October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In honor of 'Breast Cancer Awareness' and with support for anyone battling cancer of any kind, I have updated my free quilt, cancer ribbons and other patterns with the addition of links to free patterns for chemotherapy caps, pillows, and breast and arm comfort pouches patterns.

I am also supporting Melanie Testa and her "Breast Pocket Project" which has been featured in this months issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. That's my little red velvet heart above, and on page 10 of Quilting Arts Oct/Nov 2014. 

Please remember...supporting breast cancer awareness doesn't have to be 'pink' even if many of us use, or mention that color in reference to this cause.

There are many breast cancer survivors are tired of the focus on buying pink and not on helping those who battle this horrible disease or the havoc that it wrecks on their lives.

 So, while I am offering links and projects that feature the color 'pink' in honor of the tradition of using the color pink as a symbolic show of support for this terrible disease and the many women, and a lot of men, who have faced its challenges, its ravages, and been heroic survivors, I also want to honor those who do not feel that many of the 'for show' causes out there truly honor or support finding or funding, research for this disease.

Just because a product is pink..and we see pink everywhere now, not just in the month of does not mean that any of the monies from the purchase of that product are going towards actually supporting this cause.  Please make sure that monies are going to breast cancer research funding or funding for woman who can not afford health care, screening, etc. and not just for pink products and the businesses that create them. And no...I don't know about this pink garbage can, I am just making a point about pink. This product may actually support the cause and not their own money making cause. I borrowed the image from the blog link below to make a point. This is a powerful, powerful article written by a breast cancer survivor.

 Please read it and understand that many, many breast cancer survivors are fed up with the color pink: Nation Breast Cancer Awareness Month or Please Put That Pink Can of Soup Down and Put Your Bra Back On!

And if you don't believe me, do read this article and the very first comment that was left on the blog where a survivor describes how her own insurances company refused to pay for breast cancer treatment. There is a lot more work that needs to be done is advancing awareness, support, and understanding of what it is truly like to battle this disease. Until then, we do what we know how to do and we use what we are used to my case it was sewing and quilting and the color pink.

When you know do better. May we all learn, grow, and do...better and better. But we all need to work together, to support and find funding for cancer research and yes, even a cure!
My mother battled a ferocious case of Inflammatory Breast Cancer in 2002 and 2003  that unfortunately was not caught by a mammogram just one month before. And it was not caught, by her very good physician who did her breast exam.

My mother discovered it, and not because she thought she had cancer. IBC does not appear in the form of a lump that you can feel ..she was simply red and she was worried that the mammogram had 'injured' her somehow and that is the reasons she went back to the doctor. That doctor, bless his heart, realized then what she had and immediately ordered her to head south to Seattle for immediate treatment.

In spite of all of the very negative odds against her, she beat this terrible disease in less than a year.
She beat this terrible disease, went onto many good years, long past her 5 year milestone, and made it until her 10th.  Unfortunately, she also battled diabetes, and an intense family history of Alzheimer's Disease and after 8 years of battling Alzheimer's,  she passed away in 2013 from Alzheimer's, ironically cancer free.


And now, this August, I lost my youngest sister-in-law, after her own 10 month battle with cancer.

In honor and in support, I have just recently updated my huge list of " Free Cancer Awareness and Support" patterns, tutorials, and links.... and some really fun small projects that make wonderful gifts for those battling any illness.  And remember, anything with a support ribbon on it makes a great gift, as well. All patterns at their links along the way, below!
Some of my own fun projects, first!

String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow designed by Michele Bilyeu Heartstrings and Prayers for any time they are needed. A little pocket in the back for a note of support and love. Bigger Pillows:Making a Heart Shaped Pillow Make Breast Cancer Comfort Pillows for anyone who needs a little love.  These are also wonderful for those recuperating from chest surgery of any kind, as one does after Cardiac Surgery etc. See, my pieced pillows ormake your own from solid fabric or fleece using my link above.

My Prayer Flags:  The simplest of prayer flags, made with raw edges of fabric and strings to flutter in the winds of time. Inkjet printing on my home to the right in my side bar of links.

