Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Tiny Door





The top photo is the full quilt front, the middle photo is a close up and the bottom photo is the back. The quilt measures 10" x 8 1/4". Having just lost my father-in-law, Frank, on February 19, I wanted to do a quilt in his memory. He was on the Greater Siouxland Alzheimer's Board, because his wife suffered with the disease for many years. She was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers at 58, and spent the last thirteen years of her life in a nursing home. Frank visited her every day. Before she entered the nursing home, he cared for her in their home until it was no longer safe. She got lost many times in trying to get home, hence the small door in the center of the quilt depicting the great difficulty Alzhiemers patients have in finding their way. The braided embroidery thread outlining the medium green triangle symbolizes the twists and turns life takes with this disease. The hanging tails of the braider thread signify how patients sometimes feel that their life is at loose ends. The beads in the lighter green section symbolize the fragmentation of life and thoughts. The lime green ribbon creating an inner border symbolizes the ring of support provided by Frank, and the sunshine that he tried to bring to her life. The ribbon has hundreds of little loops on the edges symbolizing the many trips to the nursing home, and the loving kindness he continued to show his wife throughout her long illness. The back of the quilt symbolizes the waning and waxing of memory. Sometimes the memory goes dim, and at other times it comes shining through. This quilt will be donated to the Greater Siouxland Alzheimer's Board along with several others made by members of our quilt guild to help raise money for Alzheimer's research. This was a great challenge. Comments and suggestions are welcome. 

7 comments:

ann said...

This is very elegant. Reading your reasons brought me teary eyed because of all the emotions. I hope you have contributed to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. I have a small quilt in the traveling show. I lost a friend to this disease. The last time I saw her, she did not know who I was. It was so sad to see her deteriorate.

This is very lovely in design even without the attached meanings.

Louise said...

This is a very moving piece which significantly represents so many of the issues involved in dealing with alzheimers disease. You have certainly put a lot of thought into the symbolism of your piece. That makes it all the more interesting to view. A great response to this challenge.

CD MacKenzie said...

I just wrote a comment and lost it because I hadn't signed in yet. But hopefully I've recaptured most of it.

First~~ my condolences in your recent loss. Second, the piece is a loving and thoughtful tribute to your father-in-law as well as your mother-in-law, and a very successful interpretation of the challenge.

You've created such a lovely portal of multi-layered symbolism, and I think the writing about it is a vital part of the piece. I really like you use and interpretation of the braiding, hanging tails and beading in particular.

BTW...since the writing is so important, would you consider including it on a label or part of the back of the piece?

Susan B said...

Your quilt is both beautiful and moving. The design is elegant in color and form. When we see the symbolism it becomes packed with meaning. Many of us have been touched by Alzheimer's. Thank you for sharing this tribute to your father in law and for your help in fighting this terrifying disease.

Meena said...

What a meaningful and symbolic quilt. Love the beading, too.

Tobi said...

So many layers of meaning in your quilt! Both my mother and then my father-in-law went this route, so I know the problems in living with the disease, as much as an on-looker can. The colors to me create an uneasy feeling of lack of connection felt by the person going through Alzheimer's.

fastfriday said...

Thank you all for taking the time to comment about my piece. It was my way of dealing with the loss of my in-laws and all others who have lost anyone to Alzheimers, as well as creating a lasting tribute about thier struggles with his insidious disease.