ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ulysses butterfly: Jan T's talisman

Updated on January 1, 2017
JanTUB profile image

Jan T Urquhart Baillie has many sides to her personality, born out of a difficult life, and success due to her optimism and practical skills

Ulysses: my life symbol

For centuries, the butterfly has been the symbol for new life, and there are many things written about why this is so. The most popular seems to be the partial death of the caterpillar before it emerges totally transformed into a glorious ethereal butterfly.

The Ulysses butterfly is so beautiful, I became enraptured by them on my first visit to a Daintree (in far north Queensland, Australia) coffee plantation about thirty years ago. As they flitted in and out of the bush, their wonderful blue wings delighted me.

From that moment I accepted the Ulysses as my life symbol, not understanding what that meant at all.

Image: Wikipedia

Calling, calling...

the Ulysses kept appearing in my life for years

When I first became aware of the Ulysses in my life, it seemed a series of mere coincidences.

But I don't think there are coincidences.

I describe such things as God poking his finger into my life and stirring it around. I don't always recognise the fact from the beginning, though.

Metamorphosis

Complete and utter change

From Dictionary[dot]com:

1. In Biology: a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.

2. any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc.

It is thought that it is this metamorphosis that the caterpillar endures is why the butterfly came to symbolise new life in many cultures.

Butterflies are commonly used

as symbols for new beginnings or new life

It wasn't until my husband was killed, and I moved to a house in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, that I realised that I was using butterflies in this way. I started a new life (without him) and a new business.

I had made my first Ulysses butterfly quilt because I was given the fabrics and a challenge to make it.

My next one was after my daughter died subsequent to having a massive brain stem aneurysm. I made a quilt covered in multicoloured butterfly fabrics, which many friends started to give me for this special mourning quilt.

Once I decided to use the Ulysses as the symbol for my new business: Quilts at Jan T's Utopia, I realised that this wonderful, bright, turquoise butterfly was being used in my life as a talisman or symbol.

Again the Ulysses shows itself to me! - Ulysses: the Dunk Island symbol

Tropical island paradise

Dunk Island in North Queensland on the Great Barrier Reef, is my favourite place. Tropical, pretty, beautiful beaches, rainforest walks, and of course, the Ulysses.

My first visit there, I was delighted by the fabulous butterfly pool.

My very first butterfly quilt - has Ulysses butterflies on it

Approximately 3' x 4'
Approximately 3' x 4'

Hexagons Flutter-by

The quilt description

In 1988, June Oliver, then President of Queensland Quilters — the state guild — was given some bags of fabric by a relative of an elderly woman who had just died.

In one bag, June found several off-cuts of a fine lawn screen printed with Ulysses butterflies. There were three colour ways: olive, turquoise, and blue. The pieces were divided amongst the committee members, who were asked to make a quilt with the lovely fabrics.

I was the only one who ever did, and the quilt above is my effort.

At that time, I was an inexperienced quilter, but totally fearless about designing my own quilts. I used my favourite 60 degree triangles, and all three colour ways of the print. As well as the butterfly fabric, I used swami, satin, evening fabrics, all of which came from the lady's collection.

As it turns out, the fabrics were screen printed by Olive Ashworth who was a famous Queensland screen-printing artist, and friend of the lady who died.

And that lady was?

Caroline Barker, very famous portrait painter who was 99 when she died.

So the quilt was honouring both women, and I was asked to donate it to the Queensland Art Gallery.

Butterflies Are Free - a mourning quilt

Approximately 3' x 4'
Approximately 3' x 4'

Talisman or fancy?

Do you believe in life talismans?

See results

Jan T's Utopia

heaven for quilters

Imagine a place where quilters would have unlimited supplies of fabric, thread, sewing machines, ideas, coffee, food and no-one to say:

"Are you ever coming to (bed),

(make dinner), (talk to us)?"

That's what Jan T started when she opened her retreat centre at East Maitland in 2000. It's gone now, but the philosophy is present here on the web.

Utopia?

Real or imaginary?

The dictionary says:

uto·pia, n.,

♦ Utopia, imaginary and ideal country in Utopia, (1516) by Sir Thomas More

♦ from Greek ou not, no + topos place

♦ an imaginary and indefinitely remote place

♦ often capitalized : a place of ideal perfection especially in laws

♦ government, and social conditions

♦ an impractical scheme for social improvement.

And the butterfly?

It was already my talisman

As you now know, the butterfly is one of the symbols for new life, and that's the reason for my using it as the icon for my new life, and the look of my website.

Inside Jan T's Utopia you can find art and quilts, with more happening all the time.

I'd love to have you visit and stay awhile.

I have many butterflies now

Each one a symbol of the love of the giver

My family and friends often give me little presents, and very often they are themed with butterflies.

I have earrings, bookmarks, 3D window stickers, pictures, fridge magnets, brooches, jewel boxes, and the list goes on.

Below are a few of them

A different butterfly collection - of objects dear to my heart

Watch the trailer

Buy the movie - from Amazon

The Blue Butterfly
The Blue Butterfly

It may help you to change direction anew.

 

Daintree Dalliance: the quilt - 24" x 18" approximately


Designed using my favourite 60 degree triangles, the background is like the rainforest — full of different lush greens, with a few small butterflies in the distance.

The large butterfly is collaged with fabric shapes, raw edge appliquéd and thread painted, using all the colours of the glorious Ulysses.

Daintree Dalliance

The quilt description

The wonderful Ulysses butterfly is my talisman.

They fly around the Daintree as big as birds. Their shimmering wings delight, but, like many brightly coloured things in nature, they are poisonous!

Layered applique with machine embroidery, all applied over the sixty degree triangle background, and quilted with the 'baked bean butterfly' quilting design.

See more of my quilts at Jan T 's Utopia

Personal imagery and symbolism

There to help

We see symbols around us everywhere, icons for how to get somewhere like the train or bus, or the public toilets.

They direct us to our destinations, they help us along the way.

So it is with personal symbols.

They are there to direct us, to show the way.

Find your personal imagery/symbols - on Amazon

Learn to See: An Approach to Your Inner Voice Through Symbols
Learn to See: An Approach to Your Inner Voice Through Symbols

Finding your personal symbol can help you transform your life

 

What's your talisman?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JanTUB profile imageAUTHOR

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 

      2 years ago from Australia

      You are so right, Rangoon House, both have special meanings. How lucky you are to have Ulysses in your garden!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 

      6 years ago from Australia

      I love Ulysses butterflies and have many come and go in my garden. I also love everything that quilts represent - beauty, creativity and community are just some of those qualities.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)