Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Alzheimer Quilt

Our Common Threads Quilt group made quilts for the Alzheimer Society here in Manitoba. The small lap quilts are made up of 36 textured fabrics that are cut 6 inches square. The sense of touch is soothing. I had been given a kit to make up and I kinda agree with the various comments that they are not easy to make.

The fabrics are not beautiful and there is no cohesiveness to the various colours and textures. I did find a few substitutes for the very ugliest.

The fabrics are not always on grain and sewing fabrics with all kinds of fuzz, ravel and stretch made me very glad that Nina has dual feed. I pressed the seams open to reduce bulk and I planned to do the machine quilting with a triple zig zag stitch so the open seams were reinforced well.
The batting was polyester which I never use anymore but this lap quilt should be soft and have minimal quilting so the patch surface offers touchableness. There is also so much fullness to these patches that lining up every seam is impossible and the few little tucks need to be absorbed somewhere. This quilt brought back so many memories for me as I remember ripping and trying to get stuff to line up when I first began quilting. lol

The backing was a white double knit that I saw absolutely no sense in using. A ripply top, slippery batting and stretchy double knit were not conducive to my recuperating from the worst cold ever. So I found a cotton fabric that I thought would provide some 'eye spy' opportunities.

Not too bad. All things considered, actually pretty good if I don't count the down time from disentangling the even feed foot from that orange hairy patch. I decided on a double fold binding but I just prepared it like bought bias seam binding. I encased the edge and zig zagged it down.

I don't think I've ever made such an ugly quilt and that bothered me the most.

I know of 2 sisters with this affliction. The one has a number of years under her belt while the other has been recently diagnosed. They live on the same property but are quite different. One wears classic, richly textured and coloured clothes and is very musical and likes cats. The other is a blue fortrel gal who'd rather be in the kitchen when she isn't playing with her little dog. I am challenged to marry form and function as I consider trying this again with my own stash.

My question: can the sense of touch be evoked by fabric that looks like tree bark, or water, or pebbles? The satin, lace, etc. shouldn't be a problem but I was wondering if elements from the natural world can be included.


Createology said...

Elle this quilt might be thought of as the "ugly duckling". However the purpose of this is the beauty of it. What a wonderful gift you shall give to someone less fortunate. Your question is certainly thought provoking. Why Not? Try it and see how amazing it turns out.

Susan said...

I quit a quilting group once that made the ugliest quilts imagineable. They were for people in shelters. The theory was to make them ugly so they wouldn't sell them for drugs. I just couldn't do it, but your quilt on the other hand serves a beautiful purpose. The mother of one of my friends had alzheimers and when she had to give up her home, her daughter gave me a huge bag of scraps. It was years of savings from ready to wear clothing she had altered. There were satins, corduroys, velvets, polyester, wools etc. I washed it all, then made a string quilt from the pieces. The beautiful part about it was that the quilt was in colors she loved, and in fabrics she remembered. I'm wondering if you couldn't do rocks and pebbles with tyvek. I painted some once then hit it with a shot from the heat gun and quilted around the bubbles. It was a very interesting texture, and I think it would work with your project.