Before the auction I had picked out 5 quilts I liked enough to try for. My method, which worked well for me at last year's auction, is to settle on a price that I think is fair and that I am comfortable with. Then, if the bidding starts going past this amount, I drop out of the competition. That way, whether I win or lose, I don't come away with any regrets or shock when it's time to pay up.
Once the bidding started, I changed my mind about one of the quilts and didn't bid on it, and I lost out on another...so I got 3 of the 5 original picks. As for the other 2 quilts that I won...well, I did like them but didn't think I could afford everything I liked when I was making choices. However, when the bidding started, I couldn't believe how little interest there was for them and how little they were going for...it's sad when the auctioneer starts at $50 and has to drop down to $25 to get any bidders! So I jumped in and started bidding. I hated that the two quilts didn't get a price they deserved, but at least they didn't go for less than the cost of the materials.
Here are photos of what I came home with:
This is the only bed-size quilt I got; the rest are various sizes appropriate for hanging. This is called "Vintage-Modern Finally Finished." It's 72" x 84" in black, white, and red. One of the women who pieced the top died in 2008 and it was finished by two other guild members.
Below is a detail of the stitched design around the circumference of the quilt:
This one is "Three Inch Sampler" and is 22" x 28". Some of the pieces in the patterns are so tiny...another reason why I prefer to buy quilts rather than make them..let someone else fiddle with those tiny, tiny triangles!
This one is a quilt I hadn't originally planned on bidding on. It's a 50" square called "Knights Bee Sampler" and was a challenge bee to get Knights Bee members to try out new quilt blocks. So each block has it's own personality, but the black ties it all together nicely. This one went for an incredible $50!
Here's another one that I hadn't planned on bidding on that almost went for nothing. It's called "Star Blocks" and it's 13" x 15" in red and tan.
And finally, this very modern piece, "Black is the New Black." It's 57" x 58" and backed with a soft furry fabric called Minkee.
This quilt is typical of the type I like and apparently not appealing to a majority of bidders at these auctions. The most heated bidding seems to go for traditional, bed-size quilts in more subdued colors. There were a lot of quilts in browns and tans which seem popular. My walls are almond and taupe tones so brown hangings would not be my choice. Also, I prefer quilts that incorporate geometric graphics with a lot of black accents, as evidenced by 4 of the 5 quilts I took home.
I was surprised at how slowly the bidding was moving up for one of the larger quilts that was a First Place Winner of the July 2013 Views Choice Challenge. It was vibrantly colored with Kaffe Fassett prints; he is a leader in bringing exciting color combinations to quilting, knitting, and needlepoint. But I guess the quilt was too dramatic for many people's tastes. This lack of interest in more contemporary designs and use of colors makes it easier for people like me to get some bargains on locally-made quilts. I think, however, next year I'll need to skip the auction as it is definitely a challenge to find suitable wall space for all these beautiful pieces in my small house.