Mar 2, 2018

Hearts and Valentines Love

It's February and I've come out from January's woman cave where I have been busy sewing and quilting  "Tag and Fidget quilts", fleece blankets, trying to finish things while still starting new baby quilts.

And because it is February, and we are all getting ready for Valentine's Day, I'm thinking pink, and red, and green, and touches of sweet blue as I have sewn, quilted, crafted, and created for my own Valentine's over the past few years!

But first, here are a few of the little projects that that I've made for my youngest little first grand-daughter!  Here is a little fleece 'fidget' or 'tag' blanket. Little, easy, and oh so cute!

These are so much fun and so very easy to make. Using a yard of 60" wide fleece, or some orphan blocks, strips and strings to make a 30" to 36" blanket or quilt top and then just adding some 'tags' otherwise known as folded over pieces of ribbon, or rickrack, or pieces of trim.

 I used lots of bright colors and looped them with added length inside of the seam. Then, you just sew on of your little bits and pieces down ..first for secure stitching and then with the back on, right sides together and making sure your tags are facing inside of the quilt so as to stick outside of it when you turn it right side out again!

Making a Fleece Softie Toy Giraffe

And look over in that right hand corner. I made a little giraffe softie with tags for his mane out of a bit of leftover fleece and some dibs and dabs of ribbon.

How to Make a Fleece Softie Toy:
1.I just sketched mine out on a piece of scratch paper to create my own pattern.. cut it out of a piece of fleece, pin the bits of ribbon along the seam line..raw edges out, loops to the inside
2. Sew right sides together but leaving a small opening to turn later.
3.Turn right side out, through the opening in the seam that you left
4. Hand stitching that opening so it is closed. And there it is!!!

And still in my pink mode, a simple baby bib, with fun numerals..randomly free scissor cut from felt which stick nicely to a leftover bit of fleece. They will also stick onto the little heart (use flannel of fleece for the heart.  

It becomes a monthly photo opportunity for my little granddaughter as she grows month by month. Use any simple bib pattern and if you can't free hand draw numbers, you can find simple free patterns listed for those, as well.I made a variety of colors, for coordination with outfits and double digit use.

My Harmonic Convergence

And it matches beautifully with a little quilt I also made her for Christmas!  Remember, any quilt or a fleece blanket...makes a wonderful Valentine's Day gift as well..and pinks, reds, and greens are all colors of the heart and the energetic heart chakra of  loving and caring, compassion and empathy for others. 

And because I'm a first time grandmama, my heart has been full of pink for a while now,but not just pink, it's good to send in the energies of heart greens, soulful blues, sunny yellows, and life and love affirming reds!

But because I'm a first time grandmama and loving it, one of my most recent big projects was....

Creating a Modern Baby Layette

Fidget quilts, blankets and bibs..for the young and old alike. And that goes for bibs, as well.  We're all little kids at heart and if we can maintain joy from birth to our senior great is that?

 And what about large fleece blankets/fleece backed quilts ...this one was given and well used and love by mom, dad, and new baby!  And when I first delivered it, I knew they had NO idea just how much they would love and use it. They did, and they have!   Perfect for those late night feedings, rockings, and hopefully..eventually... zzzzzzing!

Proving that a gift that wraps you up in love doesn't need to be complicated, it doesn't need to be fancy, it just needs to be filled up with love and for a little one...washable!

No-Sew Fleece Blanket &Pillow 

Directions for making and cutting fringe for a simple fleece blanket:

Crafting Time:1-2 Hours
Skill Level:No Experience Necessary

Tip: if your fringe rounds and pulls at corners you are cutting the fringe too shallow. For a baby blanket fringe should be cut 4" -5" deep and 1" apart.

For a teen/adult  blanket cut it  6" deep - 7" deep and 1" apart. This makes a much smaller blanket when finished but looks so much better. 7" deep fringe creates a really elegant look!

Sizing for baby blanket: 36"x 36" / 45"x 45" 

Sizing for teen/adult blanket: width of fabric by 72" (buy 2 yards each/4 yds total)

  • Fleece: 2 yds each, print & solid
  • Rotary cutter & mat
  • Tape measure

DIRECTIONS: Cut both layers of fleece at the same time.

1. Remove flat selvage edge if desired on both pieces.
2. Cut  a minimum blanket of 56"x70" from each piece of fleece but you can just use as is and make a square one, as well. Lay fleece wrong sides together. Cut a 6" square from each corner of the fleece.

