10 August 2010

Alzheimer's Priority Quilt

Tick tock, tick tock. I work well with a deadline. Did you know that? It has always been so with me. This deadline was given to me on July 10: I needed to take an Alzheimer's Priority Quilt with me to the filming of The Quilt Show on August 10. Four weeks, that's all the time I had, and one of those weeks was for registration. Gulp.

What to do? I wanted to reflect the chaos an Alzheimer's patient must feel, but how to do so? Over breakfast on Monday July 12, the design started to coalesce. Sometimes I don't have to draw a design to have it work, but most of the time it is a good thing to do so the bugs can be worked out.


The first thing I did was to find the Dover book of copyright free silhouettes in my library. After thumbing through the whole book, I found one buried amid all the others on a page.


The silhouette was sized in Adobe Photoshop and then printed, transferred to a paper backed fusible web (yes I thought about printing directly to the web, but I have a very temperamental printer), fused and cut from some black/gray fabric.


For the background, I used commercially printed 100% cotton fabric that resembles the marbled end pages in an old book. The fabric was just too bright and rich for the look I wanted so I used the reverse side.


I needed to construct a new 'silk' screen so I purchased some wooden canvas stretchers and a bit of polyester chiffon from a local craft store. Here the frame is build and the chiffon is stapled on; the next step involves a lot of duct tape (wonderful stuff) and scrubbing with cleanser.

Et voila! The screen is ready for use.


I love words and letters on a quilt and this one is no exception. I found that I still had the dexterity to wield an Xacto knife with the skill needed to cut the stencil. When cutting a paper stencil for screening you need to think through what to leave and what to remove. Do you see the bars I left? I removed those once I had the stencil in place and ready to use. Love the font, it was perfect for this application.

I pulled two screens onto paper and then did the screening on fabric. Ah, success! Once the fabric paint dried it was heat set with the iron and the silhouette fused on in the same session. The silhouette was stitched down using an ekg-style free motion stitch. Then the quilt was sandwiched and ready to quilt.




  1. Very creative and I think it speaks words loudly.

  2. The screen image turned out great! This is probably a really stupid question, but did you put the stencil on your screen or on on your fabric and them out the screen on top of it. I'm guessing you put it on the screen but how did you get it to stay flat?

  3. Whoa! This is wonderful. The thought you put into and the process, too. Impressive in all aspects. Thanks for sharing, Paula. Hugs, friend. Big hugs. Excited, too!!!

  4. This is beautiful. Wonderful idea to use the clip art and the beautiful font. Thanks for sharing the process as well.

  5. You come up with some of the most fabulous ideas - then to put them into fabric is something out of this world. I love seeing the process!

  6. Creative, indeed! And using your gifts with design elements is perfect! Do tell all about Ami and the show!

  7. Wow! I love the design! My grandmother suffered with this for years, and it is truly a dark ride. I'm glad you shared the whole process.

  8. Deadlines seem to make me move a little quicker too! Wonderful quilt!

  9. And very gorgeous indeed!! A very poignant message there.

  10. Hard and fast deadlines seem to encourage the highest levels of creativity and productivity out of me... looks like we have that in common.

    Your dramatic piece speaks volumes, well done.

  11. You did so well! ( and now you are famous! )What a wonderful causeto support.