Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Aussie Hero Quilts and Joint Task Force Centenary Quilt Project

Hi all!   
Well it is New Year's Eve and a busy night for most I expect.  A quiet night in this household but I am not complaining as I have plenty to keep me busy.  New Year's Eve seems like a good night to announce a very special project that Aussie Heroes has been asked to complete.  

Last week I received an email from the new Commander Joint Task Force 633 – he is the Commander of our Middle East Deployments.  Rear Admiral Trevor Jones has requested that we make a quilt to mark the Centenary of ANZAC Day.  He and I have since had a number of telephone conversations to nut out the plan and we are now ready to go.  I am not able to tell you all the details of the quilt as yet, as it would be pre-emptive, but suffice to say this one will be special and you will want to be a part of it.

The front of the quilt will be made up of poppy blocks, slightly smaller than normal to allow more people to contribute.    Caroline has drawn up the tutorial which will be emailed to those who have nominated to make one of the blocks.  I am estimating that around 60 people will be able to make a block for the quilt.  I want as many people to be involved in this quilt as possible, so therefore those that make poppies will not be involved in another stage of the construction, and vice versa where possible.  

In addition to poppies, the front of the quilt will also feature three silhouettes to represent the three services. There will be the silhouette of a soldier, an FA18 and HMAS Newcastle representing all the frigates that have deployed. 


The group of ladies that gathers at my home regularly for sewing days will be responsible for piecing the back of the quilt which will be partially constructed from uniforms representative of those who are serving.  There are other features to go on the back that I am not able to reveal at the moment. Rear Admiral Jones has sent me a box of old uniforms to be used for this purpose and they are already being deconstructed. 

All blocks, once completed, will be sent to Michelle in Geelong who will photograph them for our records and who will then send them on to Lynn who will be responsible for piecing the quilt top.  If you have registered to make a block you will be required to get it to Michele by no later than January the 21st. Earlier would be even better if you can manage it!   

Michelle will then have time to package the blocks up and send them to Lynn via Registered Express Post.  The aim is to have the blocks with Lynn no later than Friday the 23rd of January.  Lynn will then aim to complete the quilt top and I will arrange to collect it from her.  

I will then hand deliver the quilt top and back to Stephanie T who is going to quilt it, adding in a few more details.  Once Stephanie has completed the quilting, a further volunteer from Sydney will bind it, adding the rod pocket and the label.  It will then, finally be ready to send, with all accompanying documentation, to Rear Admiral Jones.
The goal will be to get the quilt in the mail no later than Thursday the 12th of February.
I have am only opened the registration for blocks to those who on the mailing list for Aussie Heroes. 

I had been pondering what Aussie Heroes should and would do to commemorate the Centenary but I struggled with devoting too much time to a project that would commemorate things which happened a hundred years ago and which might mean that those who are making the sacrifices and serving us so well now might miss out on receiving a quilt.  This quilt is the perfect solution. Yes, it is a lot of work, but it is a lot of work by many and you know the saying, 
many hands make light work.

Now that concept I am comfortable with.  Also it was really important to me that whatever we do has to be representative of Aussie Heroes - not a work much grander than what we normally make for our deployed members, but something that is the essence of what we send away. Finally, although not all of our quilters and laundry bag makers can participate due to the numbers (nice problem to have) all of them are CAPABLE because the project is within the reach of the skills of all of our contributors.

For those who have sent me emails to register, you will find out in the next few days if you have been successful.  Priority will be given to regular long term contributors.

Well I will end by wishing you all a safe and happy New Year.  May you be blessed with all that you need and a little of what you want, and loved ones and friends to share it with!

Till next year..............keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree  xx

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