I-384 – Violets for Irene

I-384 – Violets for Irene

Mary Andrews
Grand Blanc, MI    USA

Width: 38"   Length: 38"

Techniques: Machine appliqué, machine quilting, hand embroidery. This quilt has a Traditional Sleeve.

Artist Statement: Irene was my mother. She has always been my inspiration and my personal coach. Although she passed away almost 30 years ago, her words of encouragement have kept me going with my art, even when other things in life have distracted me. There wasn’t a label for the dementia that took over her mind back then. I was told it was “hardening of the arteries." It was very hard to watch this very creative, vibrant woman lose her ability to do the things in life that she loved so much. If this disease is hereditary, I surely hope they find a cure during my lifetime, which is why I made this quilt and want to be a part of bringing people the awareness that research is needed to find a cure.

Purple was her favorite color and violets her favorite flower. She had beautiful African violets in every window. When I decided to do a tribute to her, purple violets were the first thing to pop into my mind. She always saved the scraps from every project to use somewhere else so I made each petal from a different fabric. I didn’t have the right color for the background, so I dyed a piece the color I needed along with the cording. The scrappy “crazy-patch" border represents the craziness of the dementia that surrounded her later in her life. Even though the craziness exists, so does the beauty. We can still see the inner beauty of the flower even if it is only in our memory.

About The Artist: Mary has been a quilt artist for almost 20 years. Taught to sew by her mother as a child, Mary sewed clothing for herself and her children then began sewing quilts. Her award-winning quilts traveled all over the world and are in several public collections.

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 $270 for the AAQI.