Dec 1, 2015

Gratitude and Giving Forward

After a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving, my heart is filled to the brim with such gratitude.

But I look around me at the far bigger picture. I look at the world and the people in it and there is still so much that needs to done, to be helped, to manifest in our hearts to bring our world back to the garden of all possibilities where good prevails.

We had our own lovely Thanksgiving holiday. But how many others are so blessed with even our own abundance???

So, as busy as I am, a new grandmother again, first a beautiful little granddaughter last year and now a little grandson to visit, have visit, and adore,  a husband and son returning from the hunt with meat for the winter.  (And that my kind hearted and perhaps vegetarian friends) means cutting and my kitchen. ...on the busiest after Thanksgiving day of the year!

We ran a quick errand first thing in the morning..I needed Christmas lights, why do they always burn out even when brand new???, he needed a replacement drill for work..half price is half price. We are lifelong savers, as well as makers.

We avoided the crowds, the hassles, and all that ruins giving and gratitude by giving to others instead. Food to share with others, good things to send home to those who are too busy to shop or cook, gifts created when the need is seen..over and over, again.

Does my own heart such good and since we will all be busy in December, I did three months worth in two. Get it all done, but with a happy and not a grumbly heart.


Such fun, these past months, making and making for him, as well as still fitting in dozens and dozens of blankets and quilts for charitable giving. I do my best to maintain balance ;-)

Magic or burrito pillowcase: tutorial:

So giving quilts and blankets for him, pillows etc.for his mama, pillowcases for use in classes and even use at the hospital.

Most of these made long before, but not most not yet shared, here. Flannel is such a favorite of mine. I cannot seem to stop making gifts for others. And then if I find new homes for them, if they are not needed as originally planned.

And fleece! How I love to make fleece blankets, now. For dozens and dozens I will never meet and never know. Such a blessing to have a giving heart and two working hands.

Here, I am making fleece blankets for one of the charitable groups I work with...Alexia's Cozy Covers in Salem, Oregon. After a day where we made 25 fleece blanket kits (on each of two days as 50 total were needed so they could make several each) for a foster home program where several dozen boys live in post foster care transitional housing. They hold a craft night where many, many gifts can be them..using these kits that we provide all of the materials and a head start.

 Here, I take fleece fabric..purchased super inexpensively at Joann's big 60% off sale, and then when I discovered that my group throws away fleece scraps, I took home bag after bag of those and either turned them into small baby blankets with fleece scrap bindings, as well. Or I combined pieces of scraps and turned them into strip blankets!

These are then, pinned together with safety pins all around, fringe is cut, and they are packed up as kits for the 18+ year olds who no longer qualify for foster care and live in this housing, to make as tied blankets for themselves..or hopefully as gifts for others.

And many other crafters's come in and do other projects, as well. One of our most awesome man quilters, who also crochets baby blankets for us, also is a fabulous woodworker, so he is bringing in unpainted wooden ornaments he has made and the post teens will be able to make those and so many other various crafts, as well!!!

Lots of baby blankets from my scraps, but I'm betting they have friends, even on the street or in other group homes with babies and children who need gifts, warmth, comfort and love that blankets can give.

 I couldn't come up with enough satin binding to edge these simple but oh, so very soft fleece or minky baby blankets, so I just used scraps..cut them in nice binding sizes and sewed them fraying edges to even need to turn under. Fabulously simple!!

Quilts of course, always in progress. But we just can't create them quickly enough or give as kits for non sewers without machines and a lot more volunteer and crafting time. This big cragt night project is all done in one very long time period when everyone is available to make and take! But quilts in my own time, always going on. Just because. You know how that is ;-)

Wonderful projects, and such a wonderful, wonderful feeling to use scraps and inexpensive purchases to give to others!!!!

Blessings for us, and blessings payed forward as well. It doesn't get any better than that!

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares her creative and healing  journey from Alaska to Oregon. Wildcrafting and the textiles arts... sewing, quilting, and creating prayer flags. Join me as I add my healing energies to changing our little project, one gift of sharing from my heart, at a time.


Penny said...

You indeed have a full and wonderful life -- filled with quilts I might add *smile*. Lovely, lovely quilts and congratulations on your new grandchild. Having a new child in the family is such a grace. I've recently learned just how big one's heart can be -- its marvelous and wonderful and a gift we've all been given if we recognize it.

Penny said...

You indeed have a full and wonderful life -- filled with quilts I might add *smile*. Lovely, lovely quilts and congratulations on your new grandchild. Having a new child in the family is such a grace. I've recently learned just how big one's heart can be -- its marvelous and wonderful and a gift we've all been given if we recognize it.

Jan Mac said...

I'm so happy that your little grandson's health continues to improve and that you receive such joy from helping others. Michele we are on the opposite sides of the world and yet I feel like we are kindred spirits, sharing our talents to help others. Look after yourself too Michele as you are pressure to many people. Love and hugs

Jan Mac said...

That should have been precious. Autocorrect got me again. Lol

Michele Bilyeu said...

Thank you so much,, Penny!

Michele Bilyeu said...

Thanks again! Sorry for my blog quirks and settings. Working on them! And yes, grandchildren open your heart bigger than you ever thought it could open!

Michele Bilyeu said...

Haha, Jan Mac.I am the queen of the worst auto corrects in the history of cell phones. My grown kids save and share them they create such raucous laughter and appreciation for my errors! And yes, I have often felt such a great connection to you, even across the big pond. Our love of charitable sewing and quilting and our blogging about it is so meaningful in both of our lives and why I have followed your blog for as long as I can remember!!!

Michele Bilyeu said...

PS to Jan come up as no reply blogger so I could not email you back. Check your blogs profile settings, they are turned off and you ened a checkmark if so desired.