Tuesday, May 01, 2018

With My Heart and Hands

The writer and activist Joanna Macy says: "Work with your passion. Work with your pain. Work with what is at hand."

 Creative Arts, Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Blogger
Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands"


πŸ’œ With Love and Peace from My Heart to Yours πŸ’œ


There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.


Chinese philosopher
6th century bce

With life's many challenges ever increasing, how do we find peace in this horribly troubled world, this universal psyche that chooses the negative over the positive, the masculine over the feminine, the warring over the peace making and bridge building?

String Quilting: Patterns and Tutorial

It must be personal as well as national, universal as well as international. We must care, and care deeply about one another in any and all life forms and we must use our hearts, our energies, and our time to do good, say good, and be good to the best of each moment's ability.

Free Patriotic Quilt Patterns

There are those who give little of the much which they 
have and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire
makes their gifts unwholesome.

And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life,
and their coffer is never empty.

~On Giving by Kahlil Gibran from The Prophet~

As always, I have been spending lots of time with my beloved little grandchildren, pets (which include my current 7 hens and a very noisy rooster, helping causes in my community and beyond, offering assistance how and where I can to those to need with physical, emotional, or spiritual support. 

I have lost several dear friends this year, visited others on the mend after major surgery, and continue to quilt, craft and sew. I am active in my own unique ways of trying to work with this incredibly changing country, nation, and world and doing all I can do to make it through spiritual thought, prayers, and deeds a place where we can not only survive turbulent times but prepare ourselves for the many challenging days and years ahead.

Fee Baby and Childrens Quilt, Blankets, and Accessories Patterns

We are the lifeboat that lifts up others. We must keep that life boat, healthy, spiritually wealthy, and wise with the inner wisdom of our intuitive and collective hearts.

I create a space within me, within my spirit, to maintain love not fear, creativity not despair, manifestation of good not retreat from the powerful forces of change and transition through damage and destruction that is wrecking havoc everywhere.

Wonky, Liberated, Variable, or Maverick Stars

The fires, the floods, the earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and tornadoes are not only the change and transition that Mother Earth, herself is expressing... as hard for us as it might be to understand ... they can be seen as our planet's release buttons for survival. If there is too much pressure within the Earth, it erupts in volcanoes or crack opens in earthquakes.

String Quilting: Patterns and Tutorial

If there is too much pressure within us, we may erupt as well. And the damage we may do to others may be just as great emotionally as volcanoes and earthquakes are physically. If we see Mother Earth as Gaia..a living breathing entity with her trees and plants as her lungs if you will, then Gaia is losing her breath, just as we are by the ensuing smoke or by being filled with fear, are losing ours.

But in this process of death and destruction there is still an opening up in our world and our world view to transition and archetypal consciousness and the ascension of the human soul from one of the innate and deeply genetic darkness that has prevailed throughout time... to one of full growth of the soul's innate potential to do and be pure goodness.

It opens us up with first with our seeing all that we do not want nor want to be or do and then to the infinite possibilities of our combined thoughts of what we do want our world to be. It may happen in an instant ....as there are infinite possibilities of outcomes from any action or even from any reaction. Fate can hang on an instant and fate can be changed in an instant.

Making Prayer Flags

We listen to our gut instincts, we listen to our hearts beating together and we listen to the still small voice urging us into being and doing what is good and not sinful..sin being an ancient archery term meaning 'missing the mark'.

I remind myself... over and over again... just how resilient the human spirit is. I remember just how patterns in nature, time and history balance the yin and the yang of change and transition to restore harmony both inside and out. Even during times of harm to our beautiful land, when smoke clogs the sky, we can put on our face masks, go out into our world, and be good and do good for others.

πŸ’œ Healing Hearts Textile Arts 
With Heart and Hands
by Michele Savikko Bilyeu πŸ’œ

And yes, there will be loss. As time moves on through the upcoming decades of climate change and all that comes with it ..massive, massive loss. Loss of arable and therefore life supporting land, of nature's beauty.

