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​Remembering Yvonne Porcella

Posted by Lynn Koolish on Feb 16th 2016

A Personal Appreciation

When I started working at C&T Publishing 18 years ago, I owned about three quilting books—two of them were by Yvonne. I had no idea who she was at the time, but I loved the colors and designs of her work.

Over the ensuing 18 years, I had the honor of getting to know her both through C&T and the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, where she talked me into joining her on the Board of Directors. Her drive to the Museum was from Modesto—80 miles—one way. If she could to that, I could surely drive to the Museum from Berkeley.

It would be so easy to fill a page and more with all of her accomplishments and awards, listing dates and honors—of which there are many, but that would miss the heart of who Yvonne was.

Her life was one of giving and spreading color and joy—not only to her family, personal friends, and her church, but also to her students and fellow quilters—she gave her time, her well-considered thoughts, encouragement, and her art.

Her strength in fighting the cancer, through round after round of chemo was resolute, she never gave up. I was so impressed with the way she continued to show up: at the Museum, at Quilt Festival in Houston, at SAQA, at exhibit openings, and more, even though you could see that she was weak and tired easily. And she continued to make art, including donation pieces for the many organizations she supported. Even in her last days she was working on a quilt for the SAQA auction, asking her son to help.

She has been a role model for so many of us—for the exuberance of her artwork and for her commitment and generosity to individuals and organizations. Scrolling through Facebook, reading about how she touched so many lives, is inspiring. I hope we can live up to her memory.

The quilting world has truly lost a shining star—there will never be another like her.