Liberated Quilting Challenge

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)  officially ended its fund raising efforts in December of 2013 after being in operation since 2006. Ami Simms, the Board of Directors and countless numbers of volunteers earned well over One Million Dollars for Alzheimer's Research funding.I am deeply proud to have been an active volunteer in this organization, having had many, many family members suffer from Alzheimer's or a related dementia. While helping this organization, I was proud to form this volunteer group based on Internet bloggers/quilters from all over the world. Our small group created and donated over 600 quilts for AAQI and Alzheimer's research funding.

This is our story as viewed from our original AAQI group webpage..which is no longer available for viewing at the AAQI site:

 My name is Michele Bilyeu and I have been a contributing member of two Liberating Quilting rings, the blogging world of Liberated Quilting and the Liberated Quilters Message Board. In 2010, I united these groups and created an online group of bloggers that designed, created, and donated small format art quilts (less than 9"by 12" in size) to Ami Simm's  Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)  

And while, Ami Simm's and her wonderful group of volunteers reached our amazing goal of earning $1,000,000 for Alzheimer's research funding (2006-2013) and has since closed the group and all of its sales and auctions, all that we accomplished and all that we created lives on in the hearts and homes of thousands and thousands of quilters and quilt buyers.

While Liberating Quilting directly referring to a free-pieced, don't worry about the rules kind of approach to quilting, for our purposes, it means to open yourself up to new styles, techniques or modes of quilting, piecing, or usually art techniques in fiber and opportunity to 'think outside the box' and try something you!

And that style of free spirited quilting lives on through so many different styles of improvisational, moderns, and liberated quilting, today.

The only rules of this Liberated Challenge were those that had already been set in motion by Ami Simms, the director of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. They were quite simple...each quilt must be able to fit into a "Priority Mail" envelope (available completely for free from your local post office) and they can be no larger than 9" x 12".....however, they could be smaller, and they could also be a standard 4" x 6" fabric postcard!

All of those who quilted and donated our small format art quilts to Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative placed a copy of the AAQI logo on our blogs and web pages, that directly linked back to

As we quilted, I blogged and shared our quilts. And as they came up for sale or at auctions, I shared all of our quilts, their links, and their sales on my group blog: Liberated Quilting Challenge

Just looking at our group page located at my quilting groups AAQI webpage, will give you wonderful and inspirational ideas of how to create your own small format art quilts or fabric art postcards.

Personally, I was so proud to make and donate 75 quilts to AAQI and My Quilts Raised $4,516.88 for Alzheimer's Disease Research Funding!   

And as for my small group, the AAQI Liberated Challenge Quilt Group?  Less than three dozen of us created and donated over 600 quilts. I don't know how much that earned for AAQI but it was an amazing amount!

 AAQI closed at the end of 2013 but not before reaching an amazing total of  

$1.1 Million Dollars 

for Alzheimer's Research Funding!!!

Note from Ami Simms as to the current status of AAQI:
 2014-2015: The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative will monitor research grants awarded in 2013. The AQQI web page will be left intact for at least six months. Any funds not needed to sustain the AAQI's final expenses will be donated to research. Remaining assets will be disposed of according to IRS regulations after which time the corporation will be dissolved.

All quilts and quilted postcards were then showcased on our group page at the AAQI website:
Liberated Quilters Blog & Liberated Quilters Message Board ( no longer links as those pages have all now been closed!!!! )located under the heading Guild, Group, and Shop Challenges, as well as on my other database blog located at the Liberated Quilting Challenge blog. (no longer will link!!!)