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Healing Hearts quilt for Paul

Updated on March 21, 2016
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Quilter, author, tutor, columnist, Jan T Urquhart Baillie has been enthusing others with her passion for quilting for more than 30 years.

How I got my heart quilt

Paul, my second husband of 34 years was killed at work in March 1999.

Devastated doesn't even begin to describe the loss.

My online quilt group sent me more than a hundred healing heart blocks to ease my pain.

This is the story of the quilt.

How the Healing Hearts programme works

Southern Cross Quilters care

Southern Cross Quilters is an online guild for Aussies and Kiwis.

When people are having some bad times, the word goes out to the list and people offer their thoughts, their prayers and even their help to the member with the troubles.

The keeper of the hearts list finds out what the scquilter likes — colours, designs, etcetera. Then a request is posted to say who is hurting and why, and what the preferences would be.

My friends told the list that I like butterflies, brights and autumn tones and to make the hearts on cream backgrounds.

The logo for the group is often featured on blocks.

My healing hearts quilt

I knew many of the people

who sent the hearts

Since then I've met many more of them.

I was at the time, owner and editor of Down Under Quilts magazine. People all over Australia knew me from there, or from being President of Queensland Quilters Inc, or having taught them patchwork, or who owned some of my books.

They sent more than a hundred hearts and they kept coming.

Because the death was so violent and sudden, I didn't want the hearts, so friends organised for a lovely SCQuilter, Kerry (Morpeth?) to collect them and keep them.

Those same friends arranged a weekend, with Angela — my daughter, and several of my dear quilting buddies to come and help me open the hearts while they were there to comfort me. Kerry delievered them, and we spent the day looking through them.

Some of the hearts on the quilt - and there are many, many more.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Some blocks had a heart for me, and one for Paul, like this one.My mate, Annie, made this one. She coloured the hair red, and I know Paul would have loved a redheaded surfer girl.Daphne said she had to make bright flowers and music, because that's how she thought of me.Pauline is a fun lady who has billeted me and my offsider.Mary has put me up too, in central Queensland. Love her angel!I taught Carol in Mt Isa. I think the light square looks like a 'hole' in my heart.Judy's business uses this duck as her logo. Down Under Quilts is nicknamed duQ (pronounced duck), and I have a large collection of ducks.Fran's husband, Tony who flew the blimp over Sydney now and again, promised to take Paul up one day when they both had time. Fran put one on her heart.My friend Kerry, and her two kids, made me hearts with 'torn' edges.Di is loads of fun. This saying is sweet.
Some blocks had a heart for me, and one for Paul, like this one.
Some blocks had a heart for me, and one for Paul, like this one.
My mate, Annie, made this one. She coloured the hair red, and I know Paul would have loved a redheaded surfer girl.
My mate, Annie, made this one. She coloured the hair red, and I know Paul would have loved a redheaded surfer girl.
Daphne said she had to make bright flowers and music, because that's how she thought of me.
Daphne said she had to make bright flowers and music, because that's how she thought of me.
Pauline is a fun lady who has billeted me and my offsider.
Pauline is a fun lady who has billeted me and my offsider.
Mary has put me up too, in central Queensland. Love her angel!
Mary has put me up too, in central Queensland. Love her angel!
I taught Carol in Mt Isa. I think the light square looks like a 'hole' in my heart.
I taught Carol in Mt Isa. I think the light square looks like a 'hole' in my heart.
Judy's business uses this duck as her logo. Down Under Quilts is nicknamed duQ (pronounced duck), and I have a large collection of ducks.
Judy's business uses this duck as her logo. Down Under Quilts is nicknamed duQ (pronounced duck), and I have a large collection of ducks.
Fran's husband, Tony who flew the blimp over Sydney now and again, promised to take Paul up one day when they both had time. Fran put one on her heart.
Fran's husband, Tony who flew the blimp over Sydney now and again, promised to take Paul up one day when they both had time. Fran put one on her heart.
My friend Kerry, and her two kids, made me hearts with 'torn' edges.
My friend Kerry, and her two kids, made me hearts with 'torn' edges.
Di is loads of fun. This saying is sweet.
Di is loads of fun. This saying is sweet.

Butterflies, autumn colours, trucks - in the heart blocks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This one's in a fabric he loved. It says, He loved his trucks, his kids, his grandkids, and me.His 'Troopie' his other love.Butterfliesand more butterfliesJacob, our grandson being tickled by Paul when he was 2. This was in the photo collage at the memorial service.
This one's in a fabric he loved. It says, He loved his trucks, his kids, his grandkids, and me.
This one's in a fabric he loved. It says, He loved his trucks, his kids, his grandkids, and me.
His 'Troopie' his other love.
His 'Troopie' his other love.
Butterflies
Butterflies
and more butterflies
and more butterflies
Jacob, our grandson being tickled by Paul when he was 2. This was in the photo collage at the memorial service.
Jacob, our grandson being tickled by Paul when he was 2. This was in the photo collage at the memorial service.

