Showing posts with label quilting in the news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quilting in the news. Show all posts

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Quilting, Crafting and Sewing: ADD or OCD ?

Or is 'Quilter's ADD' really 'OCD'?

We can all be a little of either or both
 about quilting and many of us about fabric  shopping. But are we guilty of a truly "Obsessive Disorder? 

Or are we just opportunistic? We see something we could use and we have to have it? Or we're feeling low, missing our old lives, or younger years ?

Are we just "fabric collectors" and "appreciaters" who want to touch, sniff, and pet our lovely comforting fabrics or psychos who at any minute that might start screaming out loud "Because I need this much that's why to do what I do!" Or really are we just competitive winners whose mantra is "the one who dies with the most fabric wins!"

Read the rest at my #1 post for all of last year❣

Michele Bilyeu Creates *With Heart and Hands*: Quilter's ADD: 

Most Stash, She Won!

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

Friday, January 03, 2020

Craft in America: Quilts

If you missed last night's newest episide of Craft in America: Quilts,
it is still available to view at this link below.

In the past, this award winning PBS series periodically featured short segments on quilts and quilters in America. They were extremely well done documenteries and incredibly interesting to crafters and artists of all kinds.

But over the past decades quilting interest and the number of quilters in America has skyrocketed as has the interest in quilts and their quilters.

In the newest series the entire program was devoted to quilts.  With a focus on  
contemporary quilters from diverse traditions the program with a team of six, celebrate the important role quilts have played in our country’s story.

Featuring four contemporary quilters selected by a team based on surveys and interest groups quilt artists, Susan Hudson, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Michael A. Cummings, Judith Content, the International Quilt Museum, and with special guest Ken Burns. 

The series begins at the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, where the world’s largest publicly held collection of approximately 6,000 quilts from more than 50 countries, dating from the 1600s to today.

Twenty-eight of those quilts are owned by filmmaker Ken Burns.
And to quote the already legendary documentary fim maker.

“This is what human beings are required to do, to take raw materials and transform them into something greater than the sum of their parts,” Burns says. “And that’s what a quilt is, that’s what art is.”

And as artist Susan Hudson so beautifully explains her creative process:

Albuquerque Journal

I start to see visions coming through my head,” she says. 
“It’s like those old-time movie projectors where the pictures come slowly and cut in and out. 
That’s my process. I take the time to figure out how I’m going to re-create each one.” 
After the visions appear, Hudson then looks for help from her spirit helpers.
“I always seek guidance from them,” she says. “I’ll put an idea to the side and pray on about it. Then about 10 minutes later, I’ll see how I’m going to fix or continue something.

It always involves more than just me. The spiritual guidance is there to ensure that the story is told boldly and truthfully.”

The programs also features New York based quilters Victoria Finley Wolfe.

and Michael A. Cummings,

as well as 

California-based quilter Judith Content.

To watch the video now while the link is still available go to:

QUILTS episode | Season 11 Episode 1 | Craft in America | PBS

To read about the exhibition

Craft in America: Quilts 4 Directions

Fundraiser by Terin (Tiffany) Bilyeu : Terin's cancer fund

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, November 03, 2018

Quilts and Health: Healing *With Heart and Hands*

Quilts and Health is name of a beautiful book that I recently discovered online. Written by Marsha MacDowell, Clare Lutz, and Beth Donaldson.

Imagine my surprise to discover that I was mentioned in the footnotes and bibliography! Goodness sakes!  If it were you, wouldn't you be not only surprised but incredibly curious to know what you had said or had mentioned about you?

I tried finding more information and found references to the book, its authors and how it could be purchased. I debated and debated about buying a book just because it had my name listed somehow or otherwise mentioned in it.

