Quilt Collecting by Judy Howard
BENEFITS Grandma’s old bedcover is now being recognized as art, valued as an investment and coveted by collectors and decorators. The quilt represents history, art, emotion and personal expression. There is romance and humor in the names, optical illusions, stunning graphics, symmetry in design and vibrant colors.
Quilts are nostalgic, taking us back to a peaceful time. They have a warm and happy feeling. By collecting quilts, you can own a unique and irreplaceable piece of American handiwork that has pride, patience, love and a little bit of history sewn right in. What else can you buy that will decorate a room so dynamically, have value as an antique and American original piece of art and still be affordable.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR Buy quilts in excellent condition, unless you've fallen in love with a spectacular wall hanging, or something of great historic significance. Since you'll be decorating with the quilts, judge them as you would art for graphic design, color~ symmetry and personal appeal. Buy what you love. Look for quality of piecing and hand quilting. Stiches should be even and close.
Signatures, dates or initials greatly enhance the value. The quilt provenance or history should be carefully preserved by typing on muslin and basting on the back of the quilt for it too increases the value dramatically.
Collecting quilts from each decade and of each pattern has become popular and provides an invaluable education. Patchwork quilts like the Double Wedding Ring and Grandmother's Flower Garden are extremely versatile because they're beautiful in any changing color scheme. The simple Nine Patch type country quilt works well in an informal setting, and the appliqués tend to enhance a more formal room.
Spectacular quilts of great graphic design in two colors with distinctive borders make dynamic wall hangings. Lone Stars, Ocean Waves, Trips Around the World, etc, are great patterns on the wall. Try a Lone Star on a table. Red and white and blue and white quilts are favorites for decorating. Good borders frame a quilt like artwork.
WHAT SIZE? Almost any quilt can be used on a twin, full or queen bed. Even working with a small quilt, you can use the length for the width, cover the top fifth of the bed with a coordinating sheet and pillows and use dust ruffles. Generally a 6 1/2" drop will cover the mattress unless it’s a pillow-top mattress. Following are minimal widths or lengths (using the length for the width):
TWIN measures 39"x 74" so 52" covers mattress width.
FULL" 54”x 74" so"67" "
QUEEN" 60"x 80" so"73" "
KING" 78"x 80" so 91" "
Remember that borders and ruffles can be added to increase the size for King. Because the demand for small crib quilts for wall hangings has greatly increased their price, you can effectively use large quilts folded over a rod.
SUMMARY: It’s great fun to collect and switch out quilts for each season for beds, table coverings and wall hangings. It’s the fast and easy way to update and change your décor every three months without the expense of redecorating.
Picture your home all warm and cozy with your friends admiring your wonderful quilt collection, which decorates your home so beautifully. Investing in these heirlooms for your children can be fun and profitable and you deserve the best. After all, A THING OF BEAUTY IS A JOY FOREVER. HAPPY QUILT COLLECTING.