Ask Jo: Auctions

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days.

The previous two weeks, I’ve held auctions and the confusion with the auctions has increased rather than gotten better.

I had a comment come in from one blog reader about these little sewing machines.


She felt bad because she was really interested in the machines but she had no idea how to bid and thus didn’t.


This was days after the auction had ended.  I guess being I do so much with the blog I take a few things for granted and assume everyone knows stuff.  I also have my adult kids that live close who I see often so I can bounce questions like this off of them.  I apologize for assuming others might know things that I know or have the same resources I have.

Then this comment came in after this auction…
“I need help understanding how to access your blog and where to bid. I get an email from you every day, is this your blog?
How do I tell you what item I want to bid on and see the preceding bids?
I enjoy your daily posts.”

I decided that I need to write a blog post on how to bid when I host a postage auction here.  So, here goes.  I am taking picture from one of the previous auctions so I can show you what to do.

First…at the top of the page you will see the comment section.  It’s right below the title of the post.  See where the curser is pointing and where it says 125 comments.  You need to click there to leave a comment or a bid.  You can click there any time you want to respond to any post I write.  It’s a great place to get to know other readers, see comments other readers made or check for clarification.  At time I might write something in a blog post recipe and write that the recipe needs 2 t of cinnamon.  Someone in the comments might write, “do you mean teaspoons or tablespoons?’  I will answer back and say teaspoons.


Reading the comments on any post really adds a lot to any blog reading.  I know one time I wrote a post about making hamburger gravy.  Oh, my word.  There were 130 people who commented about hearing or not hearing about hamburger gravy before.  You can read the post HERE if you are curious.  It was a lot of fun reading the comments and it really added a lot to the post.  My husband was alive at the time I wrote it and he was so interested in the comments too.  Many of us decided hamburger gravy was likely a regional food.

Anyway, bidding is much like leaving a comment.  Once you hit the button that said comments, which was under the title of the post, it will take you to a page like this.  On auction days, I have tried to really quickly get there before any of you do and wrote comments in.

Your job is to find the item you want to bid on.  Let’s say #4, the Embroidery Books was your wanted item.  You scroll down to the spot where it says Jo and #4.  This is what it looked like on this day.  You will look and see the prices previous bidders had bid.  You decide that you would like to bid more.  Scroll to the bottom of the #4 section BEFORE it says anything about #5 and you click the reply button.


It brings you here.  There will be a spot for you to write a bid.  It works best if you type ” #4 Embroidery Books plus postage” and then type the amount you want to pay. Type in your name and email.  If you have a blog or website you can type it in but it isn’t necessary.  Then submit your bid.

Your bid doesn’t always show up immediately.  Sometime you might need to refresh your page.  That’s this little symbol at the upper left of your page.


Another problem that can happen is if you have never left a comment here on the blog before.  All first-time comments are held and I have to approve them.  Sometimes I’m busy and don’t get to them because I am upstairs sewing or you submit a bit when I’m sleeping because you live in a different time zone.  I hold first-time comments because I get so much spam in the comment section if I don’t.  We had a glitch and lost the program that controls spam.  I had over 250 spam comments in a day that I had to manually go through.  It’s terrible.

Once I approve you as a commenter, you are allowed to freely comment after that.

Now comes the fun part.  You and others are all bidding.  You might want to go back to the blog post and check your bid to see if you are the highest bidder.  You can repeat the same process I listed above and bid again.  You can bid on as many things as you want and raise your bid as many times as want.  I’m warning you though.  Some people are tricky and wait until five minutes before the auction closes and put in one last bid with the hope they will win.

So…I’m warning you all that love the auctions or want to bid at an upcoming auction that there will be an auction in the next three weeks or so.  Between now and then is your time to learn how to bid…or to simply learn how to leave a comment.  Feel free to follow the instructions I’ve laid out for you in this post.  If you can’t think of something to write in the comment section, simply write, “Hi, I’m a first-time commenter”.  This will be good practice for you, and it will put you a step ahead when the next auction comes along because I will approve your comment and you’ll be in to freely comment after that.

