that high? if i am reading this right?
      my rule of thumb is this: the value of something is whatever the market says it is….or whatever i am prepared to pay personally. which might be two different values entirely.
      if the market says something is worth $100…then it is usually pretty much worth $100.
      if i am prepared to pay $150, then that means the thing is worth $150 TO ME. but not necessarily to the market.
      does that even make sense? i feel that i am explaining poorly.

    • #224128
      irishbell
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      I think you said it perfectly bandicoot.
      An item is worth as much as a buyer will pay.
      Which is why I’ve never bothered with the selling of things.
      Nobody will ever pay as much as I think something is worth!

    • #224129
      rutheverhart
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Thanks for your comments. Ella, I have been scared of eBay for some reason, but I might try it. Bandicoot, I hear you on value. The problem is knowing what the market will pay! And then reaching that market. I guess the internal place I’ve come to is to realize that the market value may be higher than the value to myself, and so I’m ready to let go. Now to find my market. And I like the push to do it now, before Christmas. A part of me says: You got enough going on right now, Ruth, so put it off! We’ll see how it goes.

    • #232459
      rutheverhart
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Bumping this thread just because everyone was kind to give me some helpful advice. I did try to sell the 2 quilts on Craigslist and never got a single nibble. So recently I donated them to a church that was having an auction. They sold, although I have yet to hear how much they sold for. But it really doesn’t matter. They have found new homes and brought money to a good cause. I can accept that this was what their value was, and I can let them go. Farewell, quilts!

    • #232460

      selling a vintage quilt

      Well done, Ruth!

    • #232461
      lucy1965
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Ruth, that’s wonderful!

    • #232478
      Nina
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Great to hear that.
      I often decide to give things to charity when trying to sell them would just mean extra hassle, time and energy spent on those things I don’t need or want anymore.

    • #232494
      pkilmain
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Coming late to this, but another suggestion for anyone in the same position…. I belong to a quilt guild that makes/accepts quilts for three causes: for victims of house fires or other disasters, for high-school moms (through a program at a local alternative school which has a daycare), and for the local and state police to carry and give to accident victims, especially children.

    • #232498
      s
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Perfect. Ruth!

    • #232513
      Ella
      Member

      selling a vintage quilt

      Wonderful news, Ruth. I’m sure the new owners will cherish your quilts.

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