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

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Happy Earth Day!

Michele Savikko Bilyeu:  

"I was 20 years old for the very first earth day and a thousand miles away from home and family in college. Much was happening all around me. It was incredibly new and exciting. 

Every single day, every single moment was alive and breathing with so many, many new things, new experiences,  new emotions and most of all new acceptances and learnings.

To be this very quiet, very deep and happy and always smiling young person--still a girl truly-- and not yet feeling the beingness of coming into womanhood. To be alive and welcoming and so very excited by even the newness of tiny things was surreal yet always just my "new normal" for then.

Because the next day brought newer experiences, newer new normals. Normal didn't mean anything at all even if i knew what normal was supposed to mean for me. It was easy to accept that i was not anyone else's "normal". I was me and i loved the blessing of this huge huge gift of going off into this very,  very different new world.  

Growing up in an isolated and land locked part of Alaska where just flying south to the lower 48 was like entering a different world and flying in was considered the most dangerous approach and landing in the U.S. with only the pilot's visual abilities providing access to conditions below we just did all things bravely.

Qne didn't question or really even fear the experience just the roar of things coming to life and taking off and into new horizons We would just do, just cope, just accept each and every new experience as it was.

I should have been afraid but it didn't enter my awareness. I was raised with challenges and obstacles and the unknown--even death simply by riding "out the road" with my dad in his rattle trap old company truck was that day, the best, most exciting thing in the world. Especially if he had the money to buy us each a frozen treat out of the freezer chest at the grocery store!

We had 25 miles of road to to get to the end of what i should have seen as the end of my world. But i didn't. We reached the end of that old gravel road and it was exciting and accepted and enjoyed that as 25 miles was considered a huge amount of driving. 

Then we turned around and came back. There was only one way to do that with no alternate roads of any kind yet available. Yet the ride back gave me a up close and personal view of the other side of the road so even that became new and exciting!

I realize now how amazing that life was for me. My whole world was based on the earth, my earth as i knew her. It was living and thriving and surviving but without fear in nature. We were taught where the bears came out, where we had to be alert and careful and what to do if one charged us or attacked us.

I was never afraid to go there with my family as we did every 2 weeks. It was where we picked wild blueberries and the only place we had to dispose of the family garbage.

Doing brave things in nature and relishing and being excited and filling myself up with her breathing, living, ever changing energies just was. Feeling the existence of other earth beings as alive and part of me and all there was..that just was. 

I was curious about ancient burial grounds of the old native ones and felt them around me. Now i can see and feel the emotion known as fear that i should have felt, should have not perhaps been drawn to or not chosen to open to. Nothing bad happened when I did. 

It was just very very curious and different and i wondered if it was "real" or part of my amazing inner life of my own creative imaginings!

The earth was a part of all of us. The winds and the sky and ocean seas and rivers and lakes and waterfalls and the mountains rising on both sides of my world in between all things-- and absolutely all and nothing else--but all of life as one. "

To celebrate "earth day" at age 20  (51 years ago!) wasn't a blip on the radar of my life in my memories  I probably just wondered why people in the "south" needed to to create a specific day to celebrate what always just was!'

Happy Birthday Great Mother. Happy Birthday yesterday, today and all of your tomorrows!

My homemade "earth day" pins from the original symbol for it from that era. Felt with a safety pin backing.

I handed them out to friends and family when we marched down around the Salem Capitol area a few years ago during all of our big marches for earth, science and women. 

A lady my age came up to me, recognizing my pin and said "I remember those! Never thought I'd see that again! Haha! 

I was delighted so delighted that I forgot to offer her one of 3 spares in my pocket! Ah youth and memory. Wherefore art thou? Happy to remember as much as I do and still be able to write about them and blog on a cell phone without a household wifi system any more!

And yes, I made my embroidered peasant blouse as well. Sold it for a couple of dollars at a garage sale at my kids elementary school "Covered Playground Sale" many decades ago with another even nicer long sleeve one I'd made. Oh how I wish I had them now. 

(No, but I do still have a dozen or more of my own home sewn double polyester maternity outfits from 1975 instead!  All immaculate preserved in our attic!!   Hahahaha! 

