This is a quilt I created to tell the story of Alzheimer's. I created it in 2006 as an entry into an exhibit called "Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece By Piece" curated by Ami Simms. I made it in memory of my Dad, Leonard Krisel. It was the first time I entered a competition and was beyond thrilled when it was not only accepted along with 49 other quilts, but it was given the #1 position and placed on the cover of the DVD. This quilt exhibition travelled all across the country and was seen by thousands and thousands of people. It was a very unique way to share the facts and stories of Alzheimer's.
Here's the label on the back:
The leaves on the tree are representative of all of our attributes that we possess as functioning humans. I wrote on the appliquéd silk dupioni leaves with a gold metallic marking pen.
The first tree depicts my Dad, as fully functioning. As dementia took hold, there were more and more things he couldn't do, until finally he was only a human being, a Father and Grandfather, depicted by the leaves falling off the tree. It's called "Leaving Us".
I have been thinking about this quilt a lot during my recent talks about quilting with silk this year. This was the first quilt in which I incorporated silk dupioni. The problem was I thought it was missing. Well, actually, not that I thought it was missing, but I hadn't seen this quilt for about 5 years. There was a point in time where I couldn't find it. I had brought it with me to share with quilt guilds and one day, I couldn't find it to pack it up to bring to the next one. I was almost sure that I didn't leave it some place or that some wayward quilter took it for her own, but I just could not find it. With my lackadaisical attitude, I thought it will show up one day. But it hadn't for all those years.
This week I was sorting and putting away all my quilts that I had shlepped to the various guilds that I had visited. I have a closet in my guest room devoted to quilts. Well actually, the entire room is quilt storage. I was trying to put some small boxes on the top shelf of the closet. There was a big plastic bag in the way. My inclination was to power through and shove it out of the way, but instead I told myself to do it the right way and take the time to take the bag out. As I pulled it off the shelf, there was something rolled up in it. Could it be? I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw little pieces of ribbon sticking out one end.
Welcome home Dad.