Monday, 6 August 2012

Monday Duntroon Sewing Day

Hi All.  

Okay, I did it again!  I pushed publish instead of save so if you read this when it came out the first time it has been updated so you need to read it again  - sorry!

First up some business. 

A new system
Now this is new and quite exciting - as long as you are out there sewing.  After my meetings in Canberra it has been decided that we will no longer be sending quilts via the twice yearly mailing of care packages.  That means that we will not be sending quilts for the Christmas mailing.   Instead, all our quilts will go out via special requests - more on that later.

The problem with care packages is that at Christmas time and ANZAC Day time the troops, according to the powers that be and the troops I have spoken to, are INUNDATED with care packages,  often more than they need.  If we were to send quilts with the care packages our quilts get caught up with those and that is not efficient, especially considering the value and the love, time and effort that goes in to what we send.

I am delighted to say that the value of our quilts and laundry bags have been recognized by the chaplains, so in future, they will be taking requests and passing them on, through an organised system.  I won't go into too many details, but it will mean, that from now on, our quilts and laundry bags will be sent to a specific recipient and, with any luck, we will hear back from a much larger percentage - at least enough to know that they have arrived safe and sound.

Of course we will also continue to get requests direct from the troops or their families and loved ones if they hear about us through word of mouth.

Additionally, unless you are sewing for The Sewing Library on Facebook (TSL) please don't make any more laundry bags with patches on them.  In future we will be receiving lists of initials for laundry bags.  If you have some laundry bags with patches on them you can either send them to me or hold on to them and wait till I give you an address to send them to.

You have gone a bit quiet -hello?

Lately lots of you seem to have gone a little quiet and that is a little disconcerting.  There are not many comments on the blog or all that many on the Facebook page.  The only reason this matters, is that I need to know there are still plenty of you out there willing to sew the special requests.  I don't want to be taking requests if we can't fill them.
Can I have some feedback on how many of you are still happy to make quilts on request, as I am only getting one, maybe two responses when I call for volunteers, and that is a little disconcerting if I get more than one request.  I don't want to be disappointing anyone.  

I know there are ladies out there working on quilts. If there is anyone out there who has finished a quilt, can you please send me a picture of it so that I can add it to the quilts in waiting file ready for requests.   At the moment I only have a few quilts in the Quilts in Waiting File and no girly ones.

Going to the Dogs......Woof!

I have finally got an address for Military dogs and their handlers.   These ones are in East Timor.   I would like to send dog quilts and handler quilts to all four if I can.  We have had a request for four quilts for dog handlers and four quilts for the dogs. I am still waiting for confirmation as to the preferred size for the dog's quilts. Dog coats are not required as we do not think they are permitted. There are three male and one female dog handler quilts required. I have offers for three, one being a gender neutral so that leaves either one female or male quilt left.  For the four dogs, I have one quilt being made by Angela, one being made by Annette and sent to me and one possible by Janine. Is anyone else interested in making the last set, i.e. a dog quilt, handler quilt and maybe a laundry bag to go with it but that is optional.  It can be masculine or feminine - just let me know.  Parcels need to go in the mail no later than 14 September, preferably before that date.
EDIT - all quilts and dog quilts spoken for now.  :-)

Fabric to Donate

I received a lovely letter from a kind woman called Kay on the Sunshine Coast.  She has quilting material she would be willing to donate to anyone sewing for Aussie Heroes.  If there are no quilters in her area she is happy to send the fabric to someone in Queensland or even NSW.  I would rather a Queenslander takes her up on her kind offer to cut down on postage.  If you are interested, please let me know and I will put you in touch with her.

Please cover those toes.

Also and last bit of business - I have received a few quilts that are shorter that 66" which doesn't really work for a big fellow!  Given that the quilts are now supposed to be at least 70" inches and no bigger than 75" could you please check the lengths of any under construction. The guys like to put their quilts on their beds but short ones just won't work. 

Duntroon Sewing Day Results

Last night I promised that I would share pictures of what the ladies sewed at Duntroon on Saturday. 

