Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just a Purple Cat

Our instructions were vague to one another...make a purple cat and some other sort of quilt block to help fill in the space and complete the quilt. We had less than a week to finish the task. 

Seven quilters of varying ages and backgrounds, we are just a group of purple cats. It was Ronda who coined our name. And it was Ronda who years ago first made us each the original Purple cat quilt block for another project. The small 3 inch block is completely Ronda...folksy and quirky and whimsical, just like her! This block would be our inspiration.

Together we have married off children, become grandmothers, struggled, laughed and cried through both good times and bad.  But when it happened, the news came abruptly and rudely burst it's way into our midst.

Our dear sweet Ronda is battling an aggressive brain tumor and she is fighting it with all the might and mind of her tiny sweet self. I hate cancer, and there is no other way I can say it! The news spun me around and turned me upside down. Ronda is one of my favorite people in the whole world. When I lost my Jocie...she was there for me. Constantly sending cards and dropping by just to tell me she loved me. At a time when I know I must have been difficult to be around...she was truly there for me.

Naturally we were all stunned and knew we had to do something...anything...everything we can to help her with the fight of her life! Of course she would need a quilt from her feline friends The Purple Cats.

The day arrived quickly and despite our own busy schedules we gathered to turn the individual Purple Cat blocks into something of beauty and meaning for our dear friend.

If you have ever made a quilt, you know it takes precise measuring and sewing to make the quilt square up and lie flat and perfect.

Miraculously the pieces fit together like a puzzle straight from a box. A little snip here or there and before we knew it...

we had this.

A quilt for Ronda to wrap snug around her to feel the warmth of friends during the arduous days of chemo and radiation. We could hardly wait to give it to our friend!

Ronda's house is a treasure trove of present and past objects of beauty. This antique cobbler's bench with her own tiny baby shoes proudly displayed. And she always has the most tempting pieces of candy ready to share.

But the best part about Ronda's home is her spirit...and it is brilliantly alive and radiant as usual.'s a never-ending roller coaster of ups and downs and it is so easy to get lost in the details of the ride. Life comes with no guarantees, and no second chances. Truly this life is about the people you love and your relationships along the way. And I am abundantly grateful for Ronda's presence in my life.

She adored it...completely!

Ronda went through each Purple Cat and tried to guess which of her friends had made it. We all included personal cat has angel wings and a red snowflake. She understood the meaning immediately...that's because she's Ronda!

Jill added a dragonfly to her cat, because Ronda is crazy for dragonflies!

Our hearts full...we said our goodbyes with promises to return soon. In true vintage Ronda form, she had a parting gift for each of us as we left that evening. And a hand-written thank you card arrived just days later.

We love you Ronda and are with you in this fight!


  1. This brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful group of friends you all are and I love the quilt!

  2. Excuse me while I wipe a few tears away...what a beautiful thing to do. The Purple Cats are nothing short of remarkable. Wow. Just wow. Ronda is on my heart now - I will be sending healing, peaceful thoughts.

  3. Oh, Lisa. What a beautiful and fitting tribute for Ronda--both the quilt and the blog post/photos. I, too, am wiping away tears. Long live the Purple Cats!

  4. So heartwarming Lisa. What an amazing group! Love the quilt you made for your friend. Joining you in prayer for Ronda's healing and recovery.

  5. Goodness, you are the sweetest group of friends. I love Ronda even though I've never met her. And the quilt is fantastic!

    p.s. our little neighbor doing chemo loves your MHRP; I've been making her one every week.