.Prayer flags are meant to be unfinished and imperfect..just like our own lives. And they are meant to be light so they can flutter and float as the winds carry our prayers to all corners of this world and beyond. Other links and tutorials that I have created that can be useful for patients or as gifts or gift bags:


Free Patterns for Cancer Ribbons, quilts etc.
Pink Ribbons Quilt Blocks or Quilts for Breast Cancer Awareness:

 Breast Cancer Pillow by Kaye Wood pdf
Cotton Spice :download PDF pattern: Square in square/rail fence around pink ribbon.
Cure Inspired Quilt
Heartstrings Quilt Project October_Project_Pink3.pdf
 Make Mine Pink, Please (Scrappy Stars with Pieced Pink Ribbon Label)pdf
Pink Chalk Studio: Square fence block-2.pdf Pink Ribbon Comfort Pillow
Pink Ribbon Block

In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Connecting Threads has available a free tutorial to make paper-pieced Pink Ribbon Pins. Help raise awareness by sewing this simple quilted ribbon for your family, co-workers, and friends. Two sizes are available: large pin is 3″ x 4″ and the small pin 2 1/4″ x 3″.
 Ribbon Quilt Block Pink Ribbon and Soaring Past Time

Pink Ribbons: A Contrary Wife Quilt Top Quilt of Many Ribbons (rail fence w. appliqued pink ribbon in center)

 Rosie's Pink Ribbon Quilt String Pieced Prayer Pocket Pillow

Think Pink Pink Ribbons Quilt Blocks or Quilts for Breast Cancer Awareness: 
Cancer Ribbon Quilt Block
This Cancer Awareness Ribbon quilt block is a foundation pieced pattern. The block isn't difficult to make, but it does contain long triangles that can be a little tricky to align on the foundation the first couple of times.Designed by Janet Wickell.
heart quilt
Patchwork Hearts Quilt Block and Quilt Patterns Forum members designed this pretty 6" heart block for a 2008 swap, and it's a natural for a Thinking Pink, for a loved one's Valentine's Day wallhanging or baby quilt.

The block is assembled with quick piecing techniques. heart quilt Easy to make. instructions and yardage for a small heart wallhanging on the last page of the pattern.  

Cotton Spice :download PDF pattern: Square in square/rail fence around pink ribbon. Heartstrings Quilt Project October_Project_Pink3.pdf Make Mine Pink, Please (Scrappy Stars with Pieced Pink 

Ribbon Label)pdf Spring Ribbons Quilt Pink Chalk Studio: Square fence 

Pink Ribbon Comfort with Connecting Threaders order or make yourself; Post surgery support Making a Heart Shaped Pillow

Anti-Ouch Pouch - American Sewing a hanging purse under your arm, only its a pillow that eases pain as you move around ; free pdf just click on it's hyperlink to download

Pink Ribbon Block
 Pink Warrior from Fat Cat Quilts and Patterns...check out her wonderful site!!

  Ribbon Butterfly from Fat Cat...check her out! Think Pink (ribbon and hearts) Tudor Rose Garden

In the Pink by Sarah Wise from Popular Patchwork online:



Quilt Pink Squares Lap Quilt Paper-Pieced Pink Ribbon: designed by Carol Doak for Mimi Dietrich's Pink Ribbon Quilts book back in 1999 and made available by Carol for others to use as a free download.The block is made in two halves to make a 6" finished block Click to download the pdf

 Heart With A Ribbon from Carol Doak: The crossed ribbon has become the symbol for support of many causes. The pink ribbon symbol supports breast cancer awareness. This block shows both love and support by having the ribbon placed inside the heart. The pdf file is a 3" finished size paper-pieced block (two on a page) and the second page contains the cutting list for one block. This block is for personal use only.
Click to download the pdf Ribbon Quilt Block by Dori Hawks  

Rays of Hope Carol Doak designed this wall quilt for a class on an Alaskan Cruise for a Cure (Breast Cancer) Click to download the pdf Breast Cancer (and other Cancers) Awareness Ribbon Quilt Blocks

Cancer Awareness Patterns: free for personal use by Angie Padilla

In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Connecting Threads has available a free tutorial to make paper-pieced Pink Ribbon Pins.

