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

Tuesday 30 December 2014

ANZAC Commemorative Pendants and Keyrings.

This is an extra special post.  When HMAS Darwin deployed I became aware of the beautiful jewelry made by the wife of one of the crew.  Her name is Caroline and she uses, among other things, vintage cutlery, to fashion the most amazing pieces from watches, to necklaces, rings and earrings, and so much more.  I am always fascinated with what she comes up with and how beautiful the end results are. Now she has come up with something really special and I think lots of you might be interested.  

In 2015 on the 25th April, Australia and New Zealand will mark the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings in Gallipoli.

To commemorate this very special event Caroline will be producing these coin pendants by request. 

The coins are becoming quite scarce so she will be buying them on a regular basis whenever they become available. 

Not just limited to the ladies, Caroline can make this into a key ring for the gents at a much lower price also. Just message her for details via her Facebook page.

This particular necklace is $125 including postage with signature on delivery. I can put the pendant on a long 90cm chain if preferred.  She is happy to take deposits. 

If you would like to express interest in one or have her hold one please private message her on her Facebook page - and for the non-Facebookers out there just email me and I will put you in touch with Caroline.  

I have already ordered mine and can't wait to receive it!  

And just for info, if you need a special gift for another purpose, these pendants can also be made with coins featuring other years - perhaps a loved one's birth year, or the year a child was born.  Recently Caroline made a set of pendants that were given as Christmas presents to remember a special Grandmother.  What a gorgeous idea.  

Again, here is Caroline's Facebook Page 
Avalise -     Beautiful handmade jewellery by Caroline Mernin and you can access it here or email me if you don't use Facebook

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

Monday 29 December 2014


Hi all,

I wanted to put out a reminder that the blocks we have been working on since November and will continue to work on through January is the Poppy Block.

These blocks will be used in fallen warrior quilts.

Here is the tutorial

These blocks turn out 8 1/2 " square.

We found this free pattern on Craftsy here is the link to the free patterns just scroll down to find the "Simple Pansy Block" if you want to download it...Craftsy Free Patterns

To make these blocks you will need the following fabric:

4 X 4 1/2 " Red Squares (Can be plain or patterned) (flower)

8 x 2 " Green squares (Can be plain or patterned) (background)

1 x 2" black circle (please use plain black) (centre)

iron on visoflex / fusiweb for the back of the 2" circle

( I have enough for 3 blocks cut here)

After you have cut your fabric... mark a diagonal sewing line along the back on the green squares

Next pin two green squares to each red square and sew along both diagonal lines.

Once you have sewn all eight lines, you can then trim off the excess fabric leaving a 1/4" seam.  After trimming press the green back over so you once again have 4 x 4 1/2" blocks

Arrange the 4 blocks in the order they will be sewn and then sew the top two together (Row1), then the bottom two together (Row 2).  Once sewn press the seam on the top row (1) to the right and the bottom row (2) to the left.  Nest the two seams together in the centre and sew the two rows together to complete the block.

Using visoflex / fusiweb press onto black fabric and cut out a 2" inch circle for the centre.  Iron on and sew the circle to the block with a small zigzag stitch.
  Now you're done... Easy right.

Don't forget to send your completed blocks to me at:
Caroline Gunn
PO BOX 3079

Happy Sewing


Friday 26 December 2014

Weekly Dispatches 26 Dec

Another Christmas behind us. Is it only me or do the years seem to be passing more quickly.  Maybe it is just that you are all keeping me busy and out of mischief (well there is always time for SOME mischief - let's be honest!)

I am so pleased to say that I know of at least four quilts that made it to their recipients just in time for Christmas! YAY!   And I heard from a couple of quilters who spent at least a little of their day yesterday working on an Aussie Hero Quilt. When we say these quilts are stitched with love we mean it people!

Quick Note

The next request list will go on on Tuesday the 30th, probably late in the afternoon, as I will be away on the night of the 29th (visiting one very special recipient) and won't be around to respond to the emails.  

And now enjoy the quilts and laundry bags from this week.

1163 quilts and 1506 laundry bags for 2014. 

3587 quilts and  5446 laundry bags in total.

Anna N 

Berrima Patchwork Group

Jan from Berrima

Made from Blocks of the Month from Berrima Patchwork 

Made by Bev and quilted by Geoff




The next two were a joint effort, started by Rachel who comes along to our Penrith Sewing Days. Embroideries contributed by Donna S, completed by the ladies from Penrith and also Leanne who was visiting having attended the Christmas Dinner.  And finally, quilted by Debbie.

Julie Ann

Julie P 

Kate P 

Louise T 


Lynn made the quilt top - quilted by Kym


Pam M 


Rhonda  J 

Robyn B 

Sue N 

Tracey T 

Another year almost over. I will give a final wrap up of the numbers for 2014 on New Year's Eve.  Hope you have a good week in the lead up to the New Year. Stay safe and well.

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