Hi all,
Lots of business tonight, and some fun at the end, so sit back and sip your coffee or tea or maybe a long cold glass of something while you read.  

First up – I goofed up last night and put the wrong email address down for Caroline. 
Shocking!  I know! and you all thought I was perfect!  Ho Hum. Just don’t tell my kids I am not! 

If you did email her last night about the dinner and didn’t get a reply please send her another email tonight as we don’t want to miss out on anyone coming.  Her correct email is ca***********@gm***.com
Check out last night’s post if you need to know all the details.

Can you please do me a favour.  With over 70 requests underway at the moment and that does not include the quilts we are arranging for HMAS ANZAC it is impossible for me to remember who is sewing for who, especially when some of you are sewing for more than one someone. 

 You will notice that I have started putting the first name of your recipient in the subject of my emails.   That helps but can you please help too.  When you send me an email can you PLEASE tell me who you are talking about and if it is an ANZAC quilt can you please specify that.  It just makes my life SO MUCH EASIER.

Also important

 With well so many wonderful Friends sewing for AHQ can I can’t remember who does and who doesn’t like to do laundry bags.  Can you please remind me at the appropriate times – ie. when I hand you a request.  That will remind me to get on to one of my laundry bag sewing ladies.

Quilt Size
If you are new to AHQ you can find all you need to know about the size etc of our quilts here

I am noticing a few quilts are creeping in that are a little wider than the 42 inches that we go with.  Personally don’t mind that unless you are sending them to me to complete.  Just bear the following in mind.  Please don’t make them any shorter than around 66-70″ (recommended size is 70-75″) because lots of these guys are tall and also some of them like to take them out to the camp fire to wrap around their shoulders and short quilts won’t work for that.  Also if making them wider please remember that they are general going on single beds and most of them are pushed against the walls so the quilt can only hang down on one side.

And don’t forget – you still need to be able to squeeze them into the box.

Finally, if sending quilt tops to me they really need to be the recommended 42″.   As I am often preparing ten or more quilts to go to quilters I need to be able to work with a standard size for economy of effort and also materials.  At 42″ wide I can fit two quilts on a piece of batting off the roll side by side and still have enough clearance for the quilters.  If I get quilt tops that are all different sizes I have to cut odd shapes and sizes of batting and that all takes time.  

If I do receive quilt tops that are too wide or too short please don’t be offended if you see that they have been re-sized but given that this all takes time I would really appreciate it if quilt tops come at the standard size.  It just makes me able to do so much more in the same time.

I hope that makes sense and I hope you understand.

Judy emailed me some photos today.  She is sending off a new batch of laundry bags but check them out!!! Aren’t they gorgeous!  Apparently these are supposed to be Christmas placemats but Judi turned them into these super cool laundry bags. I thought I should show them to you and let you know that these gorgeous panels are out there.

I do have to say that I think the Warratah is my favourite.

I also heard from Wendy L from VIC.  Wendy’s Mum, Nan, sews laundry bags for us and then gives them to Wendy to send them off.  Wendy has been sending a few single laundry bags off and she took the time to do some research on what options there are.  
Here is what Wendy said.

I realised very quickly that to send ONE laundry bag in the Bx2 mailing box that we have been using to send the Quilts, left a lot of space and required a LOT of goodies to make the parcel interesting. Which led me to embark on a mini quest to find the perfect packing medium to send “Just” a Laundry bag.

I thought you would be interested in what I found. I have attached photos of the boxes I bought from Officeworks with samples of what will fit in each.

Photo 1 – Box A4 $2:00
This box is strong and I was able to pack bulky items, which is good if I want to send a Beanie or Socks. It is a little bit shallower than the Bx2 and my sample box weighed in at 1.5kg

Photo 2 – Box PPS Small $1:49
This is the one that I will be using. It is about HALF the size of the Bx2 box and will take a laundry bag, pkt of Tim Tams and a couple of extras like playing cards, lollies etc. Not too expensive to fill or time consuming to pack.

 Photo 3 – Box Expandable Mailer $2:05
This one is interesting as the sides can be adjusted to fit snuggly around the contents. It can be as small as one laundry bag folded flat, or as deep as a packet of Tim Tams on its side.

