Posts filed under ‘Alzheimer’s’

Quilters Finance Alzheimer’s Discovery!

With $30,000 from the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative researchers at the University of Michigan were able to create new molecular tools that show promise for cleansing the brain of amyloid plaques, implicated in Alzheimer’s disease!  The plaques — a hallmark of  the disease —are thought to contribute to cell death, leading to devastating  memory loss and cognitive decline.

Learn how quilters are stitching towards a cure. Read the AAQIUpdate blog!

December 13, 2010 at 12:41 am 6 comments

Funky Colored Denim And A Big MESS!

This is the before picture. I don’t think you’re going to see an “after” picture for quite a while. Notice the place on the carpet where I stand (no scraps)? I confess, I am a true slob.

(You can click the picture to see exactly how big a slob I am.)

Still, I’m pretty happy about the whole state of affairs. You see, I’ve been collecting funky colored jeans for at least a decade, and I finally came up with something to do with them!

I am making denim badge holders! 

By time you read this all of the AAQI Board Members in Houston will be wearing them around their necks, displaying the International Quilt Festival Exhibitor Badge (our ticket to get in to the Exhibit Hall) in the cute little plastic pocket on the front.

Inside is a large pocket, on the back are two more pockets, and some of the Badge Holders even have the AAQI logo, tagline, and web page on the front flap. (I used all the leftover ones we had from labeling the “Name Quilts” for the new exhibit.)

The front flap is really a pocket! I've already gotten rid of that little bit of thread sitting on the "Raising."I am SO pleased with myself. I just knew that some day I would find a use for the funky colored pants! (It’s OK, I still have about 97 pounds more.)

We have seven of us board members. But I had about 15 fabric logos left, so I made more Badge Holders than we have board members. And then I didn’t count so well and had lots of leftover parts and made about three times as many as I needed. Since I ran out of the logo fabric, some of the extra ones are just “plain.”

Now I need your help. I want to donate all the extra ones to the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative and sell them at Festival. Am I silly? Would anybody even want one? More importantly, how much would they pay for one?!

In the comment section please tell me what I should charge. I need to know by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. That’s when the Sneak Preview opens and we start selling the 1,000 quilts, and hopefully one or two of these little badge holders. ( Exhibit Hall, Row S. —Tell your friends.) Did I mention I made them myself? And it was hard. (Wiping back of hand across brow…) And I still have to clean up the mess!

Seriously, what’s a good price. It’s for charity.

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And, don’t forget to read my blogs about the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative here.

November 3, 2010 at 5:51 am 28 comments

Best Fortune Cookie EVER!

Best fortune ever!Is this not the best fortune for a quilter to find in her cookie? It’s  been stuck on my bulletin board for probably a decade; I even photocopied it once or twice in case it ever got lost.  

OK, so it says “rags.” “Scraps” would have been much better, but it has the word QUILT on it!

Perhaps my dinner partners will recall where I was and who they were, because it’s been so long ago and there have been so many wonderful meals with students over the years that I can’t remember. The food was great, the company even better, and the memento of the evening was the quilty fortune. 

Mom really enjoyed the party.When my mother turned 70 I made her a photo-transfer quilt. If you have a copy of Creating Scrapbook Quilts, you’ll see it on the cover. They story of how I pulled off the surprise quilt and the surprise birthday party is on page 41. The best picture of her being surprised is this one. (She had a pretty good time at the party.)

I bring this up because I had her surprise party at a Chinese restaurant and mail-ordered special fortune cookies for the event. (Yes, you can do that!) I think there were four different messages in the custom cookies, but I can only remember two: “You’re going to kiss an old lady.” and “There’s a little piece of rice stuck on your upper lip.”

What's your fortune?You can also make your own digital fortune cookie image here. Just type in what you want it to say.

And your fortune would be…..what?

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August 23, 2010 at 2:57 am 10 comments

The “Rose of Sharon” Project

Hats off to Sharon Pederson, and her Nine Patch Media business partner Elizabeth Phillips, for putting together the Rose of Sharon project. It was premiered at the International Quilt Market in Minneapolis last weekend where quilt shop owners go for the newest fabrics, thread, books, and gadgets.

The Electric Quilt Company hosted the Rose of Sharon block contest at the end of last year which netted 850 different blocks made by designers in 11 countries. Sharon and Elizabeth whittled the entries down to 50, and Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims  selected the top 12 designs for Sharon’s quilt shown here.

It’s called “Roses of Remembrance” because Sharon and Elizabeth made the project into an opportunity for the designers to share their connection with Alzheimer’s (if any) and for the partner companies to support the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Sharon made the quilt reversible. On the back of the quilt you can really see Barbara Shapel’s quilting!

Sharon’s new “Rose of Sharon” book, due out this fall (Martingale & Company), includes an introduction I wrote about my mother and the beginnings of the AAQI.  Sharon’s “Rose of Sharon”  instructional DVD from Nine Patch Media will also be available soon.

