The Mental Militia Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?  (Read 10725 times)

padre29

  • Cavaliere d' Onore
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4604
  • Civily Dead
How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« on: October 30, 2007, 04:49:30 pm »



A general question, but how can one tell from just an eye ball look that a quilt or garment is well made, or if it is worth the money that is being asked for the item?

Double stitching?

Or if a piece of pottery is well made or artistic at all?
Logged
Video in Venitur

Gotblog?

http://tthelastcause.blogspot.com/

slidemansailor

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4225
  • A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves
    • The Bitterroot Bugle
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2007, 10:04:43 am »

I'll take on you last question...  The worst way to choose art is letting someone else do it for you. If it isn't attractive to you, what someone else thinks of it is irrelevant. Trust your instincts.
Logged
If you don't work for liberty,  you don't get it.

http://BitterrootBugle.com/

Myrkul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 709
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2007, 01:19:33 pm »

Artistic/aesthetic issues aside, There really is no way to tell from just looking (or from a picture) if an item is well and sturdily made.

If you are only buying for decoration, judge only by looks. That's fine. If the Quilt will only hang on your wall and look pretty, it only needs to look pretty. If you're going to rely on it to keep you warm at night in the middle of winter, you need to have a cloase look at the stitching. You need to feel how the batting lies in the quilt, how thick it is.

If the Pottery is only going to hold a bunch of flowers, or just sit on the mantle and look pretty, Again, all it needs to do is look pretty. If you're going to rely on it to carry water from the stream or as a catchbasin for the rains, You'll need to make sure there's no thin spots or cracks that could fail at the worst possible moment (that's always when they do)

I'm assuming this is regarding an eBay item, yes? Ask the seller if he'll accept a return if it wasn't what you're looking for. If not, don't buy anything you'll need to rely on from him. In a real-world shop, you can usually get more tactile with things before you buy 'em.
Logged
"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." -Robert A. Heinlein
"If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner, and wink your eye at some homely girl." -H. L. Menken

dogsledder54

  • Guest
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 02:42:34 pm »

If you like it, it is worth the money. :mellow:
Logged

Disavowed spook

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 665
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 02:38:09 pm »

Quilts are in the eye of the beholder. I know a few people that quilt, one of them has a piece in teh Smithsonian, all hand stitched with impeccable symmetry. Considering that quilting is a folk art more than a practical matter of keeping warm, the more authentically local a quilt and it's materials are the better regarding value.
I'm no expert, but it seems that the more outrageously priced a quilt is, the more likely it is actually worth the asking price.....they aren't like fiat reserve notes as they generally require hundreds (or more) of hours of crafting. Quilts dont't suffer from the beannie baby syndrome to my knowlege.

Pottery; be careful of the glazings. Some glazings contain lead. While they are not commonly available in teh US, imported pottery can, and often is glazed with glazes containing lead compounds. Take it to your airport and pass it thru the x ray machine to see if it's safe to use with food....or, don't trust imported glazed pottery as a rule for food.

Governing all, if ya like it, haggle for it.

I liked a dulcimer that a craftman made once but was too tight to fork over 500 bucks for it, even though i was smitten with it...after quietly staring at it for 20 minutes and chatting with the craftsman that made it, he recognized that it was going to have a good home and offered to let me have it for 175 cash....

Similarly a custom knifemaker and I have an annual arrangement. I show up on the last day of his show and he and I work out a deal on all the homeless knives he doesn't want to drag back home. I always feel guilty walking away from the deal, but, they are his prices, and he knows that I use them as gifts overseas, so he has placed a value on being an American Icon someplace exotic, and I get to help him stoke his fires for another year.

Haggling for your souvenirs isn't an insult to craftspeople....things other than cash kind of fold into the mix of something handmade.
Logged

RVM45

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1481
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2009, 03:13:17 pm »

My mother was a very advance Quilter.

Examine the Quilt--basically, the more Quilting stitches; and the closer and more evenly spaced they are; the more work went into the Quilt--and the better it will last.

A Quilt made of multiple small pieces will--of necessity--have more work; and hand cutting; sewing.

Purists scoff at "Machine Quilted" Quilts. There is nothing wrong with them, but they need to be judged a bit differently. Since the machine Quilted piece requires far less labor to Quilt; you should be able to assume Good Quilting--Excellent Quilting...

And be more picky about design; originality; and so forth...

.....RVM45      :mellow: :thumbsup: :mellow:
Logged
There are only Two Types of People in the World:

A.} Folks who are after my Guns;

And;

B.} Folks who Are Not after my Guns.

