Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)


My Quilts Raised $4,516.88  for Alzheimer's Disease Research Funding! 

And while AAQI has now reached its goal and is no longer operating as it once was, all of us who created and donated small format art quilts to this wonderful organization continue to be so proud of Ami Simms, her wonderful Board of Directors, and each of us who worked so hard to earn monies for this important cause. 

If you want to make and donate a lap or bed quilt..consider your local care homes, memory centers or a local hospital or hospice program. Funds may be donated to the any of our wonderful national Alzheimer's organizations.

 AAQI: Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative 2006-2013 

Bilyeu, Michele (75/75)

Michele Bilyeu
Salem, OR   USA
(Douglas, AK)

Statement: As a member of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, I was asked by Ami Simms to send a 2" x 6" strip of purple fabric with the name of someone I loved on the back. The name of someone who has, or has had, Alzheimer's Disease, or a related dementia. As I began to write their names on the back, it was like I could hear an honorary roll call being read out loud with each and every name. At first I had a lump in my throat, and then a pain in my heart and suddenly I began to feel tears as they streamed down my face.

Nine names, nine purple strips, nine lives touched and destroyed by the hurricane force of this horrible disease. Nine people in my family alone, in my memory, in my own relating generation, in my DNA, in my own heart. Since that day, six more names have been added to that fate-filled list, including my own mother who now has advanced Alzheimer's, and my father who just passed away with his own early dementia. Now, there are not nine, but 15 members of my immediate family whose purple ribbons are waving in the ribbons of love in my heart.. and out of that 15....only my mother was still alive, and still facing the challenges of a changed, and ravaged life when I wrote this in 2010) she died on September 8, 2013. She had just had her 88th birthday one week before and was just beginning her 9th year with Alzheimer's.

And just as these purple banners wave across the hearts of all of those who view the "Alzheimer's Forgetting Piece by Piece" quilts, and waved in the "From Heartbreak to Hope" traveling exhibit in 2011, 2012, and 2013, , they wave, too, in all of our lives. My life and the life of my family has been forever changed, and I am so grateful to have this wonderful organization supporting research into Alzheimer's. AAQI has given me the gift of knowing I can make a difference...in my life, and in the lives of all who face the challenges of Alzheimer's Disease.

 The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) 
has officially ended its amazing quilting journey towards raising $1,000,000 for Alzheimer's Research funding. We surpassed all expectations that any of us might have had with the realizations of just how amazing it was that our founder Ami Simms could bring thousands of quilters from all walks of life, all stages of connection with Alzheimer's Disease or a related dementia.

Quilters banded together in quilt guilds, in living rooms, and over the Internet and blogosphere and we did it! We made and donated small format art quilts that were barely larger than a piece of paper and raised well over one million dollars with their sales!

The AAQI website will be shut down and just become a memory to many of us, but we will be so very blessed to even be able to have that memory. May the research we have funded lead to discoveries that will eventually find better treatments or even a cure!

 
My own donated and now, sold out, quilts were as shown below. And might I also mention, that in January of 2010, I formed The (AAQI) Liberated Challenge group, and asked other quilts to join in this cause. About 36 quilters said 'yes' and about 30 of us ended up making and donating enough quilts to total well over 600 quilts for this cause. 

Michele Bilyeu-Total Raised for Alzheimer's Disease: $4,516.88
1954 -The Heartbreak of Alzheimer's  ($30)
1955 - For Better, For Worse ($30)
1956 - What Dreams May Come  ($30)
1957 - You Don't Bring Me Flowers  ($30)
1958 - Each And Every Day Is A Gift  ($30)
1959 - Love Is All There Is  ($35)
4946 - Liberated Rose   ($45)
4947 - Transitioning Between the Polarities   ($80)
4948 - Alzheimer's: It's More Than Black and White  ($40)
5211 - Mama's Brain Got Tangles...but Mama's Still Inside ($70.00)
5625 - The Butterfly Upon the Sky   ($75)
5626 - The Parasol is the Umbrella's Daughter   ($75)
5969 - Fish Tales  ($79.59)
5970 - Pickled Mushrooms   ($40)
6077 - Within the Depths ($80)
6078 - Far, Far, Away   ($130)
6165 - Twilight Dreams ($60)
6399 - The Alzheimer's Prayer  ($105.00)
6439 – Fly Away Home   ($80)
6598 – I Want to Go Home ($75)
6761 - Sparks of Heavenly Fire   ($165)
6956 – The Alzheimer’s Prayer   ($87.16)
7148 – Bah Humbug!   ($50.46)
7322 – Topsy Turvy ($75)
7656 – Remembering Laurel  ($50)
7820 – Laurel Points the Way   ($45.88)
8227 – Rainbow Snout   ($59.64)
8228 – With You All the Way   ($64.23)
8500 – Froggie Went A Courtin’   ($50.81)
8501 – A Heart Filled With Hope and Love   ($85)
8672 - Rock On   ($55)
8673 - Country Cowgirl at Heart   ($41.57)
8674 - Come and Play   ($41.57)
8738 - The Power of Transition   ($55)
8953 - Don't Worry, Spiders ($75.00)
8954 - Let Me Entertain You ($70.00)
9125 - Change and Transition  ($175)
9400 - A Dream Within A Dream ($75.00)
9648 - Changing the World   ($90)
9992 - Tied Together By Love   ($55)
10,006 - One World, One Shared Challenge ($50.81)
10,281 - Longing For Freedom    ($64.67)
10,680 - Ethereal ($55.43)
11,086 - Song of the Hills ($75.00)
11,372 - At Peace In My Garden ($50.00)
11,682 - The Shirt Off Their Backs ($55.43)
11,819 - Bright Heart of Many Blessings ($65.00)
12,230 - Well, Hello Kitty!  ($60.00)
12,614 - Imperfectly Perfect in Every Way! ($73.90)
12,976 - Attic Window Posy ($65.00)
13,161 - East Meets West ($50.00)
13,398 - In The Flow ($75.00)
13,704 - I Will Remember You ($50.00)
13,705 - Dreaming of Freedom ($41.57)
13,706 - A Walk on the Wild Side ($46.19)
13,837 - Strength and Love ($69.28)
13,838 - Asian Elegance ($60.00)
13,841 - Beauty Shared Is Love Multiplied ($55.43)
13,889 - Wild, Wacky and Wonderful ($46.19)
13,890 - We Are All In This Together ($50.00)
13,891 - When The Heart Grieves ($25.00)
14,232 - Laurel's Colorful Cats ($45.00)
14,602 - The Senility Prayer ($46.19)
14,850 - Thank You, Lord, For Family ($40.00)
14,851 - Fan Dance ($60.05)
14,853 - Our Family ($41.57)
14,929 - Jennie's Roses ($46.19)
14,930 - Our Family: A Prayer for All of Us ($50.81)
14,931 - Blessings of Faith ($17.50)
14,932 - Blessings of Hope ($15.75)
14,933 - Blessings of Charity ($36.95)
14,934 - Blessings of Love ($26.25)
14,998 - Blessings Of The Messenger ($50.81)
14,999 - Hope Springs Eternal ($65.00)
15,000 - And The Greatest Of These Is Love ($105.00)

 The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative and Alzheimer's Disease: My Own Heartbreak to Hope



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!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!