Greetings all. I hope you have all had a good weekend and are ready to approach the coming week with renewed energy.
I thought I would start tonight’s post with something a little special. It is not often that I can share much from the troops other than their thank you messages as I have to protect their privacy etc. This is a little different though. As you may remember we have more or less “adopted” a member I call “Our Deployed Quilter”. We are currently making her quilt which is one of our Mystery Quilts! 🙂 She is very excited about it too! 🙂 Given our common interests which include quilting and the military and I must admit I suspect our senses of humour, we have become quite regular correspondents which has been an absolute delight for me. Every now and then ODQ shares something that I think might be of interest to you and also quite appropriate to share. I have sought her permission to pass these missives on to you from time to time. In true quilter fashion her reply was
“You are more than welcome to use any of my emails publicly. Quilting to me has always been a community of sharing. We borrow ideas and patterns, we help out with each other’s work and take pieces of the most perfect material from other peoples’ stash. It sounds perfectly normal as you update AHQ team. Fill your boots, as they say.”
Obviously some of our “conversations need to remain private, in order to protect the innocent (hee hee) but here are a couple of pieces that I thought you might enjoy.
The first is about her rare day off shopping in Dubai – I can hear the envious groans from here! Don’t worry, I am with you! but think about this – I think they have only one day off a month!
“I had my first day off on Friday and went to the Dubai Mall. As I’ve lived in Darwin for the past many, many years. My shopping is very limited. The biggest shops are KMART, Big W and Target and then I get here and visit the biggest shopping centre in the world. I was blown away, I was there for 12 hours and still have not got around the whole centre. It was a bit surreal, “Names, darling names” and to think I was too scared to walk into the designer shops. I only went in if they had a sale on ( I think there were in two to be exact). They still had ridiculous prices though. I felt like the woman from the movie “The Exorcist” my head was spinning.
Anyway, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my work again and I am very grateful to the most fabulous experience that I having. I love it!”
And then this one about our craft of sewing….
“Sewing is seen as a menial task over here. To go into a general clothes store (Arabic), there are tailors. Mostly Indian it seems and they sew beautifully of course. But the fabric I lay my hands on, none are 100 per cent cotton. Which seems quite strange, but they love the flowing fabric. Its the look of course. I have seen sewing machines for sale, nothing flash like our computerised ones. It has been an experience looking at the Dubai culture, I have never seen so many designer handbags on peoples arms. Singapore has the same status symbol need, but here it is really big, with really big money. I mean a $12,000 handbag on your arm?”
I will bring you more bits and pieces from ODQ as they become available and as appropriate.
In the mean time as it is Cherry Sunday – here are some requests from this week.
My name is XXXXX and my friend XXXXXX and I are currently serving overseas with the Army. We have been serving for 4 years each and this is our first deployment.
During walking through our shared accom, we started speaking to our friend who shares a room with a guy that has been sent a beautiful quilt and laundry bag, included with pics of him and his children. I first want to say how amazing they looked and how much they make a room feel more like a home. Instead of looking at plain white sheets. With that said, I would like to ask if myself and my friend XXXXX, could be made one of these beautiful quilts before we head back home (8 weeks to go!!!!!)
We were not sure what to say or how to go about it this, but happy if you could please direct us 🙂
Thanks again for all your help”
(quilts and laundry bags are already on their way to these two)
I have just arrived overseas and was shown the quilt you made up for the person i replaced, wow, i was very impressed. I’d certainly be happy to hang something like that on a wall!
I’d like to request one also if at all possible.
I’m not sure what details you need but I have been told to give you a theme. I guess most people know me as being a keen cyclist and traveller (in fact i’m taking next year off to ride half way round the world). Maybe something along those lines? Cheers, and thanks for your great work.”
And definitely my favourite for the week!
“Good afternoon Jan-Maree
I am writing to request – if possible – that I receive one of your renowned Aussie Quilts, news of which is travelling fast, unfortunately for both you and your frantic, hard working Quilters.
I fully understand if this is not possible, especially considering my proposed time frame – I leave the MEAO on 13 Nov 13.
My sporting interest is the three football codes (Soccer, NRL, AFL) with Manchester United (Soccer), Brisbane Broncos, QLD State (NRL) and the Brisbane Lions (AFL) as my favourites.
I wish to also add that here in the MEAO, your organisation and the work that you do, is both highly regarded and appreciated and I sincerely hope that you are able to continue with the great work that you and your volunteers do.
I have heard many stories of appreciation from members who have received your works of art and how much it has effected the recipients usually at a time when a cheery quilt was needed.
Please keep up the great work.
Thank you in advance.“
(this request is already underway 🙂 )
And just few stats that I thought you might be interested in.
There are currently have over 200 quilts in transit to members involved in Operations Slipper, Mazurka and Aslan. Additionally we have around 120 currently in construction for specific personnel and more than 40 personnel on the list who are yet to be allocated to a quilter. I even have the names of members who are not yet deployed so that their families and friends can get the in the queue. We will make 2000 quilts this year easily. Will be make 2500? I wonder.
That is all for tonight. I must away to my machine. (Insert big grin here!)
Till next time………………….keep spreading the word and happy stitching! JMxx
I suggest to the ODQ that next time she has a day off she go wander through the souks (markets) down by the river. If she thought the shopping centre was mind blowing the souks were for me even more so.