Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It Is Finished (WiP Wednesday 42/52)

I haven't really done much sewing the last week. Well, no. I haven't done ANY sewing this last week! :)

The Front Range MQG made about 50 "Angel Baby Wraps" (a.k.a. Fetal Demise Pouches...but we detested the term!) as our outreach project. Alex at Teaginny Designs wrote up the tutorial, and we had a little assembly line set-up so we could really maximize our sewing time. We had at least 10 members involved in the cutting, ironing and sewing of these, and they turned out really cute.

Angel Baby Wraps getting made

One of our members, Kelly, is a Labor and Delivery nurse at a hospital in Colorado Springs, so she'll be taking these to give to parents whose babies were born in heaven, those "angel babies" that don't ever breathe air on this Earth, the babies who didn't get to stay in their mommy's womb long enough to be born alive and healthy. (I just can't say it, but you all know the babies I'm talking about, right? And you can understand why we changed the name from "fetal demise pouches"...)

Angel Baby Wraps

Anyway, they sewed up really quickly, and Kelly said they sometimes need larger ones for babies who died closer to term, so we modified the tutorial to make medium and large wraps. A few of us took some of the supplies home to make more, and this time we'll give them to Amy of Stitchery Dickory Dock to give to the hospital in Denver where her sweet, and perfectly healthy, twin boys were born.

And then I got all ready to have my bible study group over so we could square, trim, and then tie fleece blankets for Restore Innocence. We are part of a group of people making 100 blankets for the charity, and our little group was charged with making 16 of them. I got out my rotary cutter, and my large cutting mat so I could square them up, and then my group got to work snipping and tying.This picture only shows 4 that were trimmed and ready for members to take and tie at home, but just imagine this times 25!

Bow-tie Blankets - Ready to Tie

100 fleece blankets are going to take up a HUGE amount of space on the stage at church! :)  By the way, this is the organization that the {Faith} Circle of do.Good Stitches is making the Butterflies and Rainbows quilt(s) for.

We do the ties a different way. I saw this in a quilt shop outside of San Diego, and don't know why it hasn't taken off like wildfire! Instead of long ties, you make little bow ties. They're incredibly sweet, tie up SO fast, take up less fabric, and we thought they would really be a good choice for the girls who receive these quilts.

Bow tie blankie.

Our little group has 5 more to make, and I know other groups are doing theirs now, too. 100. That's such a blessing. :)

Not that you need it, but I hope to post a tutorial for this method soon.


I haven't been sewing much because I'm sad.

As some of you know, a good friend of mine, Yolanda, passed away last Friday. You may know Yolanda from one of the multitudinous Flickr swaps she did, or one of the many bees she participated in, or just her overall incredible creativity, or sincerely overwhelming generosity.

She started feeling poorly in February (2012), but the doctors couldn't find out much. Then in May, after continued problems, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 biliary cancer (Bile duct). There's a super long name for it, and you can read about her journey here, if you want. But that was May. It's October. 5 months. And it's not like she never went to the doctor, or anything, biliary cancer is just a fast-moving sonofabitch.

She was the president of the Orange County MQG until she resigned because she wasn't well (before her diagnosis), she was a cherished member of our Bee Happy Bee, as well as the founder of the Mod Mosaic bee. She started the Hexie Swap, the Circle Swap, and the Tumbler Swap. She participated in a number of fun quilt-alongs. And she made quilts for pretty much everyone she loved.

Here are some of my favorites of hers from Flickr:

Yes! It's done

Etchings Wovens - Floating Squares

All Quilted and Bound

(she made this for the woman who donated her kidney to Yolanda 4 years ago)

Jack Claims the Quilt!

This was her Tumbler Party quilt.

In her memory, Leona has started the TumblerPartyToo. If you're interested in joining, the details are here.

Liberty wrote a really poignant, really personal memorial about Yolanda here. Go read it.

Yolanda had the dream of making quilts for all her nieces and nephews, but early in the summer, she realized that she wasn't able to sew as much as she wanted, so Liberty promised her that the Bee Happy bee would be her hands and get these quilts made. We enlisted the help of some other ladies who loved Yolanda, and together made 14 (or more, I think!) quilts for her loved ones. Yolanda and Liberty went through her beautiful and well-apportioned stash and got the fabric into the hands of some very skilled quilters who were very glad to be able to do this for her.

You know, we all just wanted to help. To do something, anything for Yolanda, and we quilters want to quilt. So it was a great opportunity to do what we love for someone we love.

And Yolanda really didn't know what to say. She knew that we were making her dream come true, and she was always SO very thankful. She knew she couldn't repay anyone, but I think she also knew that we weren't doing it for the recognition or reimbursement. We were doing it because we loved her, and because it is what we would want done for us. And like I said, Yolanda was overwhelmingly generous with everyone, so it was nice to be generous back.

Now, to be fair, I didn't have much to do with many of these quilts. I was only able to sew a few blocks, and to donate some batting, but I did reach out to our friends who I thought might want to help, and they came through like you've never seen.

I love that her family will always have their quilts to remember her. She led an amazing life, a colorful life. One filled with challenges and successes. One filled with love and laughter and more love. She cherished her fiance, her sons and grandchildren.

She passed away one day shy of her 48th birthday.

48. It's just not fair.

But...I do know that Yolanda loved God, and that she trusted Him to be in charge of her days on Earth. She knew that God has a plan, and she asked Liberty to create a graphic with this verse from Proverbs 31:25:

Unafraid - Made for me by Liberty!

"...she laughs without fear, unafraid of the future."

I hope I can grow to be more like that. To be like Yolanda and live life unafraid. And carry her legacy with me.

God's work in Yolanda is finished. I am thankful she is no longer in pain, but I'm sure gonna miss her.

(linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday)


  1. well said, melissa.
    lots of good in this post, lots of good.
    love you

  2. What a beautiful and touching post - so very much good here as Liberty said.

  3. So sorry for your loss, and so glad to see all the good you and the guild and bee are doing through your stitches. I like your name for the pouches. We simply called them what the hospital does, but we all have a hard time saying it. Wraps is better.


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