 Earth Day Background in History and Deed:

Michele Bilyeu Creates *With Heart and Hands*: My Tutorial Link Lists: By Themes

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, April 09, 2021

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond

"So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself--
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn't a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond 
by Mary Oliver

2021 Reflections by Michele Savikko Bilyeu: 

Oh the absolute joy for those of us who both believe in and protecting the gardens of our lives through love and compassion of our natural world holding faith in those who help our world not seek to harm her and all who abide within her in all ways.

Oh the deep love for family, both immediate and extended. Oh the dark sorrow for those lost or those left in pain and suffering and grief.

I think of and pray for all of you. I hold you in my thoughts and share compassion and empathy with you all.

All things grow and all that lives or causes change will pass. And so shall all of us when our time and our cycle of change is with us.

Take care of one another and feel the warm and radiant love of all there is, and ever will be.

Take care.
April 2021

Michele Bilyeu Creates *With Heart and Hands*: My Tutorial Link Lists: By Themes

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, April 03, 2021

Easter and Passover Blessings, and Happy Spring, Bunnies and Chickens, too! Free Tutorials, Patterns and Gift Ideas Galore!!


It's so much fun creating colorful quilts, wall hangings, table toppers, Easter baskets, or creative children crafts to welcome in the hopes of Spring and the season or renewal, hope,  peace and freedom.

Making an 'Easter' quilt can be as simple as making some four patches.... and added some bits and pieces ...just from some scraps you might already bunny, chick, or any pretty Easter fabric!

I used some scraps in Beatrix Potter prints, as shown above, and made this cute but easy, baby quilt and included a little soft fabric book for a quick gift! This little baby quilt is in flannel, and these where all the scraps I had in these no outside borders, and very simple style. But it is soft and special and still so cute! And best of all, the sweet little one who received it and her new parents just loved it!

Create a garland freehand! Easy and cute! This one has other sections with words like 'Birthday" but you could ass Easter, or Anniversary or any words you wanted with just free cut appliqued on letters!

Here, a simple panel, quilted but attractive with quilting stitches around the details of the print to really make them pop! Than a bountifully gathered doubled up ruffle all around. The new grandma loved this so much she had carried in on her travels so others could admire it all the way to visit her first grandchild!

Making a Baby Quilt: Japanese Strip Noodles

So easy with just simple strips of leftover fabric pieces and a simple no border binding! It made a great gift just before it was needed to give to new parent an their darling baby!

Making a Tag or Baby Fidget Quilt and Baby Giraffe Soft Toy

Burrito or Magic Pillowcase Tutorial


Michele Bilyeu: Making Prayer Flags

Perfectly easy for a quick gift for loved ones and friends!


Making a Coffee Press Wrap  

Making an Adult Bib



Whether you make an Easter quilt, or Easter basket or bag, pillowcases, or my current favorites...garlands, banners, and prayer flags.

Origami 'Petal Bag' Tutorial

How to Make a Japanese Knot Bag


Bunny Applique mini quilt
12 x 14"free pattern by Jennifer Heynen at Jennifer Jangles

 Carrot Patch quilt
 52 x 63"
Stacey Day for Windham Fabrics


Tulip quilt 72 x 84", free pattern by Wendy Sheppard for Windham Fabrics


Podunk Posy quilt tutorial by Lea Anne at Podunk Pretties 

full quilt here)

A Tisket-a-Tasket 47" x 59"

Baby Flower Box:

Basket Blocks by Gwen Marston:
free basket blocks pattern by Gwen Marston; from her Beaver island Quilt Retreat on Baskets. The pattern is for one of eleven baskets quilts she made for the retreat. The quilt is made with 16 pieced baskets and 15 alternate blocks in redwork. Baskets w. Red work 60" x70"

Bitsy Baskets fast carry along mini basket quilt 22" x 22" from Debbie Reed

Blossom Time by Lydia Quigley of the Rabbit Factory for Clothworks Textiles:
Free Easter Quilt Patterns

Bunny Quilt from Quilting Passion
Blocks create a cute bunny shape! The finished size of this project is approximately 30" x 42", without borders and 42" x 54", with borders.

