Monday, December 13, 2010

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative Update

As many of you know, I have been a huge supporter of Ami Simms' Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI).  Ami, a world reknown quilter, started this organization about 5 years ago, after finding out that her mother had Alzheimers.  It started with a travelling quilt exhibit to raise awareness and money for research and now includes quilt auctions and other fundraising methods.  She has raised over $400,000 for research so far.  The wonderful news is that one of the researchers at the University of Michigan that received grant money from AAQI has made a breakthrough.  You can read about it on Ami's blog.  It is amazing that quilters and quilt lovers, with a needle, thread and a checkbook have contributed towards this discovery.

My quilt, "Leaving Us" made in memory of my Dad, has finished touring.  There were 51 quilts in the exhibit from 38 states and over 200,000 people viewed them.  Some of the quilters donated their quilts to AAQI for Ami to sell.  I did a lot of soul searching trying to figure out if I was willing to let my quilt go.  It has a photo of my Dad on the back and it is so personal.  For it to have travelled and touched so many people was a unique experience for me.  If I knew for sure that it would end up on a wall in a public place, I may have considered donating it.  So I have decided to keep it and think of my Dad whenever I see it.  I can still spread the word as I travel talking about my quilts.  This was a very tough decisions.

"Leaving Us"  depicts the progression of Alzheimers.

8 comments:

  1. I could see this in a nursing home where Alzheimers sufferers reside.
    Perhaps you could make a version of this quilt to donate in the future but yes, I agree with you that is just too personal to give away.

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  2. Glad your quilt is home and I'm glad it will reside with you.
    Debbi F

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  3. This is one of those decisions where you just have to follow your instincts. I am hoping the quilt I did will bring comfort and hope and awareness in a public setting. I consulted my daughters and their input certainly helped, although the decision to donate was untimately mine. I am glad you made the right decision for you. Now lets make some more Priority Quilts!

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  4. That is a beautiful piece in memory of your dad and I can understand how hard that would be to give away.

    Debbie

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  5. Your quilt truly depicts the journey of an Alzheimer's patient - a gradual loss like the leaves on the tree. And we lose our parent (or relative or friend) while they are still alive. If your quilt brings you comfort, you certainly should not feel guilty about keeping it. Heaven knows, we "survivors" need the connection with our loved ones. I'm certain you will continute to supprot AAQI in other ways. Peace and hugs to you.

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  6. I can totally understand your decision. After just completing my first priority quilt I'm very tempted to keep it for the memories it gives. Your quilt is magnificent and I'm sure you will create another that is just as beautiful and inspiring.

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