Sunday, September 27, 2009


Protecting what matters to you most: your family, home, car, your STASH
What happens if there is a fire, flood, or you are away on vacation and someone breaks into your house and steals all your assets? Okay so not many thieves are going to steal your stash, but I bet if they think about it for a minute or two as they scan your sewing room and open a few closet doors, they will become aware of just how much money you have invested in your hobby and how valuable these things are. The big question is, do you know how valuable your quilts, stash, and supplies are? Quilters are alike: buy when and what they can, add to their stash, and over the years have accumulated quite a number of $$$ in fabric and supplies. Some of you may even have vintage quilts or irreplaceable fabric you have picked up at estate sales or antique shops. Here is the ultimate question you should ask yourself: HOW MUCH IS MY STASH WORTH? Can I get insurance? Is there a rider?
After checking with my insurance company, I learned that all such items are covered under “contents subject to deductible.” WHAT? I don’t even know what my deductible is. Furthermore, I would not begin to know how to make a claim. How could I prove or even estimate how much money is involved. What would the insurance company say when I told them that the fabric I purchased 10 years ago for $5 a yard was now worth $10 a yard? One insurance agent (not my own) in a rather snooty tone told me that “there is such a thing as depreciation, you know.” I wanted to tell him that fabric does not depreciate! Later, when I talked to my regular insurance agent I was told that there are five things quilters should do:
  1. Keep Good Records
    When you start a quilt, document everything. Keep receipts of how much money you spend on fabric, pattern, batting, thread, and other supplies. Also record your time spent making the quilt. When the quilt is finished, take a picture of it and put it with the receipts. Document what awards this quilt receives. Keep this information together in a safe place.
  2. List Your Supplies (below is just a sample and is by no means conclusive)
    Spray starch
    Sewing machines (I know one woman who has nine machines and says she uses them all depending on what project she is working on.)
    Rotary cuter
    Iron (I have several)
    Cutting mats
    Quilt batting
    Design wall
    Rotary cutters
  3. Take Pictures
    You have probably finished many quilts over the years. They decorate your home or are stored in your closets. Even if you do not have the receipts, you can still take a picture of them and put it in your records file. It’s proof that you had the quilts.
  4. Get An Appraisal
    Have you ever thought about what would happen if that beautiful quilt you loaned to the quilt shop, or have on display at the bank, or in a quilt show, was stolen or ruined in someway? How would you make a claim? Get an appraisal in writing and keep that with your other documentation. The Lost Quilt web page suggests that you have your quilt appraised every three years.
  5. Get Your Finished Quilt Insured
    We all tend to undervalue our own work. Quilts are valuable and you can have them insured. Get it in writing from your insurance agent that your quilt and the appraised value is on record should anything happen. Make sure you understand if the insurance covers the full value or the replacement value. Is it covered only while it is in your home, or if you have it on display elsewhere is it covered while there also? On the Lost Quilt web page you can find links to an insurance agent who offers a comprehensive policy that will insure your quilts, quilt making supplies, sewing machines, etc.

    It sounds like a lot of work. I’d rather spend my time quilting than making a paper trail. If something happened, I could just go out and buy more fabric and that is half my fun in life. However, there are a couple of things to think about. It has taken me years to find these unique fabrics. Most important, who is going to pay for it? Not only have I accumulated a substantial amount of fabric, but what about my supplies and my machines. Sewing machines run into the thousands of dollars! So on second thought, maybe it is important to keep those records….just in case.

♥On a more positive note, Elins Kreative Side has the cutest free Redwork patterns. Check it out.

Until Next Time, Happy Quilting,


SewCalGal said...

Great insights. Thanks for sharing! I agree this is something quilters should really think about and take time to follow these steps. While no one wants a disaster to happen (e.g. fire, flood, theft), they do happen and this is why we have insurance. But our STASH assets are not a typical asset so steps do need to be taken to ensure our treasures are covered in our insurance plans.


Lisa said...

Wow, this was a very good post. I have thought of this issue before but never did anything about it. I am impressed with all your research- great job on this essay/post!

Millie said...

Thank you so much for sharing all these great tips! I love my quilts and stash. I have to think of insurance...if I like it or not.


Attic Window Teachers

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Quilting for Kids With Cancer

Quilting for Kids With Cancer
Generosity has no bounds. Above are the women in the Quilts For Kids group at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Left to right, Henrietta, Phyllis, Nancy, Carol, Karen. These women donate their time, fabric, money once a month to make quilts for kids who have cancer.

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Quilts For Wheels
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