By September, $82,000 was raised and a home for the Mongolian Quilting Center purchased! After 18 months of fundraising, we had achieved our goal! In April 2008, we had $30,000. Then a generous family in our St. Barnabas parish pledged to match the next $20,000 if we could raise the $20,000 within 6 months. The challenge was on, and this gave the campaign the impetus we needed to succeed. Fundraising events included a Chinese dinner party, a benefit showing of the movie Mongol at our local cinema, an exhibition of tribal art, and booths to sell items made by the Mongolian women at various locations including the Bainbridge Bluegrass Festival, Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop, Diocesan Convention, Bainbridge 4th July, Harvest Fair and Curves.
National Guilds' Contest - Quilters without Borders
As part of the campaign, we organized a nationwide contest for quilt guilds. Guilds were invited to make a donation of $100 and to send a 6” square of fabric. For each $100 they donated, the guilds were entered into a drawing to receive an all expenses paid lecture and workshop from me. The winning group was the United Methodist Church Women in Appleton, MN and I fulfilled my promise to them in April 2009. Over $4,000 was raised from this effort. As a result of this publicity, the Quilt Guild of Dallas invited us to apply for their annual endowment grant of $5,000 and we were awarded the full grant. I pieced together a quilt from the 6” squares sent by the participating guilds and Wanda Rains quilted it. The names of the participating groups (see list below) were printed in the borders of the quilt. This quilt was taken to the Mongolian Quilting Center in 2009 and presented as a gift, each square symbolizing funds raised to purchase the facility and build their quilting community (see photos above).
By July we had raised the $20,000 needed to receive the matching funds. We then raised a further $12,000 before concluding the capital campaign in October.
In August, Selenge Tserendash found a suitable property to purchase for $79,000. This allowed $3,000 for new flooring, lighting, wall paper and paint, furniture, and display cabinets. The lease on the old Center expired at the end of September, so the timing was perfect, giving them a month in which to decorate and prepare for the move. The new Mongolian Quilting Center opened on 2nd October and is now thriving. It is a street level apartment with its own entryway and shop front for the retail area. There is also a classroom, small office and a restroom. The location is excellent - on Seoul Street opposite the Mongolian BBQ, just 10 minutes walk from the heart of Ulaanbaatar. The women may reach the Center easily by public transport and it is very close to Selenge's own apartment and the basement where the seamstresses still make the bags, aprons, and quilts etc to sell.
Selenge is determined that the Center will become self sustaining in the near future and she is working hard towards that goal. Cost of living, especially food prices and transportation have increased dramatically in Mongolia. The Center now hires one full-time seamstress, a designer and two part-time teachers. They continue to be busy teaching classes at the Center and on Mongolian television, and marketing their products. The Mongolian Government sponsors them to teach groups of unemployed women. We will continue to support the Center through sales of Mongolian made items and donations. Funds will be used to help with operating and maintenance costs of the Center.
Challenge for Quilt Guilds – Participating Groups
British Columbia: Nanaimo Quilters’ Guild, Vernon Silver Star Quilters
California: Citrus Belt Quilters - Redlands, Coachella Valley Quilt Guild - Coachella,
Dogwood Quilters - Dogwood Quilters - Lake Arrowhead, Seaside Quilters Guild - San Diego, Sauper Quilters - Redlands Lake Arrowhead, Seaside Quilters Guild - San Diego, Sauper Quilters - Redlands
Florida: Palm Beach County Quilters - West Palm Beach, Racing Fingers Quilt Guild - Ormond Beach
Illinois: Sinnissippi Quilters - Rockford
Indiana: Maple Leaf Quilters - Goshen
Iowa: Mississippi Valley Quilters Guild - Davenport
Missouri: Little Hills Quilt Club, St. Charles
Minnesota: United Methodist Church Women - Appleton
North Dakota: North Star Quilters, Grand Forks
Ohio: That Quilt Guild I Belong To - Poland
Rhode Island: Quilters by the Sea – Portsmouth
Washington: Camano Island Quilters - Camano Island, Evergreen Piecemakers - Kent, Kitsap Quilters Guild - Poulsbo, Quilters Anonymous – Edmonds, Quilters on the Rock - Whidbey Island, Vashon Island Quilters Guild - Vashon, West Sound Quilters - Port Orchard
Wisconsin: Pine Tree Quilters Guild - Wausau