I am hoping in the next few weeks to put a tally on the side bar of the blog to record how many quilts and laundry bags have been sent away so first I needed to check the numbers!

Oh my goodness!  Even I was surprised at the number of quilts.  Since 1 January this year when we started officially – 
396 quilts have been sent off!   

That is Awesome!   At this rate, given that the word is spreading, much more quickly these days  I would not be surprised if we reach 1000 quilts by Christmas time – sounds like a pretty good goal to me and quite achievable.  
Seriously it is AWESOME!

As far as laundry bags go – just going off the photos I have received – the tally stands at 240 but I think it is actually much higher than that as often people send me a picture of the quilt and not the laundry bag.  When I have time (LOL) I will see if I can amend that figure, but in the big scheme of things this blog is not about stats, but about actually doing something.  We know we have sent LOTS – we are not out to prove anything to anyone.  I will check laundry bag numbers when I can.  

Having said that though, I will be updating the tally every Friday from now on once I publish the quilts of the week.  After I have been to Canberra and had some blogging help from Jennie, the wife of the Lovely Warrant Officer, I will have the tally on the side bar for you to see.  YAY!  
By the way, if you haven’t checked out Jennie’s blog you are missing out!

This is a bit of a business update post tonight.  
We have had loads of new Friends start following the Facebook page so I though I should go over some bits and pieces they might not know.

Firstly welcome everyone – new Friends especially!  
Would you believe that we have had 20 new Facebook followers in the last 4 days!  
Woo Hoo and not all from one source either so that is pretty cool.  
Welfare Mailing
First off, let’s look at how we are sending the quilts these days.  Our main way of getting lots of quilts overseas is via the welfare mailing system.  
The next mailing dates are 6 November – 8 December.   
There is another mailing period 15 March to 15 April.  

Can I please encourage you to try and sew a quilt for each of these mailing periods whenever you have time.  These are the quilts that get to people that we can’t always reach ourselves.  Last mailing period at least one made it out to the most remote patrol base the army has ever served in.  The fellow who received it said it really did boost his morale and I think that is powerful.

I suspect there are a few people out there quietly beavering away on a quilt or two for Christmas which is wonderful, but if I can also encourage you to plan for one for the April mailing as well that would be great.  We have from April to December to sew for the Christmas mailing but the April one is a bit tougher.  

Everyone will breathe a sigh of relief after the Christmas mailing finishes on the 8th of December and we will all be straight into getting ready for our own Christmases.  
Then it will be January and school holidays and before you know it kids will be back at school and it will be February and there will only be a matter of weeks till we can start mailing again.  

I am not going to set goals and be urging everyone to sew just a little bit more for the ANZAC Day mailing as I know you will all do what you can.  But if I mention it now, maybe you can make a few blocks, or cut a few extra strips or whatever and have something quick and easy and ready to go.  Just a thought!

Special Requests
As well as the Welfare Mailing Periods we also send quilts as a response to requests!  And I am so pleased that this year, the number of quilts for requests is around 250.  Now not all of those are individuals – some are groups.  The Singleton Quilters made 60 quilts for the group of a local teacher’s son!   The Turramurra Group made 15 quilts for one group!  Another 15 quilts were sent to the team that replaced the Lovely Warrant Officer’s team earlier in the year.  Then there was the group in Egypt!  And we all know the WONDERFUL RESPONSE we got from Egypt!  If you are new you REALLY need to check it out! CLICK HERE 

There are a few groups coming up too.  I am hoping for another 15 quilts to go to the next team to take over from the lovely WO’s current team around end Sept/early October.  These will come from the Quilts in Waiting so if you are sewing a masucline quilt and think you will get it ready for that deadline – great!  

We already have 25 quilts ear marked for the next rotation into Egypt.  I have heard that there are 12 new members arriving in August but not sure when the rest are changing over. 

There is a wife in Canberra who is currently making a quilt for her hubby (she knows who she is) and once he has his quilt we are expecting to be able to send more quilts to his team.  Giggle!  She is currently trying to find out roughly how many guys he works with without letting on to him why she wants to know.  LOL!

And I also might come home from Canberra with some more contacts – 
I will be asking VERY NICELY!  

I am still hoping to get some  info on sending quilts to the dog handlers too and will hopefully hear something in the next week or so.  

These things take time as communications are not always easy and often the people we are talking to are out and about for days and not always sitting at their desks.   
Patience is the key!  
(Yes Chaplain, patience is a virtue.)

Quilts in Waiting
What I really need to have an idea of is how many quilts are out there underway.   If you finish a quilt can you please send me a picture of it so that I can put it in my quilts in waiting file.  This is my first port of call – these are the quilts in there at the moment.

This pretty one by Kaye
 The gorgeous Eye of the Tiger by Liz B
 And another pretty one by Fran

So, if you are sewing away and finish a quilt please email me a picture so I can add it to the collection.

It is really important that I know how many quilts are out there, particularly going to Canberra.  I can’t promise more quilts to a certain area if I am not sure we have them.  I often get emails from people saying they have started a quilt, or have completed a quilt top but I get so many that I just don’t have time to keep track of them.  What I need is the emails that tell me a quilt is finished and include a photo.  
So please please, please if you can do this that would be really helpful.

Additionally I am trying to build up the numbers of WWQs (Wounded Warrior Quilts) that are ready to go and short notice.  We all hope these quilts will never be used but if they are used they are so valuable and so much appreciated!

I currently have four WWQs in waiting 

The Turramurra Twins made the first three
And this another joint effort by Pam and I though Pam quilted it and bound it. 

But I would feel a lot better if there were more.

Gosh, I can’t believe it is less than two weeks till I go to Canberra and there is so much to do before then.  I have one meeting confirmed and am still trying to tee up another few.  It is a slow process liaising between the Middle East, RAAF Richmond and Canberra but I am hanging in there.

Pre-Paid Satchels
If you are waiting for me to fill a satchel for you please be patient.  I currently have four to do – please don’t send any more at the moment – cutting fabric for 12kg of satchels is a lot of cutting and mostly I have to do it on my own.  Luckily Caroline is coming over the help on Friday (with a sharp rotary blade I hope) and we will cut as many laundry bags as we can.  I also have to cut a heap to take to Canberra.  
If there are any other Sydney ladies that have time to do some cutting at home, or have time to come and help on Friday please leave me a comment or send me an email.  

Dates that you need to know about – 

Sydney Working Day – Friday 27th July
contact me for the address

Canberra Sewing Day – Saturday 4th August
Duntroon Community Centre – see here for full details but all materials will be supplied.  If you can sew a straight stitch you will be fine and if you can’t sew you can still drop in and say hello.  Donations of fabric are welcome as are ironers!

Penrith Sewing Day – Sundays 12 August and 16 September.  
contact me for details

I also had a lovely email over the weekend from a new LONGARM quilter in Brisbane who is happy to help out with Aussie Heroes so email me if you would like the details!
Thank you Diane!

Don’t forget out block of the months blocks.  
There is still time to have a go at the Shoo Fly Block.
Actually how about some feedback.  What sort of blocks do you like to make?

And just before I go – thank you so much for all your kind emails and comments about my wedding anniversary.  One of our recipients told me recently the two best things he had done in his life were marrying his gorgeous wife and joining the Army.  I can almost say the same thing except I would say the three best things I ever did were joining the military, marrying my gorgeous husband and starting Aussie Heroes!

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