As many of my followers know, we are hosting a Quilt Along starting July 6th to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s. In preparation for the QAL, we have done a lot of work to get there!
A year and a half ago, I designed the Forget Me Not quilt to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s. My family was personally affected by the disease. My paternal grandmother suffered from the disease. My father-in-law also died from it. It is one of the top ten causes of death in the US, per the CDC.
Over the past year, I took the design from the sketchbook in EQ8, to my word processor and calculator to write instructions for the quilt. The sketchbook provides great measurements, but it can’t tell you the best way to make the quilt. That is where quilting know-how comes into play. Using my experience, I drafted the instructions and then asked my testers to see if it works. That is a critical step. Just because it looks like it may work, doesn’t always mean it will. They tested each block from their stash.
When, all of my fabrics arrived, I started the process from the very beginning. Preparing my tools, washing my fabric, and cutting it up (for many quilters including me this is the scariest step). I prepared tips and tricks (videos or articles) for folks as they went along to make this step easier. Then, I started sewing. As a I cut and sewed, I tweaked the pattern instructions to make it easier to understand. Since the quilt contains basic techniques, I even taped a few of them for beginners.
During this time, I worked with Ashli Lerman Montomery from Quilt 2 End ALZ to develop the quilt along. We posted information on social media, created a group in Facebook, invited people to join (we are still taking members), and added a mailing option for people not on social media with links to YouTube and our website for tools. We contacted companies for sponsorship and several agreed to participate: Stitchin Heaven, Hoffman California Fabrics, and Hobbs Batting. There is still room for sponsors, so if you want to be one – please let us know! We are hoping to both raise awareness and funds, so if you are not a quilter, please donate through our links to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. If you are a quilter, join in the fun and learn both quilting and self-help. Ok – many of you know all of this already. So what is the big news?
The big news is that I finished sewing the quilt top! For non-quilters, this is a really? moment. Quilters know this is a big deal. I didn’t think it was possible, but the fabrics look even more vibrant than in my design. I am really pleased! So if you are participating and want to know what it will look like in the prescribed fabrics, here it is! If you are picking your own fabrics, you know where to aim.
Now, the fun of quilting begins. I will keep you all posted on this progress as well.