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Archive for March 11th, 2011

What does Alzheimer’s have to do with my memory quilt project? Memory quilts are usually designed for remembering and celebrating the past, some even give hope for the future (wedding quilts for example). We can also use memory quilts to help others remember the past along with the present – and not just for those with Alzheimer’s. There are people who suffer from other memory problems, too. Many times, old memories may come to the forefront while recent ones seem to vanish almost in an instant. I know what this is like. No amount of prodding or coaxing is going to bring those memories back at every command. Using photos of family including recent photos (updating as time passes) with individuals’ names marked clearly have been known to help in recalling people, but there will come a time when nothing will help keep those memories alive. However, helping a loved one, family member, or friend to hold on to those memories for as long as possibe could be the greatest gift one can give.

There are products on the market that will help you transfer photos to fabric in order give a progression of one’s life-be sure to label with names and dates. An updated photo of the family or group with the individual included may help the individual remember-be sure to label names and keep the photos available so the loved one can see it. Here’s where my little project comes in… Making a fabric photo frame on the bottom corner of the memory quilt will allow the person to see it daily-so long as the memory quilt can be hung near the person. An example is shown below. You may use a type of ‘plastic,’ to protect the photo-just be sure it is archival safe-the ‘plastic’ and photo can be removed for storage. 

Fabric frame that can be added to memory quilt

Sewing lines

This is just an example-use your imagination and own creativeness. I used two layers of fabric. I recommend adding interfacing especially to thinner fabrics. The yellow lines denote where the frame was sewn to the quilt top and the orange ones are where I sewed the two fabrics together. I finished the opening edge before I sewed it to the quilt (important). I suggest not making the frame very small because you can always add a piece of card stock to hold the photo like what you see here. I used an old piece of painting acetate I had around the house, but you really need an archival-safe product. You can even put a design under the frame so that a photo is not always needed to enjoy the quilt.

My husband’s friend who died last month had Alzheimer’s. Something odd – the friend would recognize my husband and know his name every time he visited though the judge could not recall his family. We watched as his family slowly lost a man who had been so full of life; a man who never had one bad word to say about another deteriorated into almost nothing. His wife for more than 60 years was always at his side-they were never apart except for his time in the service. It broke my heart to see this knowing what lay ahead and seeing her say her last goodbye.

This is happening all around us, and many younger people are developing Alzheimer’s and other memory loss illnesses, too. As we age, most of us will suffer some type of memory loss-not necessarily from Alzheimer’s. We need to do all we can for others. Maybe there is someone in your life you can help. If not, I encourage you to visit the Alzheimer’s link here and the quilting one of the side of the page. I encourage us all to get involved in helping others.

Happy Gardening and may all of your memories be special!

Note:  Sorry for the delay of this posting. Maybe this will spark some creative minds out there.

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