News & Stories
Quilt Auction To Benefit Breast Cancer Center – Courier-Post
By: Kim Mulford, September 23, 2016
CAMDEN – Nancy Turnbull was vacationing in Hawaii last year when she found the fabrics for her next quilt, a modern style in white and teal batiks, whose watery blues reminded her of the ocean. The Mays Landing resident didn’t know then her work would hold a deeper meaning.
A 20-year breast cancer survivor, Turnbull pieced together her own design over the course of 80 hours to honor two of her sisters and their journeys through cancer treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center — one in Dallas and the other in South Jersey.
The queen-size quilt with pineapple stitching was donated this spring to The Cooper Foundation’s first online quilt auction, set to launch at noon on Tuesday through 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2. Proceeds from the sale of 51 original quilts will be used to support cancer research, complementary medicine, supportive services and other programs through MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.
“I’m honored to be a part of this auction, and to have donated a quilt for such a worthy cause,” Turnbull said. “There’s such a need for research.”
The auction was organized by Carolyn Shelby of Westampton, a breast cancer survivor and avid quilter, whose pink and teal textile art is on permanent display at the Camden treatment center. The volunteer pitched the auction idea to the foundation’s president and CEO, Susan Bass Levin, after discovering MD Anderson’s quilt auction in Texas. Donations arrived from Shelby’s network of friends, quilting groups and quilting shops across South Jersey.
“For anyone whose been through cancer, knowing that these quilts were made to support the cancer program is an inspiration,” Bass Levin said.
“It’s a gift of faith, a gift of hope, to support other women and their families,” added Shelby. “I’ve sat there next to those women in chemo, the women whose insurance didn’t cover their anti-nausea drugs… that’s something the Patient in Need Fund can help with.”
Organizers aren’t estimating the amount they expect to raise through the auction. A typical quilt represents between $120 and $200 in fabric costs alone to the maker. The market price of a quilt does not account for the many hours of labor each requires, explained Karen Dever, a quilt appraiser and designer who donated 11 quilts to the auction.
And there is no way to account for a quilt’s sentimental value, she acknowledged.
“You really can’t put a price on it,” Dever said. “It’s hard.”
Starting bids for the quilts range between $25 for a wall hanging, up to $400 for a large quilt with an intricate pattern. Buyers can skip the bidding war and buy a quilt outright. Turnbull’s “Two Sisters” quilt is listed at $1,000.