Help raise awareness by sewing this simple quilted ribbon for your family, co-workers, and friends. Two sizes are available: large pin is 3″ x 4″ and the small pin 2 1/4″ x 3″. use together to make a quilt Pink Ribbon and Soaring Past 

Time Pink Ribbons: A Contrary Wife Quilt Top Quilt of Many Ribbons from Humblebee


 Rosie's Pink Ribbon of Concern Quilt Think Pink (McCalls now requires a free sign up and then the search)

 Patchwork Cancer Ribbon Quilt Block

Cancer Ribbon ColorsShow Us Your Awareness Quilts
Cancer Awareness Ribbon Colors for Other Diseases: During Breast Cancer Awareness month, we see pink ribbons everywhere, and most of us know that this color represents breast cancer awareness.But you might not be as familiar with the other ribbon colors that are used to promote awareness for the other cancers. It's just as important to remember all of those we love, who face challenges from other forms of cancer, and to create not only increased awareness for those diseases...but to create comfort quilts or pillows for them,as well.

three ribbons
Free Cancer Awareness Click Pattern: Download the PDF similar to a bow tie or a signature pattern

block made into a quilt with any colors. [] 

  Cancer Ribbon Quilt Block Templates
 list of colors for each cancer at bottom of these lists
 What the colors of ribbons signify support for:

Amber Ribbon: Appendix Cancer    
Black Ribbons: Melanoma, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, sleep disorder, 
Primary Billiary Cirrhosis,
Brown Ribbons: Anti-tobacco, colorectal cancer   
Burgundy or Maroon multiple myeloma, cesarian sections, headaches and migraines,adhesions, thrombophilia and other coagulation or blood factor disorders, meningitis, polio survivor, Post-Polio Syndrome, Hughes Syndrome, brain aneurysm, Hirschsprung's Disease   (Congenital Megacolon),children undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with rare disorders or diseases,   myloidosis, hemangioma.  

(Dark) Blue Ribbons: Colon Cancers  Blue Ribbons: Histiocytosis Awareness, Child Abuse Awareness.Child abuse prevention, arthritis, gout, colon cancer, Dysautonomia, hystiocytosis, histiocytosis, Erb's Palsy, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), ke, dystonia, interstitial cystitis, bracial plexus injury, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) , Alopecia, Reyes Syndrome, Steven Johnson Syndrome, short bowel syndrome, Myositis, Leukodystrophy, Huntington's Disease, Malaria, Syringomyelia, Neurofibromatosis, , Cri du Chat Syndrome, Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, polio awareness, Primary Immunodeficiency Disease, Sensory Processing Disorder (reflex blue shade), Angelman Syndrome, Von Hippel-Lindau  

Denim and denim fabric: Rare Disease Awareness 

 (Light) Blue: Prostrate Cancer 

 Burgundy: Multiple Myeloma 

 Gold Ribbons: Childhood Cancer     

Gray Ribbons: Diabetes & Brain Cancer (Silver) Gray Ribbons: Parkinson's Disease    

Green Ribbons: Kidney,  Liver, Gallbladder/Bile Duct Cancer, Lyme Disease, Lymphoma,Kidney Cancer, Gallbladder/Bile Duct Cancer, Lyme Disease, Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Lyme Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, Ivemark Syndrome, Sandhoff Disease,  

Forest Green: Liver Cancer. Hepatitis, Tissue and organ transplants, depression (both adults and children), bipolar disorder, mental health, mental illness, eye injuries, Tourette's Syndrome, Fanconi's Syndrome, Von Hippel Lindau, glaucoma, Fibrodysplasia Ossificans, neural tube defects, Mitochondrial Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Neurofibromatosis, Lissencephally, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, 

 Lt. Green: Pelvic Pain (chronic), Celiac Disease, STD Awareness, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) 

  Cream (the color cream wouldn't show here so I'm showing them in this color) but these should be cream colored: Cervical Cancer,Liver Cancer & Hepatitis   Cream: Paralysis, spinal cord injuries, spinal diseases or disorders, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)  Teal green or teal green and white together: Cervical Cancer Jade Or Emerald Ribbons: Liver Cancer & Hepatitis  

Green/Blue Ribbons: Mental Heath Awareness, interstitial cystitis (IC Network designation),, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), green-blue or turquoise with a zipper  Global Chiari Malformation Awareness Gray Ribbons: Diabetes, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, brain cancer, glioblastoma, Parkinson's, asthma, allergies, 

 Jigsaw Puzzle Ribbons: Autism 

 Lace Ribbons: Osteoporosis 

 Lavender: General Cancer   

Lime Green Ribbons: Lyme Disease, Lymphoma  

Maroon Ribbons: Mulitple Melanoma  

Orange Ribbons: Leukemia, Multiple Sclerosis, Kidney Cancer, self injury, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), skin cancer (with a sun in the center of the loop), Deep Vein Thrombosis, Agent Orange Exposure  

