Showing posts sorted by relevance for query prayer pocket pillows. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query prayer pocket pillows. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Prayer Pocket Pillows

Our lives are filled with challenges, pain, and even great fear. But if we strive to maintain hope, and stay as positive as we can during hard times, we can also be amazed at the power of connection, of prayer, and the belief that miracles are right here around us... and just needing our heart's connection to them and to their manifestation.

I am reminded of those ever increasing challenges as I am Praying for a Miracle for my sister-in law, Rebecca Savikko in Eagle River, Alaska who needs the donation of an O+ positive kidney that has high antibodies titers. To have this type of blood type and therefore available kindey for donation would involve someone who has also had trauma, or infection, or many blood transfusions which they survived and became healthy again and are willing to donate one of their kidneys so Becky might have a chance at living without constant and eventually limiting kidney dialysis.

But I am also praying for my dear friend's son, Kelly Ball,
who as in an extremely serious accident on April 15th.

Kelly Ball, age 32, is fighting for his life after being hit by a car in a marked crosswalk with flashing lights in Corvallis, Oregon. He was simply crossing the walkway when a car driven by an elderly gentlemen who saw the crosswalk, saw the flashing lights, but said he did not see Kelly as he drove right threw and into Kelly throwing him many yards, breaking bones, injuring internal organs and causing severe brain trauma.

Kelly's mom, Patti, has been my friend for over 40 years since we lived across the hall from one another in college at OSU in Corvallis, Oregon. She is an amazing woman with a wonderful family and a life with challenges, just as so many of us have. We have been there for each other through so many of these challenges both of our lives... and now we must simply face this new one. For even when we live apart from others, even if we only see them occasionally, there are these amazing heart strings of connection that energetically and spiritually connect each of us to those we care about.

This is the second severe accident her son has been in. He was also hit by a car when he was 12 years old and coming down a hill on his bicycle and a car failed to see him on his bike and hit him. That accident also put him into a coma, caused a stroke, and created lifelong epileptic seizures and weakness on one side of his body.

He came through that, relearned all that the accident took away from him got a job, an apartment, and now working at OSU, he was simply crossing a marked crosswalk and had this happen.

Kelly has been in a coma since April 15th. He has only moved a couple of toes and finally opened his eyes for the first time on Mother's Day...for his mother...which meant the world to her. He then went back into the coma state and has had no other responses except for the wiggling of a couple of toes last week. I have been praying for him, reading his Caring Bridge journal kept by his family on status, sending lots of love, and messages, and waiting for signs that he might first live through it, and secondly show any signs he might come out of the coma and then after that, we will just pray for a recovery and full healing of his traumatic brain injuries.

They were able to get him off of the respirator, he is breathing on his own but we need a healing for his brain and his body that will allow him to come back to his mother and father, a grandfather, two sister's and a young nephew...all who love him very, very much.

Like myself, his parents have lived challenging lives where they too, have become the care takers of parents with Alzheimer's Disease, they too have faced the challenges of children, and illnesses, and accidents and more. Patti has not only cared for both of her parents, in her own home for five years, she then cared for her mother-in-law and now her father-in-law, all while teaching full time and doing an amazing job of that.

Please join me as we simply lift up our spirits in common good and wish for healing for all and peaceful spirits and hope filled hearts as they find their ways through these challenges. Thank you for all of you who have taken the time to leave comments of support, send emails of encouragement and affirmed my belief in the powers of connection and manifestation.

Making My String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillows
I write a message of love and hope and place those little messages in the pockets on the back. Like my prayer flags hanging on my garden arbor, they give physical connection to a spiritual realm where miracles are just waiting to be invited into our lives.

Praying for a Miracle

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Strip Piecing a Heart Strings Pillow

I have received a number of requests for a more detailed explanation for how I made my Prayer Pocket Pillow which I created for an earlier Pay It Forward gift. I decided to show the individual photos which made up the previously shown photo collage into their individual photos and adding a few descriptive instructions.

It certainly becomes a wonderful February project for a sweet Valentine's Day gift for a loved one and makes a delightful heartstrings quilting project! And strip piecing is so easy and is a wonderful way to use up quilting or sewing scraps. Directions for strip piecing a heart pillow:

Step 1: Selection of co-ordinating fabrics. I used about half a dozen prints, similar tonal values... but varying print sizes. Select one of the fabrics to be your primary focal fabric and the others to make up the strips or strings in the pieced section.

Step 2: Set the designer focal fabric aside and cut the remaining fabrics into strips or strings of similar or varying sizes. Mine were all around the 1" to 1 1/2" width (with some variation.)

