Friday, August 23, 2013

Appraising: What's It Like? What's It Worth?

...and who's asking? 

I've been appraising for the past few days in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at the Cheyenne Heritage Quilters annual show. If you're in the neighborhood, we're at the First United Methodist Church on 18th St. in Cheyenne...come down and take a look! Beautiful quilts, a nice mix of vendors...lots to see.

This appraising business can get interesting. I often get to see some outstanding pieces, both antique and modern-made. Sometimes I see some that are less than stellar, though treasured by their owners. In other words...

What's valuable to you may not actually be worth anything. A basic look at the "value vs. worth" argument...something I often run into, as an appraiser. (From My Journey to Millions)

It's difficult to say to someone, "Your quilt's not worth anything." Especially if that quilt was made by someone they love, who is now gone. Better to acknowledge that sometimes a piece is near-priceless, for the same reason it's 'not worth anything.' I have quilt blocks made by my grandma, who was a wonderful woman, but could care less what fabrics went with what, as long as the resulting quilt was warm. Grandma sewed by grabbing two patches out of a paper grocery sack, and sewing them together. And the quilts she made looked just like they were sewed that way.

     I was one of the youngest cousins, when she died in the mid-70s, a junior in high school who worked for $1.50/hr at Rogers Hardware. Someone decided that it would be more fair to all the cousins if everything was sold, rather than given away -- which meant that the older cousins, who had more money than I did, could afford things.
    I could not. Which means that today, I treasure anything Grandma worked on. A few pieces have trickled my way over the years, mostly through The Mama. They are more dear to me than many of the much elaborate quilts in my collection.

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