Waggons West Etsy Shop

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Strange Winter

 Hello to visitors from Hand Made Parade.   I'm linking to this since it is one of my favorites and I don't have anything new to share with you this week.

Early in the summer I was asked to participate in a local group effort to make quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. These ladies have been making quilts to donate for this project and many others over the past few years. I was very excited that to have them include me.

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to make for my little quilt. I looked at pages of past quilt donations and current quilts for sale, trying to get a sense for the project. The diversity is incredible. There is no standard Alzheimer's Art Quilt. They are simple, complex, traditional, modern, art, disease related, seasonal, you name it.

I've read a lot about the disease and have peripheral knowledge of folks affected by it. I haven't had to confront it in a personal manner. In thinking about it and how it seems to affect people I kept coming back to two ideas. It mostly affects people who are in what is sometimes referred to as the winter season of their lives. The disease seems to wipe away the form and structure of their lives. I kept picturing a strange winter where the beautiful patterns of life drift off into formless static. That is what I tried to represent with my little quilt.

I have been working on it off and on all summer. The deadline was the fourth Monday of July. It turns out that a few others were not quite ready then either. So I still have a chance. It still needs to be washed and dried. I am waiting to hear if I am to put a label on the back and what it should say. And then there is the form to fill out to go with the submission. But I can get that done now. The hard part was getting it finished.

It languished away in my portable projects bag waiting for me to finish the binding. I started with a solid blue, but the fabric wouldn't cooperate and the quilt didn't like it so I kept putting it off. Thanks to a little incentive from this week's Iron Craft Challenge, Finish a UFO, I went to my stash and found a nicer fabric. From there it was a simple matter to finish up.

The details. The quilt measures 10 x 7.5 inches. It is made of muslin and quilter's cotton. The piece is hand embroidered and hand quilted with an assortment of quilting threads and pearl cotton.

Update: Tossing this one in at the end. The colors are all wackadoodle because I was trying to get a decent picture of mostly white quilt. I'm putting it here because is shows the stitching and illustrations some of the transition between the swirls and the static.


  1. Very pretty. I love blue and white!

  2. That's so beautiful. I love your use of symbolism. My great-grandfather had Alzheimer's, so thank you for your work. :-)

  3. Your representation of
    "I kept picturing a strange winter where the beautiful patterns of life drift off into formless static."
    is thoughtful, poetic and beautiful.
    PS - Thank you for the comment on my blog. :)

  4. This is really nice. As I age, going to be 64 in May, I think of this disease too. It's heartbreaking to all involved. Thank you for your great quilt and post.

  5. Wow, look at all those little stitches!