I’m Back!

Oh boy!  What a busy time!  I headed off to Canberra first thing Thursday morning and arrived just in time to have a quick and yummy lunch with Jennie, the lovely warrant officer’s wife.  From there it was off to Campbell Park Offices where I met one of the chaplains that I was emailing whilst he was “over there”.  I can’t tell you how nice it was to finally meet someone and talk face to face with them after exchanging lots of emails. And it was lovely to be greeted with a hug too!

I had just enough time to check into my hotel before heading out to my next appointment t Russell Offices.  Would you beleive that on the way there my navman ran out of charge.  now that might not be so surprising and it might have been bad planning – if not for the fact that it was plugged into the car charger at the time!!!!  So, here I was zipping along to a very important meeting and I had no idea where to go!  Aghgghhhg!  Now I used to live in Canberra and have worked at both Russell Offices and Campbell Park but that was 16 years ago – it has changed a lot and what does remain the same, well, let’s just say the memory is a bit rusty.  I headed off in the general direction and hoped for the best.  Fortunately I had the mobile phone number of the friend who had set the meeting up and I was able to call her and she directed me where to go- PHEW!!!  Now that is why I always leave early and allow plenty of time (note to my sons who hate me doing that!)

For this meeting I was joined by the lovely warrant officer which was invaluable.  I can’t tell you who we met with but suffice to say it was a very charming officer, senior in rank who will be heading “over there” in coming months to take up a position.  He was very supportive of Aussie Heroes and I will be following up with him this week.   Having the lovely warrant officer there was great as he was able to answer questions that only someone who has been on the ground can answer.

Thursday night was the reason I planned the trip to Canberra in the first place.  I was guest speaker at Canberra Quilters and can I say it was such a privilege to be asked and they are such a lovely welcoming bunch of ladies.  Sadly there are no photos of me up on stage giving my presentation, shame  ๐Ÿ™‚ not!  

I did get  a quick pick of the audience as I went up on stage so you could see things from my vantage point.

I think I can say that my presentation went over well – they at least laughed at the right times and I have been told there were a few tears shed too.  At least I know I didn’t embarrass myself and any presentations from now on won’t be so daunting.

They gave me a lovely card AND would you believe it  quilt for Aussie Heroes!  
And it is a gorgeous one.
Such rich colours!

Thank you Canberra Quilters!  

And if you are in Canberra next weekend I strongly recommend that you get a long to their annual quilt show!  I would be going if I was there – bad timing if you ask me!
One last things to – keep an eye on my Cherry Red Blog because on Thursday I will show you the quilts they shared for show and tell.  Some every talented ladies there! 

On Friday I met with the Coordinator of the Duntroon Community Centre, Jennie.  She was lovely and also very supportive of Aussie Heroes.  Then I headed over for another great meeting with a Senior Chaplain for a very thorough meeting.  Let’s just say I walked out of that meeting with an awful lot to think about – some I can share with you in coming days and other things will have to wait til further down the track – but I really needed the night to process all the information that I had taken in.

Saturday saw me back out to Duntroon and sewing.  Well actually I cut and the other ladies sewed.  I was joined by Jennie, Lynn, Geniene, Noeleen, Jo and we got to work.   I was flat out cutting 3 1/2″ squares from cream and green ticking  and a check coupled with some of my precious Aussie fabric.  I think we got enough blocks done in the end for at least two quilt tops!  Jennie, who has not long ago had surgery for Carpel Tunnel on BOTH hands and who hasn’t sewn for a year maybe? sewed like a machine and finished enough blocks on her own for a whole quilt top!   What a shame she doesn’t live in Sydney.  Could you imagine what we could do if she did?

Jennie and Geniene 

See the piles of nine patches!  
More photos of them when I have had time to iron them!



 and there was also Lyn but she did not want to be photographed and I know how she feels.

Another lovely lady called Valetta took pity on me and helped me cut squares so that I could keep up with the demand for the blocks.  Thank you Valetta!

Can I tell you that Geniene knits the most wonderful woollen socks- something I could never do. I should have asked her if we could come to some arrangement – would love some wool socks!  Maybe next time!

One lovely lady, Kathy, made a point of sewing a quilt top for us before I even got there and it is just gorgeous!  Kathy wasn’t aware of the correct dimensions but no matter I can unpick a few rows and might even have enough to make a second quilt.  This is just so gorgeous!  You just can’t beat plaids for a masculine quilt can you!  Love it!  Thanks Kathy!

You can probably tell that it is a little bit wide and not long enough so I told Kathy that I will take some of the side and add to the bottom but look at all those plaids.  I just love it!  
And can you believe this was all made out of scraps and was stitched up in a couple of days!  Way to go Kathy!

Jo and Geniene even took some blocks home for homework.  Noeleen and Lynn did really well considering both of them are beginner quilters! 

Rachael dropped in to say hello.  She had been planning to sew as well but with her hubby away in Afghanistan there was noone to look after her boys and they were not in the mood for mum to sew.  She did however bring in the gorgeous quilt that she has just finished for her hubby!!!  and she had her little boys paint hand prints on the back of it for him!  He is going to love that!!!  I am just cranky that I didn’t think to take a photo!

 It was lovely to see everyone and a special mention to all the lovely ladies from the Duntroon Community Centre who were just so welcoming and accommodating.  And an even more special mention to Ann who made the yummiest pikelets I have had in a long time!!!  There were  apparently muffins too but I didn’t get to eat any of them as the girls kept me busy cutting!
Thank you, thank you , thank you!

That is enough for me tonight.  I have unpacking to do so I best get on to it as there is plenty to do once it is done.  I have some new developments to report but I need to wait til a few things have been put in place before I share them all publicly.

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