Friday, June 15, 2012

"Changing the World" by Michele Bilyeu

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative has a new tradition, started on April 20th. It's called Facebook Foto Friday, and it's a way to show your support of AAQI by sharing pictures of the quilts you've purchased. This week I'm lucky. I recently won #9648 "Changing the World" by Michele Bilyeu, from the June AAQI auction, and it arrived in the mail just yesterday.

I just love this quilt, and I've enjoyed Michele's work from the moment I first saw it. She is in Salem, Oregon, just a short drive down I-5, so we're part of the same Oregon quilt community. AAQI is one of the many charities she supports, and she seems especially dedicated to AAQI. She even blogs about it! I simply adore Michele's work, and she inspires me.

Fifteen members of her immediate family have had some form of Alzheimer's Disease or related dementia, and to date, she has made and donated more than three dozen quilts, and raised over $2100. Right on, Michele!

My collection of AAQI quilts is just about a baker's dozen, but I can already see some themes developing. I love Oregon artists, original designs, and themes that relate to Alzheimer's. But what I collect is not be limited to those genres. It can be anything.

"Changing the World"really has it all. At the end of the day, isn't changing the world exactly what the charity is doing? Every artist and every patron makes a difference, and if you don't believe it, consider the numbers. The charity has raised more than $730,000 since January, 2006. More than 10,000 quilts have been donated. Over $300,000 in grants have been awarded by AAQI for Alzheimer's research, just in the last three years. That's amazing!

In the artist's statement, Michele says, "Margaret Mead wrote, 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.' This is what we, as quilters, so with our donation of art quilts to AAQI, and it is what the quilt buyers do with their purchases. We are seeking to change the world of Alzheimer' little quilt at a time."

Her dedication: "For all of us who seek change in the world...the doers, the movers, and the shakers...and the quilt lovers who seek to do all donating or purchasing AAQI quilts."

Just the other day I was at a guild meeting, telling everyone about the Alzheimer's quilts during show and tell. I said to my guild mates, "I hope you'll all make quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. How else am I ever going to own a quilt made by each of you?"

Happy Facebook Foto Friday!


  1. Bill it's a fantastic way to raise funds for this worthy charity.

    I have purchased two in the past one of them being Lori's -Humble quilts. A firm friendship has been cemented between us through this project.
    How else would have got to meet someone in Oregan from the other side of the pond.
    Michele's work is fabulous!

  2. It is a fantastic quilt and for such an awesome cause!!

  3. What a wonderful little quilt and such a moving story by the buyer. I have so far only contributed quilts but I think it may be time to move into the buying part of AAQI as well.

    Paula Carhart Hilston

  4. Lovely quilt. Gracious, heroic quiltmaker.
    Outstanding grassroots effort by Ami Simms and her cadre of Volunteers at AAQI to galvanize all of us disparate folk to defeat Alzheimerʻs, together. Bill, you are the champion in every way.

  5. I am so grateful, delighted, humbled, and yes, may I say it...proud that is now part of your own amazing quilt collection, Bill! What a lovely, lovely write up on this! Thank you in all ways!!!!

  6. This is a really lovely quilt. Congratulations on winning it!