Step 3: Sew all of the assorted strip fabrics together in a pleasing arrangment of choice and attach them to the focal fabric. The pieced section should now be around 10"-12" in both height and width for a small pillow such as mine.

Step 4: Your 'pattern' will simply be a heart shape for both front and back sections. Add two pocket pieces for the back pocket (if desired.)

Step 5: Place pattern pieced onto string pieced fabric section and cut out. Be sure to position the front pieced heart section with the seam at a diagonal placement.

Step 6: Sew the two pocket sections, right sides together, leaving and opening for turning. Turn, press and stitch onto heart pillow back as shown on pattern.

Step 7: Seam the front and back heart pillow sections, right sides together, leaving an opening for turning right side out. Turn and stuff the little pillow with your filling of choice. (I simply used leftover batting scraps.)

Step 8: Add decorative elements with ribbons, embroidery floss and buttons. As an extra, add a little card or other token of choice into the pocket. Tell someone just how much you love them or give words of encouragement to someone undergoing an illness. They are wonderful for anyone who needs to 'take heart' while undergoing chemo for cancer treatment or someone who is facing the battle of heart disease.

For Strip or String Piecing Quilt Directions or Patterns:String Quilting

Note:The small version can be used as a prayer pocket pillow, a tooth fairy pillow or just a loving gift with a small note in the pocket. If you make a much larger version, they are perfect for use as a post-op pillow for a heart patient who can then use them to push against their chest wall for relief of post-op pain. Studies have shown that the pressure of a pillow against the heart chakra's pain from injury is a genuine psycho-spiritual aid as well as a physical one.

Free Patterns for Cancer Awareness: Quilts, Ribbons, Quilts, Caps, Pillows, Pouches, and other Projects

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Prayer Quilts

When I make simple quilts with squares or other nine patch designs, I often send forth the intention of their manifestation as prayer quilts. To me, a prayer quilt is simply a quilt in which you tie, rather than quilt, the three layers of the quilt fabric, together.

Tying each double, or even triple knot, gives you the opportunity to direct with the caring power and simple thoughts of blessing, directly from your heart, through your hands, and out into the heart of the person who will receive it. The hope is that the person who ends up receiving the a nursing home or perhaps, even in hospice, will end up receiving not only a colorful quilt.... but lots and lots of blessings.

It doesn't matter if the quilt pattern is simple or complex, but the simpler you keep them, the faster you can make them! I like to make mine lap sized or a little bigger. This one is 52" x 75" and could be used for a wheelchair or on a cot. And as I love sending forth many quilts into the universe, I love making ones that can be made in a few days or a week's time, so many can be made and given.

Here, I was given some blocks and all of the strips, borders, and backing fabric by someone who didn't like how 'loud' it was. Well, when it comes to the need for healing energies or blessings or prayer...energizing with color can be a very good thing! And when it comes to how we think of color, pink is a powerful healing color and often used to symbolize hope, and purple is a strong spiritual color and often used for the energies of remembrance. So, I named this quilt "Hope and Remembrance."

And if you want to truly make it personal, or you belong to a church or other charitable quilting group...add a little pocket to the back and tuck in a special note or prayer of healing thoughts of your own. In any case, it is a gift that will be treasured, not only by the recipient, but by their extended family...just knowing that someone out there who didn't even know them..... still cared enough to make them a quilt.

Shown above:
Quilt #2: "Hope and Remembrance" a simple but meaning filled prayer quilt

No time to make a quilt? Make a String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow and still tuck in good thoughts and blessing

Modern Versions: Cross Quilts

Additional information on traditonal prayer quilts can be found at:

Prayer Quilts ...a beautiful Catholic quilting ministry with truly lovely quilts
Making Prayer Quilt from...Visit our Simple Life
A Quilter's Prayer ....shared by Bonnie of

Pattern ideas can be found among my free pattern lists:

  • Rail Fence
  • Mystery Nine Patch
  • Four Patch in a Square
  • Cross on the Back
  • Prayer Square Mini Quilt
  • Baptismal Square
  • Military Prayer Squares
  • 3" Pocket Prayer Quilts
  • Prayer Square Pillows/ Covers

  • This blog post was part of:

    Finn's New Year's Eve Small Projects Challenge:
    Small Project #14: Mulled Wine Mug Mat

    Finn's New Year's Eve Quilt Challenge:
    Quilt #11: Twilight Dreams
    Quilt #10:Far, Far, Away
    Quilt #9:Green and Scrappy Love
    Quilt #7 and #8: Follow Your Heart 1 and 2
    Quilt #6: Stringing Along
    Quilt #5: Within the Depths
    Quilt #4: Irish Eyes
    Quilt #3: Under the Pines
    Quilt #2: Hope and Remembrance
    Quilt #1 Hop to It!

