I-379 – Brain Cramps

I-379 – Brain Cramps

Mary Stori
Clyde, NC    USA

Width: 30"   Length: 30"

Techniques: Machine appliquι and machine quilting. This quilt has a Traditional Sleeve.


Note: one of the glass eyeballs cracked in half during the five years this quilt was exhibited. It was glued back together. A small crack can be seen.

Artist Statement: Having a parent with Alzheimer's makes you hyper-sensitive to everyday forgetfulness, the kind that comes from the busy stressed-out kind of life we all lead. You wonder every time you forget where you put your keys, or overlook one little detail among the hundreds of things you juggle every day, that it's a sign that you're going to get it too. Every little glitch in the system, every brain cramp, can be a cause for worry. So you stress some more … and forget something else!

Brain cramps are not the cause of lost memories, the forgotten meaning of all things that used to be familiar, or the disrupted flow of fluid thinking — Alzheimer's is! My mom is in the late stage of Alzheimer's. She complains constantly (and I mean constantly) and has for the last three years that her head aches. I believe now, and have all along (and finally so does her doctor), that she's not really experiencing a "headache." Rather, she uses this term to describe her confusion and inability to think clearly, not unlike what non-stop brain cramps might feel like.

The stresses that cause my brain cramps are on this quilt. There are old watch faces beaded onto the background; I'm always up against the clock. They also stand for the true tragedy of Alzheimer's — time and memory lost, stolen from a productive vibrant life. It is something we all fear.

About The Artist: Mary enjoys using embellishments to enhance her quilt designs. She has written six books and recently completed an instructional beading DVD. A sought-after teacher on the national circuit, Mary was named 2004 Teacher of the year by The Professional Quilter.

History: This quilt was part of "Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece," a 54-quilt traveling exhibit about Alzheimer's, sponsored by the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI). The exhibit traveled from August 2006 until October 2010 when the exhibit retired.

"Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece" was shown at 49 venues in 31 states. More than 300,000 people had an opportunity to see this exhibit and learn about Alzheimer's. You can read comments about this extraordinary exhibit here. Many of the quilts are mentioned by name.

The quilts which traveled as part of "Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece" were loaned to the AAQI to be returned to the artists at the conclusion of the exhibit. Twenty quilts, including this one, were donated to the AAQI by their makers. We are grateful for the opportunity to offer these quilts at auction and thank their makers sincerely for their donations.

This quilt earned $250 for the AAQI.