Wednesday, 6 June 2012

LOOOOONG post today - grab a cuppa!

If you follow by email you will know that I prematurely posted again today!  Damn and blast it if I didn't push the PUBLISH Button instead of the UPLOAD PHOTO Button!  That's is what happens when you are rushing!

Before I forget - next Sydney Aussie Hero Sewing Day Wednesday 13 June.  Email me for details if you can come.  
Planning on having some sewing fun!

I hope you like the new blog header.  That particular quilt was made by Sue P and she made a special effort to take a picture in an interesting spot on their property!  What can I say!   Love those pigs!  If you want to see your photo featured in the header of the blog try and send me a horizontal picture as well as a vertical one.  I am going to try and change it more often to keep it fresh and feature more of your gorgeous quilt! (note if you are looking at this post in more recent time the header referred to has already been changed)

Spreading the word......

Liz, of WA and the lovely quilts with those ionic red kangaroos, sent me a link today that you need to check out.  Her local quilt store has a newsletter and guess who rated a mention this week - have a peek - scroll down to page three and you will see what I mean.

And while I am talking about getting the word out there, you will be pleased to know that the August edition of a particular quilting magazine is going to be publishing an article about none other than AUSSIE HEROES!   Yay!  Don't worry, I will be giving you all plenty of warning so that you can all rush out and buy a copy!

As of today I have received two letters to go to Egypt - one from Pam and another that I think is from Kirsten.  I will post these off this Friday unless someone lets me know there are more on the way to my letter box....which isn't one of these but couldn't resist the picture

which came from here.

And talking of things which did make it to my letter box, I received a fabulous parcel from Cat this week.  Look what she sent - 

Enough of these blocks for TWO QUILT TOPS.........

as well as all of these blocks.  Hmmm, I see some of that bright green and yellow from the heart blocks with these and a gorgeous quilt resulting.  This may be a job for the Sydney Sewing Day.
There was a little extra room in the parcel so Cat filled it up with prospective backings too!  Thanks so much Cat!  Love those parcels!

And now for my favourite part of tonight's post.  I saved the best til last.  Tonight I was truly humbled!  Tonight I had occasion to speak to the mother of one of our recipients.  WOW!   

Many of the soldiers we have sent quilts and laundry bags to have said that we do not understand how much our efforts mean to them, how much we have boosted their morale!  I thought they were just being kind, just trying to find the right words to say thank you!  But after tonight I believe them!  I think they are right.  I don't think any of us, except maybe the few special Aussie Hero Friends who have served in the past or their spouses, really understand what it is like.  Those who have served overseas have been there but the bulk of us have not. 

Once this mother worked out who I was (that is once she knew I wasn't some loony as her son put it - LOL) she couldn't say thank you enough for the fact that her son received a quilt.  She thanked me on his behalf and then as a mother and then from her whole family.  I was blown away and the phone call was such a gift.

And then I checked my email!  

Over the last few days I have been doing some research.  A friend told me that there were some care packages in a common area that had been there for some time unopened and of course that concerned me.  I decided the best way to set my mind at rest was to check with the guys over there who have requested quilts and three of them have been able to put my mind completely at rest.  Even more than that they have been able to reassure me that Aussie Heroes care packages will not go unclaimed for very long at all AND I now have the ability to send quilts ALL YEAR ROUND - more on that later.

Back to my email  - tonight I received this email reassuring me that Aussie Heroes is heading in the right direction and needs to continue to grow.

Read it for yourself.....

I am glad that I have put your mind at ease. Let me tell you, without a doubt in my mind, that you and your ladies are VERY MUCH APPRECIATED by all the soldiers that have requested products from you. You must believe that your organisation puts smiles on soldiers faces. Period !! For hard men in a very hard environment this is no easy task. Many of us believe that Aussie Hero Quilts is a true ally of the Task Group and someone we are very proud to call friend. As I have told you previously I don't think you and your Army of workers really appreciate the "morale boost" you have given many a combatant.

Okay!  I give in.  I accept, quite happily, that I don't fully understand how much our work has meant to these guys and gals but after emails like this one I am learning!  And it is the loveliest lesson I have ever had.  There may or may not have been happy tears...and wouldn't you just love to give him a hug!

And now.....back to posting year round.....

I have had a number of emails from quilters and quilt groups saying that they are going to start sewing for Aussie Heroes and then I have heard nothing more - probably because they are waiting to send quilts off at Christmas time - quite understandable.

Now, however, we can send all year round and we don't have to wait just for personal requests - though we still love those.  
I am not going to post the addresses I have on the blog as it is early days and I need to maintain some control over the quantities being sent.  However, if you have a quilt or quilts or laundry bags ready to go PLEASE contact me so that I can tell you where to post to.  If you post to the new addresses once. please continue to check with me each time you are ready to post in case I have identified a need elsewhere.  I don't want to flood one area with quilts and not another and until I know the volume they can comfortably handle I need to take it easy.  
I don't want Aussie Heroes to do anything to compromise the respect we are earning.
 As time goes by I will gain more info and will be better able to judge!

Also, please think carefully about what you choose to make.  The main reason I say this is that by far the majority of serving members over there are MALE.  yes, there are some FEMALE but far and away there are more male so I want to minimize the number of feminine quilts initially in preference for GENDER NEUTRAL.  That is not so say that you can't make feminine quilts at all but at this stage I have no idea how many are needed and I would hate to have an over supply of girly quilts and an under supply of masculine ones.

I hope that all makes sense.

So, please get in touch if you are quietly beavering away and sewing for Aussie Heroes as I really need to gauge how much is going on out there.

Let's see if we can send a quilt to every one of these guys!




Oh and before I forget - the mother I phoned has two sons in the military who have served overseas!  One received a quilt whilst serving in Aghanistan and the other one served in East Timor.  Let's just say he is rather jealous that, in his words "you don't get anything like that in East Timor!"   I don't suppose there is anyone out there who would like to make a quilt for a helicopter pilot who has already seen overseas duties AND flew helicopters during the Queensland Floods is there?  I kind of think he deserves a quilt.  No deadline for this one and you will need to send it to me so that I can pass it on the to the mother!  (Already got a Volunteer - thank you!) 

Phew!   Like I said LOOOOONG post tonight but I hope you think it was worth it!  

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

5 comments:

  1. Fantastic post Jan-Maree.... makes you want to jump straight on the sewing machine and start stitching.

    Lovely news that we can send all year round.

    Lovin all those blocks that Cat sent too !!

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  3. What a wonderful post full of appreciation on both parts... love all the photo's too... great that we can send all year round which means you have more room in your house hahaha xxx

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  4. Wow, these pictures are amazing, look how much they love you!!
    Now Jan-Maree, at the wedding we attended on Friday, the groom came bounding over to say thank you for the quilts, at his own wedding, he made a bee line to thank you via me!! Then the bride came over & said thank you too, she was thrilled with the quilt her new husband brought home from Afghanistan. Then all the boys around me starting singing your praises, loving the laundry bags too, they were so proud of them. You've done an amazing job, thank you, love Posie

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  5. Tears of joy. As I'm reading this post, I'm thinking how wonderful it is to have watched your mission unfold here in real time. And to see it grow and take on a life of its own. You and your volunteers are doing wonderful work and I'm so glad you're getting the recognition you deserve! You're amazing!!

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