Friday, June 01, 2012

My Favorite Alzheimers Art Quilt Iniative Quilt: Now Up At Auction!

Quilt #9648 - Changing the World

As I was making this small (9" x 12") format art quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) I knew it was my "sudden, and for sure" favorite new quilt.

Now I love ALL of the quilts that I make and donate, and each and every single one I love enough to want to keep, trust me. And I've said that and felt that before, and no doubt I'll do it again. But I just really love this one!

Perhaps it was the beautiful fabric that I started out's hard to beat a really good hand dyed batik, then it might have been all of the added surface design like the metallic paint sticks , crayons, thread painting here and there and the other elements like the beads that were individually painted in Africa, or perhaps it was really just the Margaret Mead quotation:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

That's the basic message of AAQI and all that Ami Simms started and all that she and so many other volunteers help her do, today. It is why we all quilt, and why we all donate money, and why we all, if we can, purchase the quilts and hang them proudly on our walls in our studios, family rooms, and even under kitchen cupboards for instant wall art, anywhere and everywhere.

Those of us who have a personal connection through our own care giving experiences with family members who have faced this dreaded disease, we care and we care deeply. This is deeply personal for me. And it's important that a lot of my own heartfelt energies go into each and every art quilt I make. I want them to be stared into, and experienced and the energies to connect with my heart and all that I am feeling ..not about Alzheimer's..about life and the purpose of our lives for creating a better world for all of us.

Notice the AAQI scanned quilt image on the left, and what it looked like in my own photo on the right! Scanning just didn't do it justice, I'm afraid so I had to point this out ;)

Quilt #9648 - Changing the World
Michele Bilyeu
Salem OR/Douglas AK

Our AAQI quilts are scanned for efficiency, not photographed. But if you use big beads, apparently, it presses too hard on that part of the quilt and makes it all seem blurry there. Plus, it's dark inside a don't get any chance to catch the light as photographers do, so the highlights from the beads, all of the Shiva paintsticks, and other pencils, pens and crayons, and other elements that I added aren't very apparent when they are scanned.

Art needs light..both from inside and out... and photographers work to catch that light when they are taking photographs. In real life, it is quite striking. There is both dark and light...just like in all of our lives. but they flow and they blend and they merge...just like my own life does. The challenges with the joys, the dark and the beautiful, the magical and the mystical. And that is how I felt as I made this art quilt. We create the beauty, we create the change, and bit by by one, we seek to transform our own view of the world and our role in it.

The auction begins today, June 1 and runs through June 10th.
The final bidding gets very intense and is a real hoot to watch as the quilt bids change on all of the quilts. Usually the winner, is either using popcorn bidding(see below) or an automated program with a set limit on what they're willing to spend. I love how it all works! Such fun to be a part of!

Oh, I still love this little quilt! If you saw it, you would too, so do think about bidding to win on this one!!!

Thank you to Ami Simms, Beth Hartford, Diane Petersmarck, and all of the volunteers that keep this running!

This quilt Quilt #9648 - Changing the World is now in the private collection of Bill Volkening. It is part of his own AAQI exhibit and recently featured at the Carlton Winery. He loved my quilt titled and used it as the name of his exhibit and has created a sweet little book on the quilts in this exhibit, including my own, titled quilt! 

Bill's book can be found here:

Changing the World: Quilts from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Book title: Changing the World: Quilts from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, By: The Volckening Collection, Category: Uncategorized, Book ...Aug 26, 2012 – Book title: Changing the World: Quilts from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, By: The Volckening Collection, Category: Uncategorized, Book ...
Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. 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!


  1. Good on you - another beauty!

  2. Very lovely work, Michele; paintstiks on fabric? Never, ever, even thought about it--even though I used to be a scrapbooking fanatic...looks super..Julierose

  3. I didn't realize that the quilts were scanned for the website! I have always thought that the photos of the quilts that I have donated were quite true for the colors, but you're right...the photo of your quilt does not do it justice! I have to add that this is a favorite of mine too...I know it will raise a lot of research money at auction!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous!

  5. How very beautiful, such a special God given talent!

  6. This is a beautiful quilt for a wonderful cause. Thanks for sharing it!