When Linda Yarrow, dietitian at Clay County Medical Center, finished a cross-stitch block for a dying friend, she had no idea it would lead to a quilt project of international proportions. Yarrow, who is also a volunteer for hospice, was given the opportunity to finish a project for Linda Black, an avid cross-stitcher and quilter who was dying of cancer. During this time, Yarrow was able to witness first hand how hospice provided emotional and spiritual support to dying patients and their families.
After her friend died, Yarrow approached Meadowlark Hospice about doing a fundraiser in her friend's memory. "I wanted to support hospice by creating a quilt that would help raise funds so that hospice care could be provided to those in need, and also to increase awareness of how valuable hospice is," said Linda. Quilts, like hospice, wrap us in love and remind us how precious life is. Cross-stitching, the very thing that brought the two women together, and then piecing those blocks together into a quilt would be the perfect memorial!
Thanks to the Internet, Linda's dream of benefiting Meadowlark Hospice quickly snowballed into a much bigger project than she had imagined. The day after posting her request for volunteers on a cross-stitching bulletin board, Yarrow opened her e-mail to find over 100 responses from individuals from all over the United States as well as Canada, Japan, Finland, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Scotland.
"I broke out in a cold sweat at the computer when responses poured in," Yarrow recalled. "When we reached enough blocks for four quilts, I finally had to tell them 'no'." In addition to the 4 quilts, 4 pillows and 1 framed cross-stitch block were created.
Most of the cross-stitchers are working in memory of a loved one, many with touching reasons for supporting hospice. A dedication will be written for each cross-stitch square to honor an individual or group that have been touched by hospice. These stories will be posted on our web site, and compiled in notebooks, to be given to each recipient of a quilt.
The quilts are rather unique in that they are a combination of cross-stitch work and quilting. The involvement of stitchers around the world has created these international, heirloom-quality items. After the cross-stitched squares are completed, they will be pieced and quilted in several different communities in the Meadowlark Hospice Region.
Individuals around the world were given the opportunity to win one of two quilts or one of three pillows in a drawing. The publicity from the drawing resulted in over $3000 dollars in contibutions to Meadowlark Hospice. The remaining two quilts, a pillow, and a framed cross stitch picture, were auctioned on our web site and resulted in an additional $1500 that will benefit hospice.
At the right are links to dedications pages for all four quilts and the pillows. By clicking on individual quilt squares, you will see an enlarged image of the square and also the dedication for that square. We encourage you to view the squares and read the dedications as they tell stories of bravery, strength, and love of the individuals they represent and their family and friends. We also invite you to share your comments in the Guest Book.