Patty Federighi

I was born in Tacoma, Washington, the 4th of 8 surviving children, in a devout Catholic family.  My father, Aldo Federighi, was 1st generation Italian American, both of his parents immigrating to the US as young people.  My mother, Charlotte Kistenmacher Federighi, was from a rural Pierce County farm family of Danish/German/Polish descent and spoke only German in her home as a child.  Both the Italian and the German ancestry had a big influence on our home life in south Tacoma. My mother died of a pulmonary embolism while giving birth when I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade. My older sister, Ginny, then 13,  and I took on a great deal of the responsibility of caring for this large family from that time on – baby tending, housework, cooking, homework helpers, and more. Our dad was pretty damaged by the unexpected death of his wife and being thrust into the role of single parent to eight children ranging in age from newborn to 17. And he didn’t cope especially well.  We children largely relied on each other to get by. Thus to this day we are a very close-knit set of siblings.

I graduated from Mount Tahoma High School and went to the University of Washington, majoring in Art Education, graduating in 1979. Since I was a University employee while attending school I stayed on after graduation and worked at UW for 5 more years. I met my husband, Douglas Daily, there and we married in 1984. Following UW I worked for the City of Seattle (City Light, Parks and Recreation and Woodland Park Zoo) and for a private commercial developer Ravenhurst Development, before landing at North Seattle Friends Church in 2001 where I’ve worked ever since. Doug and I have one son and one grandson.

Early in my adulthood I realized that the Catholic Church was not a good spiritual home for me. I realized that I didn’t really have a faith of my own, didn’t really know who God is or what God had to do with me. I recognized that any faith I did have was in my church, not in God, and that I didn’t really fit well in my church, disagreeing with its stand on women, on forgiveness, on authority and other things. I tried to continue as a Catholic for a while but finally gave up on church altogether for about 5 years. When I found Friends Memorial Church (now North Seattle Friends) I felt I had come home.  Being a young mom, I almost immediately started serving in the Sunday School and serving on the Christian Education board. My background in art education and my love of music helped make Sunday school lively, creative, and a lot of fun. I’ve been a leader in the music ministry, served on several committees including elders, served as yearly meeting representative, Quaker Cove board member and officer, served as the yearly meeting’s representative to Friends World Committee for Consultation, and worked as the administrative assistant, and currently serve as the director of quilting ministries. 

As the director of quilting I led the Stone Soup quilting ministry. Using donated materials and volunteer labor the Stone Soup Ministry provides about 125-150 quilts per year to the University of Washington Medical Center for its oncology and palliative care patients and the trauma patients of UW’s associated hospital Harborview Medical Center. The cards and letters we receive tell us that the quilts serve as a source of spiritual strength, beauty and healing for patients and their families. Somewhat surprisingly we also receive cards and letters from the people who work on making the quilts. They tell us that while working they were finally able to find healing and peace from the death of a parent or child or even their own cancer experience. They tell us they pray for the person who will receive the quilt and love having an opportunity to use their love of sewing and quilting to bless others. The weekly volunteers in the studio at North Seattle Friends have formed a close bond of caring and friendship. We’ve been through a lot together, including the cancer episode of one volunteer, the death of another, a double lung transplant for the husband of a volunteer, the loss of parents, the welcoming of grandchildren. We have come to care deeply for and rely on each other. The Stone Soup ministry is a blessing for the patients, their families, the volunteers, the donors, the hospital staff, the church and the quilting community.

I have used the lessons of the Stone Soup ministry to bring healing and peace to the survivors of sexual violence and trauma from genocidal conflict in Burundi and Congo in the Peace Through Pieces Ministry. For this effort I work with Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS) of Burundi. I developed the program, designed and created the projects, developed the text and patterns, raised the funding and teach and encourage the support group women. In addition I purchase and resell their many products in order to provide some economic relief to these women, among the poorest and most vulnerable in the world. This work has taken me not only to Africa but also as an invited speaker to churches and meetings all over the Northwest and beyond, to quilting groups, and to service and volunteer clubs. And I’ve been a contributor to several magazines and on-line blogs.

My experiences working with Trauma Healing and Reconciliation services led me to help form the non-profit organization THARS International, which helps to support this work of trauma healing. I served as its inaugural board president for two years before leaving for family reasons. I still support the board as a frequent consultant and will possibly be joining them on an exploratory trip to Burundi in 2019.

I also serve on the anchoring committee of Friends Minister Christine Hall whose Way of the Spirit spiritual formation program is a ministry of Good News Associates. I have been a co-presenter with Chris and with Jan Wood and have served WOTS as the “praying chef” at several 4-day retreats. 

In addition I am a quilt artist in my own right. I’ve been juried into and won awards at several prestigious regional and international quilt shows.  And my work has been published in quilting books and magazines. 

At Sierra Cascades Yearly Meeting I serve on the nominating committee and on the prayer committee. It has been a blessing and a privilege to help establish this creative endeavor and to love and cherish any who God chooses to send our way. It would be a huge honor to be recognized by this community as a minister of the Gospel. 

Patty Federighi

Patty Federighi