Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Auction quilt - finished and on display

Wednesday we celebrated the finish and hanging of the 2011 quilt. It will be on display in the stairway of the Early Learning Center until next weeks "Gala".
So, what is the quilt worth? Certainly, in the past, the auction quilts have brought in quite a bit of yen to the American School. When that check is written, however, it is written as a donation to the school and that parent would probably be making a big donation anyway with or without the incentive of a quilt.
Each of the quilts we have made is a one-of-a-kind quilt. Each quilt has had a large cast of characters (I say that with a smile) involved in the planning and making. Sometimes we spend money on fabrics and sometimes we dig into our various stashes. It is usually a combination of both.
It would be difficult to count the hours spent as many blocks went home with someone between sessions and not all the work was done in the group. I would be willing to wager that should all the hours be added up, the planning, the shopping, the marking and cutting, the piecing, and the quilting and finishing, and the price figured at the minimum wage x the total of each person's time, no one could afford this quilt.
Then we get into another aspect of values added. Those most certainly include the dedication of the women themselves, organizing, coming to help, offering a place to meet, giving advice or encouragement, and the warm friendships made here.
I once looked at some quilts on consignment at a quilt shop in the states. I was shocked by how low the asking prices were. I could not even buy the fabric in Japan for what was being asked.
Even if they had been pieced by machine, many were quilted by hand and must have taken months to complete. I think of those quilts often when my husband suggests I sell some of my quilts to pay bills. I think of my grandmother's quilt and my mother's quilt. I would rather give them away to someone who would love and cherish them and skip the meals they might buy.
So ... what is the value of this quilt? I'm certain at the end of the auction it will go home with a new owner. Even with a struggling economy it will be enough to cover the fabric and supplies. It will remain a good reminder of someones time lived in Japan and spent at the American School. What else? We never know.


  1. I think quilts like this are treasures! Their value is above what we could imagine because of all the love and care...the devotion put into them. I really love this quilt and it looks awesome hung up on display! Kudos to all who had a 'hand' in the making of it!

  2. Priceless, and how moving seeing it now hanging on display, waiting for its new home. I'm sure it will bring such love and sweet memories to its future owner, as it was made so heartfully...
    Congratulations to you and the whole group, dear Julie ! (wish I could be there for the auction ;>)


  3. How can you put a value on a one-of-a-kind like this? And as you said, when you attach a memory or a particular person to that quilt, then really it is priceless.
    Beautiful quilt Julie. I hope it brings in lots of Yen.

  4. Such a lovely post, Julie. Congrats to all of you that helped with the quilt and best of luck at the auction.

  5. Best of luck with the auction. However, the women who contribute to this are winners already since they have the satisfaction of seeing their work hung publicly as well as the pleasure of working as a group.

    Whenever I see cheaply priced quilts I cringe. It only serves to devalue what we do, and the time, effort and imagination put into non mass produced quilts.

  6. Quilts are so much more than quilts. They are memories in a physical form. The quilts that my mother and grandmothers made are priceless and, like you, I could give them to someone who would cherish them but I could not sell them. This quilt will be in the heart of each of you who contributed in some way to its making....there's no amount of money that could cover that. blessings, marlene