Shops throughout the country will be able to offer quilters a “Roses of Remembrance” BOM (block-of-the-month) with fabrics from Island Batiks.

AccuQuilt has Go! Dies for all the Rose of Sharon appliques, and Oklahoma Embroidery Supply & Design (OESD) has each block design digitized for machine embroidery and/or applique.  Aurifil has put together two Rose of Sharon thread collections to stitch and quilt everything together.

Quilt Market is always exciting, but this year it was especially so.

May 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm 13 comments

I’ll Be On The Quilt Show!

Yours truly will be a guest on The Quilt Show!  Look for me on a monitor near you some time at the beginning of 2011.

If you can’t wait that long, and you’re a member of The Quilt Show, come to the taping! It will be on August 10th and “admission” is a completed, fully registered Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt!  Alex and Ricky are making my dream come true — to look out over the audience and see every single person holding a little 9″ x 12″ donation quilt for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. Either that, or possibly catching a glimpse of George Clooney in the back row. I could go either way.

Space is VERY limited. Put “Ami Simms” in the subject line when you request tickets for the August 10th taping.

If you can’t make the taping but you’d like to influence history, in your comment to this blog post tell me what you’d like me to do on the show. Let me rephrase that. I’m not showing my hand-dyed underpants, juggling is out, and there will be no cooking segments.  What else are you interested in seeing? What questions about the AAQI can I answer for you? What skills are you all excited to learn that I might happen to know?  What annoying habits should I try to stifle? All suggestions/comments welcome. Tell your friends.  And send Rolaids. I’m already getting nervous.

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May 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm 34 comments

There’s A New Quilt In The Works

Paula PoundstoneLast week I had an opportunity to see Paula Poundstone perform. She was hysterical! If you ever get a chance to see her, go! She had us laughing for two hours straight and then came out afterwards to greet people and give autographs. She was so generous with her time, talking with everyone in line and posing for pictures.

Not one to miss an opportunity, I put together a little quilt for her to sign. More acturately, I brought her a “quilt” held together with more pins than thread, but she got the idea. As soon as it is finished it will be auctioned off to benefit the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.

I’ve read her book and saw photographs of her, but a good look at her web site helped me decide just what to do with the quilt. I went to the Salvation Army and picked up a blue shirt for the front of the quilt. I cut away the sleeves and the back and made a polka dot tie from the leftover fabric. The suspenders are red and polka dotted too, except for the area on one where she wrote a message and signed her name.

Although it was in pieces, it actually looked like part of the “costume” she wears to perform in—not bad for four hours of work. She even Tweeted me a message: “…That quilt square is so cool!”

I’m hoping when the quilt is finished she’ll tell all her fans to bid on it. Meanwhile, there is the “practice” signature I just happen to have, black pen on white fabric.  Convince me you are the quilter to turn it into a another Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt.

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March 23, 2010 at 1:15 am 7 comments

I Just Wrote A Check for $30,000!

The biggest check I've ever written!I just wrote a check for $30,000 and it felt GREAT—as soon as my heart stopped racing and I made sure I spelled all the words correctly. That much money, well, I don’t know about you, but I get a little tense.

Writing checks to pay for Alzheimer’s research is the best part of my duties as Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.  I know there are some organizations who can give far more than we can and would consider a check for $30K a piddling amount. But I know how we earned it: one quilt at a time. I can’t tell you what a thrill it was, and how grateful I am that quilters throughout the United State (and beyond) made this grant possible.

Dr Lim accepts AAQI check from AmiThis is the AAQI’s third research grant that we have funded directly and it is our largest one to date. This was also the first time I was able to hand deliver the check.

On Friday Debbie Chenail (AAQI Treasurer) and I drove to Ann Arbor, Michigan to met Dr. Mi Hee Lim and her research team at the University of Michigan. We brought several quilts from the current traveling exhibit, “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” along with five of the completed “Name Quilts” from the next exhibit, “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope.”

It was VERY emotional.I explained that for most AAQI supporters, fighting Alzheimer’s is a personal struggle. We have/had family members and friends with the disease and we have seen the devastating results. Every stitch in every quilt is made with purpose and with hope, and now that hope rests with these talented and dedicated scientists.

"Our" research team.The team which will soon begin work, financed in part by the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, is from left to right: Joseph Braymer, Dr. Mi Hee Lim, Nathan Merrill, Jung Suk Choi, Nicole Schmidt, Yihong Liu, and Alaina DeToma.

They hope to create a new class of molecules that will be used as chemical probes to better understand the role of metal ions in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and to hopefully create therapeutic agents for metal-ion chelation therapy. Godspeed!

If you would like to support the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, there are 28 Ways You Can Help. For now I’m going to rest my check-writing hand and go make another quilt.

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(By the way, I Twitter too.
And I friend quilters on Facebook!)

March 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm 26 comments

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