homepage logo

Appraisals support replacement value for old & new quilts

By Staff | Aug 27, 2013

Certified quilt appraiser, Karen Powers from State College examines an heirloom signature quilt from Hughesville resident, Donna Michael Heiney (right) who brought in her family quilt circa 1850 on Saturday to the Muncy Historical Society to be appraised.

MUNCY – Not only should older quilts be appraised, but newly constructed quilts as well. Often original designs are made from highly skilled textile artists and the Professional Association of Appraisers recommends having an appraisal done in order to protect new and old quilts from fire, damage or theft.

On Saturday, the Muncy Historical Society hosted a an historic quilting workshop while Karen Powers, a certified quilt appraiser from State College, conducted pre-scheduled quilt appraisals throughout the day. She appraised nine local quilts that originated here in the Muncy area. Beverly Bennett who won the best of show in this year’s quilt show was one of the first to be appraised. Her stitching was hand quilted which also brings in more value than a quilt made by machine. “The replacement value is much higher,” said Powers. Bennett’s quilt was made for a gift and the appraisal will be a valuable addition.

A quilt that has hand embroidery also brings more value as well as art quilts. Donna Michael Heiney from Hughesville brought in a signature quilt from the 1850’s to be appraised. It was a real gem according to Powers. The 24 signatures were completed in ink and probably date back to 1832 or so. Heiney said the quilt has been in her possession for about 30 years and it was given to her by her mother whose family (The Molyneux’s) originally settled in Sullivan County. The basket pattern was popular in the early 1800’s. It was all hand made which helped with the appraisal because the sewing machine didn’t become popular until after 1847. Many of these quilts were done by hand, especially before and shortly after the Civil War. The quilt also had a flannel backing which helped to date the quilt.

“It is very helpful to know the quilt pattern, the date and any other information an appraisal can tell you about your quilt,” acknowledged Powers. However, appraisals can’t put a dollar amount on sentimental value, as this value is “priceless!”