Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope

This exhibit is retired. All the quilts that have not been sold will be disposed of according to IRS rules for nonprofits.

"Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope" is a traveling quilt exhibit about Alzheimer's. It will be exhibited at venues throughout the United States through September 2013.

The exhibit features 236 quilts. Long, narrow "Name Quilts" are made from 55 purple patches, each marked with the name of a person who has/had Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia.

The "wrong" side of the fabric patches are showing. The color looks faded. The bright side of the cloth, full of the color and pattern of life, has been turned to the inside of the quilt, never to be seen again.

The Name Quilts create a wall more than 10,000 names, representing and honoring the 5.4 million people in the United States who have this horrid disease.

Hanging among the Name Quilts are 54 small format art quilts that tell the story of Alzheimer's from a variety of perspectives.

See for images and videos of the individual quilts as well as lists of transcribed names from each quilt.

Creating a traveling exhibit of this magnitude requires the work of many hands. The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative would like to thank its supporters for their generous gifts of time and materials.

In order of appearance…
  • The quilters who cut 10,000 purple patches, Alexis Durham who kept track of them, and Kathy Kennedy Dennis, with members of Cut Ups Bee (Houston, TX),stitched them into quilts tops. (Karen Musgrave donated more than 4,000 patches!)

  • The people who took the quilt tops to their quilt guild meetings, churches, Alzheimer's events, and work places asking people they know to write the names of family and friends who have or had Alzheimer's or a related dementia.

  • Volunteers in Florida, Michigan, and Texas who transcribed the last 1,000 names that were collected online onto purple patches.

  • Hobbs Bonded Fibers for donating the batting for the Name Quilts.

  • Hoffman Fabrics for donating the purple batik backing for the Name Quilts.

  • Superior Threads for donating an assortment of threads for piecing the tops and for quilting them.

  • for donating cloth labels, designed by Nanette Zeller, for each of the Name Quilts.

  • Island Batik, Inc. for providing the black batik binding for each Name Quilt and for the "headers" onto which all 235 quilts will hang when they are exhibited.

  • Jane Hancock appraised the entire exhibit so that the quilts can be insured.

  • The quilters of the Name Quilts.

  • Special thanks to Kathy Kennedy Dennis, the Co-Curator of Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope. She has sorted and stored the 10,000 patches, pieced 161 of the Name Quilt tops, layered them all with batting and backing, and stitched on the bindings. In addition she has kept track of all where each Name Quilt received its names, who quilted it, and where it is at every step along the way. She is Keeper of the Master List.

  • interDesign® for supplying rod hooks to hang the exhibit.

  • Readers of the AAQIUpdate Blog who created pole skrunchies to travel with the exhibit.

  • Visitors to the Hands Across the Valley Quilt Show who brought Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope to their community of Amherst, MA and allowed the AAQI to use their images in our video.

The Quilt Show, an online subscription "TV" show, devoted an entire hour to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.