Leukaemia Foundation Fundraising Event

Highlights from Our Leukaemia Foundation Fundraising Day
Saturday 5th October 2019

Our big fundraising day has been and gone and is now just a wonderful memory. All of those involved in the planning, those helping on the day, or those attending have been left with a great sense of satisfaction knowing that we, as a patchwork community, raised a fabulous total of $45,427.15!!!

The idea of having a fundraiser was born back in February this year, about the time Di Ford-Hall was to start her treatment for Leukaemia. Initially it was to be a Sit and Sew day with some fundraising happening also – target $5,000. However, very quickly the event grew legs of its own and became somewhat bigger!

The planning committee consisted of Helen Hayes, Linley Leppitt and myself (Carol Nicholls).


We had many Monday night meetings, did loads of planning and brain storming, but most of all felt so much enjoyment from having the event evolve into what it became over the months. We also learned a great deal along the way, as none of us had any previous experience with organising a fundraiser! Of course, the event could not have occurred without the wonderful support from so many people both in the preparations for the day and on the actual day, which enabled such an amazing amount of money to be raised for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Here is a photo of (most of) our team of helpers on the day.
Saturday October 5th finally arrived, and a super keen crowd started gathering at the doors well before 11am, for an 11.15am opening. We had 300 (!!) people purchase tickets to the event, so it took a little while to tick off names, hand out silent auction bidding numbers, and of course for people to make those last-minute raffle ticket purchases! There were people everywhere – 300 is a LOT of people!!
Once inside, people had several areas to visit, and choosing what to do first was a challenge! Hard to tell if checking out the quilt display and saying hello to Di and the Secret Sewing Sisters was first choice, or if it was visiting those tables brimming full of fabric ‘must have’ treasures! Then of course there was the seventy-five Silent Auction items too, plus the craft demonstrations to check out as well. And so many people to have a chat too!
Of course, the big question on everyone’s minds was “Would Di be well enough to attend”. And the answer was YES! Back in February when we first spoke to Di about possibly holding a fundraiser, she said “I will be there”. And despite everything she has been through with her treatment this year, as she travels her road to recovery, she indeed was well enough on the day to come along.
Quilt display – huge thanks to Di Ford-Hall and the Secret Sewing Sisters for displaying 27 of their beautiful quilts from both their ‘Labors of Love’ book recently released by Quiltmania, along with some of their own personal quilts. The quilts from their book had been touring the world, and only arrived back into Australia a few days before the event – huge relief when they arrived! And what an absolute delight for everyone as they walked into the quilt display room to be greeted by the smiling faces of Di Ford-Hall and the Secret Sewing Sisters.
Thanks to Meghan for arranging copies of the ‘Labors of Love’ book to be available for sale – books sold out on the day and dozens of signatures were added to the purchased books. Profits from the sale of the books was donated back to the Fundraising Event.
The Fabric Treasures (and other donated items) rooms – thank you to everyone who donated fabric (from their stash!) or other items for us to sell. Huge thanks to Helen Hayes, and especially too to Dawn, for their tireless hours and hours spent measuring, folding and packaging fabrics. What an amazing effort!

Added to that was a truly AMAZING donation of fabrics from Andover Fabrics (who arrange manufacture and distribution from the US of Di’s fabric ranges). Their donation of full bolts of the entire range of Di’s “Rochester” fabric collection arrived just a few days prior to the Fundraiser. Needless to say, there was a very last minute major cutting, folding and packing “party” one evening at the shop!
Silent Auction
We had 75 wonderful donations on offer to bid on at our Silent Auction. SO MANY people to thank, most of whom have been thanked personally. Special mention though to:
  • Andover Fabric, as mentioned earlier. Some of their fabrics were auctioned as packs, and some in our fabric treasures room
  • Christopher Wilson-Tate for his donation of a gorgeous antique quilt from his collection
  • Robert Wade – an Australian world-renowned watercolour artist for his donation of one of his original paintings
  • Quiltmania for their donation of so many of their beautiful books, and their support for our fundraising donations drive
  • Australian fabric distributors and other suppliers or shops in the patchwork industry – in particular: XLN Fabrics, Amitie Textiles, Lloyd Curzon, P K Fabrics, Victorian Textiles, 2 Green Zebras, Gordon Heathcote, Petra Prins Patchwork, Wonderfil (Aust), Karen Kay Buckley (Aust), Elm Grove Patchwork, Gippsbeary Cottage
  • To so many other very generous fabric stores or individual people for their monetary donations, book donations, quilt donations, handmade items etc etc – heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you
Bidding was certainly super popular with many keen to secure their favourite items. As closing time for bidding got closer and closer, bidding strategies came to the fore!
Our Guest Speaker
Thankyou Jen Kingwell, our guest speaker, for a fabulous talk and trunk show. It was highly entertaining and easy listening. Your quilts are amazing and decorated the edge of the stage beautifully!
Jen was also very happy for people to come and touch and admire her quilts during our interval break.
Raffle Prizes
!st prize – a quilt made and donated by Di – the lucky winner was Jenny Bulakowski
2nd prize – a quilt cabinet made by Andrew Hayes – the lucky winner was Gail Polak
3rd prize – a beautiful hamper of Dutch Heritage fabric packs and products donated by Petra Prins – the lucky winner was initially Jen Kingwell! However, Jen very generously asked for the prize to be redrawn as she felt she maybe had enough fabric in her shop! Redrawn winner was Clare from the Secret Sewing Sisters
Heartfelt thanks also to:
  • The Leukaemia Foundation for their support as we planned the event
  • One Community Church for the use of their amazing venue
  • Patrick Devine who spoke to us about Leukaemia and how important research is to help find a cure for Leukaemia
  • Peter Hayes (Helen’s husband) – who was our very capable Treasurer
  • The Craft Demonstrators – Heather and friend for the beautiful knitting; Veronique and Glenda for their stitching demonstrations
  • Lenora from Elm Grove Patchwork for organising a bus load of approx. 40 ladies to travel up from Warrnambool for the day
  • Vicki Lemm, so ably helped by Amy in the kitchen, who between them put on the most amazing and scrumptious afternoon tea for us all to enjoy
  • Our families – my husband Geoff, before, during and after the event! Chris and Kate, and Catherine who worked tirelessly on the day
  • Helen and Peter’s daughters – Bec and Kate, and their friend Jodi, who were there working hard all day too
  • Andrew Hayes – for not only building the Quilt Cabinet raffle prize, but for also helping with the collection and return of the quilt stands
  • The Sewn and Quilted staff (Sue, Jenna, Marg and Kylie) who didn’t hesitate in donating their time to help both at our “cutting, folding, packing” night on the Thursday prior, and for their tireless help all day at the event. Not to mention selling hundreds and hundreds of raffle tickets for months!
  • Monetary donors – especially Andover Fabrics, XLN Fabrics, and to the many people who also made personal donations both from Australia and internationally
  • Anne Hayes for being our photographer, along with Tom from the Leukaemia Foundation
  • To everyone who raided their stash and supplied us with fabrics for our “treasures” room, right down to those who helped sell raffle tickets, and to everyone who bought a raffle ticket
  • To other helpers on the day – Trish, Shelley, and everyone else who played their part on the day to help it tick along so smoothly
As you can no doubt tell if you weren’t able to join us on the day, the event was HUGE, and wouldn’t have been the success it was without EVERYONE’S help and support.

THANK YOU! Our total of $45,427.15 has now been fully donated to the Leukaemia Foundation and we can all be so happy in knowing that this will help them achieve their goal of Zero Deaths from Blood Cancers by 2035!