Wow! Setting up an auction is a lot of work. But it’s exciting. It’s actually one of the most exciting things I’ve done in a long time, I have to say. Helping feels great. (It sure feels better than doing nothing.)
In case you missed it: I’m going to sell ten quilts to raise money to benefit those down in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have had their lives turned upside down as a result of Hurricane Maria. I’m donating all the money raised to Americares.
And this post is going to serve the same purpose: to give more details. Instead of rushing through this and going off half-cocked, I’ve decided to start the auction at 7:00 p.m. CST, October 2, 2017; I will post the link to the auction here on the ol’ PG at that time! The auction will last two days, until October 4, 7:00 p.m. I’m hoping it won’t take that long to sell off quilts for hurricane relief, but who knows? Maybe no one wants homemade quilts by Mary Fons with help from Pendennis and simultaneously help their brothers and sisters in need… Cough! Cough!
A few more important things:
There’s a quilt I’ve decided to auction that is one of those should-I-or-shouldn’t-I situations. But I’ve decided on “should.” There’s a quilt I have called “Memories.” It was one of the first quilts I made. We featured it on Love of Quilting (Episode 1709), which some may remember because I talked about how I had actually lost three of the blocks from the quilt! I made this quilt 10 years ago and… It’s gorgeous. It’s really, really gorgeous, y’all, and it’s huge, at 90 x 90. Dawn Cavanaugh longarmed it and it’s just truly phenomenal, almost show quality.But… Well, it’s time. I want to help people and share the love of this quilt more than I want to have that quilt on the back bed, sitting under other quilts, you know? It’s done what I needed it to do for me. It’s given to me. Now, it can give to you, and give to other people. This one is a take-a-deep-breath-and-go-for-it quilt. It’s scary to give till it hurts, I gotta say!
I’ve decided that all the quilts will have a “Buy Now” price in case someone is really freakin’ out to get one. I don’t think this will happen (Jinny Beyer/Nancy Crow I am not — and they command higher prices than that!!!) but I figure there could be someone out there who wants to help people and wants a quilt and why not give the option? Can’t hurt, I guess, but I set it super high so that it will encourage people to bid and have fun with this.
Will you spread the word? I know, I know: The more people know about this, the more people you’ll be competing with to win! But remember: The point is to raise the most money possible, so please share about this auction on social media and on your various phone trees? We can do this together, and the lights are still off in Puerto Rico. They need us all.
Texas. Florida. Mexico. The Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico. There have been so many devastating weather events lately, I spend a good deal of time feeling depressed and frightened and useless when these reports come in. And I feel guilty, too, because what can I do? Does $25 to the Red Cross really help? Should I go to Texas, to Mexico and try to sandbag or something? But how does that even work and won’t I just be in the way? What if I make everything worse and what if I put myself in danger on top of everything else? You probably recognize at least some of this unhappy thinking which, sadly, is 100% ineffective in all directions.
This morning, after clicking through the (more bad) news, my brow furrowed and I sank onto the couch with a groan. Our countrymen and countrywomen in Puerto Rico find themselves facing a humanitarian crisis that could threaten the stability of the region for a long, long time. It’s chaos down there and can you just imagine being a little kid down there right now? How scary it must be? All of a sudden, thinking about that, I just got fed up. I decided that nope, not today, no more stewing, no more gnashing of teeth and groaning and doing nothing. Today, I decided, today I would act, I would do an actionable thing to help someone out there on that island. That’s a U.S. territory, dammit, and more needs to be done.
I have come to understand that what is very helpful in a crisis situation like the one in Puerto Rico, the best thing for me to do is to send money — but I simply do not have extra right now. So I thought, “How could I raise some money?” Walking to and fro on my carpet, sipping my tea (I’m back on tea, coffee’s for the birds, at least in the morning), I remembered that I’ve been needing to make good on something I say to hundreds of people all over the country: Quilters who make lots of quilts should give lots of quilts away. “Don’t keep your quilts in a stack in a closet,” I say, sometimes even shaking my fist. “Give your quilts to people who want or need them! Go make more quilts! You will, anyway! Give it away, people!”
“Mary, Mary, wait a second,” you say. “Calm down.” And then, scratching your attractive head, you ask me why I’m on about quilts when I said I wanted to send money to Puerto Rico.
Wait for it!
Despite my fervent “Give away your quilts” message, which I do stand by — fervently! — I find myself with a quilt surplus right now. Some of these quilts are from my book, Make + Love Quilts, available at fine quilt shops everywhere; some are from the days of Quilty magazine; one or two were “just-for-funs”; one is a sample I made for the fabric line. I’ve given away other quilts over the years but somehow I haven’t yet given these quilts away and you know what? It’s time to turn them into money for people in need.
I’m going to auction off ten (10) quilts tomorrow, October 1st, 2017, and all the money will go to Americares to benefit victims of Hurricane Maria. This is going to be fun and awesome. Ten people will get their very own Mary Fons quilt and hundreds of people will get at least a little bit of help down in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico! And I’ll have more room in my house! This is great!
All of this will go down tomorrow. No, I don’t know exactly what time. I have homework to do and I have to set up this online silent auction thing. All will be revealed, don’t get antsy. Actually, no: Do get antsy! Be excited to buy a quilt from me and help so many people! But because I know there are burning questions, here are a few details for now:
Where’s the money going?
I spent a lot of time looking at which organization I want to send money to and Americares wins. They recently air-lifted $1.8 million in food and medical supplies to the Virgin Islands, and that was just another day at the office, if you will. Their website says: “Hurricane Maria: Emergency Relief Fund; For every $10 you donate today, we can provide $200 in aid — that’s the power of giving to Americares.” Think of the math, you guys: If I sell ten quilts at a minimum bid of $100 and no one bids a penny more, that’s $1000! By Americares’ math, we’re raising $20k, y’all! We can do it!
Will you be offended if I ask you how we know you’ll donate the money and not just spend it on candy corn pumpkins for Pendennis?
Nope, I won’t be offended. I actually have thought of this already and am going to make this part really fun: I’m going to make a video of me writing the check and sending the donation to Americares! Pendennis will come with me and Sophie will probably film it. (Sophie, will you please film the video?)
I don’t live in the U.S. and am wondering if this matters?
I guess I’d better limit participation to folks in the continental United States. But actually, if you want to pay the shipping of a quilt to your homeland, go for it! But you gotta pay shipping because that will eat into the donation.
What size are these quilts? And what else can you tell me about them?
The quilts are all lap- or queen-size. All the measurements will be listed on the silent auction thingy I’m going to try and make tonight. All quilts will have a label on the back that gives the date and says that I made it, you bought it, and together, we did something to help our brothers and sisters in the human race.
Is my payment tax deductible? I’m not a 501(c)3, so I think…no. I’m not sure, but I think what’s happening here is that you’re simply buying something and instead of me taking your money and spending it on candy corn pumpkins for Pendennis, I’m giving it away!
But what about this and that and how does this work and Mary Fons!!!
I have never done this before and I don’t know what I’m doing. Please do not get mad at me if I screw something up. We are doing this together. This is not about us, it’s about helping people who have lost everything, everything. That said, I’m going to try and make this easy and fun. Gulp.
HOT TIP: If you don’t subscribe to this blog, I highly, highly recommend doing that now. Because when you subscribe, you get an email in your email box whenever I post a post. Like, instantly, you get an email when there’s a new PaperGirl and that means you’ll instantly know when this whole thing goes live tomorrow. Your email is safe with me; even if I wanted to “sell” your name, I wouldn’t have the first idea about how to do that. Sell what? To whom?