Waikanae New Zealand
Width: 36" Length: 36"
Techniques: Machine piecing, machine quilting, beads. This quilt has a Traditional Sleeve.
Artist Statement: My mother had Alzheimer's. She was the first woman accountancy graduate at Canterbury University in New Zealand, and although she did not practice after my brother and I were born she was always involved in community fundraising and served on committees of national charity organizations. She was very intelligent, a great bridge player, and had a wide circle of interesting friends. The onset of her Alzheimer's saddened me so very much. It took so much away from her.
I used an old traditional block called Memory Star, very appropriate, I think. I drafted a ring of forget-me-not flowers (the symbol of Alzheimer's here in New Zealand) onto the block. The rest of the block is shaded from bright to dull as a reminder of the downhill effect this disease has on people.
The quilting has a section of meandering pattern, one of the symptoms of the mind and body when this disease takes over, and there are some forget-me-not beads scattered over the quilt to emphasis the "not knowing where they are" that effects patients.
I found making this quilt was very emotional for me.
About The Artist: Helen has been quilting and embroidering for many years. She teaches widely throughout New Zealand and internationally as well. Helen curates the New Zealand Quilts for the World Quilt Shows in the USA. A faculty member of QuiltUniversity.com, Helen is the author of two books, The Miniature Embroidered Quilt and Wheel of Mystery Quilt: Surprising Designs from a Classic Book.
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 $235 for the AAQI.