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“Hard Days Are Quilting Days”

Posted on December 24th, 2019
Barbara Coffey, Quilter and Wonderful Person

Barbara Coffey and her cousin Joyce grew up in Southern California. With only a two-year age difference, they were always doing things together. As teenagers they discovered sewing, and their love for it blossomed. Sewing together became an enjoyable and life-long activity for them. Barbara and Joyce found the most satisfaction in their hobby when they quilted to comfort others. Their efforts included sending quilts to Ethiopia in support of a Kenyan women’s sewing project, knitting warm clothes for the homeless and making clothing for children in foster care.

Last August, Joyce passed away peacefully in Friday Harbor, surrounded by loved ones. Barbara credits the expert care she received from Hospice of the Northwest for enabling Joyce to be comfortable and at home in her final days.

Since August, Barbara has been honoring her cousin and friend by creating special quilts for hospice patients. In September, she helped to raise money for expert and compassionate hospice care in the community by donating her beautiful quilts to the Annual Ports of Call Gala and Auction.

Barbara says quilting helps to keep her hands and mind occupied with something meaningful. “Hard days are quilting days,” she explained, “when missing loved ones is particularly hard, quilting helps.” Barbara’s quilting brings her peace and memories of her loved ones, as well as comfort and warmth to families coping with an end of life diagnosis.

The fabric Barbara and Joyce chose for quilts reflects their personalities. Joyce’s materials were often brilliant, bright, and bold, while Barbara’s showed a love for detail and a reverence for life. After Joyce left Barbara several sections of quilt (blocks) already made, Barbara was able to meld their styles together like a puzzle.  The result was two beautiful and quilts that celebrate the lifelong friendship of two cousins.

Barbara continues to honor the legacies of Joyce and her own husband through the love, generosity, and warmth she gives by donating her quilts. Her generosity and her caring is stitched into everything she creates.

About Hospice of the Northwest

We are a skilled, caring, and compassionate team of doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, aides, volunteers and generous community donors. Together we provide patient-centered care for people facing serious illness. We’ve been serving the residents of Island, San Juan, Skagit and Snohomish Counties since 1989 and want to know how we can support you or your loved one.

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