I grieve for the many losses now and to come.  Loss of hope, of faith and worst of all of love and charity. But for now; love, hope, and charity are rising up to fight the endless battle for survival. And survive we shall. Love, hope, and charity are rising up as we look at the Dreamers and see them as we see our own children. Love, hope and charity are rising as the flood waters rise, and we rush to another's aid as if they were one of our own..for they are. And we feel and we express gratitude with our gifts of the spirit, with our hands, and with our hearts.

DP4, DP9, DP16, and All Variations

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And for them..our children and our grandchildren and God/Goodness willing our great and great great..on and on grandchildren... we must act for the good of all and not the good of the elite few with the money and wherewithal at their personal disposal to thumb their noses and push us, one another with threats of their nuclear buttons at the rest of us.

We are all connected. We are all part of one another. My microscopic  atoms are merged with yours like stars in the cosmos. The pain that i feel is my pain, your pain, all pain. The fouled air that I am breathing will become the fouled air and the foul breathing of yours. When we drop a bomb on one country, its repercussions and loss of awareness and love... are felt by ours. We are perpetrators and we are victims. The winds of time and change merge into one and so do we.

There is a purpose onto heaven for all of this. It doesn't have to be ours to understand but there it is. And part of that is the destruction of the old to make space for the new. As someone who is old... that gives me pause. But, I am more than willing to go through whatever I have to in hopes that someday, a heaven on earth can become possible and a newer kinder, more caring and loving world might exist.

"Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”

L. R. Knost

But I am so deeply sad that it has had to come to this. That the years and the decades ahead may be very challenging for all of us. But still filled with purpose and hope for most of us.

 I rage, I sorrow, I grieve...and then I put on my face mask and talk to my cat and my chickens. I stand amidst the unbelievable golden forest of my sunflowers in the summer that radiate love and hope and steadfast determination to grow..not just where they are planted but to self-seed through the grace of the wind and its travelers the birds who spread messages of hope and peace and rebirth.

Or I walk through the snow capped lawns, forests, and fields of the winter and I look for signs of tiny buds popping through on the limbs, bulbs in the winter's ground pushing up through the mud and the snow to new hope, new times, new days where we truly walk the talk and not just care about our own selves, our ways of life, our own income or talents or abilities. But we care for each other as we care for ourselves.

And I remember beauty, and I remember hope, and I remember goodness and compassion and most of all I remember how love is the balm and the hope and the promise.

We do what we can, when we can to spread joy, to give gifts from our hearts and from our hands and then we do the same for ourselves.


To be creative means to be in love with life.
You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty,
you want to bring a little more music to it,
a little more poetry to it,
a little more dance to it.


How do we choose to feel peace, make peace, be peace in our own hearts? It starts with each of us as individuals, each moment of every single day. And it is not easy but we can do it.

Read this wonderful prose poem:
By Clarissa Pinkola Estes 

It may just give you the strength and the understanding for facing the tough challenges of life now, and to come in the days ahead.

For many of us we sew for or we have discovered that sewing, or quilting, or crafting....or art, or writing, or poetry or other passions..  ...is like praying.

We go into the deepest place of focus, the zone of creativity and becoming one in both the manifest and unmanifest... and we do and we make good things.

“To sew is to pray. Men don't understand this.
They see the whole but they don't see the stitches.
They don't see the speech of the creator in the work of the needle.

We mend. We women turn things inside out and set things right.
We salvage what we can of human garments and piece the rest into blankets.
Sometimes our stitches stutter and slow.

Only a woman's eyes can tell.
Other times, the tension in the stitches might be too tight because of tears, but only we know what emotion went into the making.

Only women can hear the prayer.”

Louise Erdrich
Four Souls"

 It's all in our attitude. And it starts with each of us. It's not always easy to do, and we do it as we do all things. If there is to be peace in the world, there needs to be peace within you. We are all connected and this world is one.


We feel the disruption, the lack of peace, the anger and separation and we use those shadow or dark emotions as a catalyst. A catalyst to see the other as ourself. And to ask ourself, it this 'other' that upsets me so much, if these "other things" that upset me so, if the "lack of power" that I am feeling..is it mine or is it the others to do with as they need to in order to learn and to grow?

"Refuse to fall down.
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.

If you cannot refuse to stay down
lift your heart toward heaven
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled,
and it will be filled.

You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you
from lifting your heart
toward heaven —
only you.