But as someone who has worked so long and so hard with loved ones on both a variety of illnesses, including being a primary caregiver for mother's Inflammatory Breast Cancer in my home in Oregon through chemo, mastectomy, and radiation and spending many years combined, living in my childhood home in Alaska helping my mom with 8 years of beginning to advanced Alzheimer's, my dad with severe ophthalmic shingles, heart disease and vascular dementia (all in home, with our family, not state or federal supplied hospice or any provided care throughout ever qualifying or provided by the limited social services and funding available.

I've also helped others with many, many aspects of severe infectious brain trauma, lung disease including  cancer, bone cancer, and other very challenging diseases.

I'm grateful to have had other volunteer opportunities, hospice and lay transpersonal healing therapies over multiple decades across many states and places in time.  I helped others in hospitals, doctors offices, and in others or my own home.. It taught me so very much about caring for others and helping in even simple ways during life's most challenging experiences.

I have learned so very much from those walks with others and their journey through treatments or end of life experiences and in turn, been blessed with so many discoveries about inner strength (both theirs and my own when care giving) and the incredible strength we call upon when we don't even know we have it in us.

So, I knew that I not only wanted to buy the book, but needed to! Not as a 'vanity' purpose but because I love to read about others and how they cope and what they've learned as well. It fills and touches a very deep core in my heart to share in other's experiences.

I bought the book and genuinely loved it. It's not only a gorgeous "coffee table" book but a meaningful one that others are drawn to and want to pick up and read. When my book arrived, I poured over it feeling so many emotions, so many experiences in my life and s lovely connection of course with so many amazing quilts.

It turned out to be a very dear experience reading about the journey of these women, teachers, healers, and patients all walked their way down an amazing discovery of just how much quilts were connected, one experience after another, to almost every disease they read about, looked up on the Internet . And I can only assume how one of them apparently found me and this blog.

What I learned was that one of them very quickly discovered that not only was she a beginning writer/researcher for this book, but became a cancer patient fighting for her own life.

That she personally  experiences being welcomed into her very first doctors appointment to be greeted by a quilt hung in the waiting room.  And later with a quilt in a bag of loving care items of her very own to keep as she kept warm and comforted during chemotherapy.

It is heart touching as it goes on to explores the personal meaning and comfort that a quilt that give to someone who is ill as well as the beauty that one can bring into someone's life.

I love my quilts and I can't imagine not sleeping under one, or two, or three or four when it's really cold! They add comfort and warmth and yes, beauty to the lives of anyone who has one, is given one or creates one.

And where and how did I fit in you ask?

It was about my writing, that back pocket degree and an ability to share here on this blog mybown personal and deeply personal, spiritual journey.

One simple paragraph that I wrote about my spiritual connection  to creating and giving away my quilts. One that I write about over and over again.

Not my 75 art quilts to AAQI, my dozens and dozens of comfort quilts to hospitals, care homes, waiting rooms, bereaved families, babies and toddlers in Children's Hospitals or Neo-natal units.

For while I am very proud to have managed to create and give these away, not one of them ever had a personal label or even my name on them as my art quilts did, but they meant the world to me in the creating and the giving and I hope they somehow, touched hearts in many states, countries (Guatemala and others) and even another continents (Africa or wherever Inter-faith mission quilts go).

So, there I was ....well, there my words were quoted.... from one of my blog pages in all their fast thinking and typing style I use, never thinking they be in a book someday or surely I would have tempted to clean up my reiteration or word usage, heck knowing me I would have taken so much time doing it, I would have changed my mind and never submitted them if I had been actually asked.

So, I am fine with the not knowing, not being asked as many who had quilts actually included (none of mine are there, just my words) for their lovely quilts, their work, and their words. I am brought to tears just to be in such a dear and special project.

Quilts and Health, page 48:
The preface by the authors reads:  ...When life throws you scraps, make quilts,...
Our lives are our quilts--bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love, and "Those who sleep under a quilt sleep under a blanket of love."

