Monday, February 15, 2016

Remembering Yvonne Porcella

I met Yvonne Porcella in 2008 when I was a co-rep for SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates), for which she was the founder. She asked me to arrange a small gathering of members for a show in Riverside, CA about stitched stories that her work would be featured in. I jumped at the chance to meet her in person, I mean who wouldn't?  Members gathered for a lovely lunch on an outside patio..  She gave a talk about her work and the meaning behind the symbolism in her work.  She and I found that we had more than just quilts in common, but weird funky clothes with zippers.  She introduced me to Kati Koos in San Francisco and I gave her Bow Danglers in Costa Mesa.  Her work influenced my quilts over the years. I was in awe of her. We share the same color palette and a love for black and white.  We like bold objects, and fun names for our quilts. 

Yvonne was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009, so friends Iris Karp, Leslie Tucker Jenison and I asked quilters to send squares, so that we could make a love quilt for Yvonne.  She gave so much to so many, that we wanted to give back to her. She influenced so many people in her long career. Blocks came from around the world. Just look at these blocks!  This is just one part of it on my design wall.  The outpouring of love was incredible.

Iris, Leslie and I hand delivered the quilt to Yvonne in the Spring of 2009, while we were in San Francisco for the SAQA conference.

My favorite picture of Yvonne

Leslie Tucker Jenison, me, Yvonne, Suzanne Staud and Iris Karp

Leslie Tucker Jenison, YP and me at Festival in Houston in 2014

me, Iris Karp and Yvonne at Quilters Take Manhattan in New York 2014.  Yvonne and I are the two cover girls for the 10 yard packages of Mistyfuse
Yvonne and me at Pokey Bolton's ground breaking on Valentine's Day 2015.  What a tremendous day that was. The thing I loved about Yvonne is that she didn't let the anything negative define her as a person. She was an inspiration to me in so many ways, and not just as a quilt maker. She was a good and loyal friend. She was fun, positive and told the best stories. There was no age difference between us. The most outstanding quality is that she was such a genuine person, and when I was with her, at that moment in time, I was the most important person in the room. She truly lived in the moment of making people feel special. She wanted to chat and most importantly share. She was never too busy to talk to people. She had such tremendous faith in God. I want to be more like her. She lived her life her way with such grace and dignity.  Such an inspiration.  I will miss her forever.  Rest in peace, my friend, until we meet again in heaven.


  1. Lovely images, word and memories, thanks for sharing. I saw Yvonne on Houston in 2014 while with Mary Lou Weidman. Mao sorry to hear of the wonderfully created woman's passing.

    Hold onto the memories they will last a lifetime.

  2. What a wonderful tribute to Yvonne and she sounds like she was a wonderful woman and she left wonderful memories for those who knew her.


  3. Wonderful tribute to Yvonne. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Rest in Peace Yvonne. There will be void in the quilting world with your passing.

  5. Thank you, Jamie, for the inspiring story of meeting and knowing Yvonne Porcella. Prayers for your loss of such a dear Friend. She inspired you and now you inspire others with bright, joyful, colorful quilts.

  6. A wonderful tribute Jamie. The one and only time I met Yvonne was at Quilt Festival in Long Beach. I attended part of the show where you were given an opportunity to meet and learn from other artists. I turned and saw that Yvonne was sitting by herself. I couldn't believe it and thought to myself, don't these people know who she is? Perhaps she had just come back from a break. I quickly grabbed the chair facing her and took a seat. Yvonne graciously introduced herself and I sat mesmerized for 10 minutes listening to this beautiful woman. I don't remember a word that was said, but Yvonne made an impact on me in that short amount of time and I never have forgotten that moment. I knew before that day she was a legend, but learned what a warm, kind and beautiful person she was that day. I own a small art piece Yvonne made and treasure it. Rest in Peace Yvonne and thank you for all you have given us.

  7. Beautiful, just beautiful.

  8. A wonderful tribute to Yvonne. Her legacy lives on thru SAQA and in the work of so many who were influenced by her.

  9. A Beautiful Remembrance of your dear friend Yvonne. Her memory will live on with you I'm sure! I love the quilt you all made for her! And what a fantastic picture with her on it! Blessings!


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