2. FRINGE: Cut 4" - 7" deep (depending on finished blanket size) into fleece at 1" intervals around all sides of top & bottom layers. Knot fringes together around blanket, using 1 strand from the front and 1 strand from the back. Double knot, but do not tie too tightly or it will bunch and be less attractive.


  • Fleece: 3/4 yd each, print & solid
  • 16" square pillow form
  • Rotary cutter & mat
  • Tape measure

DIRECTIONS: Cut both layers of fleece at the same time.

1. Cut 26"x26" from each piece of fleece. Lay fleece wrong sides together. Cut a 5" square from each corner.

2. FRINGE: Cut 5" into fleece at 1" intervals around all sides of top & bottom layers. Knot fringe pieces together around 3 sides, using 1 strand from the front and 1 strand from the back.

3. Insert pillow form. Finish tying pillow closed.

Ideas for Valentine blankets and quilts:

Here are a few of the simple blankets and quilts that could be used for a Valentines Day gift, that I have made and given away to others for little ones of their own, for hospital donations, for sending to countries in need, lovies are always needed..everywhere, by every one.

Baby Quilts Made With Love!

So, if you've got a baby boy, little man, or even a senior man..and you're still "on the fence" about what color to use....make gifts in pink, red or green or heck, even blue for them!!!It's one way to get a lot of colors into any heartfelt gift.

Although you might be interested in knowing that it wasn't that long ago that pink was THE color for boys, and blue was THE color for girls!

Remember the era when little boys and girls alike wore white dresses until age 6 or 7? (White was the easiest color to bleach.) FDR wore dresses as a young boy and he wore pink as a baby. Read about the switcheroo between the color genderication of blue and pink here:

When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? - Smithsonian

And yes, I used leftover fleece to make a tiny little softie toy, as well! A nice little add-in along with a teddy to stare at and talk to and a lovie to lay on or lay under during car trips or stroller rides!

   Making Fidget Quilts for Alzheimer's Patients

I love hearts as I know many of you do, as well. But "With Heart and Hands' has been the name of all of the small groups I have run, a book that I wrote and self published for myself and my family, and for this blog and all of my web albums since the year 2000!

1 hour ago - And because it is February, and we are all getting ready for Valentine's Day, I'm .... But "With Heart and Hands' has been the name of all of the small groups I ...

My own home and my sewing areas are filled with heart and heart shaped items..I just can't help myself. I love them that much!

 Read about my participation in Quilting Arts Magazine Challenge

 And of course, I make a comfort quilt, a heart shaped comfort pillow, or some other lovely little  gift of love, appreciation or comfort ..for my home, for others homes, for a loved one, and always a little something for someone I may never meet but can reach out to with love, none the less!  

Whenever we make a comfort quilt or donate a block to a given cause, we are putting a piece of ourselves...our heart...into that donation. Whether they are given to a loved one, heart patients, for cancer care, for hospice donations, or to simply to show our love, faith, and's wonderful to make and keep heart blocks, quilts and other projects on hand....any time of the year!


Japanese Knot Bag Tutorial from my blog 'With Heart and Hands'

Simple h(art) quilting to make a fabric card, wall hanging, or little prayer flag to send to someone who needs it! You don't even need a pattern for some thing like these!

My own heart shaped or themed tutorials:

 My String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow

Made with strings or solids and use the little pocket in the back...for sending good wishes of any kind!

This is perfect for post surgery for either cardiac or breast cancer patients, hugging a pillow over the heart after cardiac surgery or under the arm after breast surgery have been shown to help significantly with post-operative pain. Hospitals love having these donated!



Origami 'Petal Bag' Tutorial


Make a quilt with either string pieced hearts or applique'd hearts:

Free Babie's and Children's Quilt Patterns

 Make a simple quilt and applique a heart on top of its blocks!

Angel Wraps and Preemie Patterns

For little ones born too soon.
Donate to neo-natal wards. They never have blankets or quilts tiny enough for miscarried babies that are so dearly loved and need a burial wrap.

I made lots and lots for both my mother and mother-in-law in their eighties and nineties and more for donation to care homes!



Make and Donate Pillowcases for charitable causes this month!

Make a Magic 'Burrito' Pillowcase

I've made dozens an dozens and dozens and given all but two away!

Make a quilt with either string pieced hearts or applique'd hearts:

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

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