Sunday, August 29, 2010

August Creativity Challenge

My project is not entirely done but I wanted to post what I have before the rest of the month slips by. If I can get my body to cooperate I will probably have it finished in the next day or so but just in case...

The creativity prompt for this month was

Artwork by A Creative Dreamer, the instigator of these challenges.

My first reaction was sheer panic. I didn't have a clue what to do with that topic! The more I thought about it, however, the broader the application appeared to be. I mean, you could do anything from the transitioning of the seasons through the year to the transition of children leaving the nest (or coming back) or the ever so challenging female transition of fertility to infertility. Transition means change, and life IS change. What at first appeared to me to be a rather limited topic turned out to be limitless. That's a challenge in and of itself.

Eventually it occurred to me that there is a transition that millions of us will face and for which we currently have no vaccines, no concrete defense against, or the shadow of a cure. I am speaking of Alzheimer's Disease.

I wanted so badly to come up with a Priority Quilt to donate to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative earlier in the year. It's been too long since I've made a quilt for that project but I just hadn't been inspired. This challenge provided that inspiration. Thank you June.

As much as I wanted to do this, I was afraid my ideas wouldn't come together until it was too late. Seriously, I don't think a day went by this month that I didn't think about this challenge in one way or another. I had all kinds of ideas for other projects that I finally discarded when the concept for this quilt turned up.

It was the transition Alzheimer's patients go through - from fully functioning adult to an entity completely dependent on others for any kind of existence - that I wanted to portray. I suppose you have to be a quilter to "read" this quilt top and get the message easily, but if you start at the upper left and read the rows the way you would the page of a book you'll see the transition. (I hope.)

This is only an 8" x 12" quilt. I've used 4" blocks to create three rows. In the first row of two blocks (below) things are fine, normal. I'm imagining a quilter who travels, plays the piano, does other crafts perhaps.

Then in the second row of blocks mental abilities start to break down, to fragment and disintegrate. The Hellbucket print makes me think of the times when a normally mild mannered person will become suddenly violent or irrational. The sheet music has become disembodied notes. Stories ramble on or get repeated (etc. etc. etc.). Love still shines through unexpectedly.

The final row of blocks is a Broken Dishes block in blacks and grays, then a Flying Geese unit and a variation of the Rail Fence for the flat line at the end of mortality.

I hope this is not too depressing. The problem is that it's altogether too true and we currently have no way to combat this disease. That's why it's so important that we come up with ways to fund research and demand that our government leaders address this health care crisis in the making. I'm doing what I can in making and donating little quilts to be auctioned off to raise money for research. I hope each of my readers will find some way to address this issue themselves. Either make a quilt or buy a quilt from the AAQI website (during the next auction or on the Quilts for Sale page). Donate money directly if you like. Write to your representatives in Congress. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors. DO something. Please. I could be the next victim. Or it might be you. Or someone you love.


  1. Love your quilt for the August challenge! I do not quilt or sew for that matter, maybe a button or two. :) I do see the transition in the quilt an no matter how sad it is still a lovely quilt.

    I'm cutting it so close on my 'transition' entry that i went back and reread the directions and i thought the deadline was the last day of the month but really it says the first Monday of the month so i'm saved....i hope. LOL! This kind of challenge really helps procrastinators to which i am queen!

  2. I think it is wonderful Sue. My father has this nasty disease, and it is horrifying, so this is especially touching.

  3. A very powerful quilt, beautifully done, and for a great cause. Bravo!

  4. Depressing? People need to realize the whole issue of Alzheimer's is filled with depression. For the victim, for the family, for the caregivers. The disease is heartbreaking, the journey is difficult, and the outcome is certain (death).

    Your PQ illustrates this and conveys a message SO many need to hear. WELL DONE!

    p.s. My PQ for the transitions theme is not quite finished . . . the more of us who donate quilts to AAQI, the more funding for research. The more research, the more hope. The time to act is now.

  5. Your design communicates clearly in a way that words cannot. Having walked this road with 2 family members, it is especially poignant to "read" your design. Thank you for doing this.

  6. A beautiful and meaningful piece! :)


Due to my health issues I am frequently unable to respond to your comments but please know that I do try to acknowledge your thoughtful responses. I cannot respond to 'no-reply' bloggers either, much to my frustration.