Sewing, and quilting, and writing, and planning, and publishing, and doing all of the wonderful things that give my heart joy are such a delight. And right up at the top of my list..besides actually caring for people one on one as I do with so much of my time..is creating small format art quilts for donation to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI and my own little Liberated Quilting Challenge group that I formed in January of 2010
My little challenge group of 40 women has now donated over 500 quilts to this cause.A lot of them only gave one or two, but a dozen women have been so dedicated and so giving and it is such a joy to join in with them and donate my own quilt or two each month. I have donated over 50. And I am so deeply proud of how hard I have worked through so many challenges just to be able to do this. I have spent a lot of time caring for my family in Alaska over the past 7 years, I've rushed hither and yon to various hospitals in Anchorage, and Seattle and then several in Portland following my brother and watching the miracle he was giving.
Being able to still support this cause and to help fund research for the horrible, unbelievably challenging disease of Alzheimer's means the world to me. It is not just about forgetting what keys are or what they are for. It's not forgetting your family's names or relationships to you. It is a physically debilitating disease that makes you unable to remember, to balance, to walk, to eat and eventually even to remember how to swallow when it gets near the end. You lose control of everything and every process you have.
And I am so grateful to be able to sew, to quilt, and to do anything that I can in the hopes that I will not be the 16th member of my family to face its horrors. And put my own family through the care taking that my family has spent so many hard, hard years doing for my mother in our childhood home.
So, with a hoop and a holler my last little quilts has been ......
Salem, OR USA
Width: 9" Length: 9"
Materials/Techniques: Liberated free-piecing curves frame my little attic window posy with needle turn applique', hand and machine quilting.
Artist Statement: I grew up on a small island in Alaska. We had an attic in my grandmother's house that I used to love to play in. It was my hideout, my fort and my own secret garden of creativity. Oh, how I used to wish that it had a window and that there might be flowers growing outside as well as within that tiny little attic, my world of endless imagination and secret treasures.
Dedication: For Caroll of the Attic Window Quilt Shop, and all of the other dedicated quilters everywhere, who work with generosity, creativity, and joy. May we work together to stamp out Alzheimer's disease and replace it with the love, generosity, and the creativity of the quilting arts.
This quilt has Fast Finish Triangles.
Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska and all of her AAQI Quilting. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in the Liberated Quilting Challenge and make or donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)
Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!