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 "Change 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.
"Change 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's...one 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 three...by 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!