Saturday, April 21, 2007

Liberated Heartstrings: Setting the Spirit Free

Posted by Picasa Child abuse, whether it is physical, emotional or sexual, breaks the hearts and damages the spirits of children across our nation and across the world. Because April is National Child Abuse Prevention month, I have chosen to make a "Liberated Heartstrings" quilt. I wanted this little quilt to be full of life, energy and movement, and one which would nurture a little spirit to feel hopeful, playful and free.

Here in Salem, Oregon, we have a wonderful center called Liberty House that does caring work with children who have been neglected and abused. It is one of those special places that combines doctors and nurses with mental health and child care professional to serve abused children. Pre-school Caucasian children, under the age of 5 make up 45% of its clients and 3 out of 4 of these is a young girl.

Knowing these facts, and knowing the pain and trauma that these precious children go through in their young lives, has created a huge heartstring of caring that I wish to acknowledge. So, this month, all of my new charity quilting projects have been for children. When a child is brought into Salem's Liberty House center, they are given a small stuffed animal, or if available, a small quilt, to comfort them. My hope is that this quilt, and many more like it, will go out from my heart, into their hands and comfort, soothe and warm them with love.

I made this little quilt, with the Heartstrings Quilting Project in mind, and will donate it, and eventually, others similar to it to Liberty House. I named this quilt "Crazy Day-sy O's", referring to the daisy-like flowers and little circles...which I added not only as anchors for the crazy days these children have, but for the quilting and anchoring of the strings in the quilts. The O's could be seen as the bouncing back and forth that these children go through, but I am seeing them as rolling little balls, full of life and energy that have the ability to create momentum of their own and when they finally do come to rest, will center and ground them.

My dream for all of these children is a world free of pain , free of fear, and one in which their own little spirits are set free by love... to finally be liberated and soar!


  1. It's beautiful and I'm sure the lucky child who receives it will cherish it.

  2. How can you not like bright colors and flowers? You are one special lady.

  3. It is beautiful and you cannot know how much that quilt will be appreciated by a child. My father was a family therapist working with abused children for well over 25 years. The stories he would tell about the kids he worked with -- no child should have to grow up like that. Your quilt will let whoever recieves it know that somewhere, there is someone who cares and that they have something of their own that is as beautiful as they are.

  4. What an inspiring woman u r!!!.....i love u posts, soooo much and that quilt is just adorable, i love the colours!!!! one little child will smile because of all of ur hard work!!
    Take care Michele.

  5. A wonderful little quilt for a great cause. What a good choice for your charity work!

  6. This quilt and its sentiment tugs at my heartstrings. It's wonderful ... and so are you.

  7. Great quilt! I really love the addition of the flowers and spots. Really adds character to it!

  8. Hi Michele, it's a lovely quilt with a great purpose and story! My all your quilts be so motivated by depth of emotion and heartfelt joy.
    Hugs, Finn

  9. a perfect child's quilt-way to go using strings for such a wonderful cause!


Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.

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