TUTTLE — Audrey Arno spends most mornings at her sewing machine designing and piecing together quilts. Arno, 76, of Tuttle has always loved quilting, but these days she’s found some extra incentive to keep making them. She’s quilting for a cause, raising money for Alzheimer’s research. Arno joined the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative three years ago, pledging to make enough quilts to raise at least $1,000 through the organization’s quilt auctions. She has exceeded everyone’s expectations, raising more than $10,000 during the past three years, and she has no plans to stop quilting anytime soon. Arno has raised more money than any of the other 80 quilters around the world who have joined the project. The mini quilts Arno makes measure no larger and 9 by 12 inches. She produces between 50 and 80 of them each year, working on them most mornings in her Tuttle home. "I love to do them,” she said. "It’s a good way to indulge myself.” Arno’s mother taught her to sew when she was a child, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s that she began piecing material into different designs to make quilts. At first she made them for family and friends, but in 2006, she read about the quilt initiative and decided she could help out. She sent in a few quilts for their online auction, and she was an immediate hit. "Audrey is one of our most prolific and talented quilters,” said Ami Simms, executive director of Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. "It’s a huge perk to be able to hold one of her little quilts in your hands and examine every detail. They are just amazing.” Because of mobility issues, it’s harder for her to do larger quilts. The smaller scale of the projects appealed to her. Some of her miniature quilts have sold for more than $150. The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative is nonprofit agency of volunteers. All money raised through the quilt sales goes to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and to fund research. Alzheimer’s has touched Arno’s family. The disease took the memory of her aunt. She’s happy to do her small part to help find a cure for the disease. "I’d like to see more quilters from Oklahoma join up,” she said. "It’s for a good cause.”
TO LEARN MOREGo to AlzQuilts.org.