Modern Monday Quilt Along. I said that I felt it too feminine for my quilt as I was making it for my 16 year old grandson and mentioned that I didn’t know what I would do with the block. Michelle Bilyeu of With Heart and Hands left this comment on the blog: I love this little posy! Can you put into a little quilt for AAQI and if you don't have time..mail it to me and I'll make a quilt and donate it with a heads up for your work!
Since I had no idea what to do with the block, I sent it and a few scraps to Michelle and she turned that plain block into this stunning little quilt. Michele is a very special lady and I want to share her recent eMail to me as it tells about her and the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. Below is the letter she sent to me.
As a quilter, an online blogger, and as the founder of my own group of online quilters/bloggers the Liberated Quilting Challenge Group, I invited online quilters and bloggers to help me raise money for Alzheimer's research funding by supporting the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. AAQI, as it is known, was begun by Ami Simms in January of 2006, when she realized that her own mother had Alzheimer's Disease and that she needed a way to make a difference in her mother's life, and her own life, by doing something to help put an end to this horrible and challenging disease. What began as a small grassroots effort grew in just 8 years to become an award winning organization that has already raised more than $900,000 by the sale and auction of small format quilts. We are planning on reaching our ONE MILLION DOLLAR goal by the end of 2013, and so 2013 will be our final year of running and using AAQI a a funding organization.
I began my own little group, Liberated Quilting Challenge Group to raise money for AAQI, in January 2010. January was also the month, that I went up to my childhood home on Douglas Island, near Juneau, Alaska to help my father take care of my mother, who was already suffering from advanced Alzheimer's Disease. Little did I know, that I would slip and fall on the worse black ice in Juneau, Alaska's history within three days of my arrival there, and break my arm in two places, dislocate 3 bones, and require immediate surgery. With a broken and healing arm, I continue to care for my mom, cook and clean their house, give insulin shots, Alzheimer's medications, and believe it or not..use a sewing machine with one hand to sew. And I continued to create my challenge group for AAQI, invite other quilters to join me, and to do all of the necessary data work with one arm and hand and one bit of an extra elbow!
I knew if I could do all of that, I could continue to run my challenge group, with a dial up connection computer from Alaska, that I could do just about anything! My little group of about 40 quilters have created and donated over 500 quilts to AAQI since 2010 and raised a lot of money for this cause in that process. I am deeply committed to quilting for this cause, as 15 members of my immediate family have suffered from this horrible disease......and now only my 87 year old mother is still alive, and still being cared for by all of us grown children, by ourselves, in her home.
To say, that this cause is important to me personally, is a understatement! So, I am delighted that you not only donated some fabric to my cause, but asked me to let you know when my small format art quilt was completed and up for sale on the AAQI website.
My completed small format art quilt. #12,976 Attic Window Posy ...named in honor of all of you....was priced by AAQI founder and directer, Ami Simms, at $65.00. My quilts have gone for as high as $175.....all this small size ...so it is a fair price and of course...all profits go to fund Alzheimer's research!!
Thanks again, for helping this cause by the donation of the fabrics for this quilt. I just loved sewing with them and truly do love how it turned out. It became one of my absolute favorites of the over 50 quilts that I have personally donated to date! If you check out the link to the quilt's own little web page at AAQI, you will notice that I dedicated it to you and all of the Attic Window Quilt Shop quilters!
I would just dearly love it if one of your quilters could purchase, and own it, as that would give it an especially dear home!
With Heart and Hands
Thank you Michele for making this beautiful quilt. You are a very talented lady with a big heart. Thank you too for mentioning me and the Attic Window in your dedication. I wish you and AAQI the best of luck in selling this quilt and pray that you reach your ONE MILLION DOLLAR goal. " May we work together to stamp out Alzheimer’s disease and replace it with the love, generosity, and the creativity of the quilting arts."
Until next time,
Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!