Saturday, June 16, 2012

Yolanda's healing quilt

When we heard Yolanda was sick, we decided the best thing a bee could do was to assemble a quilt for our hurting member. Yolanda had liked and requested a personalized copy of a computer art piece I'd made for myself recently, so we decided to include it as a focus piece. We got the collage printed on fabric at and also tracked down Yolanda's favorite "Livingston seagull" fabric (the last two fat quarters on the Internet!).
Using the gray and white and turquoise colors from those pieces and some bright purple to make it really happy, we all made oversized mod mosaic blocks for her. Lori assembled the top and we were able to get our hands on Robert Kaufman's new line of lawn cotton to make a silky backing.

When the quilting proved to be really frustrating, Lori called for help. Ramona suggested we hand quilt it -old fashioned bee style- at our sewing event for the guild today.
So many beautiful friends joined in and the quilt was almost entirely finished in one day. It was a magical thing to be a part of and we sent Yolanda photos, even as we were working on it.
I promise to send finish pics when Lori finishes the binding and photographs it.
In the meantime, a huge thank you to the following AMAZING women who have all made this gift possible:
Lori, Alison, Rosanna, Kelly, Janice, Nicole, Melissa, Natalie, Katie, Blossom, Ramona, Rhonda, Jennifer, Maria, and Alissa.
I literally get tears in my eyes thinking about how beautifully wonderful this gift is going to be. I can't wait to see it in her arms.

Yolanda's quilts in the hands of friends

Here are some amazing quilts that have been helped along by loving friends to Yolanda. She is super encouraged when we send her pics of her WIPs, so it's really fun for us to all be cranking away to help her. None of these pics are mine... They were taken by the amazing women who worked on these quilts: Janice, Lori, Pam, and Alison.

Gavin's Quilt - Yolanda and the bee

I haven't been able to blog super much lately. Partly due to the fact that most of my house is in boxes or already at the new house... We are also remodeling the new house, so even though we are planning to be fully out of the old house in 2 weeks - almost the entire ground floor of the house doesn't even have walls yet. The whole thing is daunting.
Then there's the fact that I spent 7 glorious days in Hawaii with my family and I just haven't picked up the post-aloha speed again yet.
And then there's my friend, Yolanda. I've mentioned her before here on my blog- Yolanda is a Bee Happy member and one of the most generous people I know. Until recently, she was the pres of the Orange County Modern Quilt Guild. But recently she found out she has cancer. And that totally sucks.
Our very tight knit bee (we've been together for years now and probably send an average of 10 emails to each other every day) - has rallied. We've placed all other projects on the back burner to do a number of Very Important Projects for Yolanda. Since Y is feeling tired these days, we asked how we could help with some of her Works in Progress (WIP) and UnFinished Objects (UFOs, yeah I know). We felt like if she can know we are all working to be her extra hands and energy right now, she can keep her faith and energy focused on healing... And know how much we all care for her. People from all over the country and even the world have sent me emails asking how they can help. One amazing woman in Australia (Jeannette) even had me send a quilt for her to piece and quilt down there. I could just cry thinking of how amazing people can be. Some of the people have never even interacted with Yolanda, they just care.
I've been driving to south Orange County to spend time with her nearly every week. We play with fabric and figure out which projects are fun ones to have people help out with. Our time is always too short and I love seeing her amazing happy face light up while we play.
Last week we were working on her grandson's quilt. Our bee members (and other non-bee generous souls) sent in squares in three sizes per Y's directions...either 10", 5.5" or 2.5" - in reds, greys, and blues. (we still need more tiny ones, if you're feeling inspired...). Yolanda and I laid them out on her design wall - so cool with its frame and all... And she sat at her machine and sewed while I ran around alternative between handoffs, layouts and pressing. It was so fun. Isn't this quilt going to be fantastic?
Yolanda really has such a great eye for color and cool quilt concepts. It's been fun for me to pass off her many UFOs through the mail to other folks. Seeing her ideas has really inspired me. I'll post some pics of what amazing people are doing to help out.



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