Monday, April 6, 2009


If you are a quilter, quilt lover, food lover, social interaction lover, used book lover, antique lover, shopper, charitable giver, 2K or 10K runner, where can you find the perfect place to get a little of each, and feel good about spending some of your hard-earned money? Without a doubt, the answer would be the West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale held on the campus of Fresno Pacific University the first weekend in April. All the labor is donated, all the quilts are donated, food, antiques, pretty much everything there is donated. The money raised all goes to Mennonite Central Committee, a highly ranked charitable organization dedicated to helping Third World Countries.

And it definitely ranks as one of my favorite weekends of the whole year. It starts late Friday afternoon and runs through late Saturday afternoon. During that 24-hour period of time, you can eat some of the best food there is, visit with friends you maybe haven't seen since the previous year, bid on quilts and antiques, run or walk the 2 or 10K. When you see the following pictures, you will definitely know what captures my heart. But I ate lots of really great food, too, and now wonder why I didn't take a picture of any of it. Soooo yummy.

Friday night is set aside mostly for the antique auction and then bright and early Saturday morning the quilt auction gets going. For the past five or six years, my friends and I have sat in the same section of the special events center where the auction is held. I stay in my seat all day Saturday, and I do mean all day, only leaving for bathroom breaks. Really. Mark even delivers lunch to me. Listening to the auctioneers, gazing at each quilt, being with my friends, I just love everything about it.

There were well over 200 quilts, comforters and afghans up for auction this year. Oh so much to choose from.
Beautifully hand quilted.

This one was made by friends, Maggie and Sue, and I have watched them working on it for over a year. The picture really doesn't show what a gorgeous quilt this turned out to be.

Loved the colors in this one.

And did I buy anything? Well, let's just say I was completely focused, with one goal in mind.

This quilt was started by my friend, Jennifer, several years ago, each block completely original. I have been wanting this quilt ever since I saw the first block. How happy was I when she said she was donating it. My chance to own it! I was so nervous when it came up for auction because there could be someone else who wants it just as much. I had to give my bidding number to my friend, Tanya, told her my dollar limit, and turned the whole buying process over to her. It's a weird thing when you are bidding on something you really, really want, at least it is for me. My stomach starts turning flipflops, I get all shaky, cold and clammy. It's hard to even concentrate enough to know whether you are the current top bidder or not. So thanks, Tanya!

Isn't this too cute?

And close-ups of some of my favorites, although it is really hard to determine which are actually my favorites. Right now it is on the floor in my family room and I keep looking at it and trying to decide. This is what I came up with: I love them all !

And who is this adorable child? She came to say hi to her quilt-lovin' Grandma. And no, she's not up for auction. No one could afford to bid that high anyway, because she is completely priceless. Sold!


05 08
Katie said... #

I'm so glad you got it. Good work!

Grandma G said... #

What an awesome quilt! So you DID buy it, right? You didn't actually say. :-)

Wow, so many gorgeous quilts!

But yeah, the priceless little girl is definitely the prettiest of all!

JHNickodemus said... #

Wow! Love all those cars! Such a creative manipulation of fabric! Likin the cutie in the yellow too!

k said... #

I don't consider myself a quilt fiend and yet I gasped when I saw the one you wanted. So cute!

And what a lot of work.

(P.S. That sounds like the most perfect day/weekend event.)

The Luedtke Family said... #

What a fantastical time! I am soooo jealous of the yummy food you were able to enjoy. All of those quilts are just so beautiful. You did not say if you donated one this year?!?!?!

Luv the car/truck quilt as well, so glad you bought it! Did you auction bidder request payment for her bidding services?

Sounds like a lot of fun with friends and family!

Tanya said... #

Yay for winning quilts we desperately want and yay for food and super big yay for cute kids that aren't for sale!

Susan said... #

And yay for the announcers who TRIED to get ya'll to PAY MORE MONEY!!!!!

Karen Meyers said... #

I loooooove that zebra leopardy car!