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
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.