"These proverbs reflect the motivations of so many who turn to making and using quilts for personal well being and healing. and The work of these quiltmakers produce a tangible, tactile evidence of progress towards recovery or of acceptance s of living with altered conditions, of perseverance, of life-affirming activity, and of continuing to be productive in the face of adversity....Marsha MacDowell et al.

And then my tears begin every single time I read this:

"Quilt artist Michele Bilyeu powerfully expressed her feeling about quilting like this:
I use the healing gifts that I have been blessed with, and take those energies and infuse the fabric with heart, and thought, and caring, and prayers and I send them off into the world. That is the essence of a healing quilt, a prayer quilt, a quilt.
Be kind to one another in word and deed and make a difference in someone else's life today, and everyday. And then think about making and giving away for charitable giving and charitable causes. I just know you'll feel a whole lot better!
You'll look at yourself differently, your life differently, your aches and pains and challenges differently, and you will alchemize the transformative process that is really and truly mind over matter...the unity of mind, body, and the act of giving, and that gratitude for what you do have...and not just focusing on your own sadness or your own losses or depression. Focus on what you do have, what you are grateful for and give to others as you also create a form of giving to yourself."
 Notes 2.
Michele Bilyeu, "The Healing Art of Sewing and Quilting," Michele Bilyeu Creates *With Heart and Hands*,

What can I say? I loved being mentioned like this and for this!

I am humbled, and filled with an overwhelming heartfelt emotion for all my loved ones and I have been through, together. For all that each and everyone of you have gone through and experienced.

For all I have been blessed with and what good I might have been able to do in my lifetime.  I only wish I had the time, the health, and the physical ability to do so much more than what I have.

Michele Bilyeu
With Heart and Hands


The Healing Art of Sewing and Quilting

Healing Hearts Textile Arts

Praying for a Miracle

Love from Michele With 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.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Most Stash: She Wins!

Can you imagine going garage sale shopping one day and finding this much stash for sale at someone's house?

That's what happened to Nancy, a quilter on the Quilting Board . The Estate Sale was in Missouri and took place a number of years ago.

Apparently, the quilting wife had passed away, and the husband and/or family members of the estate held this enormous sale to dispose of fabric, quilts and other sewing supplies.

Why anyone would wait two or three months to post this much fun on a message board is beyond me. Maybe the entire group signed a pact to not talk about it until they'd all had a chance to go through it all..... and buy what they wanted, before they told the world ;)

But Nancy commented that each of those flats with the fabric had at least 25 yards each and that while the prices were a bit high for an auction, they were still less than a quilt shop. Each of the flats you can see on these tables sold for around $40-50.
Now, I am assuming it was a dual person garage sale. Because I know, if I died first..... and my husband found this much stuff stashed in the house.....he would have immediately died of shock.

I'm sure she was a lovely woman and she is dearly missed. And my condolences to the family. But. I am a bit jealous......that woman had fun in her life time, that's for sure!! And if you look closely, there are some quilts in the background...... so apparently, she did have time for quilting, as well as shopping.

And to quilters everywhere..... your futures with your husbands are now secured. If they ever dare to complain about any of your stash, bring up a photo or two from this garage sale.

Heck, I'll probably put the first photo I created ...the one above with the added text....on my computer and use it as a desktop screen.

Because if you're at all like me, my husband has seen enough of my stash out and about when I'm making a mess and needs to know that someone else would win this contest!


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


Until is Leap Day...
According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.

This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how leap day balances the calendar.

But I really believe that the original tradition says it's the one day of the year that women get to do whatever they want to ;-)

I'm still making Alzheimer's Fidget Quilts..and they make enough of a mess that this is only a fraction of my fun! Bring it on and bring it on out!!!!

**This is a repeat of my post from 2011 . I can only imagine the homes of all of the buyers of that ladies stash. But then, who am I to talk ;-)

Most Stash: She Won! - With Heart and Hands
Jan 16, 2011 - Most Stash: She Won! Can you imagine going garage sale shopping one day and finding this much stash for sale at someone's house?
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.