Nothing Else Matters.

chutzpah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 155
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 09:07:59 am »

On quilting quality.  Use your tactile senses. Open the entire quilt out and evaluate it, front and back. You must "LOVE" it at first sighting.
 Look.
The fabrics used for it's composition should be VERY tight and closely woven, preferably colorfast and cotton and in medium colors and hues. Darker color fabrics fade over time. if you are going to use this quilt for warmth and comfort. The stitching thread should be tightly spun and not loose. If it is glossy, it is polyester. Stick with cotton for durability and washing ease. The top stitching should not be puckered and over tight and is measured per linear inch. The stitching can be anywhere from 4 (a newbie quilter) to 16 stitches (accomplished). Average is 8 to 10.

Feel.
If there are any irregularities in the grain of fabrics, it was not cut on the bias. If there is puckering of the top surface, it will pucker much worse when laundered. It was cut incorrectly.
Is the batting flat? Is it puckering? You want a soft bat with no empty or grossly uneven spots over the entire quilt. Batting does shift, even inside of the stitching over 50 years.
Are there any significant "piling" of fabric? (baby balls). this usually indicates the amount of surface wear.
Carry a rough ended safety pin with you for batting testing. You can't see what is in the sandwiched middle, but you can feel what is in there. Slowly stick the pin in the fabric, slowly and steadly withdraw it. What did you feel? If there is NO surface pull, you have cotton batting. If there is a noticeable pull on withdrawal of the pin, you have an acrylic or manmade fiber inside. This test should be performed on both sides of the quilt.

Smell.
Are there any unusual odors? Very Useful consideration in todays multi-bacterial and viral laden world!  Pre-owned quilts have been covering someone or something. Make sure it is not mildewed, molded, or worse yet, batted with an allergen material, like horse hair or animal fibers that could cause problems with it's functional utility for you. Always soak and gently hand wash a used quilt in a weak solution of plain ivory soap and warm water before you lay it on your own body or possessions or hang it in your home.

Hear.
If it passes all the above screening tests, please then, listen to yourself.
It should be screaming out at you, "take me home!"
Worth and Value is definitely an individual issue. Quality is what you are hunting for.

If the quilt is intended for non-human use, like a wall hanging, then forgo the functionality suggestions above. You are actually looking for a piece of art.
All functionality precursors are now "out the door" and are not relevant.



Logged
Obi-Wan: Who's the more foolish: The fool, or the fool who follows him?

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave.

chutzpah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 155
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2009, 09:16:55 am »

Caveat:
Apologies to those who are machine quilters. No offense intended, but, my preferences are for the hand stitched quilts only.
I wish each one of those patiently placed stitches could speak to me. Wow. what history they could tell us.
Logged
Obi-Wan: Who's the more foolish: The fool, or the fool who follows him?

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave.

chutzpah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 155
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 08:13:14 am »

On Handcrafted Pottery:

In today's manufacturing blitz for economy of scale pricing, handcrafted art pottery of quality make, is worth consideration of your purchase. It takes much time, learned skill, and equipment to hand throw or wheel throw and successfully fire a quality piece of functional pottery.

Pottery is an artists personal application of their skill level and creativity. Look for pieces to purchase, that have a high skill application.
Quality potters use the best materials available to them to produce the best finished wares. They have extensive knowledge of chemistry, pyrometry, and art creativity.
Especially if you are looking for a utilitarian piece with unique, artful work to actually put to work in your kitchen, home or yard. You want a piece that will work and last for generations.

Look for hardened, non-porous, smooth surface texture on the entire pots surface. Especially on the rims and lids and undersurface. This is dictated largely in part by the actual clay composition of the pot. Some clays used for throwing are smooth as silk, some, are heavier d/t the ratio of heavy sand to clay used, they will have a slightly natural grainy feel on their surface. This is fine, and has to be to your liking for use. Also, clays come in naturally tinted colors and also can be artificially tinted as well. Most experience potters leave a smidgen of the natural clay exposed on the bottom of the pottery. This will give you some indication of it's natural base chemical makeup, by the base color of the wares. You are looking for a smooth surfaced or swirled wheel thrown affect in the inner aspect of the piece, a finished product with NO seams, pits, or cracks (usually occurs during the firing process d/t stress or under cured greenware time). It needs to be as close to form as is humanly possible. ie, round, square, etc. This is where the skill level of the potter is told and seen. You cannot hide experience here.

Ping the pot. Use your index finger and give it a flick while holding it in the other hand. Does it sound "solid" or does it sound "hollow". You want a solid ping. It tells you the density of the clay is adequate for utility and function. Is it too light ot too heavy? Remember, if it is a large batter bowl, and you are cradling it in your arm to mix a batch of fritters, is it too heavy for your comfort and utility? If it is to be used for a rising bowl for yeast breads, you may want a very heavy and thick walled bowl for the heat keeping insulation. Same with casserole or baking dishes. You want a thicker walled vessel.

