In today's America when there are so many things in our lives seem to be in a state of limbo because of everything from a natural disasters to a financial disaster. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to identify precious items at auctions, flea markets, or garage sales to help rebuild the things that you lost from a disaster? No other antique that is out on the market today can rekindle those feelings like a handmade quilt or lap blanket. In this article you will be able to know some signs of what to look for in a quilt so you won't waste your hard earned money on something that is going to fall apart on you in a few weeks.

Identify patterns.

Quilts are a symbol of many emotions for many people in America. Because quilts remind us of the items that we wore during special times in our lives that our: mothers, sisters, aunts or grandmothers made for us to show them that they love us. When we have the quilt over us or around ourselves the literal feeling is, that it keeps us warm. Those two basic human feelings we can not computer generate or develop by machine. So in this day and age of clean and sleek environments that we live in many of us are trying to find that feeling that we once had when we were young and living at home with our loved ones. With all of this said, when you are looking for a handmade quilt you want to look for that quality of "homemade" look. Notice if the fabric is a little worn in certain areas.

Always magnify.

When it comes to stitching of the fabric you want to look for stitch length of the stitches. In older quilts that is not easy because the fabric has puffed up to cover the stitch markings since the age of quilt has made for the batting to shift. What I suggest for you to do is invest in a small magnifying glass so that you can examine the stitches and how evenly spaced they are or not. Even the stitches are consistently even all over the piece then you know that you have a machine quilted quilt. Which means that it is more of a modern piece which is perfectly wonderful for everyday use. If you are looking for an investment, then you want to be able to see that hand done stitching that shows unevenness within the line.

Find out the history.

Lastly you would like to know a little bit of historical information when you are looking at a quilt. Are the colors electric looking and is the pattern large and geometric? Then you might have a modern quilt OR you might have a quilt that was made in the 1970's. Does the quilt have a great deal of reds and velvets but in small areas there are rips here and there? You might just have a crazy quilt on your hands that might be from the Victorian era or you might have a modern crazy quilt that is made of poor quality of fabrics from a discount store. So you need to some research on the piece and then if it is some thing of value then make the purchase. Just remember knowledge is power when you are looking at any textile that is on sale.


  • From the late 1970's to present there has been industrial quilting machines in the market that produced work for the consumer so don't be fooled and buy a quilt that has not been handmade.

  • Be careful when you go to garage sales in your area because if you do not know what you are looking for when it comes to textiles you might buy something that is not aqn antique if you don't know what you are looking for. So many items are made in China that are not of the same quality and they don't have the same fiber content as we have in America so you need to be cautious.


  • Become familiar with quilt block patterns at your local library. All of them usually have a wonderful selection of quilt books to study.

  • Go to you local fabric shop and check out what are the names of different fabric types and what are their fiber content.

  • Check out the American Textile Museum on the web that is in Washington, DC for some historical terms that you will need to know before you go buy that fantastic piece.