It is in the midst of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good
came of this,
is not yet listening.

refuse to fall down"

~Clarissa Pinkola EstΓ©s~

Excerpted from The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die

Let that control go. It is not of  god/good. It is not of devil/evil. It just is. Let it go and be good in your heart, in your love, in your care of all others..and start with today.

And remember, you are at war inside of you to feel the war outside of you. So, often that is the catalyst that begins the war ..this day ..as you work on you. Don't be dismayed. Go into the loving flow of kindness and be the higher you that you wish to project out into the world.

No matter your beliefs, you know this core truth..you want to be a beacon of love for yourself and inside of yourself so you can shine that light outwards to "others" and to the world

Peace in your heart creates peace in your world. And that is your soul's purpose..to create this peace by doing and being what you are called to do...wherever you are, at whatever level of learning you are. You are surrounded by loving helpers and all of us are here for you.

And when it is all too intense, when fear threatens to push into the boundaries of faith, hope, and charity...and out into fear and chaos...I go into my own heart, and I focus in a deeply meditative, prayerful,  and spiritual way of doing those things that bring me peace.

I  am going within the most basic elements of heart and home and gifts of the spirit and finding peace in my days. I am spending my time with family, with my beautiful, precious and beloved grandchildren, with time for nature, time for rest and prayer, and yes..even time for my chickens!

And above all else, I am spending time with the true me, the spiritually manifested being filled with love that I know myself to be. I am doing my best to focus on the best world I know we can have, the best people I know each of us can be, the best hopes and dreams and wishes for full and caring lives for all of us. And as I focus, and I pray and meditate for peace and love and hope and dreams, I hope you take a moment each and every single day and do the same.

Together we can create a new world, a new way of seeing, believing, and being.

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about." 


With love to all of you from my heart and with my hands.
Happy Day, Happy Somehow Each and Every Day and especially,
Happy All Holi-days
For that is truly the derivation, the meaning and the purpose of  all of our (Holi...Holy...Halen...Healing)

Links Lists to Michele Bilyeu's Free Patterns and Tutorials


My Own Additonal Free Extras, Project Tutorials listed below:

Free Miniature Quilt Patterns

*String Quilting: Primers and Patterns

*Make a Magic 'Burrito' Pillowcase

*Making an Adult Bib

*Making a Heart Shaped Pillow

*String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow

*Make a Sewing Machine Pad With Pockets

Japanese Knot Bag Tutorial

*How to Make a Simple Petal Bag

*Liberated Rose:Free Piecing Tutorial

*Make a Scrappy Potholder

*Making a Coffee Press Wrap

*How To Make a Heart Potholder

*Make a Re-useable Shopping Bag: Pocket Pouched!

*Quilted Book or Journal Cover

*How To Make A Kuspuk

*Make a Wrist Pincushion

*Freezer Paper Photo Transfer

*How To Make A Fabric Postcard

*Blue Star Banner

*Fabric Shopping Bags Tutorial 

Free Bag Tutorials: Wallets, Purses, Cases, Boxes, and Handbag Patterns

 Free Apron Patterns of All Kinds

 Free Valentine, Hearts, and Love Patterns of All Kinds


Update:  I value our protection and safety. This blog is now protected by a https security encryption service. All links and bookmarks have been safely transferred and are redirected. Happy and grateful to now offer this protection. I hope more custom domain created blogs will switch as well! If you own a custom domain but use blogger check your settings and follow directions to easily create and activate this wonderful tool.

It has, however upset some of my formatting so please excuse things out of place until I can fix them.

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.


julieQ said...

Whew! You are one busy girl...and you collect heart rocks, too!! I would love to send you one, so send me your address, please? Have a heart filled day!

Michele Bilyeu said...

Thank you so much Julie! I πŸ’œ you. Address sent with a grateful heart for your kindness.

Jeannie said...

What a beautiful post. You have captured in words so well what I feel in my heart. Thank you so much.

Michele Bilyeu said...

Bless you, Jeannie! Your visiting and leaving a comment means so much to me. πŸ’œ

O'Quilts said...

Well...fighting despair for some reason I cannot see...your post was timely...I have saved it in a safe place as I need to remember these beliefs, my beliefs...to shore me up. sxoxox U remind me that we are not alone