If you want you are also welcome to go back to a previous old auction post…I suggest clicking on THIS LINK and commenting on that post.  That auction is long over with and you can make a “fake bid” so you can practice how to bid.  In the bidding section just write “practice bid” on the item you would bid on and submit it.  It is totally okay to do.  I think it’s great practice and will build your confidence for next time.

I hope that helps…So watch out all of you who know how to bid.  I think there might be more bidders at the next auctions.

39 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Auctions”

  1. 2-13-2023 Hi Jo- Wouldn’t you know, the day after I contacted you re: my auction wins, the package arrived! Thank you so much for sending it! I LOVE all three quilt tops, and am so happy about winning them! Hubby likes them too! Thanks for ALL you do for all of us! Brenda King

  2. Hi, I’m a first-time commenter even though I have been reading for at least a year. Thank you for explaining this, I was totally lost with the auction process. I love your blog! I am a cross stitcher, but have never tried to make a quilt. What would be a good beginner project. I would like to start with a table topper or runner.

  3. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Trying to comment for the first time in an auction to bid on something would be tricky!! Definitely a good idea to become “verified” commenter and be able to comment on any posts. I know on Bonnie Hunters’ blog, I get the whole blog with pictures in the email and if I want to comment, I have to go to her blog by clicking on the title of the post. Used to be that way with your blog as well, but now I get a single paragraph or so then there is the blue “read more” that directs me here. I remember needing to write down instructions for my dad to get into his email, click by click! Amazing how much we take for granted when using a computer. I’m also glad to have kids I can call when I goof something up!!! I like the way you are doing the auctions now…makes it really clear what item people are bidding on!!

  4. I just had to comment on the hamburger gravy. Growing up in Texas, my father seldom cooked anything except barbecue. Occasionally, he would make what you called hamburger gravy. He would put it over toast and tell us that in the Army they called it SOS. He would also say that in the Army sometimes it was made with hamburger, sometimes chipped beef, and sometimes mystery meat. So, there may be other names for it.

  5. Thank you for explaining about the auction. I did have to go read the post about hamburg gravy. My mother (I do too) made it, but differently. We fry burgers and them make gravy in the pan with the drippings. We very seldom had buns with our burgers, just had burgers, potatoes and gravy, with other veggies. I grew up on farm in Michigan, so maybe it’s a farmer’s thing.

    1. Nope, not a farmer thing. I grew up in a small town in central Iowa. My mom did (does) the same thing. We seldom had gravy so it was always a treat. My folks ran a hardware store and came home for the noon meal-dinner. Didn’t have a lot of time so the gravy was more often than not, not made.

      1. I grew up in Michigan and we had hamburger gravy too. I’m wondering if that’s something that came out of the depression. Because we at pickle sandwiches too and I learned recently that came from the depression.

        1. Cynthia from SW Minnesota

          The only place I ever had hamburger gravy was at our high school, over mashed potatoes! I loved it! Never saw it as an option at any restaurant I have visited, the school was in Tracy, Minnesota!

        2. Cynthia from SW Minnesota

          The only place I ever had hamburger gravy was at our high school, over mashed potatoes! I loved it! Never saw it as an option at any restaurant I have visited, the school was in Tracy, Minnesota! We had some great cooks, back in the day when they cooked from scratch.

  6. Lynn quilter in CA

    First time commenter. I love your blog and your family. Thanks for explaining things where we can all understand it.

  7. Thanks so much for explaining how to bid – I too am a first time commenter. I have been enjoying your blog for a long time. Loved your video of cutting scraps, very well done. Actually seeing it done makes it easier to understand!! Thank you for all you do!

  8. Thanks so much for taking the time to explain how this works! I have been a long-time reader but was unsure how to actually bid. Thanks!

  9. First time commenter…I recently found your blog when I was searching for educational pages and your blog caught my eye because I’m a quilter. I’ve been enjoying your blog and I’m looking forward to the auction.

