Showing posts with label Alzheimer's Fidget Quilts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alzheimer's Fidget Quilts. Show all posts

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bricolage: Snippets and Threadtales

Bricolage  ( /ˌbriːkɵˈlɑːʒ/ or /ˌbrɪkɵˈlɑːʒ/) is a term used in several disciplines, among them the visual arts, to refer to the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available, or a work created by such a process.

The term is borrowed from the French word bricolage, from the verb bricoler, the core meaning in French being, "fiddle, tinker" and, by extension, "to make creative and resourceful use of whatever materials are at hand (regardless of their original purpose)".

I am most definitely French, well..half French..and I am most definitely a fiddler, tinker, and love to make creative and resourceful use of just about anything I find, am given, or come up with from the sum of any parts.

WITH HEART AND HANDS: LINKS: 2,500 3500 4500 OVER 5000 

I started blogging in October of 2006. I felt a strong need to connect online with the creative community that had recently gone wild and was an incredible amount of fun as we all shared through blogging, quilting, crafting, sewing, and making art of all kinds.


 It was a vibrant period in the blogging and community quilting worlds and the friendships that immediately sprung up were such a gift and such a blessing.


Bit by bit over the past decade, blogging has changed a lot! Many have left and moved on to fame and fortune, others to facebook and instagram. And many like myself do their best to keep up with all of the many changes. We've moved on to new ways and forms of quilting ..maybe art quilting, maybe modern, perhaps liberated quilting or making new things in different ways with some of the same old pieces but for a new purpose in our lives...



Angel Wraps and Preemie Patterns


I continue to sew together all of the varied pieces of my life. To still do all of the things that my family and I love to do.

For home...

and both Oregon and Alaska ...

So, yes...I am busy in a lot of diverse and mentally, physically, and even  creatively spiritual ways!

Spending time with loved husband, three grown kids and their partners, my beloved grandbabies and pets and all of our families and extended family....

Getting together with my grown children and their partners, spending as much time as I am able to with my three precious and greatly loved grandchildren, doing all of the spiritually meaningful care giving and all of the charitable quilting, blanket making, and helping others that is my true nature in life.

Bits and pieces of our lives, no matter how simple...or how complex...all stitched together with love.

So, if you don't see me here...

or piling up my projects here...

or here.....

or even here....

or oh yes, here...

It's because I am here/there/and my real "dreamtime" of life....and maybe not in this virtual one. I will still be doing the things that mean the very most and make the biggest my life..... and the lives of those I love!


We all need to dim the lights a bit, practice our deep breathing, calm the pace of our lives, go within to the core, the center, the calming focus of our lives.

We access that inner flow, enter the presence of peace and harmony. in the simplest of ways, with the simplest of things....yet continue to manifest the creative impulse ....

.....and share, support, and communicate with others... I do.....

with  love,


with my heart and hands....


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.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

National Quilting Day: Let's Sew!!!!

 I cut the tip off a finger and can barely type, I ran out of my metered satellite Internet service the first week of the entire new month of usage, I have 7 baby chickens living in my dining room, I sleep less than 4 combined hours a night, and I'm more than a little crazy from all of the above. Does it stop me from sewing and posting on below dial up speeds? Heck no! 

It's National Quilting Day and I'm sewing and quilting big time. Hard to keep a crazy woman down! I've had far too much practice!!!!!

I will definitely be sewing today! How about you???

I continue to work on my Alzheimer's Fidget Quilts. Shown above, one I am just finishing up created out of orphan blocks, scraps and bits and baubles of tactile and sensory fun. See my posts, basic tutorial and lots and lots and lots of photos and ideas here:

Making Fidget Quilts for Alzheimer's Patients: Free Tutorials and Ideas

 I have recently completed two more for my collection. Both were designed and created during a month where I was grieving the loss of loved ones and truly needed to keep my hands and heart busy and doing something productive.

The one shown was made from orphan blocks and leftover piecing bits with laces, ribbons, yarns, buttons, jean pocket pieces, and scraps of all kinds. So much fun and look at just how cute! Imagine someone with Alzheimer's or Dementia receiving such a gift and the delight they might feel..literally and figuratively.

