In late January, SAQA sent out a request for 4″ x 6″ postcard quilts depicting candles for light in support of and encouragement for Yvonne Porcella. She is the founder of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates). She is also family.
I made this one on a Friday night and shipped it off for inclusion in the collection to be forwarded on to her. This wasn’t on my list of “planned” art. I’m such a planner type person that means something. However, the request — a physical prayer for Yvonne’s health — provided appropriate inspiration. The experience of designing on the fly in my head one afternoon, then making a quick stop at the fabric store for the black and white check (her signature fabric), then getting home and spending the next three hours putting this together was exhilarating. I didn’t know I had it in me to make art that way.
I have always considered Yvonne and her sister, Marilou, to be “aunts” more than the cousins they are. I believe this is because they are “double cousins” to my mother — their fathers were brothers and their mothers were sisters. My mom is an only child, so if I was going to have aunts on her side, those two seemed the most logical choice. A child’s brain often creates connections that click and never break, regardless of the vast number of years that pass.
My mom taught me to sew and to embrace color, to revel in color. I owe her for my interest in quilting and I am grateful for that.
From Yvonne, I learned that quilts could be art, that they didn’t need to be traditional, that rules are made to be broken, that the only rules necessary are those that allow the imagination to soar free. I am grateful for that as well.
On Friday, February 12, 2016, Yvonne passed away after a 6-year battle with cancer. Her fight was valiant and seemingly fearless. Her zest and her spirit were never diminished. She was, and is, loved. As long as her family, her friends, remember her, as long as the art quilt survives, her light will not go out.
She was laid to rest today, Friday, February 19, 2016. As her youngest son, Don, an artist in his own right, so beautifully stated, she has gone to her “studio in the sky”.
Rest in peace, Yvonne. ❤