    Finn's New Year's Eve Small Projects Challenge:
    Small Project #14: Mulled Wine Mug Mat
    Small Project #11-13: Two pillowcases and a senior bib
    Small Project #10:Follow Your Heart Potholder
    Small Projects #2-9: sr bib, potholders and a bag
    Small Project #1: Get Well Postcard

    Sunday, June 30, 2019

    Healing Hearts Textile Arts

     My personal path has always centered around the simplest acts of service.
     Of being there for and with others as a lifetime of ever transmuting fears or anger or pain into creative work that has been part of my heart and my healing arts journey since I was a very young child.

    How do we find our center in this incredibly unbalanced  world with false idols of ego, success, and power creating a lack of balance in our values and priorities that often fracture our childhood dreams and set us astray from our true soul's journey?

    It's truly the simple things from my heart and with my hands that connect me to my soul's purpose and that is the spiritual catalyst for the alchemical manifestation of love in action.

    For only love crosses all dimensions of time and space. 

    Only love will survive when ego, money, power, and success are lost or stripped away. Only love is left when all else is gone. when we transition from this life, this dimension and from our individual perception of whatever reality we have created and energized into manifestation.

    Love is all there truly is and all that we are truly meant to learn about and to experience as we navigate what is often very intensely painful or emotionally challenging  lives.

    It is simply who I am and what I was meant to be and to do as I combined it bit by bit in all aspects of my life

    I learned early on that my gifts with "healing with heart and hands" work.

    True healing comes from above, from within, and from all around.

    It is simply pure and sacred healing heart's love in whatever form one needs when anger, pain, loss or grief is too overwhelming for our mere mortal forms to bear.

    Its work and its need in this world is greater than the sum of its parts.

    I wanted to work in a transpersonsal way with all who came into my world. So, on October 26, 2006 I created a very, very simple blog and I started blogging.

    I couid barely figure out how to even use that early blogspot format, had no training and no help whatsoever...and created this huge, huge complicated thing that turned into my own all senses of that word.

    For me, blogging was about letting go of my private little space in the world and walk among humanity, often with my heart completely exposed, into the whole world.

    It was about letting go of control, of the mastery of anything and everything,  and learning to just enter the spaces between the real world of pain and suffering and sadness and finding a deeper solace in what we do have, can do and can share, instead of all that we do not.

    No matter what anyone says or writes, when you give from your heart over and over if you do not replenish your spirit, it exhausts you. And because I believed that this form of universal ministering (keeping in mind it is non-denominational in all ways) was my life's purpose.

    I learned to open to gratitude and compliments on my then very simple blog posts and make friends in a world I wasnt really a part of until I reached out and joined in.

    When I realized that I needed a different way to work physically, spiritually, and energetically with my gifts, I used my scraps or donated or repurposed fabrics to sew and share really, really simple little quilts.

    And then when they were done, I lovrd even thr simplest of them so very much that I just knew they were filled up with love. And then, loving them so much, I gave them away to others.

    The only ones I've kept are examples to teach or to share or to encourage others others to do the same. My nicest, hardest ones that took an eternity to make;  I gave away as gifts.

    My own 3 grown kids only have simple scrap quilts but all 3 grandkids got special artsy ones just for them.



    Making an Alaskan Kuspuk


    With my passion for sewing and quilting, I realized that I could reach more people and infuse more goodness into my work by the creation of quilts, pillows, kuspuks, prayer pocket pillows, and prayer flags, than I could by helping people one-on-one

    And this became my own healing journey. True healing is not just of the body and all of the aches and pains and all of the ills that beset it. True healing is finding your way, your path, your journey that goes out beyond the ego's desires for acceptance, approval, applause or accolades.

    It is about doing what you were meant to do..beginning with understanding why you are where you are..right now, in this time, in this place wherever that is in your life.

    Once I understood that for me the path was about creativity combined with family, heart, voicing my inner truth and sharing that truth with others I could see a pattern that begin as a child and moved and grew as I did and as I learned to create in the all of the ways that I have.

    Initially, back in the 70's and early 80's, I made the simplest of quilts and patchwork of every design in the "Quilts, Quilts, Quilts" book.(when it finally came out).. and those pillows ended up on the reading couches of elementary and middle schools in the Salem, Oregon area.