Cactus Pot Basket Block

This basket block was first published in the Oklahoma Farmer Stockman, on January 1, 1930

Carrot Table Runner from All People Quilt:

Easter Bunny Parade Wall Hanging

Easter Bunny Wallhangings with pdf downloaded files at the linking site

Easter Bunny Trail Banner w. embroidery

Tulip Garden quilt, 62 x 81" by Hallie O'Ke

Easter Chicks Decorate and Bunny Luv
Bonnie Sullivan of Salem OR:  Check out this darling original wallhanging, wool applique on flannel, 24"x 28" and quilt designed by Bonnie for Fons and Porter, free downloads as of above at:

 Wendy Gratz at Shiny Happy World

Patchwork Craft for Easter - Easter Quilt or Wall Hanging

Easter Wall Quilt 16.8" x 11. 6" (wouldn't this make a beautiful nursery wall hanging quilt?)

 Carrot Table Runner
 Better Homes and Gardens

Faded Baskets Table Topper 36" x 36", by BOM QuiltsPrint this FQS Faded Baskets Instruction Page as a .pdf

 Pastel Party :All People Quilt mini quilt

 Bunny Patch quilt, 38 x 46", free pattern  All People Quilt

Floral Basket 1

Floral Basket 2 paper pieced tulip block, 6" x 6"

Happy Easter
28 x 35 cm
download Happy Easter

 Patchwork Peter Rabbit wall hanging, 18 x 20" The Crafty Quilter






  Holiday Harvest Quilt Pattern

Jeannie's 10" Basket Block Pattern
May Baskets 55 1/2" x 68 1/2"

Mini Basket Sampler Quilter's Online Resource Quilt, pieced and appliqued

Posy Post Quilt,2045,DIY_15080_2505146,00.html A Simply Quilts Pattern which combines Irish chain and applique

 Simple Spring table runner or placemats 
Natalia Bonner as seen at Moda Bakeshop

 Honey Bunny mini quilt Don't Look Now

Redwork Baskets patterns

Scrap Baskets by Carol Doaks:This quick and easy wall quilt features a 7" basket block that is perfect for those left-over scraps. Click to download the pdf

Scrappy Baskets...15" finished quilt block of quick pieced HQTs

Stamp Basket Quilt

Sweet Dreams (shown)

Umbrella Stand 6" x 6" Quilt Block

Will Work for Eggs 25" x 34" wallhanging with bunnies and eggs by Jerree McDade

 April Bite Size Quilt, 12"square mini, mug rug or tiny table decor
Quilt Patterns Direct


Yo Yo Nines designed by Kathy L. Reinhard from Golden Quilts for McCalls.Fabulous yo yo baskets! Finished Quilt Size47 1/2" x 47 1/2"

6" Basket Quilt Blocks

10"and more Summertime Basket Quilt Blocks







Rabbit Dance courtesy of  Havel's Sewing. Click for a printable PDF version of Terry’s Rabbit Dance Baby Quilt



Cactus Pot Quilt Block

Bunny Hop Pillow
 Amy at Ameroonie Designs

And don't forget how easy and how much fun making Easter pillowcases can be! Use my magical 'burrito' pillowcase pattern and a yard and maybe a bit more for trim..and you'll have a darling pillowcase in no time at all!

Make a Magic 'Burrito' Pillowcase

And consider making a little 'stuffy' toy or a little Easter gift accessory for yourself, a family member or a friend!

Funny Bunny Stuffy

Chicken Pincushions with Thread Caddy Nests

Quilted Easter chicken pouch (below) from Ulla's Quilting drawstring for a little treat inside!

Egg Mug Rug
tutorial :Where The Orchids Grow


Free Fabric (Coiled Fabric or Crocheted Basket Patterns:

Here's a fun list of photo ideas from some of my own projects files, and from so many other "Easter/Passover/ and Celebrate Spring!"pattern links..not just for quilts, and quilt blocks but a few super cute Easter crafts, too!

Any spring colors, any styles in so many different crafts to choose from!  And do come back as these are updated all of the time. Just click on my my master link list up at the top border, or over on the side gadgets to the right! 

Basket – you can either purchase fabric yarn or make your own from t-shirts.

Crocheted Rope Basket – great photo tutorial of how to crochet over rope. 

Chunky Basket –  thick yarn and substantial handle on this one.

Basket of Granny Squares –  a pretty ring of grannys around the side of the basket.

Crochet Easter Basket – pretty stitch design.

