Feeling a little sleepy this morning? For many places in the world, last night was the start of Daylight Saving Time as we lose an hour ‘spring forward’ and skip ahead 60 minutes into the future.

With time on our mind, today’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight features a clock quilt created by Barb Vlack as a meditation on slowly losing time.

Barb shared with interviewer Karen Musgrave about the origins of her quilt and the symbolism of the clock it features:

This is a quilt that has a distorted picture of a clock that is a representation of what I understand my mother drew when they gave her the Alzheimer’s diagnostic test that is called the Clox Test. It was developed by Dr. Clox and just by coincidence the whole premise is that you want to see if the patient can draw a clock. Well my mother could not, and you can see from this quilt that the circle that would outline the clock is very distorted, all of the numbers are nowhere near where they are supposed to be, it is very disorganized, and it illustrates how this test has turned out to be a diagnostic tool for determining whether a patient has lost some organizational skills, a symptom that is associated with Alzheimer’s degeneration.

When I put together this quilt, I put the clock drawing on top of some pieced blocks called, “Time and Tide,” and I thought, ‘All right, we are losing time, my mother is losing time, and this was just one way to represent some of that.’ Actually, my father is losing time, too. When I told my dad about what was going on with my mom’s diagnosis (my mom and dad have been divorced for many years), he shook his head and told me he could not draw the clock either when he was given the Alzheimer’s diagnostic test. I am dealing with both my parents going through their Alzheimer’s journey. My mother lives alone, my father has a wife and they are a little bit different as far as their journeys, as far as what is going on. My mother cannot take the medication, my father can. So he is doing better.

It was really an interesting thing to go through and make this quilt, because just the process of making it made me do a lot of thinking. There are memories that go into this. There are tears that go into it. There is symbolism that goes into it. How can I represent a lot of the things that go into our lives right now, or even went into our lives for years previous? It has been a difficult experience to realize that both of my parents are going to be going through this whole thing with Alzheimer’s, because there is nothing we can do about it. They are just going to have to take one day at a time and deal with it. And we’re running out of time…

You can read more about Barb’s quilt, including how she selected the quilting pattern in her interview here. And you always can also read more quilt stories on the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Quilt Alliance website.


Posted by Emma Parker
Project Manager,  Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories