Ann Hill, BEM: Quilts help

April 15, 2024  /  12:34 PM

"Changing Minds around the World" is the name of a project involving 40 artists from around the world to help spread awareness of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

It was created using the principle of chain mail: in the beginning, Ann Hill, the organiser of the collection, created the first quilt, which inspired another quilter, who sent her work to the next artist, and so on. The final works thus capture inspiration from each other, revealing in particular the memories, hopes and dreams of their creators.

It is absolutely fascinating to see how the changing mind interprets a picture or image in so many different ways. My heartfelt thanks to all 40 artists who have eagerly contributed to this global project. Your enthusiasm and contribution is very much appreciated and I look forward to the day when we can meet in person”, said Ann Hill, curator and organizer of the project.

Alzheimer Scotland’s aim is to make sure nobody faces dementia alone. We provide support and information to people with dementia, their carers and families, we campaign for the rights of people with dementia, and fund vital dementia research infrastructure. We are very proud of our 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline (0808 808 3000), which provides information and emotional support to people with dementia, carers, families, friends, and professionals, stated Henry Simmons, Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland.


For over 10 years, Ann has sewn memory quilts and inspired people all over the world to get stitching for dementia. Notably, Ann covered the pitch of Scotland’s National Stadium at Hampden with a record-breaking 5,012 quilts which displayed memories of people with dementia as part of her engagement in the Football Memories project. As well as exhibiting her quilts locally, nationally, and internationally, she has also raised over £100,000 for Alzheimer Scotland, which is a remarkable sum of money. Ann, who was recently awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) by HM The Queen for her tireless work in Dumfries and Galloway, motivates, inspires, and educates wherever she goes, Henry Simmons mentioned.

Ann Hill

My grandmother taught me how to quilt when I was eight years old. I grew up in the Shetland Islands where wool and fabrics were used sparingly. We would collect bits of cloth from flour sacks, curtains, old clothes, and sheets and sew them together to make things for the home and I would get the left overs to make small quilts for my doll’s pram. I have sewn and quilted my whole life, but only started to teach 15 years ago.

I am currently the Scottish Co-ordinator for the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles, Quilter in Residence at Alzheimer Scotland, and a Quilting Trustee at Shambellie House, a venue which will preserve our heritage in the creative arts in southwest Scotland.