About a year ago I found myself very bored with my job. I felt very guilty about it, since it was a dreamjob… I worked as a coordinator for a project called “Home-Start”, where I train, coach, support and match volunteers to a family. The volunteers stay for about a year in the family and help (most of the times) the mother with the upbringing of the children.

It was a challenging, flexible, free job, and I loved a lot of it. But after almost 12 years that was’nt enough anymore… I actually outgrew it.

So. I talked about it and received an incredible amount of support. And got a person who helped me to find where my passion really was. It all came down to three things: teaching volunteers all kinds of subjects, guiding and coaching people, and … quilting!

That’s how I started my very own company for just those three things, last May. You can look it up at www.stoftotnadenken.net (sorry… all Dutch!)

I decided I wanted to leave my job. It wasn’t an easy decision: blood sweat and tears plus sleepless nights: HOW am I going to tell my sweetheart? I just did it, and he was the most supportive hubs ever…

Just on the same date this website opens up, January 1st, is my D-day. Since I did have vacationdays leftover, my last day at work was December 14. Last week.

In the month ahead, I noticed myself getting sad feelings. No regret, but just leaving all these great families and great volunteers, all these sweet people I worked with, it felt like I left my baby behind in the supermarket. Every last visit, every last meeting, I hated it.

I felt lucky when my “chef” asked me to look out for a symbolic gift for the new coordinator. I must admit I am VERY happy with the person who follows in my footsteps!

And that’s where the healing started.

Off course I made a quilt. And it had to have houses on it. All different, all missing or failing things, but also all with beauty in them. Some in obvious mourning or in pain, some shiny golden but in strange forms. Some very chaotic, but creative at the same time… Just like our sweet families…

I started with the houses, and put all my love in it for those sometimes so vulnerable, but very strong moms, that I admire so much.

Then the background. I thought the background should be green, as green is the color of fertility. But it was just too bright.

I layed out the houses on different colors, and this golden warm yellow was the winner. It represents the warmth and love, the perspective our volunteers offer to the parents and their brave children.

The whole quilt is a symbol of how people can heal people with just love, listening, no judgement, and a lot of positive reinforcement.

I handed it over last Thursday. The day I said goodbye. Making the quilt made it easier to say goodbye, and knowing that a bit of my love keeps glowing on the officewalls makes me very proud.

Now I can start my new life.

I am SO looking forward…


  1. Eke Krug

    Hei Hilda, a nice story and a beautiful quilt that you made, with many good
    thoughts and feelings behind it. Very strong of you to make such a ig decisions and completely change your life. Good luck with everything! So I