  10. Ah, Jo, you do so many good deeds! You are so kind and helpful to your community you have created here. I am often amazed by your generosity and you have been such an inspiration to me ever since I started following you. I just wanted you to know how much I admire and appreciate you. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  11. Gail H. -I am a first time commentor and I appreciate your explaining how to bid on your auction. Finding your blog and reading it for the last couple of months has been a real treat for me. Sure enjoyed your relaxed and free style of making your
    alphabet quilts for your grandchild!

  12. You do AUCTIONS! I was drooling over the photos of the two Singer machines…a Sew Handy, be still my heart! Anywho, I’m delighted to have stumbled over your blog and look forward to seeing your posts in my inbox. I do hope this comment puts me on your newsletter list? Have a great day!

  13. Nikki DeRamus Moshier

    I enjoy reading your posts daily, starts my day off happy! Looking forward to the next auction. I won 2 items last time.

    New to Hamburger Gravy. Dad from Alabama and Depression poor, Mom from England. We grew up in Florida. Married a North Dakota man with roots in Sweden. Still no hamburger gravy in our life.

  14. Hello, Jo. I’ve been reading your posts, but this is the first time to comment.
    Like some of the other posters, I really appreciated the tutorial for auctions.
    I’m a transplanted Iowa farm girl. I grew up in southeast Iowa.
    Thanks for your inspirations. I’ve picked up a neglected stitching project. -Kim

  15. Lucinda in Oklahoma

    I am going to try to bid next auction but I am totally all thumbs with computer stuff.
    Reading your explanation 6 or 7 times should help me. Your blog is very refreshing and uplifting. Thank you.
    P.S. I grew up on a farm in Illinois. Hamburger gravy was a real treat!

  16. thanks for the info Jo i didnt really know how the auction worked, i dont bid because i am overseas and postage would make it too dear

  17. Born and raised in Washington state. We had hamburger gravy in our home when I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. Our gravy was always meat scrapings from the frying pan with flour and milk, salt and pepper. Meat could be hamburger, fried chicken or sausage. Yum gravy! So it must have a been a poor man’s gravy because usually everyone had the makings in their kitchen and a cow in the barn. Love reading your blog posts and pictures of quilts and dogs. Thanks for sharing your life.

    1. Yep , the Navy, ( my Father and Brother) the depression and a farm in Michigan, Hamburger gravy and SOS! I made it for my kids too. We served it over a mountain of mashed potatoes , surrounded with corn niblets and called it Volcano dinner! It really filled up my hungry teen aged boys!

  18. Growing up, we had SOS ! Dad was in the Navy, not sure if that is where we got that name from or not. Have made SOS once in a while for my family, but hate to use our good dried beef in it – I’m not fond of using hamburger when making it. Thanks for explaining the auction – so, if I would bid $10 would I add the $6 donated by the blog reader for a total of $16, or is that $6 included in the $10???
    Sorry, I’m a little dense here.

    1. ChristieB, “donated by blog reader” refers to the object being auctioned, not to the postage. That object was donated by a blog reader, and is not something that Jo found at a thrift shop, or is destashing, etc.

      You’d bid $10 for the item, and if you won the bidding, you’d need to send Jo $16, adding the postage to the amount of your bid.

  19. Hi Jo! I’m a long-time reader, but first time commenter. I grew up in southeast NC and remember momma making hamburger gravy on Sundays after church. I’ve also heard it called Salisbury steak.
    Thank you for explaining the auction bidding process. Regarding people knowing what items are, will you provide a brief description with auction items, particularly with equipment and machines? I am new to quilting and haven’t learned all of the specialized tools, machines and equipment yet.
    Have a great day y’all!

  20. Casey from Indiana

    This is my first comment. I am a new reader and enjoy your blog. Thanks for explaining the auction procedure. I’ve even picked up cross stitch again after too many years. Hahaha!!!

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