Monday, 13 February 2012

Quilt Specifics

A few things have happened in recent days to encourage a lot of new people to be viewing the blog so I thought I better write a few posts including all the details on how to help etc. 
First up -

 Quilt Specifications

1.                The soldiers quilts are made and sized specifically to fit into a Bx2 sized post box so that you can post them for free – anything posted to the soldiers in Afghanistan under 2kg is free!   For that reason Aussie Hero Quilts are sized to be the width of the fabric so about 42” and about 66” or 1.8m long.
2.                You can make them any pattern or design that you like depending the amount of time you have available to you.  The original Aussie Hero Quilts look like the attached picture – very basic – very scrappy and you can’t see it in this picture but we even used scrappy binding.
3.                We sorted through our stashes and selected anything that wasn’t flowery or pink. You can make feminine quilts but there are many more guys than girls over there so we send mostly masculine quilts.  Not a lot of time was spent planning the quilts – once again you can spend as much time as you have but I suggest you use a good mix of patterns and plains and novelty fabrics for interest.
4.                Cut lots of 6 ½“ strips.  They can be the full width of the fabric but they don’t need to be and it is better if you have a mix of short ones and long ones mixed in as that makes the quilts more interesting. 
5.                Sew all the 6 1/2“ wide strips of fabric together into one long strip. Cut that down into 42” lengths and 11 of those made up the quilt tops. Quick and simple – utilitarian but I still think they looked cool and the guys that have received them so far loved them.  
6.                Next layer and quilt. Please use cotton batting - Afghanistan varies from being really hot in summer to freezing (or below freezing in winter -25C) so cotton is the most versatile and breathable batting.  Also I think consistency across all the Aussie Hero quilts is important.  
7.                Once again you can quilt as much as you want but for speed we did a simple stitch in the ditch on each seam and that was all. 
8.                Binding is sewn on by machine or hand depending on time available.  I cut my normal binding about 2 1/2 “ but for these quilts, if machining both sides, to make it easier to manage I cut 2 ¾”.  If sewing both sides by machine then sew on the back first, fold over to the front and use a zig zag stitch or if you like a straight stitch – whatever you are comfortable with.
9.                After much consideration I have created a standard label as follows:

This is an
 made for an
Aussie Hero
in Afghanistan
with gratitude for your service.

I would appreciate it if the wording remains but feel free to add in who the quilt was made by etc.  I would like all the Aussie Hero Quilts to be easily identifiable as such so that they become recognizable and widely known as we grow.  The more our quilts are recognized the more Aussie Heroes will be taken seriously and supported by the Department of Defence.  My labels have been printed on Printable Fabric from but you can hand write yours if preferred.
 This is one of our first quilts in Afghanistan.
 Here is the first feminine quilt we sent.  We had to make 24 masculine quilts and 1 feminine quilt so I sent her a quilt that I had made but hadn't given away yet.  Being the only girl in her group we wanted to spoilt her a bit.
 We originally send to one Warrant officer and his 14 team mates and sent him extra quilts he could pass on to others as well.  This soldier received one of those extra quilts and was nice enough to go to quite some effort to send me a picture that I was allowed to post on the blog.  Lots of the guys and girls over there have protected identity so cannot be identified in the media in any way.

Quilts can be sent to me if you like but it is probably more cost effective if you post them direct.  I will begin publishing the address I have been given a week before you can use it.  You can only mail to this address twice  a year for a month each time.  If you post direct I would really appreciate a photo of the quilt as I am trying to encourage others as well as keep a record of how many quilts are sent.  The first mailing dates are 15 March to 15 April to get things there in time for Easter - hopefully!

Till next time........keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

1 comment:

  1. It is wonderful to see the quilts are received but such amazing and worthy men and women, thank you so much for sharing them.