    Later, I began to make and then give away my quilts...first simply made, and then with more detail and creative patchwork. I've given to survivors of natural disasters...hurricanes, fires, floods, and tornadoes.When Hurricane Katrina, and then Rita,  hit the Gulf states in 2005, I sent 6 quilts within a month, and 25 of my own quilts within a year's time. After those initial delivery trucks winded down, I made them for the Salem Interfaith Ministry...a group of many religious and spiritual denominations who simply band together, and help others.

    I knew then that I could sew quilts, pillows, bags, clothing, and prayer flags, and give them to others in need.... and that the wonderful feeling that the giving gave back to me, was far greater than winning awards, or writing a book, or receiving personal recognition in any way!  It was just deeply moving and made me truly happy inside!

    I've made quilts for a number of hospitals in a number of states, for several organizations that help abused children, for mission trips to Africa and other countries, for programs to help mothers and children leaving abusive situations, children in foster care, and those in need of all ages from neo-natal preemies, to the elderly in hospitals or in need of a passage quilt in hospice care.

    It is by far the most meaningful giving I have done after a lifetime of volunteer work in schools and social service organizations from Alaska to Oregon. While being in the education field taught me about community...both families and is my own personal non-denominational healing ministry that has, by far, taught me..and given back to me, the very most.

    Whether we give a quilt to comfort, or to wrap up and warm, or help buffer the pain of a hurting and loss filled heart, all such quilts given with love and made with both our hands and our hearts are 'healing hearts' quilts.  But my quilts are made with the infusion of healing touch energies, a gift that I was born with, but that I later learned was inherited from my paternal grandmother.

    Later, many of my tiny art quilts were given to charitable organizations to raise funds for research, but even then...those tiny art quilts still go to someone who has found a heartstring connection and meaning from that quilt to their own heart....for we have all shared in love and loving, loss and losing , of those loved ones that truly are the very deepest and most meaning filled parts of our selves.

    As long as it was in operation, I made and donated small format art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. It brought my own hurting heart great peace and comfort. 15 members of my own family have faced the dreadful disease of Alzheimer's (12 with my DNA) and now those beloved family members have all passed.

    I ended up creating and donating 75 tiny paper sized quilts to this group, even as I traveled back and forth to Alaska to care for my parents for as much as 6 months a year and up to 4 trips a year, I still made and donated quilts. If there is a will, there IS a way! Abd in the oricess, I earned $5,000 as my quilts were sold, along with a kazillion others in online AAQI monthly auctions.

    Even breaking and dislocating my wrist and requiring immediate surgery didn't stop me.  Within two weeks I was sewing with one hand, and three months, creating adult bibs for my mom and designing quilts for AAQI, and  helping Alaskan school children design and sew their own kuspuks!

    So, if you think you don't have the time, or have other challenges, if I can do it, so can you! Here's just some of my donations to a variety of causes and projects:

    Make a simple fabric postcard, a pillowcase, a journal cover, a little heart shaped pillow, an adult bib for a nursing home patient, or any other gift from your heart.    


    Recyclable-giveaway Cloth Shopping Bag

    Burrito or Magic Pillowcase Tutorial


    Free Babie's and Children's Quilt Patterns


    Making Fidget Quilts, Aprons, Pillows, Bags for Alzheimer's Patients:Ideas



    Free Patriotic Quilt Patterns



    Making Adult Bibs 



    Making a Heart Pillow: Breast Cancer, Cardiac or Recovery of Any Kind



    *String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow




    How To Make A Fabric Postcard




    I sew a lot at home. I've had a lot of help...


     And then, I joined groups.

    And we sew and we quilt, and we tie blankets together. And that energy when combined with all of often very different but strong and wonderful beliefs,   heals our hearts and the work of those hearts when through the art and manifestation of healing hands handiwork can create such wonderful and giving love..

    My links to free patterns and my own tutorials


    Free Breast Cancer (and other cancers) Awareness Quilt Patterns

    Free Heart Themed Quilt ...and many other small items...Patterns

    Making a Heart Shaped Pillow for cardiac patients, mastectomy patients and others

    String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow for any one in need of comfort

    Making an Adult Bib

    How To Make A Fabric Postcard

    Make a Magic 'Burrito' Pillowcase

    How To Make A Quillow

    Free Patriotic Quilt Patterns for veterans and their families

    Blue or Gold Star Banner for Military Families

    2,500 Free Quilt Patterns...patterns for quilts to make and give...anytime to anyone

    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.