The girls chose pictures

to use as a collage

The coroner wouldn't release the body, so we had a memorial mass.

As there was no coffin, my daughters searched through our photographs to find what they thought were representative of his and my life together, and made a collage in Photoshop®. They bought a green frame (he was mad about 'Brunny' green — what interior decorators call Brunswick Green), and we placed that in front of the altar.

His beloved Harriet, aged seven, asked in a stage whisper as she come into the church: "Where's the case they put them in, Mum?"

My family is very natural, very direct, and she knew about coffins from her great-grandfather and her Aunty Veronica. He would have laughed as we did.

Hearts from photos

I took some of those images

and used them to make heart blocks ...

... to add to the many, many I received.

I made a heart mask in Photoshop® and placed into several of the images which I then printed onto photo transfer paper. I ironed them onto light coloured fabrics and they were put into the quilt.


The kiss was at our 20th anniversary dinner.

The girls said it was what we were always doing!

Absolutely Quilts and Crafts

owner and friend, Jean

Jean rang Angela to ask what colour I thought of when I thought of Paul, so she asked me.

Guess what I told her!

So Jean sent some tan and green (brunny of course) fabrics, and some lovely blotchy dark brunny green. They are the fabrics I set the design together with, and the green strip is where I wrote his name.

What are all the triangles?

Flying Geese units

The green triangles are traditional Flying Geese units, depicting the wanderlust that Paul had.

They fly off all four of the edges of the quilt.

North, south, east, west...

The quilting's not good

I wasn't well...

It was a few years before I could even look at the quilt top, let alone quilt it.

I was starting to machine quilt, so I decided that if it was ever going to be finished, I should use that method. All the lovely Scquilters would think I didn't make their blocks into anything.

Because I was still unwell, and also a virtual novice at machine quilting, the stitching is truly awful. I was going to unpick it now that I have more expertise.

The truth is that where I was at the time should stay, and the rest of the stitching from here on will show that I have found healing and peace.

I wrote his name in the quilting - and his birth to death years.


Paul Urquhart 1946 - 1999

© 2009 Jan T Urquhart Baillie

Did you like the story of the quilt? - heart blocks from SCQuilters members

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    • JanTUB profile image
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      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 4 years ago from Australia

      @Ibidii: Yes, I'm very fortunate.

    • JanTUB profile image
      Author

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 4 years ago from Australia

      @SoSimplyStephanie: Thanks Stephanie

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      Ibidii 4 years ago

      I am sorry for your loss Jan and family. What a beautiful quilt that you were able to make in your husband's memory. What a lovely keepsake. :)

    • SoSimplyStephanie profile image

      Stephanie 5 years ago from DeFuniak Springs

      What a lovely story. I have truly enjoyed reading this. God Bless you and your family!

    • JanTUB profile image
      Author

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 5 years ago from Australia

      @Ann Hinds: I'm yet to work on more of the quilting, as there's not enough room at this house to work on such a large quilt. Thanks for dropping by!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      What a lovely quilt and the story behind it. I'm glad that you didn't take out the quilting. Everything that we do tells a story and it is not awful for those of us who are not as talented as you are. Angel blessed from a less talented quilter.

    • JanTUB profile image
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      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 8 years ago from Australia

      [in reply to Wysiwigs] Thanks for visiting, and I'm glad you liked it.

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      Yes I did, I am so very sorry for your loss. The quilt is just beautiful and what a wonderful way to heal your heart. Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal story with us.

    • JanTUB profile image
      Author

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 8 years ago from Australia

      [in reply to mbrownauthor] I'll finish it soon. It is indeed precious. I take it you are an author by your nickname?

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      How precious!

    • JanTUB profile image
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      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 8 years ago from Australia

      [in reply to Laniann] And thank you, too.

    • JanTUB profile image
      Author

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 8 years ago from Australia

      [in reply to a_willow] And to you, friends are always welcome. ;>)

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      This is very personal story and I'm truly sorry for your loss. Blessing to you, my new friend! :)

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 8 years ago

      I am terribly sorry to hear of your loss. The quilt and the blocks are beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us. 5*

    • JanTUB profile image
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      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 8 years ago from Australia

      [in reply to Dianne Procopis] Hair's nearly sedate grey now, Dianne. A good man is hard to find, aren't we lucky?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Jan this was lovely to read. too many women complain about "their" men these days.but I like you Ifound a gem.

      Still remember your crazy hair and socks at Th Sydney Quilt show....see you there next month

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      glad to hear you are feeling much better, the love of quilting & friends, gets us through all the sad times. Best Wishes Barbara.

    • JanTUB profile image
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      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 8 years ago from Australia

      [in reply to Jenny Loveder] Oh yes! Jenny how lovely to hear from you.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Dear, dear Jan - I think of you and Paul often. I love your laughter, your red hair, your love of life. I hope you are a happy lady again. Much, much love, Jenny L.