Jan T (Urquhart) Baillie: My Art, My Quilts

Why Utopia?

The dictionary definition is:

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

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 going to come to bed, ( to make dinner), (to talk to us)?

That's what I started when I opened my retreat centre at East Maitland, New South Wales, in 2000. It's gone now, but the philosophy is present here on the website.

Ulysses Butterfly - Jan T (Urquhart) Baillie

And the butterfly?

For centuries, the butterfly has been the symbol for new life, and that's the reason for my using it as the icon for my new life after my husband was killed in 1999, and the theme of my new world in cyberspace — this website. 

WHAT'S ON THE SITE?

You can find my art, my quilts and bits and pieces of my life. I am eager to have you visit and stay awhile.

What was I doing for the last 30+ years?

I was happily making quilts from the early 1980s until 2011, winning many awards for my quilts — which number more than 200, from 1½″ wide to 12′6" square.

Making quilts using big bits and fast inspired me to develop a fast-piecing patchwork system called Listen With Your Eyes, a system that has been adopted by quilters across the globe.

Publications - Jan T (Urquhart) Baillie

Publications

I have written four books on making quilts and written countless Internet articles on patchwork.

I was asked to be a guest writer for a series on computers and quilting in Patchwork Tshushin which has over 6 000 000 (!) readership.

My column (written for almost all of the first 160 issues) in Down Under Quilts magazine — Computer Quilts — had lots of readers.

Exhibitions

I have had four solo exhibitions, The first was at the launch of my first book, then

As well, I have entered quilts in solo and group quilt exhibitions around Australia. One of my books was launched in the USA. My quilts from that book went too, but not me.

Teaching - Jan T (Urquhart) Baillie

Teaching

Teaching (make that enthusing) people about quiltmaking, traditional and not so traditional for more than thirty years, was my life.

I travelled Australia teaching and made plenty of friends.

Because I taught many, many quilters how to use Electric Quilt software, they called me the EQ Guru.

You can find me in heaven (Utopia)

when I'm creating art!

The next 30 years

After spending 30+ years quiltmaking, what's the next thirty years (or whatever I'm allocated) going to hold?

So far some travelling in a caravan, and art, art, art!

I take my art supplies in a tool box and then when it's raining I get out the paper and brushes or pencils, and I'm in heaven!

My husband, Bob, and I are now retired in a beautiful little country village in the Midwest region of New South Wales. There is no patchwork and quilting, as we have downsized and taken a tree change.

I do have a studio in a spare room in the house we rent in town, so …

Rylstone Railway Station c.1894 (Now privately owned.)