“Oversized” Alzheimer’s Quilt Finds New Home

Quilt artist Nanette Zeller, from Southern Pines, NC, created “Juggling The Chances” also known as “The Juggler” ( 48.5 ” x 70″) for the traveling exhibit, “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” back in 2006. In her excitement to complete the quilt, she forgot to check the size requirements in the prospectus. The quilt was too big and wasn’t selected for the traveling exhibit. 

Her quilt is really special. It presents a visual interpretation of a Gallup Poll commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Association. The poll found that 1 in 10 Americans have a family member with Alzheimer’s (light purple ball) and 1 in 3 know someone with the disease (dark purple balls). The silhouetted juggler represents any one of us as we face the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The Juggler hasn’t been folded up in a closet somewhere. Nanette has been showing her extraordinary quilt at various venues to promote Alzheimer’s awareness.

It was hanging at Linderella’s Quilt Works in Pinehurst, NC when Gretchen W. of Alexandria, VA saw it and wanted it. An arrangement was made that the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative would receive a substantial donation, and Nanette would give Gretchen the quilt. It was a win, win, win for everyone involved.

Here is Nanette with her masterpiece.  (Yes, she is VERY tall and has three arms! Just kidding. Gretchen is holding the sign Nanette created to tell about the quilt.)

The Juggler, by Nanette Zeller
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10 thoughts on ““Oversized” Alzheimer’s Quilt Finds New Home

  1. Great story! Great outcome! Great quilt! My father died several days before Ami’s mom – also of Alzheimers. I am amazed that I am not only a member of a huge quilting community but also of an Alzheimers quilting community. Y’all touch my heart.


  2. That is one of thre best quilts I have ever seen, on an emotional level and on an intellectual level. She has incorporsted so much, the darkening squares towards the bottom. the leaning, elliptical arc of the balls, the light and shadow of fading memory. I’m sure I could see something new every time I looked at it. Congratulations!


    1. Wow! I love reading your comments about this quilt. It was an emotional journey on many levels…especially watching it go to a new home. I’m glad “its” intended purpose came to be. I learned a “BIG” lesson about reading submission guidelines when I made this quilt. Size does matter! LOL!


  3. How Cool is this!!!! Alzheimers’ needs all the help with awareness it can get—Having worked with Alzheimers’ patients and having been on the local committee for the Memory Walk—Getting the word out is the best thing we can do!! Thank heavens for creative people like Nanette—Way to go!!! Also a special thank you to the one who purchased it.


  4. I’m in awe of the generous soul and talented fiber artist that Nanette is. I’m a fan of her work and always intrigued at the passion and love she puts into each and every project she touches.


  5. This reminded me of a quilt I made for a graduating High School Senior. Nothing fancy, but a “treasured” heirloom of her sports/leadership t-shirts. Instead of taking pay for my efforts, I asked them to make a donation to the Lupus Foundation. My friend’s sister and her daughter both have this horrid disease. Again, a win/win, and they were very generous. And the daughter LOVED the quilt — and isn’t that what it is all about?


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