Spreading the word

Some people write to me and say they can’t sew and they wish they could so that they could help too but then they tell me stories about how they spread the word.  Honestly, that is just as important as the sewing.  The more the word is spread, the bigger we get.  

I am not going to try and credit the individuals in the following stories because I would have to search through emails to make sure I have the details correct so I am just going to relate stories I have been told.  You all know how grateful I am.

Lots of you are talking to everyone you know about Aussie Heroes.  
Here is one message I got –

As you know I have been e-mailing all the places I can find on line and talking to EVERYONE I meet and have left your cards with a few people, I have also had them printed in the school newsletter with my sons’ girlfriend being the pick up person for any fabric that may come her way and she will give it to him to pass on to me when he pops in for his work break. I have also added it to our newsletter in our cloth doll club. We currently have 60 members. I think that if people have a work place newsletter or club they could do the same. Not everyone is on line. Just another way to pass the word around

And this from a Real Estate Agent who is also a Friend

I visited my local patchwork shop on the way home this afternoon and I asked him if I gave him a flyer about “our mission” ๐Ÿ™‚ would he put it up in the shop for everyone to see, and he said he would be honoured to. While I was there I bumped a girlfriend who I didnt even know quilted and was telling her about it also and she wants info, she has a craft group that she feels would like to get involved to. As I was talking to K, Jeff (owner of the shop) was looking at fabric and pulled a bolt out still in the plastic and gave it to me as a start.
Penrith Patchwork is the shop- he’s offering 20% discount on fabric at the moment.   I have a card which I can scan in and send you just have to tell him its for the military and will help.
I hope this is ok and can we get a flyer.
Also alot of my tenants have indicated theyd be happy to contribute snacks etc for goody bags.

Now that reminds me – I have made up a Flyer which is suitable to hang in a shop window etc.  I have just tonight sent some to some of the guys in Afghanistan so they can go up on a notice board to spread the word.  I can email it to you if you like.  Haven’t worked out how to upload it here yet.

I have sent some of my business cards to a few girls.  If anyone else wants some to hand out just let me know.  It makes it much easier to spread the word if you don’t have to scramble for a piece of paper to write the details down. 

Some girls chat others while waiting in line at the post office, or the fabric store.  Some are taking their completed quilts to “show and tell”.

Just let people know what you are doing – some people will be able to put up a flyer, some will join in the sewing, some might donate fabric and some might not be able to do anything but most will wish you well.  In fact, I have not had one negative comment which I find absolutely wonderful!

Would you believe that in the last 24 hours I have sent a copy of an amended Flyer to two guys, both soon to be recipients in Afghanistan and they both didn’t realize they were in contact with me till they both went to put up the same flyer!   LOVE IT!!!!

Incidentally, someone asked me what my standard reply was to “What will you do if they all come home?”

The standard answer for me is that there will always be Aussies serving overseas somewhere.  But seriously if the numbers serving overseas grow too small first I will party!  Then I will make other plans.  We still need to thank our military who do some much for us on Aussie soil especially when you consider all they do for us in difficult time- bushfires, floods, earthquakes.  Maybe we can allow military in Oz to request quilts for the cost of postage โ€“ most quilts will fit in a pre paid satchel. Just a thought but we can maybe expand to thank other heroes in the community members โ€“ Police, Firefighters, Ambulance, or  All just thoughts at the moment โ€“not overly concerned at this stage as I believe that there will always be Aussies serving overseas.  Does anyone else any ideas?

Raising Funds

Up until now we haven’t actually done much fund raising and I don’t really intend to in the future.      We have fairly modest needs.  If I was only quilting my quilts I could just buy the batting I need but as I am often sent quilt tops I need a lot of batting so a few funds come in handy.   We have received a few very wonderful donations.  I just want to be in a position to accept donations should any be offered.  In order to do that I need to open a bank account.  I am working on that at the moment and hope to have one sorted in the next couple of weeks.
I will let you know when I have it established in case any of you are offered donations on our behalf.  Donations will go towards buying batting, business cards, box labels, postage and anything else we can’t go without.

Update on posting.  

So far I have been sending out these labels to everyone sending out boxes and I thought it wasn’t necessary to use them any more but I have had a re-think.  During the Christmas and ANZAC Day mailings our “care packages” are “competing with all the others that get sent over.  In order to make our boxes stand out I still think we need to make them identifiable as AUSSIE HEROES!  We need to make it clear that our boxes are special! 
I have been asking a few questions of the some of the soldiers that have requested quilts and laundry bags and they have been more than happy to inform me – today I got this feedback on how Care Packages are handled at least in the area this fellow is.

Normally what happens is when a shipment comes in they are placed out for individuals to take one if they wish. After about a week, any that are not taken are opened by the Quartermasters and their contents placed into appropriate areas. ie food is sent to the mess, letters go up in the letter board, magazines got to the Recreation Hut, etc. I haven’t heard of any Hero Quilts going unclaimed. I know at least one guy who got one in a care package (hopefully he sent a thank you). Things like these would be pretty popular around here.

Not a very exciting post so far but all necessary info.  Now for some pics!  We had an Aussie Hero sewing day on Wednesday this week.  Carol, Claire, Cynthia, Sharon and Wendy came. We worked pretty hard but it wasn’t what you would call an exciting day.  I have had about 6 huge garbage bags of donated fabric sitting waiting to be sorted out for weeks.  I had separated out the pieces that would be usable for Aussie Heroes  but there was still plenty left.      I needed someone to help me identify the various fabrics and help me note the various lengths.  My plan is to put the fabrics on ebay and hopefully raise some funds for Aussie Heroes.  Claire and Carol sorted and folded a heap of donated sheets that I am going to use for laundry bag liners.  Lots of them were fitted sheets and needed the elastic cut off them.  And Wendy was the IRON LADY – or the ironing lady.  She made sure that all the Sheets were pressed in half ready to cut into liners.  Thanks girls. It wasn’t the most exciting day but it was well worth it.  Next time we get together I promise we will have more fun!

What Carol and Claire brought with them was much more fun and just as well coz we need some pictures in this post.

This is a Turramurra Quilters’ effort – top made by Elizabeth and quilted by Carol.  Isn’t this gorgeous?   Would you believe that those gum blossom pictures come from one of the lovely tea towels donated to us?  Great idea!
 This quilt top was made by Maria from WA and sent to me for completion.  It features another one of our donated tea towels.  Carol quilted and bound it for us.

 And our final tea towel quilt is the work of another quilter from Turramurra, Trish.   It is not quilted yet but I thought I would show it to you as I love the colours and I think it is a very creative use of the tea towel.  What do you think?

HOPEFULLY, I will get the BOM tutorial for June done tomorrow so I can show you all tomorrow night.  Wish me luck.

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