Aug 11, 2013

Sold! AAQI Quiilt #15,000

And The Greatest Of These Is Love  is my 75th and final small format art quilt that I created and donated to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)

The  AAQI August Auction ran from August 1-10th and ended last night at 10 pm Central time. I am so delighted to report that my quilt was purchased by Bill Volkening! It was a down to the final minutes kind of bidding and I loved watching it play out during the final seconds.

Bill is an amazing quilt collector who oversees the Volkening Collection and is a self published author, speaker, writer, and quilt expert.  With many traveling collections on display, literally all over the world, Bill had previously purchased my small format art quilt  Quilt #9648 - Changing the World and published it, and his other AAQI quilts, in a book with that same title. I dearly loved that little quilt, but oh how I have loved this one! It is so filled up with love, that I'm sure Bill will be able to feel it every time he looks at it!

Congratulations, Bill Volkening! and thank you so very much for your support of AAQI and its quilters!!!

Changing the World and helping find better treatments, or better yet...a cure!...for Alzheimer's Disease has long been a focus in my quilting and quilt donating life. I have 13 family members who have suffered from either Alzheimer's or related dementias. And the impact on my family's lives has been intense and challenging.

I began making and donating quilts for AAQI in 2007. I was up in Alaska, caring for my mom and dad in our childhood home on Douglas Island, near Juneau in Southeast Alaska. I had very little fabric, and almost no sewing supplies, but I managed to make and donate 6 small postcards from what I did have and got them mailed in, on at a time to AAQI. I went on to make an donate as many quilts as I could, over the next 6 years, while still traveling to Alaska (many times a year) to help my dad as he did his very best to take care of my mom. Bit by bit, that became more and more challenging.

Alzheimer's is an insidious, and damaging disease. It takes over the body, as well as the brain, and changes not only one's memory, but physical abilities and personality, as well. It completely robs its victims, and their family members of their loved ones and creates lives that are often chaotic and impossibly challenging as we all struggle to maintain our own lives while taking care of those we love so dearly.

If you live long enough with this horrible, horrible disease, you will be unable to walk, to talk, to sit up, or even to remember to chew or to swallow. And we continue to take care of my mom, by ourselves, in her own home,  due to the severe shortage of social services in our area. And to add insult to injury. My mother who lays without being able to move, who is blind, diabetic, and in her 8th year of Alzheimer's Disease being completely cared for now by her family, did not qualify for hospice care of any kind.

That is the desperation families face with this disease in areas with limited funding or services. It is a kind of hard that no one can imagine until you are there, doing the actual work of care giving and it is very, very challenging.

On January 1, 2010, I started the AAQI Liberated Quilting Challenge urging other online quilters to make and donate quilts to AAQI to earn research funding, as well.

Little did I realize, that just one week later, I would slip and fall while getting my father's newspaper in Alaska, and ended up with a  broken wrist that was also dislocated in three places! And here, I had just started my AAQI Challenge group and now could only type with one finger, not to mention sewing with one hand and a 'pushing' pencil in my mouth! And I had to take care of my mom, my dad, cook, clean, do laundry, and give pills and insulin shots.  Somehow, I am a determined lady and did it ..but now, with my own challenges!

I had surgery and sporting my new implant from my alien encounters,   I kept on taking care of my mom until I was ready to head back to Oregon once again. I was home for just three days when my I got news that my dad had two heart attacks, so back to Alaska to help out - broken arm and all.

In spite of all of that, I kept care taking, kept typing with one finger urging others to sew and to donate, and now 6 years of AAQI donations last and final quilt before AAQI quilt registration ended on August 1st  has just added another $105 towards Alzheimer's Disease research funding!

With a winning bid by Bill Volkening, this quilt will now be part of the "Volkening Collection" and reside with the other small format art quilts that he has purchased from sales and auctions at the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) his small but wonderful collection of Alzheimer's Art Quilts.

And my  AAQI Liberated Quilting Challenge group?

My small group of dedicated quilters has now made and donated 684 quilts with more still being added in, and earned a LOT of money for Alzheimer's research funding!!!  All of these in just 2.5 years!

I am thrilled that a small group of quilters, and their quilt buyers, have indeed, changed the world, each of us in our own ways. We've shown others the degree of our commitment to our family members who have suffered from Alzheimer's Disease and its related dementias, our love of quilting and quilt collecting, and our steadfast determination to keep on quilting no matter what the challenges in the rest of our lives!

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

Please check out my other quilts for sale and help me earn additional money for research funding!

Previous links of connection:

Prayers Flags from Mungpoo

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

Wonkyworld: "Changing the World" Exhibit Now on Display

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, with small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort quilts for a variety of charitable programs. And best of all, sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in her Liberated Quilting Challenge and make and donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!


Brenda said...

You've inspired me to keep making these. I mailed my last batch of four last week. maybe with those I'll reach the $1000 promise. you can add these to the liberated group -- 15,496-99. I'm going to miss AAQI.

Jean said...

Thank you Michelle for all your great artistic creations that have helped the fight against Alzheimers disease. My late husband had it. I have four quilts for sale right now 14,954 - 14,957, the first I have ever entered and I am disappointed that this is ending. They are a result of ideas I had and one was inspired by the triangles I was gifted.

Debra Dixon said...

You've been a true blessing. You really have, Michelle.

Winifred said...

You really are amazing Michelle. I fond it so hard to believe that there is no support for Alzheimer suffers' families. My stepmother has this insidious disease & sadly four years ago she had to go into a care home. Thankfully we do have places for people whose families struggle to support them.

You do fantastic work Michelle.

VivJM said...

Michele, the quilt is gorgeous, of course. What you have done with the AAQI is amazing. You are a strong and amazing woman & an inspiration to many.

Cher said...

I am so happy this last and most gorgeous quilt went as high as it did. I of course was quickly out bid and glad to hear Bill ended up being the new owner. You have been tireless in promoting and contributing to the ongoing fight to keep the spotlight on this devastating disease. And, I know you will continue in other ways.
thank you so much for all that you do and have done. hugs

Lynne said...

You are, indeed, an inspiration and an example of what can be achieved by those who are determined not to let the challenges of life hold them back! Thank you, Michele, and congratulations on the "sale" to a collector who obviously cares deeply.