For most stitchers, the first angel they hear about is Judy's Angel. This was the very first design created for this project, and it has a special meaning. The angel that graces the main page of this site is a rendering of Judy's Angel in soft pinks.
To quote James Farmer, the founder:
"Back in January of 2000, when I started the AQP, I had 6 "originals" who were with me. One of them was Judy Svoboda. She sent me the name of the first hospital to send panels to, too. She worked part time as a volunteer in the children's ward. When I first thought of the AQP, Judy was one of the first and was one of my biggest supporters.
"The first designer I got in touch with was Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum, of Lavender and Lace and Told in a Garden. I wanted her to design an angel for the AQP and she kindly agreed. On Labor Day weekend of 2000, my wife and I took a long weekend to get away for a while. When we returned there was a message on my answering machine from Marilyn. I called her back and she told me that another member of the AQP had gotten in touch with her and had requested that she name the designed angel for the AQP "Judy's Angel". At the time I told MLI that I had a member named Judy, but as far as I knew it wasn't for her. Boy, was I wrong. She got the e-mail she'd received and read it to me.
"It seems Judy had cancer, which I didn't know about, and she'd passed away while I was on my mini-vacation. To say it really affected me is an understatement. I was totally shocked. I agreed with the lady who'd send her the e-mail (I believe it was Janet in New England who sent the e-mail to MLI) and asked if she would name the angel in Judy's memory.
"When the copies got to me it was just called the 2000 Christmas Angel, but in Judy's memory we all call her Judy's Angel. If you will look on the chart, on the top left corner and the bottom left corner, you will see mentioned the AQP and Judy Svoboda. As a personal memorial to Judy I stitched "Judy's Angel" on a full-sized quilt and sent it to her husband and children, so they would have a reminder. It was the least I could do for her. I later got a letter from her daughter, Mary Harder, who thanked me for the quilt and she's now a member of the AQP as well, which is very fitting. I know Judy would be proud of her.
"This is our way of remembering Judy for what she was able to do for the AQP. Also, as another memorial, I sent the only piece that Judy completed to the hospital where she volunteered and that piece is now framed and hanging on the wall at the Children's unit where she did her work. Whenever I think of "Judy's Angel" I always think of her and am so thankful for knowing her only for the little while she was with the AQP."
The story above is so typical for Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum. She created wonderful, detailed designs using almost no backstitching. Sadly, the stitching world lost our beloved MLI. We will always honor her memory with Judy's Angel just as she honored Judy Svoboda.