Thursday, February 13, 2014

Handmade Quilts - Amazing quality, but very expensive

By Charles Moffat.

Further below is a photo of a handmade quilt made by my Aunt Edna, quilted circa 1979.

What I like about this quilt, aside from the horses which are awesome, is the fact that it is both incredibly warm, but also highly decorative. Oh and easy to clean, thanks to her choices of materials.

In this particular case the quilt stayed wrapped up for many years and I didn't even know it existed until I was a teenager. Then it stayed wrapped up for many more years (because I felt it was too valuable to use).

It was only recently that I started using this quilt which is 35 years old now and has been used less than a month during its lifespan. I made the decision to start using it because I realized it was a waste to have such a nice quilt and leave it in a closet unused all the time.

Plus I like horses. So added bonus. (How did my aunt know I would like horses???)

The trick about quilts like these is that they are exceptionally valuable. To hire someone to make a quilt like this in 2014 would cost over $1,000 CDN easily - because of all the hand stitching and embroidery. Each of those horses embroidered on the quilt took hours of skilled labour to complete. 24 squares plus all the other embroidery, the backing, the stuffing, the endless hours of sewing. We are looking at a quilt in the $1,200 range - at least.

Go on Ebay or Etsy and you will find handmade quilts with price tags ranging between $700 and $29,000. I also found a news article about a quilt that sold at a Sotheby's auction for $264,000. (The higher prices for these quilts are because they are classified as art pieces instead of items meant to be used on your bed.)

So yes, you can get an amazing quality quilt that is a work of art as a gift from your aunt or grandmother or similar relative - but if you try to go out and buy a quilt like that expect to be paying an arm and a leg for something that is now valued more for its artistic qualities than its ability to keep you warm at night.

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