Sunday, February 03, 2008

Heart in Hand


The Heart in Hand or Heart-in-Hand is a symbol of a heart in an open palm. It is an easily recognizable symbol in the Northeastern United States and originated with the religious sect, know as the Shakers.

The founder of the Shaker sect, Mother Ann Lee, promoted a simple life of hard work and spirituality. Her motto "Put your hands to work, and your hearts to God." was typical of this Shaker attitude.

A heart in hand has also been associated with the Amish community and is a symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal organization derived from English Oddfellows orders of the mid-1700s. These commonly display three linked rings representing friendship, love and truth. A similar symbol used in some Masonic art represents charity. The “heart in hand” is a natural symbol of charity, giving with the hands and from the heart.

Another assoicated saying was "Whatever the hand may find to do, may the heart go forth in union." To me, this opitimizes the very nature of charity, of giving and of volunteering. Whatever the meaning, the symbol, or the design one chooses to use, it has become a common symbol for the giving...open handed of love, charity and goodwill. It has been used in quilting blocks, in Valentine designs and in ornamental imagery everywhere.

shown:
My counter cloth and fabric napkins which I made from the "Follow Your Heart' fabric line by Kathy Schmitz for Moda

1 comment:

  1. Lovely! I've been wanting to do one of these motifs for a long time and you've just motivated me further...

    ReplyDelete

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