The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative is offering a special Mother’s Day Auction starting today and ending at 10 p.m. central time on Sunday night. During this special Mother’s Day weekend, we are offering one extraordinary quilt, shown above. “Remembering Mother” was made by Rhonda Dort of Houston, Texas. It is a tribute to Arline, Rhonda’s mother-in-law who passed in September of last year due to complications from Alzheimer’s.
http://www.benefitbidding.com/auctions/listings/details.cfm?item_id=6753 All profits fund Alzheimer’s research.
Rhonda shares her thoughts about “Remembering Mother.” (Click on each image to see it larger.)
As I cleaned out Arline’s linen closet, I saved many handkerchiefs, hand towels and tablecloths that I’ve incorporated into several quilts, including this one. I think she’d be happy with the results!
The beautiful purple handkerchief, though worn and aged, stands out as the dominate part of this little quilt. It orchestrated each of the additional pieces, determining what other colors and shapes could be introduced.
What I’ve tried to accomplish with each little quilt is to mesh old with new— old crochet mixed with new machine embroidered lace, old mother-of-pearl buttons with new ribbons, old hand embroidery with new beads.
The darker ivory (top left) is new machine embroidery hand embellished with beads. The center white heart is also a new piece of beautiful work. I’ve embellished it with beads, ribbon work and gold and white crystal bead balls.
You’ll find many vintage mother-of-pearl buttons scattered across the quilt. Each as been “dressed up” with many different colors and shades of beads. Additional accents include ivory pearls, very tiny yellow sequins with pearl white bead centers, delicate ivory ribbon work and Wing/Hem Needle stitching.
I have many friends who have given me so many wonderful pieces of lace, crochet, buttons, ribbon and linen that have become part of my quilts.
I tend to use tiny size 15 beads, occasionally 11′s and love to find metal charms to add interest. Early on I used clear mono-poly thread to attach the beads, but later transitioned to a wonderful Nymo off-white beading thread.
Each little quilt comes together through trial and error. I begin each project on a blank 9″ x 12″ piece of fabric. I audition 5-6 “anchor” pieces in several layouts, photographing each setting. I walk away from the project for a time, later look at the photos and determine the final layout. After these 5-6 pieces are tacked to the background fabric I begin to choose additional smaller pieces to fill in the negative spaces. Heirloom machine stitching with a wing/hem needle adds additional interest and gives a uniform grid for additional beading. Needless to say, the ladies at the bead shop know me by name, I go in for one or two colors and leave with six!
A question that always comes up is “how long do these take?” Well, if no laundry, cooking or housework gets done, a single quilt can be finished in 3-4 days. Others ask “how do you know when you’re finished with a quilt?” I don’t really know how to answer except to just say they’re done when I can’t think of anything else to add. You will probably see that I love to embellish the buttons as they take on a whole new persona when decorated with beads and ribbons. Is it hard to cut up vintage pieces? I tend to cut up only tattered pieces that have had a useful but hard earlier life. I love the fact that they are becoming an important part of a new project.
Besides learning new techniques, I’ve experienced the joy of creating something that comes directly from the heart. Are they hard to give to the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative? Well, yes but no. Are they important in generating funds for the cure for a terrible disease; one that has already claimed my mother-in-law and has my dad in its grips, absolutely!
I hope you will find great joy owning this little piece of my heart.
Thank you Rhonda! Please share this blog post with your friends and encourage them to bid in our special Mother’s Day Auction! All profits fund research.
Founder & Executive Director
Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative