Thursday, 9 August 2012

Fallen Warrior Quilts - Time to get started



If you are new to Aussie Heroes you may not be aware that we have plans to make quilts for the family of SGT Blaine Diddams of the elite Swanbourne-based Special Air  Services Regiment (SASR), who was killed on July 2 while on his seventh tour of Afghanistan.


Since announcing that we are going to make these special Fallen Warrior Quilts for SGT Diddams' wife and his two children, I have had a number of inquiries from AH Friends about making a quilt for the parents as well.  I feel there has certainly been enough interest to reassure me that this is something that most of us are happy to do and so I have decided that a quilt will be made for the parents from donated blocks also.
  
I am going to ask anyone who wants to contribute to send me four nine patch blocks - one for each member of the family.  The blocks must be made using our February BOM tutorial.  (A pdf version of the tutorial can be found here).  


Once I receive the blocks I will separate them into the four quilts and will send them on to three quilters, Chris from SA, Alex from Sydney and Kelly from the Dandenongs in Victoria.  They will be responsible for assembling  and quilting the quilts.   The fourth quilt will be constructed and quilted here is Sydney.  Caroline who helps out A LOT in Sydney has a friend who will quilt it but I don't have her name so credit will be given to her in the future.

You may send more than one block each if you like but I will only guarantee one block from each Friend will make it into each quilt unless we are short on numbers.  If we get extra blocks they will go on the back of the quilts.   Rest assured none of these 9 patches will go to waste and they will all be used to honour SGT Diddams.

And one point, particularly with the childrens' quilts.  These quilts are going to be special mementos of their father's service and sacrifice.  I think these should be the sort of quilts that will appeal to a male or female (as appropriate) of any age so please could you bear that in mind when selecting your fabrics.  

Also, a couple of you were a bit early and sent me blocks before we knew what colours we were using.  As they don't work with the brief we have they will be incorporated into other AHQ but feel free to send more blocks if you wish.

And now to the part we have all been waiting for - COLOURS

For Hens 
SGT Diddams' son - here is your inspiration!
please stick to colours from this palette as much as possible.


This is the special Cam pattern that is only used by the Special Forces.  It is called Crye Cam and this has all the colours that Hens would like.

For Ellie-Lou
Black, white and grey - please do not introduce any other colours.  I am checking to see if we should introduce another colour as a small border or binding etc but I would like all the blocks to be black, white or grey.

NOTE!  Because of the colours chosen for this quilt I have decided that it would be best to stipulate where the "lights" and "darks" should be placed in the blocks for this one.  I think it will make it easier to put it together with a pleasing result.  Please put your "darks" in the centre square and the four corner squares.

For TA, SGT Diddams' wife,
Country and earthy colours -
most of you will know what they are, creams, 
barn reds, greens, ochres, blues. 

For SGT Diddams' parents, Peter and Cate
think beach side cottage - ocean side colours -
sand, latte, bright blues, navy
NOT AQUA

You will be pleased to know that I have also been contacted by SGT Diddams' sister and she is consulting with me on colours which is most helpful and she is delighted with what we are doing.

The family has an interesting story with regards to the middle names and I thought it worth sharing with Blaine's sister's permission.  In her words - 


Flower is a great great grandmothers surname, back in those days, you didn't get divorced! But she did and then remarried and kept her own name as a 'middle' name. So all the way back to Great Grandfather, all sons and daughters have the middle name Flower. My grandfather, his kids (being dad) and my uncles, aunties, cousins, brothers and sisters all have Flower as a middle name. Peter and Cate (my  parents) have 12 grandkids, all of whom have the middle name Flower 
(including my 3!). So Henry and Lou also have the middle name Flower.
I know, it's quite weird! All of Blaine's SAS mates just thought our parents were hippies!! I get it all the time! But at Blaine's funeral, Dad explained it in his Eulogy, so everyone understood the significance. 

I think that is a wonderful story and oh boy!  What gutsy stock this family comes from!  

A few of you have asked me if we are going to work retrospectively and make quilts for all the soldier who have been killed during Operation Slipper prior to SGT Diddams and I just thought I would answer that here for all to read.  At this point in time that is not my intention.   Firstly that would be a big logistic exercise.  I would need to locate each and every family and I do not at this stage have the contacts to do that.  Secondly, until the bulk of our soldiers have pulled out and returned home at the end of next year I want to make sure that we get as many quilts as we can to those "over there".  Of course, should another family lose a brave soldier I expect that there will be enough enthusiasm to create more Fallen Warrior Quilts for them as we are doing for SGT Diddams.  Let's just pray we don't have to do too many - none would wonderful!

And please don't ask me what we are going to do when everyone comes home........that is a question for next year.  So much can happen in 12 months.

In Summary

Please send four nine patch blocks
At least one each in the following four colour ways
For Hens - Camouflage colours
For Ellie-Lou - Black, white and grey - darks in the centre and the corners please
For TA - country earthy colours 
For Peter and Cate - latte, sand, bright blue, navy NOT AQUA

Please post them all to me at the PO Box on the blog
All blocks to be with me no later than the 14th of September to be guaranteed inclusion in the quilts.
Please use the February BOM tutorial - pdf available at the side of the blog or tutorial  post available here

So there we are - these will be our first Fallen Warrior Quilts and we are privileged to be able to make them.

A reminder- And just before I go and you start pulling fabrics for your blocks - if you have posted off a quilt or laundry bag this week can you please make sure I have the photos.  So far I have Kaye, Fran, Cherie, Chris, Christine and Julie Ann's quilts and Caroline's laundry bags.  I am sure that some have slipped through in the madness that has been happening in my email over the last week so PLEASE just email me again!

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

8 comments:

  1. This is so wonderful to hear. My husband served with Didds and also received one of your wonderful quilts. Since coming home he and our sons sit under it most nights to read a story or just watch TV. These are more then quilts, they are parts of the memories that our service men/women Thank you so much to all who quilt, sew and contribute to this great project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for commenting and for letting us know that your husband treasures his quilt. That in itself is a gift to us! I would love to know which quilt you received so I could pass on your words to the quilter but I understand your need to protect your identity. I am making a special effort to send quilts straight to the SOTG just so we can reach more wonderful men like Didds (who I never knew) and some of the guys that I did hear from who are some of the best. Take care.

      Delete
  2. ...part of the memories that our service men/women will have for a long time to come.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Jan-Maree am going into the cave to look through my stash for colours....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Um...I haven't accidentally signed up for this, have I? Not sure if I could accomplish these as well as the other things I think I'm going to do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gina,
      No one signs up for anything on Aussie Heroes unless you put your name in the hat and agree to take on a special request. You do what you can and what you are comfortable with. If you don't have time to make blocks for these quilts that is perfectly fine.
      JMxx

      Delete
  5. Yes, I'm in, and I will post on my blog too, prob next week. xo

    ReplyDelete