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Monday, October 22, 2012

Goodbye Yolanda

For months now, you've heard me posting about all the quilts that the bees from Bee Happy (and some other special friends, too) have been helping to assemble for Yolanda's family as she battled her cancer.
At the beginning of the year, Yolanda wasn't feeling very well. Come March and she KNEW something was wrong - there were tons of tests and then it was learned that Yolanda had advanced bile duct cancer.
One day when I was visiting her, she told me that she had a lot of nieces and nephews that she wanted to make quilts for. It was ALWAYS Yolanda's intention to get better and to be able to give back to the people who assembled all these for her while she was sick, but she also quietly admitted that she needed to have her family covered in quilts if she wasn't going to make it. So the bees and I stepped up. We made 14 quilts for her family in about 6 months. (2 are still almost finished, but they're well on their way) We also made an amazing "healing quilt" that she took with her to the hospital for her many stays.  It was like a security blanket to her and the entire quilt was centered on a graphic that I made for her earlier in the year.




Yolanda lost her battle with cancer this weekend. I will miss her greatly. She was a good friend. She was generous and inspiring. For years, she has led and organized groups of people in swaps where she did all the work of cutting and mailing hundreds of pieces of fabrics - just because she loved to give and connect with people. She and I had a practice of randomly sending gifts in the mail. Yolanda was strong. I kept telling her that if there was anyone who could battle the prognosis that she had, it was her.  She never ran out of ideas for new projects and even when she struggled walking up and down the stairs in her home, or could only direct me as I sewed and cut her final projects, she kept talking about the matching Christmas quilts we were going to make when she licked this thing. Or wait, what about that over there?....

When she got sick, so many people contacted us to see how they could help. These quilts have been in 3 countries, numerous states, they've been in the mail, handed off in weird parking lots in Hollywood, they've been shuttled from Orange County to Los Angeles and back again. The batting was flown in from Colorado and Florida. They had their own box when I moved houses this year, they were pieced in the sewing rooms and dining rooms of many generous and loving women. I'll name them here as a tribute and if I've forgotten anyone, please tell me in the comments and I will correct it (don't be bashful, this is a thank you on Yolanda's behalf). The Bee Happy ladies: Lori, Alison, Janice, Natalie, Ramona, Nicole, Katie, Rosanna, Blossom, Liberty, Melissa, Kelly. Then we also got help in various measures from: Linnaea, Liz, Jennifer, Maria, Alissa, Jenn, Pam, Mary, Megan, Susan and Jeanette.  There may be a few more who sent in squares for the red and blue quilt that I don't know about... let me thank you from Yolanda!

I don't really know what else to say except to show you photos of our sweet friend, Yolanda, and the quilts that we made for her and her family, which she loved so much.

















Goodnight, Yolanda. I will miss you, friend.

14 comments:

freshcityfarm said...

beautiful liberty. what fitting words for such a lovely life lived.

Sewing Geek said...

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. 14 quilts, amazing! Thank you for posting this.

Janice said...

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman, Liberty. We will all miss Yolanda.

Melissa said...

Thanks for posting this, especially all the pictures. Generous and inspiring are two (of many) words that describe Yolanda perfectly. I can't wait till I get to heaven and can finally find out the "rest of the story" of these 14 quilts...who got them, how well the were received, how much they cherished them. :)

Abi said...

Thanks for sharing all of this, Liberty. I had no idea. I think I'll sew some of Yolanda's swapped hexagons this weekend.

euphoria said...

So touching- what a great post! I did a bit of swapping with Yolanda via flickr. What a sweet woman.

SunnyInCAL - Jenn said...

Oh Libby! I'm so sorry about Yolanda. I'm glad I was able to help a little. My deepest condolences to her family.

littlemissmk said...

Found your blog randomly- read this post...I cried. And I didn't even know her. I'm so touched by her love for her family and her friends' love to carry out her wish. What a huge blessing to her you all were.

libbydibby said...

Thank you littlemissmk for these kind words. She was indeed a special friend and part of my life and I miss her so much

libbydibby said...

Thank you! She was queen of swapping for sure. It was a great outlet for her generosity.

libbydibby said...

A fitting reminder. If you would like to, please send an image of your project when finished and ill send it on to her fiancé and sons. They'd love that.

libbydibby said...

Melisaa you were such a big part of this effort. Thank you for organizing us and keeping all of our Mike's straight!

libbydibby said...

Didnt you singlehanded my lake three of the quilts? Thank you for all you did, Janice.

libbydibby said...

Thank you! As it turned out we even made more than that. 17 if I'm correct... And I still have the final one that se was hand quilting while in the hospital. It has a lot of work left to do, but I think it will be a special tribute I can make to her to finish it and give it to her fiancé.

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