The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) is an all-volunteer effort to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI sponsors a traveling quilt exhibit about Alzheimer's and sells small donated quilts online to fund research. The charity has raised almost $1,000,000 for research since it began in 2006, and has awarded 15 research grants (from $10,000 to $60,000) to institutions across the country including the University of Michigan, Temple University, Cornell University, Texas A & M, and Mt Sinai School of Medicine. The AAQI was founded by Ami Simms, a quilter whose mother had Alzheimer's.
“I watched this horrible disease rob her of every skill she ever had, every memory she ever held dear, and every relationship she ever cherished," said Simms. "She had been a thriving, independent, accomplished woman with a wide circle of friends and a boundless zest for life. I had to do something.”
Simms, who teaches quilting nationally, thought of a way quilters could finance much needed research by sewing and donating small format art quilts that measure 9" x 12" or smaller. (Think art on a wall, not a blanket on a bed.) To date the AAQI has received almost 15,000 donated quilts! The majority of the quilts are sold online. During the first ten days of each month, however, the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative holds an online auction featuring 27 of these tiny stitched treasures. The auction is open to the public; bidding starts at $40. Each November the AAQI auctions quilts made by celebrity quilters in recognition of National Alzheimer's Awareness month. Bidding for these somewhat larger quilts (15" x 15") made by world renowned quilt artists starts at $100. This year, the AAQI will be auctioning quilts from their traveling exhibit "Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope" during October and December.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive and degenerative disease that kills brain cells. It is ultimately fatal. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's. If you would like to help fight this disease, consider purchasing a quilt from this organization. All profits fund Alzheimer's research. Visit them at www.AlzQuilts.org or contact them at:
Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative
1200 Creekwood Trail
Burton, MI 48509
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