CQ Auction and Auction Procedures

This page has two sections,  The CQ (Mostly) Annual Auction   and    Auction Procedures/How To’s.  Scroll down to reach our How To/Best Practices section for a lot of helpful information.


The (mostly) annual auction, which takes place in November, is Coastal Quilters main fundraiser. In years when our treasury is flush, we can decide not to hold the auction. We use the auction money to pay our rent at the Lion’s Club, to pay for special speakers (since our primary focus is education), and to pay for the annual running of the organization. Georges Valley joins us in this auction fundraiser, and both groups have benefitted from joining together. Auction day is a kind of reunion for both groups.

We urge members to “think auction” all year. Experience has shown that we make the most money when members make something special for the auction—a quilt top, a complete quilt, a purse, a pillow, something knitted, a gift certificate, something special… Remember that your gift is…a gift. What you give might not bring in as much money as you expected—there is no telling what people will bid up—but someone will always go home with the something special and wonderful that you have made possible. And, YOU could go home with something special and wonderful that someone else has made possible as well.

In September we form an Auction Committee to run the auction.  The committee collected auction items all through fall, then priced them ahead of the Friday set-up time.  Members may still drop off items on Friday or bring them Saturday morning, but it really helps to have things in advance.

We also have a silent auction table, so we ask you to think, too, of what you can donate to that table. People have donated hand-knitted items; fabrics culled from stashes; bottles of buttons, of threads, of lace and ribbon trimmings; handmade notebook covers, small purses, and so on. Primarily, the silent auction table is for smaller items that would take too long to live auction.

At the September organizational meeting, the President will ask several members to staff a committee that will collect auction items and organize them into what will be live auctioned and what will go on the silent auction table. Live auction items can have a minimal price point that bidders must meet. This committee will set up the auction items at the auction set-up, which is on Friday afternoon.

Later in the fall, the President will ask for members to volunteer to help with the various jobs that make the auction run smoothly. None of these jobs are difficult, and we’ve found that when we all work together, the magic happens, and we have a really good auction.

If you’ve never attended one of these auctions, expect to have some fun. You’ll find there is a lot of joking and a lot of laughing. And you can expect to go home with auction items that other members have made and donated with love and joy. You’ll find that this auction is a great place to buy special gifts for those you love, if not for yourself.

Most of all, we hope that this special day is fun for everyone involved.


Coastal Quilters has traditionally held an annual auction on the second Saturday in November. Georges Valley Quilters have participated with us in this auction. The following information will help you understand how the auction works:

FRIDAY BEFORE AUCTION —   3 to 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon

(a)  Members are asked to please bring their items to be included in the auction between 3 and 4:30 on Friday.

(b)Three or four members are needed for set-up and to take in and price auction items and determine if items should be in the live or silent auction or on the sales table.


9:00 a.m.            Door will be opened and final set-up

10:00 -10:30      Preview of live auction items, bidding at the Silent Auction table,

purchases from sales tables, socializing and eating

10:30 – 11:30      First live auction session

11:30- 11:45       Sandwiches are put out, break, enjoying refreshments

12:00 NOON       Silent Auction closes

12:30 – 1:00        Second and Final Live Auction session

Key Players/ Volunteers:

  1. Auction Chair (CQ Member)
  2. Auctioneer(s)
  3. Three or Four members for Friday Set-up (Both Coastal Quilters and Georges Valley)
  4. Door Greeter (one) to manage plate sign-up (CQ)
  5. Two members to manage Sales Table (CQ –2) (GV-2)
  6. Two members to assist the auctioneer (CQ-2) (GV-2)
  7. Four or More members to bring Refreshments (CQ –4) (GV – 4)
  8. Recording and Accounting Table – Two Treasurers (CQ – 1) (GV – 1)
  9. Clean-Up Crew

Auction Chair Duties

  1. Ask members to begin making items throughout year.
  2. Ascertain that there are volunteers for each position.
  3. Organize an October “drop off” site for donations.
  4. Organize a session to organize the donations at least a week before the auction.
  5. Work with GV Chair to coordinate refreshments.
  6. Ascertain with Treasurer that all paperwork is prepared and ready.
  7. Make sure supplies (sales table change, pencils, etc.) are ready.

Friday Set-Up Duties

  1. Set up tables and chairs in auction formation.
  2. Decide which last-minute donations items should be in live auction, silent auction and on sales table.
  3. Fill-out Silent Auction form for each Silent Auction item and indicate starting bid and increments for bidding and attach to item.
  4. Place pencils with Silent Auction forms and items.
  5. Price items on the Sales Tables
  6. If necessary, mark reserve on Live Auction items
  7. Place blue dot stickers on each Silent Auction form and on each Live Auction item.

Door Greeter

Have each member or guest sign in on the numbered sign-up sheet. Give that person a plate with the same number as they signed in.   (Sign-in sheet number and plate number must correspond for payment.

Sales Table Managers

Collect start-up funds – dollar bills, change, five dollar bills from Treasurer Friday afternoon or first thing Saturday morning in order to give change to customers. Keep record of the start-up money from the Treasurer. You will need a moneybox to provide change and keep cash and checks. Collect money from customers making purchases. At auction end, give money collected to Treasurer, with a tally minus the start-up funds.


There are two forms for tallying the sales. One is recorded by the GV Treasurer and one is recorded by the CQ Treasurer. Use sign-up sheet for identification of customers as well as their plate number.

As each item is auctioned, fill out the form you are using completely and accurately.

When auction is over, collect silent auction forms from each customer and add to the total that customer purchased at the silent auction and give customer total they owe.

Save all Color –Coded Silent Auction forms for determining which quilt group (CQ or GV) the funds are allotted to. Two auctioneers can at a later date determine how much money each quilt group made and divvy up the money accordingly.


  •            Paper plates for numbering (used as bidding paddles)
  •            Magic Marker (Wide) for labeling paper plates
  •            Silent Auction forms (CQ forms) (GV forms)
  •            Colored Sticker Dots for live auction items and silent auction forms
      • (Blue for CQ and Yellow for GV)
  •            Plenty of pencils to be placed on Silent Auction tables, several for Sales                    Tables
  •            Volunteers
  •            Treasurers forms (sample in Treasurer’s Auction File)
  •            Price tags to put on Sales Table items


  • Quilted/sewing/knitting, etc. items, i.e., fiber arts projects
  • Items of interest to all fiber artists. Think of creative packaging.
  • Fabric, again think of creative packaging.
  • NEWish or famous/known quilting books do well. Old books do not.
  • Sewing accessories.

If anyone wants to let us auction items they want to sell with a reserve and with a percentage split on the item, with some amount going to whichever chapter the seller determines, say 80/20 or 90/10, we could do that. If anyone has something they want to sell this way, contact the Auction Chair.

NOT TO BE INCLUDED: Single patterns, magazines, old books.

More on how things work

There is a live auction and ALL items for that are placed on large tables on one wall.

There is a silent auction table for Coastal Quilters and a silent auction table for Georges Valley. All items on each table are color-coded to that particular Chapter.

There is a sales table for CQ and a sales table for GV and all items on these tables are priced and color-coded to that particular Chapter.

Each buyer will have a numbered plate and will win auctioned items under that number. Each auctioned item (Silent or Live) will be color coded as to the chapter (CQ or GV) who produced it for the auction. As each item is auctioned, treasurers will record the winning amount under the buyer’s paper plate number AND the color code. For example, buyer number 5 bought $3.50 blue and $4.00 yellow, for a total of $7.50. Treasurers will reconcile color breakdowns after the auction. Each chapter’s treasurer will record both the total amount sold and the color amount for their chapter.


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