Friday, August 19, 2011

Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope will be in Madison, Wisconsin next month!

"Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope" continues its five-year journey across the United States with a stop at Quilt Expo, September 8-10. The exhibit will hang in Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Show hours are 9am to 6pm daily.
For more information, please contact call 866-297-6545 or email

"Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope" is an exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer's sponsored by the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI). Fifty-four small format art quilts (9" x 12") illustrate the disease from a variety of perspectives. They hang among 182 "Name Quilts," each 6 inches wide and 7 feet tall, which carry the names of more than 10,000 individuals who have/had Alzheimer's or a related dementia. The names of loved ones, written on fabric patches by family members and friends, honor the 5.4 million Americans in the United States struggling with Alzheimer's disease.

Ami Simms, AAQI Founder and Executive Director will present "Quilting & Caring: The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative" at 8:30am on Friday, September 9th in the Waubesa WA room on the second floor. Tickets available here.

"Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope" is exhibited at Quilt Expo through the generous support of Wisconsin Public Television, Nancy Zieman Productions, and the Professional Art Quilt Alliance (PAQA).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Improvisational Quilt

I've been thinking about Ricky Tims' All That Jazz: Improvisational Quilt call for entries. Deadline is September 30th and the quilts will be displayed at the Road to California Quilt Show January 19-22, 2012. Quilts will be juried but not judged.

The other day I made a background out of used Shout Color Catcher sheets fused to a piece of stabilizer. I made it long and narrow for the simple reason that 2 across and 10 down seemed to look nice, it fit the challenge specs and I figured it'd be easier to quilt.

I really like the texture of the color catcher sheets. Because of their dull colors, though, I was thinking bright colors would be needed to keep it interesting. I toyed with the idea of a long and narrow stained glass piece. Then I was looking at a book of American Indian motifs and I was thinking about a long and narrow design that echoed some of those pieces. Neither was totally convincing me.

Keeping with the recycled material idea, I was thinking about how to use used tea bags when I came up with the idea of fashioning them into a rope and having flowers blooming out of it. I glued a bunch together and twisted them, but think I'll have to braid it to make is stable enough. Of course, now I can't find my container of cleaned open tea bags. It'll show up.

Then I started wondering about quilting it. Came up with some ideas from the class I took at MMQS but I didn't think an all over pattern was what I wanted. Then I clicked on the free show that TQS is showing this weekend with Jean Wells and noticed how she'd done a really cool background on one of her quilts - sort of leaves and grasses and flowers. I think I can do that if I draw it out on the background first. I'm not confident enough to just let the machine take it away, although I'm sure there will be some unintentional improv.

So I'm letting it sit for a day while I decide if it's what I really want and then there's also the thought running through my head that this isn't a unique idea, although the way I make it will be unique. I hate to think I'm poaching on someone else's idea . . .