Orchid Ribbons: Testicular Cancer  

Periwinkle Ribbons: Hypertensionm Stomach Cancer, Esophageal Cancer,Eating disorders, pulmonary hypertension, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, GERD, IBS  

Peach Ribbons: Uterine Cancer Endometrial Cancer, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Pearl Ribbons: Lung Cancer Pink Ribbons: Breast Cancer, cleft palate disorder  

PINK RIBBON: Breast Cancer (Hot) Pink: Inflammatory breast cancer...rarer form Pink,Purple and Teal Ribbons: Thyroid Cancer  

Purple Ribbons: Pancreatic, Prostrate,Testicular,Leiomyosarcoma,Alzheimer's/Dementia, and Fibromyalgia, pancreatic cancer, Chron's Disease and colitis, cystic fibrosis, leimyosarcoma, macular degeneration, Sjogren's Syndrome, fibromyalgia, lupus, sarcoidosis, the homeless, Mucolipidoses, thyroid cancer, ADD,ADHD, Arnold Chiari Malformation, Mucopolysaccharidosis, Hurler Syndrome, childhood or pediatric stroke  

Red Ribbons:AIDS/HIV,Heart Disease,Alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention awareness, MADD, DARE, Epidermolysis Bullosa, Disaster relief, Stroke, supraventicular tachycardia, Wolff-parkinson-White Syndrom (WPW), Pro-life, hypertension, Evans Syndrome, Vasculitis, Wegeners Granulomatosis  

Silver Ribbons: Parkinson's Disease

 Sky Blue Ribbons: Prostate Cancer  

Teal Green: Cervical Cancer, Ovarian Cancer (some cross over of these previous two colors) Liver Cancer. Hepatitis, Tissue and organ transplants, depression (both adults and children), bipolar disorder, mental health, mental illness, eye injuries, Tourette's Syndrome, Fanconi's Syndrome, Von Hippel Lindau, glaucoma, Fibrodysplasia Ossificans, neural tube defects, Mitochondrial Disease, , Cerebral Palsy, Neurofibromatosis, Lissencephally, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, Ovarian, cervical, uterine (all gynecological) Myasthenia Gravis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, agoraphobia, panic or stress disorders (includes PTSD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Fragile X, Batten Disease, Tourette's Syndrome (TSA designation)

 Teal green or teal and white together: Cervical Cancer  

White Ribbons: Bone Cancer, diabetes, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, sexual assault of students, retinal blastoma, blindness, carbon monoxide poisoning (CO poisoning), postpartum depression, survivors, Scoliosis, white ribbon with a knot tied in the middle for marriage equality, Gay-teen suicide  

Yellow Ribbons: Sarcoma..bone cancer, spina biffida, endometriosis, sarcoma (with or without a sunflower), myxoid liposarcoma, bladder cancer, liver disease, liver cancer, cholangiocarcinomas, hydrocephalus or hydrocephaly, carbon monoxide poisoning, Ewing's sarcoma, chondrosarcoma =====================

Red Dresses and Red Ribbons for Women's Heart Disease:

 Extra: Red dresses for Heart Disease

(image for making a chemo cap from google free images)

Red Heart Yarn Free Chemo Cap Pattern shown above:
Red Heart Yarn Free Yarn and Shawl Patterns:
Other Sites:  
Adult Chemo Hat Banded Scrub Hat - sewing tutorial
Bandanna with Tails
Chemotherapy Turbans
 Chemo Cap - Head Scarf - sewing tutorial
Comfort Caps - sewing pattern for adult and child sizes
Covering our Hair - links to different patterns
Fast and Easy Chemo Cap
Reversible Chemo Hat - sewing pattern
Chemo Cap for Sewing - (pdf file)
 From the Heart - more patterns here.
Creative Kindness Beret
Creative Kindness Easy 
Creative Kindness Easy Hat Variations
 Creative Kindness Beret Headhuggers - sewn, knitted and crocheted patterns
Reversible Chemo Hat
 Reversible Fleece Cap
Polar Fleece Beanie
Quick and Easy Beanie

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, with small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort quilts for a variety of charitable programs. And best of all, sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join her and make and donate quilts to charitable causes. Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!