Crocheted Bunny Basket – amigurumi bunny is the focal point of this amazing project.

Square Easter Basket –  plastic canvas 

Hanging Egg Basket – beautiful thread baskets for individual eggs. Have to use translate for directions, good luck but you can do it!

Little Egg Baskets – for individual eggs or a very special treat.

Magnificent Moss Basket – this beautiful stitch leads to many great color combos.  You will have to register to download the free pattern

And Just for Fun!!! Easter or just plain, Spring!, Crafts for Kids of All Ages and Sizes!

Easter Crafts  and Activities for Kids Home Page

This includes ideas for all of these crafts for and with children

:Easter Basket, Bunny, Chicks, Lambs, Crafts for Kids 

Easter Hats; Bonnets Crafts Activities for Kids,Easter Eggs, Egg Shells, & Egg Decoration Crafts and Activities for Kids andCrafts with Egg Cartons!

Spring Crafts

Make Easter Chicks Pop-up Cards, extra to those in links above.

Making Easter Pop-Up Cards

 If you want to make these adorable pop-up Easter cards then print them in black and white (to color in) or print them in color. You will have to cut out the different parts and paste them together.

Passover and Other Special Occasions, Gifts, and Ideas:

An inspirational example of improvisational string quilt at its finest!

from The Summer Sampler Series: Swim Bike Hike at

Cutting Triangles: 
Download the Triangle Template here,

Star of David quilt block

   No longer connect to the site, but you make figure it out on your own just from this!

Gefilte Quilt

 Passover's Coming: 25 Ideas for Matzoh Fabric



Flying Geese as Exodus Story




Brooch to represent the Passover Exodus to freedom

 Passover's Coming: 25 Ideas for Matzoh Fabric

how to sew drink coasters 


Sew Up Some Drink Coasters for Yourself Or a Friend 

from and  

 How to Sew the Pomegranate Atarah for a Tallit | Video Tutorial

How do you make a sewing project Jewish without using Hebrew phrases or Jewish symbols?   

 How do you make a sewing project Jewish without using Hebrew phrases or Jewish symbols?

 Hebrew letter shin embroidered

White Star of David Ornament Crochet Pattern: Made with and from Red Heart Yarn!

Kristen Stoltzfus
  • Easy
  • Crochet
  • Seasonal

RED HEART® Super Saver®: 1 skein 316 Soft White

Susan Bates® Crochet Hook: 5mm [US H-8]

Yarn needle, twelve 6mm iridescent beads, sewing needle and ivory
thread, two pieces of ¼” x 6” (25 mm x 15 cm) white satin ribbon

Ornament measures ½” (11 cm) in diameter.

GAUGE: 13 hdc = 3” (8 cm). Gauge is not critical for this project.

Gift of Gelt Bag make ahead or perhaps use forother  small gifts or as a gift, itself
RED HEART® Super Saver®: 1 skein each 886 Blue A, 316 Soft White B Susan Bates® Crochet Hook: 3.75mm [US F-5] and 5.0mm [US H-8] Yarn needle
Pattern Number: LW3177
Tags: bag, crochet, gelt, gift, hanukah, holiday, rebecca j. venton, Super Saver
Skill Level: Easy
Project Type: Seasonal

 Dreidel Table Runner & Napkin Holders...make ahead idea

Free Fabric (Coiled Fabric or Crocheted Basket Patterns:

Passover Paterns pdf download sent to me by a friend

Also for recipes and other wonderful Passover posts:
She celebrates Passover and wonderful traditions for her children in some truly lovely ways!

Happy and Most Blessed Holi-days to You and Yours! May the days, months and years ahead be easier and may our gratitude only grow from the blessings of all that we have learned from the challenges of the past years!

Hope you have enjoyed this lengthy collection of ideas, patterns, tutorials and links that I have spent the past 15 plus years colleting! Is is quite challenging to continue to blog on a mobile phone but I persevere as others have faced much more than my year of isolated time at home for this past year.

If you appreciate this site and all of my work as a volunteer who has strived to help others, please consider a small donation to my daughter's go fund me page as she has valiantly battled a very aggressive and challenging form of breast cancer for almost 2 years. After 65 chemo sessions, surgery and extensive radiation, she still fights daily to have what so many of us take for granted.

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.

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