As I am away tonight, Caroline has stepped in to write a post for me, but you will see I have added my 2 cents worth in red, just so Caroline doesn’t have to take the flack for my sense of humour!
We thought it was time for another “How To” post and we hope you will like this one.  We want to give you ideas for simple, but effective quilt patterns, that work well with the dimensions of our quilts.  Hope you like it, now over to Caroline.

Cutting is simple.  You will need to cut 24 strips WOF X 3 & 1/2 inch strips in random colours, or patterns (or they could be all the same theme or colour).  They don’t have to all different you could use some twice or 3 times whatever you like.  (Note: WOF = width of fabric)

Sew all the strips together in pairs, a light and a dark works well, but what ever you like is OK.  Once you have 12 double strips that now measure 6 & 1/2 inches press well, and then cross cut these down to 6 & 1/2 inch squares.

Our tea-towel was able to be trimmed to 18 & 1/2 inches X 30 & 1/2 inches which meant it would replace the block of 18 squares in the middle.  Of course you don’t need to use a tea-towel, you could just use all the random squares to make up the quilt top.

Once you have all the blocks cut, you can arrange them on your design wall/bed/floor around the tea-towel, until you have something that you are happy with.  I alternated the blocks, one horizontal and one vertical, but its all just personal taste.  You should have 7 blocks in each row.

There should be three full rows above the tea-towel and four rows below the tea-towel.  (Please note, my photo shows only 11 rows, it was made before the length requirements changed).  There are five rows of two each side of the tea-towel.  Sew each full row together and press your seams in one direction for the first row and in the opposite direction for the second row and so forth.  This will make it easier to get your seams to line up and reduces the bulk where the seams meet.

Sew your five rows of two together, then sew them to either side of the tea-towel.

Finally assemble everything together to make up the quilt top.  You should have 12 rows to obtain the correct length.

Here is the one Caroline prepared earlier 
but I can’t guarantee you will get to send it to a handsome fireman!

Nor can I guarantee you will receive a lovely thank you message.

Hello Caroline,
Upon arrival at work today there was a comfort pack containing the beautiful quilt and goodies in which you have kindly made up and sent over. It was a great surprise to me to receive this; receiving mail from Australia lifts the spirits of everyone within a workplace and makes us feel honoured to represent Australia.
Thank you very much for your kind generosity and keeping up the tradition of sending comfort packages to those who are deployed 

There are many variations you can also do.  You can add full 6 & 1/2 ” blocks of a specific fabric into the design.  Below is a quilt top variation with a tea-towel and full blocks. I have only done 11 rows as I was running low on fabric so I put a black border on the top and bottom.

 What could be more perfect for a military Chef than a quilt with a Recipe for ANZAC Biscuits in the middle!  At least he will always have the recipe on hand!

Here are  two more quilt tops made by Jan-Maree, without using a tea-towel and inserting some full 6 & 1/2 ” blocks in the same theme.

And one last one that I did with my quilt group.  We all brought in two 3 & 1/2 ” strips sewn together (blue) and trimmed.  I then arranged them around the flag panel in the middle. So that the flag was centre I had to use only 6 blocks across, and added a small white strip to either side of the panel so that it measured the same as 4 blocks across. 
I added a border to bring it out to the right width and 3 applique kangaroos to add a bit of interest.
Till next time………….keep spreading the word and happy stitching!