Tuesday, 7 February 2017

HMAS Watson..... sewing 101

So, I thought I would share a funny little thing that happened today.   I visited HMAS Watson today to deliver a couple of quilts.  I can't show you photos of the recipients for privacy reasons and they will be presented at a later date.  I was so glad that I asked my friend, Drew, to drive me in there. I can get myself around the city of I have to but I rely heavily on my Navman as I really don't know the city at all well.   I owe a huge thank you to Drew for driving today as it was not a good day to be on the roads.  After a horrendous heatwave over the last few days, today was wet and wild.  Traffic everywhere was awful, flooding, accidents, hold ups galore. We were half an hour late arriving!  I am not sure what time I would have arrived it I had been driving myself so big thanks Drew! 

But on with the story...

  We were met by the captain but as we were so late he only had time to take delivery of the quilts and then head off to a meeting - lucky for him he was able to go to his meeting by BOAT!!! Way to go if you ask me!  

Not to worry, we were invited to have lunch with the Chaplain and the XO in the Wardroom which is very special. On a day with better weather the Wardroom has a beautiful view over the Harbour to the Harbour Bridge and the city.  I had never been to HMAS Watson's Wardoom before so can only imagine what the view is like when the sun is shining !   It must be spectacular.  

After lunch the XO had to head off as he had a meeting.  The rest of us stepped out to the balcony and were talking about life on the harbour. I was interested to see where the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race starts each year as I have long heard of people heading up to Watson to see the start of the race so it was interesting to see what people were talking about. 

As we were talking up, came a Leading Seaman who addressed me saying "G'day Jan-Maree" with a big grin.  "It is very fortunate that you are here today, your timing is impeccable."  Grin.

It turns out that the Leading Seaman and these two Able Seaman were given a task by their Chief Petty Officer.  He had given them his sewing machine and some fabric and tasked them to complete a project... the only problem was that none of them knew how to use the sewing machine... so what could they do... Ahhhh there is the Quilt Lady... who else would you ask.... and I did not mind at all. 

You would think it would be easy, but it was an old sewing machine, and no matter what I did I could not work out how to wind the bobbin.   Desperate measures were called for I hand wound the bobbin enough to show them how to load it and then how to thread the machine. We practiced on some napkins to set the stitch length but then it was time for me to go....

It just so happens that we have a sewing day at my home tomorrow so I left the girls with my address and an invitation to bring me the measurements and the material and we will help then tomorrow.  I do hope they come as they really did not have the tools they needed to do the job. The scissors they had could bearly cut thread, let alone fabric!   Not sure if they will come in the end, but the offer is there, and if nothing else they were lovely to talk to.   

If I am not mistaken the Leading Seaman had  received a quilt from Val Ma whilst he was deployed on HMAS Melbourne.   Our lovely young lady on the left as you look at the photo told me that her husband had deployed on HMAS Darwin twice and had a quilt at home and the young lady on the right told me that she received a tropical themed quilt when deployed on HMAS Success.  

Till next time.... keep spreading the word and happy stitching (if you know how to use the machine!)

Jan-Maree xx