Ami Simms is a nationally know quilter and teacher. Her mother Beebe died late last year from complications related to Alzheimer’s Disease. During Be’s fight with the disease, Ami founded the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI). Her grassroots effort was spurred by the caring nature of quilters.
Her concept was to have quilters create 9″x12″ (or smaller) mini quilts and donate them to AAQI. Each donated quilt would be auctioned to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. The small size of the quilt allow them to fit nicely in a USPS Flat Rate Priority envelope, which provides a consistent shipping rate for all auction winners.
Each month from the 1st through the 10th, select quilts are placed on a slow, silent auction on the AAQI web site (www. alzquilts.org). The highest bidder “wins” the quilt and all the profits go to research. For the past 4 years, thousands of “PriorityAlzheimer’s Quilts” were sold at International Quilt Festival in Houston. Since founded, AAQI has raised more than $280,000 for research.
How do I know so much about this? I have been involved with AAQI since its inception. I am on the Board of Directors and have helped acquire donations at 3 of the past Quilt Festival shows. I have also, made many Priority Quilts and donated them to AAQI. Just yesterday, I found out that I exceeded the AAQI $1K Promise challeng. In this challenge, quilters commit to raising $1000 in donations for their quilts. I am currently at $1341.72 raised for AAQI and getting ready to make some more. Click here to take a look at the quilts I donated quilts.
Locally, I am working with Linderella’s Quilt Works to run our own initiative, inspiring local quilters to make Priority Quilts. Owners Linda and Carl Sullivan and I are coordinating others to make quilts and send them in to the AAQI. To me it is a rewarding event. I get to experiment with some techniques and make tiny quilts. I send them away and get the joy of knowing my efforts are appreciated and used for a good cause. The recipients of the winning quilts are always pleased with their “prize.” And, many have their own personal stories of the tragedy of Alzheimer’s. The mini quilts are much loved.
On this note, I must get back to my sewing, I have more Priority Quilts to make. Won’t you join me?