First up – if you are following Aussie Heroes by email you will note that I have had a couple of technical hitches the last couple of days – purely operator error!  Sorry!

Handy Hint for the day!

Just before we get started on the topic for tonight, Liz made a suggestion re batting.  She said she buys 3 metres of wadding at a time when and where she can get it discounted. Cut the first quilt across ways, then the next 2 length ways, you end up with a small piece to use for babies.
Laundry Bags and why me make them.

Tonight we are going to revisit the laundry bags.  Maybe you are wondering why we started making laundry bags.  The full story can be found in the Brief History Page but the short story is this.  The guys and gals are issued with white, blue or green laundry bags and the only way to tell one from another is by hand written initials usually in black marker pen.  According to my sources (the lovely Warrant Officer) bags go missing all the time as people collect the wring bag in error.

The lovely Warrant Officer’s wife made him his own laundry bag that was distinctive in colour and voila! he found his laundry easily there after!

In this picture you can see the NM laundry bag stands out!

The following are some of the thank you messages we have received from those that received some of the first bags.

Thank you so much for all the quilts, personalised laundry bags and goodies. We’re all very grateful for the time and effort put into them. The snow is starting to appear in the distance and as it increases two things become extremely important; warm beds and clean and dry laundry, so you’ve hit the nail on the head there. Thanks again.

Many thanks for the fantastic laundry bag. I’ve been clothe-less two separate times due to laundry mix ups, but I have a feeling that’s a thing of the past thanks to you. Keep up the good work.

Cheers for laundry bag it couldn’t have come at a better time as my current one had sprung a leak.
 Thanks heaps for the laundry bag and quilt. I had been using a pillowcase for laundry resulting in an inordinate amount of loose feathers in my bed from a slightly worse for wear pillow. Must admit, I’m tempted to use the laundry bag to cover it. Thanks again, have a great Christmas and New Year.

I just have to add that the fellow who made the last comment later received a brand new pillow and a “special” pillowcase – it was the least I could do – check it out.

 Hee Hee – a bit of an insight to my sense of humour!

I am not going to duplicate effort by completely re-writing the Laundry Bag Tutorial but it is there if you need it.  I will just go over some of the main points.  

Try to use a heavier weight fabric for the outer and calico or homespun weight for the lining.  Something like light weight curtaining fabric – not the rubber backed fabric – is excellent. If you don’t have a heavier fabric for the outer then use normal quilting fabric.  The sturdier the fabric and the stitching the longer these bags will last.  Also, and most important – all fabrics – particularly those pesky reds need to be pre-washed.  Soldiers tend not to like wearing PINKuniforms!

As the military issue bags are white, plain blue and plain green I tend to stay away from plain versions of these colours.  If any of you are military wives and can give me some guidance as to what sort of blue and green we are talking about that would be great!

The most important feature of our bags is that they be DISTINCTIVE so they can be easily picked out from a pile of hundreds!  The fabrics don’t have to be pretty – just serviceable.  Bright colours, checks, strips dots, anything – just bear in mind you are making laundry bags mostly for men.

Patches or Initials.
When we have them we applique large initials on bags but that is not necessary.   It is nice to do it if you know the recipient but I want to be able to send extra bags over to be handed to those who need them and I don’t have a never ending supply of initials.  

Here are your two options.  Either applique simple letters on the front or make up a patch similar to the one on the blue bag – make it any shape you want – just jazz it up so that it adds to the distinctive quality of the bag.  Raid your scrap bag for the border fabrics and use a contrasting thread for the stitching!  Have some fun with it.

Our patches are fused on and then stitched down.  I use satin stitch  – you can stitch however you like but stitch well so that it stands up to wear and tear.  Make sure you attach your patch before you sew up your bag – so much easier!

The part of the bag that gets the most wear and tear is the draw string channel.  You might like to experiment using a sturdier fabric.  I think denim might be too thick but twill works well. This is also a good place to top stitch and reinforce.

Another good thing to remember is that the laundry, at least in Afghanistan, is sent of to Afghani-run laundromats where the bag and its contents are thrown into industrial washing machines and dryers as is.  The soldiers wrap the cord around the top of the bag and tie it off and then have to untie the bag when the laundry returns.  Can you imagine the state of the laundry when it is pulled out of the bag?  So glad I don’t have to iron any of it!  That is why the cord has to be a good strong thick one – this photo will give you the idea.

There are many more guys over there than girls so if you can make the bags either gender neutral or masculine that would be great.  I would love to be able to send lots of these over there to be passed around.

Laundry bags can be posted over in a batch with other bags, on their own or with a quilt.  I will publish the address just prior to the two mailing periods, one in time for ANZAC DAY and one in time for Christmas Day.
If you have any questions with regard to Laundry Bags just leave a comment.   

If you are a wife and would like hubby to receive a bag just leave a comment or 

if you are serving member currently overseas and would like one – guess what……just leave a comment!

Oh and by the way, if you can’t leave a comment coz you do not have a Google ID or whatever go to the left hand side of the blog page where you will see my pic (one of the only ones you will see if I can help it!) and click on the email link below it.
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Alternatively click on our Facebook page, become a follower and leave me a message that way.

Just before I dismiss you from class for tonight here is a thank you my sister in law just received by snail mail!

We received your care pack today and I wanted to pass on my thanks for your support and the effort you went to.   I’ve already grabbed the washing bag, so it’ll be in use straight away. 

The treats you put in are greatly appreciated as well. 

Means alot for us to receive the support of people like yourself, strangers who take the time to say hello and thanks, even though we never need to be told thank you. 

Thank you again. 

See, they love our laundry bags!

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

Sweet Dreams Kylie (sorry private joke!  Hee Hee)