These blocks were made by Jennie - the lovely warrant officer's wife.  She hasn't done any sewing for about a year as she had carpel tunnel, but she had surgery a few months ago and it looks like she has jumped back in full swing!  

These blocks are the result of the hard work of the rest of the girls.  Bear in mind I have just arranged them on the design wall to photograph them - they still need a bit of fiddling to get the layout right before they are sewn together but there are definitely enough to make two quilts with maybe a few leftovers.  It might not be obvious from the photos but they all include some Aussie fabrics as well as the background fabric.  I was thinking they would make good WWQs but I think they are a bit soft at the moment so I might experiment with a flag in the middle of each one.  What do you think?

Penrith Sewing Day
That sewing day was a great success.  Here is hoping the next one will be.  Penrith is coming up this Sunday at Penrith Patchwork.  Space is limited so please call the store (02 4721 1213) to register if you wish to come along.  We start at 10am and go through till 3pm.  BYO lunch and snacks (or you can visit the nearby shops) and all materials provided but you will need your sewing machine.

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


  1. Hello Jan-Maree, can you please explain, for us newbies, what a WWQ is.

    1. absolutely - a WWQ is a wounded warrior quilt is one that is held in the hospitals in Afghanistan until a member is injured seriously enough to need to be transferred to the military hospitals in Germany on their way home. The quilt is taken with them by the nurse that accompanies the patient so that they have a bit of AUS with them over there. Spare quilts are kept with the makers over here and are ready to be sent when we get word that a replacement is needed. They are exactly the same as our normal quilts in size etc but they usually incorporate lots of Aussie fabric or the flag or the southern cross. The label is the same. They are sent to a central address and are packed in a vacuum sealed bag so that they do not get full of the dust over there while they are stored.

  2. Still here, still sewing and would love some fabric from Kate...

  3. Do you still need quilts for the Dog Handlers and dog?? I would love to do that as my DH was a dog handler in Vietnam...

  4. I am always on the hunt out for fabrics, busy with another charity at the moment but i will be happy to make quilt tops in 9 patch blocks, when I have enough done I will let you know. I would love to send them on to someone to be be assembled into a quilt. I am reading your blog and facebook avidly.

  5. Sorry Jan-Maree that I haven't posted a comment of late but I am always reading and checking what everyone is doing... just love this site and all the wonderful ladies xxx

  6. Hey Jan-Maree, I've finally managed to buy 8 flag panels from Spotlight (of course the closest two stores didn't have them), so I'll be making them into quilts. Just have to buy some blue and red fabrics to match and think of something to do with them.

    For what its worth- as a newbie, I need a pattern/layout to refer to so that the quilt is the right size - most quilt patterns I have are the *wrong* size, and trying to adjust block sizes or sashings makes my brain hurt!

    I read the blog regularly, but have reduced my commenting so as to not fill up your email with waffle-ly comments!

    Got the group email too. Please keep me on it, I've got those flag panels and want to do some scrappy quilts too before the end of November when my quilting time will be greatly reduced whilst playing nurse-mother to my teen who will be incapacitated until Christmas/ New Year (sure not looking forward to that!). Might be looking for another house to stay at that doesn't have this sort of intrusion on my time!

  7. Hello Jan-Maree, such a pleasure to see you & sew with you on Saturday. Sorry for the absence since, i've had a horrible cold, tummy ache, the whole sinus debacle. Can't wait to start on the next sewing project, love Posie
    PS comments have all but died during the Olympics in blogland, don't take it personally, they'll be back soon.

  8. PS so great to see how colourful my 9 squares turned out, yay, love Posie

  9. I haven't been commenting lately as I've been trying to keep up with some other commitments (quilts) that I must finish by a certain date. I prefer not to volunteer myself for quilts on request, but once I have finished a quilt, I will email you with a photo of the quilt and then you can let me know what to do with it.

    Concur with Posie, everything is fairly quiet in blogland because of the Olympics.