Photo 4 – Box Padded Bag – $7:00 -something for 5 (Can be bought individually). I had these on hand but would not use them again. I thought they were a bit expensive and not too robust to be thrown in the back of a transport and definitely not suitable for Tim Tams!
Hope this helps, in case anyone is asking or may be unsure of sending unaccompanied laundry bags due to the feeling that they must “fill up” the Bx2 box to fill the space or make up the weight. Just because we CAN send 2kg postage free – doesn’t mean we HAVE to!

Thanks for taking the time to do that research Wendy!  I think that is great.  Wendy makes a great point.  Just because we can send 2kg for free does not mean we have to.  The guys are just happy to receive their laundry bags – any extras you include are a bonus.  If sending a few less extras makes it more affordable to send more laundry bags then that is well worth thinking about.
Well, I promised you a bit of fun and here is comes.  I was lucky enough to be invited to spend last Saturday with these lovely ladies in the following pictures.  This first one is Jan and she works at the RAAF Base here in Sydney.  I called her months ago to make her aware of Aussie Heroes and guess what!  She is a quilter and she already knew about us!  LOVE IT!  A while later she and her sister, Diane, came out to Penrith to say hello during one of our sewing days.

Jan belongs to a wonderful sewing group and I was later invited to come along and talk to them about AHQ but unfortunately it coincided with taking my son to boarding school so I couldn’t go. 🙁

They didn’t give up on me though and invited me along again on Saturday to join them for the day at their retreat at a very picturesque setting in Mulgoa.
It was a lovely day spent with lovely people!

Jan’s sister, Diane, was there and she had made 20 outer pieces for laundry bags (the colourful bit) and also 20 pieces that go on the top to carry the cord and all she needed was the lining.  So I took along bundles of calico and sheeting that I had been given and Diane cut out linings for all her laundry bags.  She worked so hard all day.  As she cut the linings out she handed them on to some of the other girls and they completed the laundry bags.

By the end of the day there were 20 of the most awesome colourful laundry bags ready for me to take home!  There are only two that are made from one piece of fabric. Most are made from lots of little bits and I think they are wonderful!  

Aren’t they great.

 Honestly the photos do not do them justice!

These ladies are Chris, Bev and Karol.   They are some that helped to sew the laundry bags.  Whilst everyone was working on LBs I was machining the binding on four quilts and telling them AHQ stories.   Once the laundry bags were finished Chris and Karol and Jan each grabbed one of the quilts and started doing the hand sewing for me.  Let me tell you ladies, Del,who usually does a lot of my handsewing, was very pleased. 

Beverly in the middle here actually has a cousin who came back from Afghanistan with severe injuries.  He is up and about these days and doing well but it makes the Aussie Heroes Project very real for her.

Kim and Judy also worked on the laundry bags and after Denise had cut out all the linings she needed, and we only had just enough, Kim took all the scraps and sewed them up so that she could send me home with four more linings for four more laundry bags.  Now that is really handy!

This is the quilt that Beverley has made and I have already found it a good home.  It will be heading off as soon as Bev has finished the binding.

Diane took all her scraps and sewed them together to make her quilt top – LOVE IT!!!  it was a bit wide so she cut the sides off and added them to the top and bottom to bring it up to the right length.  I really love this – so bright and the diamond pattern is GORGEOUS!  Every now and then I see a quilt and think I really don’t want to send it off and this is one of those. Just as well it is with Diane to send off and not here with me!  LOL

Piecing the front wasn’t enough for Diane.  She pieced the back as well and if you look closely in the top left hand corner at the plain green square, that is the label.

What a gorgeous quilt this one is!  The photos do not do it justice either.  The colours just sing!
Once again Diane took leftovers and scraps and pieced this matching laundry bag.

Just try and lose this one!

Unfortunately I didn’t get photos of all the lovely ladies which was bad planning on my part! They are such a lovely group, loads of ribbing and teasing and some of it certainly not appropriate for me to share on the blog (isn’t that right Karol and Kim!)   Comes under the heading of “too much information” but I would head back to sew with them any time!

Thanks for having me ladies!


Linda received a great thank you message from someone on HMAS ANZAC – 

Hey Linda,
hope I have the correct email address here but thank you very much for the quilt! 🙂 It was lovely to receive a parcel from home, especially when it holds a quilt and pillowcase with personalised touches, it was awesome! The tim tams were amazing as well, I had run out of packets and they will be saved for a special occasion, probably to share with friends on Christmas day.
Thank you again for thinking about us and obviously putting a lot of time into making and sending a quilt and toilet bag.. It’s taken pride of place on my bed! 

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