I am still catching up on posts that I have wanted to write since the dinner…
here is another one.
I am so pleased to introduce this awesome you lady, Jess, to you.
I think you will be just as impressed once you read what she has been up to.
My name is Jess and I am 14 years old. In Year 9 this year we are required to complete a Personal Best Project to be completed over two school terms. The project needs to be something that requires commitment and challenges you, for example, learning a new skill or making something. The whole thing needs to be documented to show your progress and how to reach your goal.
When I was originally brainstorming ideas for my personal best project, one of my ideas was to make a quilt for myself. The more I thought about it, I started to think about what my mum does. She makes quilts and laundry bags for Aussie Hero Quilts which means they are sent to servicemen and women as a morale booster when they’re deployed. It’s a way of letting them know that people other than just their family and friends care about what they’re doing. So I guess you could say that my mum inspired me.
So I wanted to make a quilt. Mum tried to steer me towards making laundry bags instead. So my goal changed to a quilt and “some” laundry bags. Picture mum with eyebrows raised at the challenge I was taking on. Before I started this project, the only experience I’d had sewing was in year 7 textiles class. And I wasn’t that great at it. So the initial challenge was learning to sew in a straight line. It was also important to make sure that the seam I was sewing was a consistent measurement.
I started sewing the laundry bags while I was waiting for the fabric I’d chosen for the quilt to arrive in the mail. My goal of “some” soon turned in to 10, then my goal changed to 20. In the end, it was as many as I could make before going to Canberra. I got to 27. Each laundry bag took me about 3 hours. As I went along, my sewing speed increased from the slowest speed to “mum speed” which meant I could complete a bag in 2 hours.
The trip to Canberra came about because Aussie Hero Quilts was holding their 6th annual Aussie Hero Quilts Thank You event. Jan-Maree thought I should come and share my project and have an opportunity to give laundry bags to servicemen and women.
One highlight of the weekend was a visit to Royal Military College Duntroon and the opportunity to speak with Officers and give them a laundry bag. This was followed by a tour of the College which was incredible. I loved it and it’s made me start to think about possible careers in the Defence Force.
At the special event on Friday for the sewing volunteers, I had the opportunity to “show and tell” my work and explain about my Personal Best project. Thank you everyone for your support of my beginner efforts.
On Saturday the “thank you” event was held at the Officers Mess at the Australian Defence Force Academy. My quilt and a couple of laundry bags were on display as part of the decoration for the event. It was so exciting. I spoke with many high ranking officials.
A lot of these people had received quilts and laundry bags previously and were there to thank all of us who make them. They were amazed that someone my age was getting involved in this initiative. It made me feel very important and that what I had done and what all of you do, is so valuable.
On our drive home to Melbourne, I told mum that I’d like to continue making laundry bags over the summer holidays and whenever I have time. I have seen first hand how important this work is. I hope to see you in Canberra again next year!
Great story Jess and great quilts and laundry bag. I am so proud of how well you have done and how much you have contributed!
I hope we will see you again at the dinner next year.
Till next time….. keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Wonderful Jess. Inspirational.
Totally agree with Sue, awesome young women, well done. I loved hearing your your story on the friday night in Canberra.
Wow Jess well done there is a great sense of satisfaction helping someone else let alone someone you have never met and someone who is on the opposite side of this world!!!
Such a fantastic story Jess. Keep up the good work
Great story Jess and Congratulations great work. Such an awesome effort of 27 bags. You'll have fun over the holidays crating more too. Cheers