Sunday, 30 June 2013

This time last year - June 2012

Reading back over the June 2012 blog entries you can see the pace picking up for AHQ.   While Jan-Maree had not yet begun posting weekly numbers of items sent  the requests for quilts and laundry bags were coming in each day, and being filled - Janine C.

June 2012 - I am currently serving in the Middle east on deployment and would be honoured to receive an Aussie quilt.   Thank you so much for your kind thoughts it means a lot to us over here as we miss home terribly and to know we are thought of by many back home keeps us going stronger every day.

June 2012 - a quilt with it's new owner

Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry bags were becoming known around Australia with mentions on two radio programs and a magazine. Jan-Maree began receiving invitations to speak to various groups about AHQ, even booking a visit to Canberra for August.  Sewing days were held at Penrith Patchwork, gratefully making use of donated fabric, and also in South Australia and Western Australia.



And the word was spread by happy recipients.

June 2012 - Thanks so much for the quilt, I received it yesterday. It's lovely, I really like the Aussie green and gold theme and the laundry bag is a really nice patterned material, much more exciting than the calico issued laundry bag. I will happily put up your flyer.  All the best and thanks again. I honestly really appreciate the quilt and am so impressed in you ladies for doing this for us.



Quilt tops made from BOMs for May, with Claire and Carol.


We all love to hear stories about how the items were received and how much they were needed.

To Kathy:  Thank you so very much for the lovely laundry bag you made.  My name is XXXXXX and I received the laundry bag (and goodies inside) that you sent while I was located in Tarin Kowt (TK for short) in Afghanistan in late April/early May. It's funny how things have a way of working out, because it came to me at the most convenient time. I'll tell it to you like a story:
Well, I in TK I was sharing a room with 3 other girls. I mentioned to Axxxx (whose bed was beside mine) one morning that my laundry bag had a split down the side of it. I was quite sad because it was the laundry bag I was issued at recruiting.   It had both my maiden name, and in recent years, also my married name on it and also held a lot of memories in it for me. I didn't think too much more about it and continued on with my day.
That afternoon (Yes, the exact same day!), the Padre came to visit me and had a box in his arms. After some chit chat, he asked me "Hey XXXXX, do you need a laundry bag?". Now, I can tell you, I gave him a very weird look and said "Yes, but how do you know" and was already starting to wonder which of my roommates had told him.
Anyway, he then told me that a lady and sent over some handmade laundry bags, that some of them were made out of 'girlie' material and would I like one! As you can imagine, I jumped at it. I picked the lovely brown one with pictures of patched brown denim and pretty pink flowers all over it.

Afghanistan is a very bleak place, so its really nice to have something girlie in a place like that. I have to honestly say that although I have never met you, every time I do my laundry I think of your kindness. I do believe that what goes around comes around, and you have a lot of good coming your way! 



Quilt by Gail and quilted by Donna.


And another great story!

To Aussie Hero Quilts: I am interested in your Quilts and personalised Laundry bags. We have been notified via one of our members here at AMAB that they are available from you. I have had a look on your website and love the thought of having something special from home to commemorate why we are here serving our country. I am half way through my rotation at the moment. Information I am after is the pricing of both the quilt and the laundry bag.

Of course Jan-Maree wrote back to her and explained that our quilts and laundry bags are donated and are a gesture of thanks for all the serving members. This was her response:

This idea amazes me, I am touched by your generosity, kindness and supportiveness to all the troops that are putting their life on the line for our country. Its people like yourself and others that help you in this project, that makes us feel like what we are doing and being away from our family and friends for such a long period of time is a worthy cause.
I have four children, 3 girls and 1 boy that I have left in the capable hands of my husband, who is also a serving member, due to deploy in April next year. Although our children live the Defence Force life, it doesn't make it any easier on them or our heart strings when we leave the comfort and love of our home.
I would love and greatly appreciate a quilt and laundry bag, to decorate my bed space and to know that there are loving people out there that support what we are achieving. 

Quilt top from May BOMs

 Above is the last April 2012 BOM quilt.  Jan-Maree had planned a white border but ran out of white fabric so went with this fun blue that wasn't repeated in the blocks. She said it would probably be more serviceable than white!  

"When I was a little girl we used to live in a small country towns around WA as my dad was a teacher.  Wherever we lived there was red dirt and dust and in winter MUD. Because of the mud my mum used to dress us in brown and "serviceable" colours!  I think if that every time I put white into these quilts as I've heard so much about it being dusty in Afganistan etc." 


Funny about that because this message arrived for Sue P .... 

Thank you very much for the Quilt and Laundry bag which arrived in country around on the 2nd of June. However, I didn't receive it until the 8th because I've been very busy over the last few weeks.
I would like you to know that I now have a laundry bag that is envied by all who come across it.  It is very distinct in its characteristics and has bought many comments. It is also extremely easy to find amongst the piles of washing.
The quilt is awesome. I have it in my room and took it out with me one time, however, I don't think I will be doing that again as it got filthy.  I had to wash it twice.  I felt terrible as I was wondering when I washed it if Sue would be unhappy with me. She did say this is the only Quilt like it in the world.  However, it kept me warm and I didn't need to carry around a giant sleeping bag.  
And it is a small world. Sue and Trevor who made the Quilt and Laundry Bag live in RXXX,  a town I am very familiar with as I spent a lot of time there  as a child.
I hope you are well and all is well with Aussie Hero Quilts. Thank you once again. 

The above mentioned Quilt and laundry bag made by Sue P

You have to appreciate what an effort it is when these guys take the time to write and say thank you as they are often very busy working 15 hour days seven days a week.

Quilt by Christine.

