Monday, 2 November 2015

Aussie Pride - November Block of the Month


As I look at my Facebook feed and see many of my friends start to change their profile pic and cover photos in readiness for Remembrance Day I am filled with Aussie Pride.   As I had planned to incorporate Green and Gold into this month's Block of the Month I decided that is what it should be called. 

This month's BOM has a special twist that I hope lots of you will get involved in it.


We are making Aussie Pride Blocks AND Signature blocks.   

In April this year we went to the Australasian Quilt Convention and had a booth there. Whilst there we asked people to write messages of support on blocks that Lynn had made and those have subsequently been made into quilts that hang in communal areas for all to enjoy. 

We have one in Al Minhad Air Base, one with the Air Task Group, some in Iraq, some in Afghanistan and one on its way to South Sudan to add some colour to the dining room where our Aussie Peace-Keeping Contingent gather in Juba.  There are still a couple of locations that do not have one and I would like to offer them one.

This also seems a pretty fitting way to send a message of support to the troops for Remembrance Day.

I am asking as many of you as possible to write a message of support for the troops in a block but I would like to limit it to one block per signatory. So, if you want to sign a block that is your one. If your husband, son, daughter or next door neighbour want to sign one as well, that is just fine.  You can make them one each.

Once you have made your signature block please send me a clear photo of it. I will save all the photos and will post them on the blog on Remembrance Day.

I know there are some of you out there that love to make an assortment of Blocks of the Month and the signature blocks may not allow you to do that, so for you, we also have the Aussie Pride Blocks.  It will be nice to combine the two in a quilt anyway. 


So here is what you need to do.

For the Signature Blocks - 

Cut one 5 inch square of cream homespun or calico.   

Cut two rectangles of border fabric measuring 5 inches by 2.5 inches.

Cut two rectangles measuring 9 inches by 2.5 inches in border fabric.

Your border fabrics can be green or gold, or a combination of both, or they can be Australian fabric or just something that is Aussie in feel.



Please note - it is important that you use a 1/4inch seam or all the blocks will end up different sizes.  If you do not have a 1/4 inch foot the sew a seam, measure it and adjust accordingly. It really does make a difference.


Sew your two short rectangles to either end of the five inch square.  Press toward the coloured fabric.  This is what you will have.


Then take your two long rectangles and sew on the other sides. Again, press to the colured fabric.  Your block will look like this. 


For the Aussie Pride Blocks.... 

Quite simply cut a background piece 9 inches square in either Green or Gold - please stick to some shade of these colours.  Then choose your Aussie design to add and applique away.  Feel free to sign your block if you wish.  Either a subtle signature somewhere on the block or with a message.    I chose to do a roo and a map of Australia.  You can do whatever you like..... there are lots of Aussie animals or even Aussie words.   You can use a small close zigzag or you can use button hole stitch. You can even do it by hand if you are so inclined.  




You can also find a printable template of the map of Australia that I did here if you like.


Feel free to make just a signature block or just an Aussie Pride block or a few of each.   It is entirely up to you.


 Tips on writing your messages.....

The best pen to use is a Michron Pigma pen. If you do not have one, your local patchwork shop should have one or should have something similar to use.  These pens are specifically designe for writing on fabric and are permanent and archival quality.

If you can't find a pigma pen do not let that put you off. Go to your local office supplies store or your supermarket and grab a laundry marker. That should be permanent but will not be archival quality. The quilt will still last for many years though.

Finally, if your writing is messy there is a simple way to "cheat" and have neat writing. Simply draft your message up on the computer using a fairly simple font.  Make it the size you want it and then using a light box (if you are lucky enough to have one) put the print out under your fabric and trace away. If you do not have a light box choose a sunny window and tape the print out up and then put your block over the top of it. Taping both up aids with holding them steady while you trace.

Lastly, your message does not have to be long or fancy.  A simple "Good on you!"  or "Stay safe" or even "Thank you for your service" and your name will touch the heart of our troops.

Someone wrote the following yesterday when we were chatting about someone who has gone above and beyond to show the troops that people care.....

"It's also quite amazing to be reminded of the support and good-will that's out in the general community for the ADF. You have a sort of general understanding that it's there - but when someone does something really quite special for you, it's very humbling and very memorable!!"


Simply saying thank you means a lot. 

So I hope you will join in and make a few blocks, sign them and send them in.  


Please post them to 

Caroline Gunn
PO Box 3079
St Marys South  NSW  2760

And don't forget to email me a clear photo of your block so that I can share it on the blog on Remembrance Day.

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




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