And below,  a little simpler one created from a small table topper square that I was given to use as I wished.

I wished to turn it into a fidget quilt and added all of the trims shown. Here, some cute teapot and heart buttons, rickrack, ribbons and lace, securely sewn down (with quilting or button thread or crochet cotton or embroidery floss) bows, and a little trimmed pocket.  

Just the right size for a fidget mat to set upon a bedside table, a lap, or a community room table. 
They keep the heart, hands, and mind happy and busy just as sewing and quilting do for all of us!

 A in progress...above and now Finished!!!

And because this has been a National Quilting month originating from this Saturday's designation as National Quilting Day...I will be, of course!!!..doing more sewing and quilting fun!


The History of National Quilting Day: (courtesy of

In 1989, the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society organized a “Quilters’ Day Out” on the third Saturday of March to celebrate the rich tradition of quilt making in Kentucky. In 1991, National Quilting Association officers were so enthused with the concept and success of “Quilters’ Day Out” that they voted to take it to a national level.

The first National Quilting Day was observed in 1992 and since then it has grown into a global celebration for all quiltmakers and quilt lovers. Helen Storbeck, one of the founders of National Quilting Day, wrote in The Quilting Quarterly, “Groups of quilters were encouraged to hold special events, publishers and shop owners were invited to sponsor promotions especially for quilters and it quickly became a grassroots endeavor with quilters in every part of the country participating.  In the first year of National Quilting Day, quilters in other countries asked to participate. They were welcomed with open arms. As our feelings of a community network has evolved to include a world community, it is only appropriate that quilters and quilt lovers everywhere united to give recognition to the special art form.”

Ideas for celebrating:
This National Quilting Day, we encourage you to document your quilts. Add those labels you’ve been putting off! Interview a family member or friend as part of our Q.S.O.S. Project ( Or have a documentation day at your group
or guild.

From NQA’s website: Plan a National Quilting Day Celebration!!
  • Make it a service day and work on a quilt for your favorite cause – national projects such as ABC Quilts and Project Linus, or local projects. If you don’t have a local service project, National Quilting Day is the perfect time to start one! Check with police and fire departments, children’s services, nursing or rehabilitation facilities or local hospitals to see if they have a need for quilts.
  • Organize an exhibit for your local library or historical society. Exhibit quilts, tools, books, etc. Donate books to the library.
  • Organize a quilt history day or a quilt documentation project. Invite members of the community to share their quilts and documents the quilts for your stat documentation project. If you don’t have a state project, work with other quilters in the state to start one! A good place to start is with your local or state historical society, or search the internet for quilt documentation projects.
  • Make arrangements with your local library, historical society, quilt shop, or other public space to demonstrate how to make and attach simple quilt labels. Provide printed instructions and encourage everyone to label all their quilts and value them as family and community history.
  • Offer to teach a simple quilt project to a school, 4-H, scout, or other youth group, or spend the day passing along your love of quilting to your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or neighbors.
  • Contact a local senior citizens group or facility and organize  show and tell of their quilts and yours. Or sponsor a sewing day to make lap quilts for seniors. Turn it into an oral history project to gather quilters’ stories from your community. You will be amazed at what you learn.
  • Organize a stitch-in, banquet, workshop, lecture, retreat, bus trip or eve a shop hop.  Coordinate a fabric or block exchange or challenge for your chapter.
  • Contact your local hospital and make arrangements to donate a baby quilt to the first baby born on National Quilting Day.
  • Encourage your local quilt shops to sponsor special NQD sale or activities.
  • Create “goodie” boxes of sewing supplies and make arrangements with a local women’s shelter or recreation center to donate supplies or offer a beginners’ class.
The possibilities for National Quilting Day are limited only by your time and energy! Even if you just curl up with your favorite quilting book, do something special to celebrate your place in the community of quilters.

And download these freebies compliments of the Quilt Alliance:
Free Quilt Patterns–four patterns to choose from, offered by Quilt Alliance board members Jodie Davis and Michele Muska.

National Quilting Day graphics to post on your blog, social media page, website,..

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.