Hi Ladies,  Just a quick note to say how awesome the quilt and laundry bags are that XXXXXX received from you. I do not have facebook, but I had a look at your blog and I think it is a fantastic thing that you are doing. What a great bunch of ladies! The small quilt for Belvedere (our mascot turtle) is especially gorgeous! And I love the kangaroo on XXXX's quilt. I think you ladies are the Aussie Hero's - it is always great when people appreciate us.
I have a bright doona cover over here, so do not need a quilt but would really love a bright, loud laundry bag if someone has the time.


June 2012 Laundry bags.

Jan-Maree announced the delivery of a Wounded Warrior Quilt - June 2012
'I am now immensely proud to tell you that the latest soldier to be injured and sent to Germany for treatment was given one of our Wounded Warrior Quilts.  I don't know which quilt and it doesn't matter.  These are the quilts that we hope will never be used but the reality is that at least we had one where it was needed and I hope it will raise his spirits to know that we care. A huge thank to all who make Aussie Heroes possible.  I truly think we are making a difference.'

Laundry Bag by Marg

Quilt by Heather from T.


Also in June 2012 Jan-Maree  it was time to be more assertive about getting the Aussie Hero name around Canberra so that those who needed to know were aware of what AHQs was doing/offering.

'First I called the Chaplain at Richmond to chat and see if they could refer me to a contact in Canberra!!!  BINGO!  Just so happens that the Chaplain I spoke to has just returned from "over there" and is actually the owner of an Aussie Hero Quilt! AND it seems that one of the other Chaplains who was "over there"  will be returning to work in the fullness of time - to a job in Canberra!  Beauty!  Hope they don't mind hearing from me again!'


And they didn't mind.


Just a few more wonderful quilts from June 2012



Two clever tea towel quilts

A tea towel laundry bag.

Quilt by Andrea and quilted by Carol.

Quilt by Elizabeth and quilted by Carol.




Thanks Janine.  I really appreciate you writing these posts as I would never have the time to go back over the posts from 12 months ago and put them together and yet I love to be reminded of how far we have come.  I expect my favourite memory from June last year is probably Chelle's least favourite.  Of course I am talking about the DVD that Chelle and the other Peacekeepers from operation Mazurka at that time sent us.  I linked to it on Friday night but just in case anyone missed it here it is again 
Chelle's Video

Chelle tells me that she didn't know they were actually shooting the DVD when she did this. She though they were actually just doing a sound check etc.  But I love it and I still get    a little sand in my eyes whenever I watch it.
Thanks Chelle and all those involved! 
It was much appreciated then and still is now.

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










Friday, 28 June 2013

Weekly Dispatches 28 June

Greetings all!  Exciting news!  Today we received our first photo from HMAS Newcastle so I couldn't wait to share it with you, as otherwise you would have had to wait till Tuesday to see it (because of other scheduled posts) 

Hi Sue (F),
Thank you so much for the lovely quilt, laundry bag and letter that I received in the mail. It was such a nice surprise to receive such a useful present that is now keeping me warm at night and taking pride of place on my rack as you can see by the picture attached below.
Please let me assure you and the rest of the volunteers who spend their time making quilts for deployed personnel that it truly makes such a difference to know and feel that the Australian public is at home behind us.  
All the best from the high seas! 
 


I wonder if he could teach my boys to make their beds that neatly!

Ok, so on with the Weekly Dispatches for this week.


The tally so far-

30 quilts this week and 21 laundry bags.

691 quilts and 1384 laundry bags for 2013

1698 quilts and 2758 laundry bags in total.


Angela's creation as modeled by Amy!

and now the straight version


Angela travels to Thailand on occasion and she knows where to shop.  Check out this gorgeous Thai fabric on the back.


two more by Angela



Bev made this using a tea towel donated by her sister!  


Chelle, our Postmistress from the Sinai (see here if you do not know what I am talking about) made and sent off the next three quilts.  You have seen the pink ones before but the photos weren't great so here is a better look at our new quilter's masterpieces.  Another new quilter is hooked!




Cheryl D made these next two quilts and allowed me to personalise them with the snow boarders.






Debbie created this one and was


ably assisted by gorgeous Estella who also drew the picture to include and cut out the initials for the laundry bag. 

Gee, I could use an Estella!


Florence is new to Aussie Heroes and sent off her first quilt.


Jill Maree sent in this quilt top and it was beautifully quilted by Kim.


I made this for a fellow Sandgroper 
(that means someone lucky enough to be born in Western Australia for those overseas readers who may not know)  The state colours of Western Australia are black and gold and the state bird is the Black Swan.


Joan


Judith


Judy D


Julie Ann






Julie


Karen B was given some Avons goodies and some puzzle books and so sent off some laundry bags with some extra goodies included.



Louise



Michelle's first foray into Aussie Heroes has yielded two simple yet striking quilts modeled on the jerseys of the respective football teams. 



Nancy



Rita C created this one for a Nacar fan who has received it and just loves it.


got to love the backing fabric.


Rita M created this lovely - the photo does not do it justice.


Our HMAS Newcastle Chaplain's wife,Sarah and family, created the next two quilts.  Part way through their effort Sarah's 28 year old singer sewing machine, given to her by her husband as a wedding present, gave up the ghost and HAD to be replace.  Oh what a pity!  Let's just say, Sarah and the family are REALLY enjoying the technological advances 28 years have brought to the world of sewing machines!

The front


and the back!



Shirley



Stephanie T had some fun with baby football supporter singlets.






She also had some fun with some scraps.


Yum!


And Kay's Girls, created this awesome quilt top which Stephanie quilted.  


 And Stephanie D brings up the rear with this perfect surfer's quilt!



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