The artful coloration and application comes in the very final stages, after a piece of pottery is time "cured" and leathered.
The piece is dredged, poured over, or sprayed with glaze/s. This is where you need to be able to ask questions about the glazes used. Are they food safe? No lead bases. No toxic metals.

The pottery is then fired. There are numerous firing options utilized.  The firing alone is a specialized art for some potters. Like raku. The general rule, is that the "hotter"  kelvin, and slowly longer a piece is fired and tempered, the better the finished product for utility purposes. It could be fired in a gas or electric kiln, or a natural wood fired kiln. The more artful application on the piece, the more the price you'll pay. Art embedded on the art pottery, like etching, painting, or glazing art with multi-glaze  or multi stage painting effects, are  the individual trademarks used by artisan potters.  Some of these base chemicals used in the glaze/s or, those applied painting effects are VERY expensive. Gold or silver for example. Also, look for the signed, etched "signature" or artists embedded stamp, usually dated as well on the piece.
If is a master potter's creativity and work, expect to pay a premium for their talent and art.

Happy Pottery Hunting and Selecting!
: )


Logged
Obi-Wan: Who's the more foolish: The fool, or the fool who follows him?

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave.

Canadian Mamma

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 548
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 07:20:44 pm »

I am a quilter and I have one or two more pieces of advice that haven't been dispensed yet.

You want to know what the batting has been made of.

If it is silk or cotton it will allow your skin to breath, you will not wake up in a cold sweat.  It will stay together much better for the long haul and in between the stitching it will NOT pull apart and give you spotty coverage. You will not end up after several washings having the quilt with what feels like a lump. It should be fine for winter and summer alike.  Silk and cotton batting will allow it to be used comfortably all year round.  ( Well In Canerder anyway.)

Thickness of a quilt is NOT an indicater of quality.  Todays batting can be incredibly thin but warm when required.

If it is really thick, especialy if it is spongy? think poly and put it down.

In short polyester batting SUCKS big time.

Another thing to look at:  A well done quilt will fold up nice and even.  When you are looking at it start folding it like you would a set of sheets kinda corner to corner. I have looked a quilts that have been off as much as 6 inches or so. Some might think that adds character, me not so much.


« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 07:29:05 pm by Canadian Mamma »
Logged
Life is tough, it's even tougher if you're stupid.........John Wayne

The trouble with some women is they get all excited about nothing and then marry him.

gaurdduck

  • Guest
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2009, 09:54:47 pm »

If it is comfortable, it keeps you warm in the winter, and you like the design, then it is worth whatever you value it at.
Worth is an arbitrary measurement of value.

Personally, I don't buy quilts, as I won't value them as highly as one I inherited or made myself.
But that's just me. Do as you wish. If you can't make it or trade for it, and it is within your
budget, then by all means, buy it.
Logged

motomom

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 533
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2010, 01:00:37 am »

I'm a quilter.

That little hint about folding it up to see if it is square is a very good test of quality of a newer quilt.  On older quilts, it is the sum of things, the art, the feel, the historical value, so it is harder to tell.

If a quilt is done in hand quilting, it is much more valuable.  Fancy machine stitching is nice, but hand quilting is worth more money. 

Hand quilting stitches should be very evenly spaced, very even in size, and you can measure how many stitches per inch there are.  More stitches per inch indicate higher quality.  The best ones are 10-12 stitches per inch.  Perfectly acceptable are 8-10 per inch.  Less is not so good.

Look at the pointed pieces of the quilt blocks.  Points that are "chopped off" are an indication of a quilter who isn't careful, and decreases value.

100% cotton, wool, or silk tops and backs, and 100% cotton or wool batting increases value, poly decreases.  I would personally never buy one unless it had been washed, so you could see what is going to happen when YOU wash it. 

Expensive quilts should never be washed in a machine.  It tugs the material too much.  There are plenty of instructions if you search for "proper caring for quilts."

Or you can visit this forum.....

http://www.quiltingboard.com/

to get hints.  Lots of great reading material there, and quilters of all kinds and calibers.  Plenty of pics, some good and some bad.  And lots of folks who LOVE quilts and will help you if you ask.
Logged
Never try to teach a pig to sing.  It merely wastes your time, and annoys the pig.

gaurdduck

  • Guest
Re: How can anyone tell if a quilt is worth the money?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2010, 01:51:01 am »

@chutzpah:

In some cases pottery is left unglazed, yet is still smooth due to polishing with a river rock at
the leather hard stage. Such pots are good for storing dry goods but water will seep through
eventually. These jars have been used to filter water. A coating of bee's wax on the inside
will prevent seepage.

Also, test old pieces for radioactivity by putting them under a blacklight. If they are dangerous
they will glow. Some Fiesta Ware and Depression glass is well known as a curiosity for this reason.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up