This week’s Friend of the Day is Janine.
I am Janine Camm and I live on an organic ginger farm on the Sunshine Coast in Qld which, after almost 27 years, I feel is the very best place to be.
My husband is a part time farmer and part time Secondary teacher.
My birthplace was Sydney but I have also lived in Melbourne, Darwin and Adelaide followed by 12 years in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. My children were born in Katoomba and I was a foster parent for 17 years. We moved to Qld in 1986.
For many years my occupation has been Primary School Teacher Aide. Before that I taught Art and Craft and have worked in various areas of Design including graphic design and children’s clothing. As an 8 year old I started sewing to make dolls clothes. This extended to making my own clothes and that went into stage costumes and scenery, rag dolls and lots of other things. In the 90’s I was sewing clothes and toys for a precious granddaughter. I have done very little patchwork since I moved to this warm climate but hope to get back into that again for AHQs.
I don’t usually go to quilt shops. The Patchwork Angel is close by but I have only been there once. Usually it’s Spotlight or ebay, where I have some favourite sellers, or second hand shops – it’s exciting to find unexpected treasures. I’m not a pattern follower, I like to design as I go, but find I am enjoying the BOMs and I’m gaining new skills.
In July 2012 I made my first laundry bags for AHQ and then I started the BOMs. I enjoy sewing laundry bags. I know they will be used, one can be made in a day, and they don’t use a lot of fabric.
As I have worked at the one school for 26+ years, I’ve had the privilege of following many students through their lives and careers and often seeing the next generation of that family in the classroom. A number of our former students have joined up and some have served overseas. Recently a young man I first met when he was one week old, and who is the son of one of our teachers, returned from Afghanistan. His mother clicked ‘like’ on the AHQ facebook which showed up on my newsfeed – I thought it looked interesting, I read through the blog and wanted to be involved.
My own parents served Australia during WWll. Mum was a sergeant in the Australian Women’s Army, stationed in Brisbane, when she met my father who was a sub-Lieutenant in the Navy. After the war Dad remained in the navy for a few years, then the naval reserve until retirement and finally the volunteer reserve. Every Thursday night of my childhood, Dad went from his bank job in the city to Rushcutters Bay, to teach navigation classes, arriving home late in full uniform. Twice a year he went to sea with the navy. I was very proud of him. Our toy box, as kids, was a white painted wooden box with Dad’s name and number stencilled on the top. We also used his white canvas duffle bag, with the same stencilling – it must have been his laundry bag. Sadly, I have almost out lived my parents, who both died of cancer.
So far I’ve made 7 laundry bags – interrupted by a broken arm for a while. I intend to make more – I must make more, you should see the fabric I bought! In fact we used some of my laundry bag fabrics as decorations at my recent 65th birthday party!
I want to sew for AHQ for several reasons – I enjoy making things with fabric, I enjoy it even more if there is a practical purpose for what I make, I am a big softy when it comes to caring for kids and many of our service men and women are just kids away from home and I’d like to be part of this group of generous, selfless Aussie women
I don’t know about all of you but I am really enjoying reading a little more about all the lovely Aussie Hero friends we have!
It seems Caroline, made a little error in the measurements for the longer strips in her tutorial. She has edited the post now so all is fine there but if you are making one of the quilts and things just don’t quite seem to fit that is why and you might need to add cornerstones instead!
Yesterday I received a note from the wife or a recipient who sent this messge
XXXXX was finally able to get in contact with me. Quilt and bag arrived safe and sound with lots of thanks. He said the laundry bag has come in so handy because it is something we never thought to take with him and he was carrying his washing to the laundry in a pillowcase. It really is the small things in life that make all the difference including a touch of home.
And this email came in overnight as well.
I wanted to sincerely thank you for your quilt that I’ve just received in the mail today. It was a little unexpected but is certainly a welcome present! It was extremely well timed as well as the weather has taken a turn during the last week and is starting to slide into the depths of winter. I know that there is at least one guy in my room that is really jealous of your handiwork. He instantly exclaimed “Where did that come from – that’s awesome!”. The other guys in the room also thought I was pretty spoilt and that having people like you back at home really makes us work harder to do honorable work on behalf of the Australian public. You are well appreciated by the guys on deployment!
If it’s not too much to ask, my room-mate was wondering if you would be ever so kind as to send him a quilt as well? He was so jealous that I think he might steal mine!
Again, thank you very much for your superb present. The quilt has made itself a home on my bed where it will firmly remain for the winter months.
Every now and then I find that a new Aussie Hero Friend goes to the Post Office, often a smaller one in a regional area where they might not have handled Defence mail before, and has a problem trying to send off one of their boxes. That happened again today and our Friend managed to send off the boxes but received a bit of a dressing down from the Postie concerned.
Now I am not going to mention any names as the point of this is to educate not embarrass, but I thought the story was worth sharing. Basically you are entitled to send whatever you want, provided it is not a prohibited item like alcohol or pornography and any other items that are not allowed to be posted. You should use an Australia Post Bx2 and the box, when packed, needs to weigh less than 2kg and be labeled with a green customs sticker.
After receiving an email from this Friend, explaining what had happened, I phoned her (that is a good reason to give me your phone number – sometimes so much easier than another email for me to draft). We discussed what had happened and then I rang Australia Post direct. Explained the situation to them and the lovely fellow that I spoke to was most unhappy that a customer, doing the right thing, had had a negative experience. He called the post office in question whilst I waited on hold and re-educated them nicely.
The bottom line is that you may have to educate a new postie but what we are doing is perfectly within the Australia Post Rules – I researched it before I started. If in doubt ask them nicely to call head office.
Just a little extra info – the postie I was talking to is married to…….a quilter……..and he took the details to pass on to his wife! Keep spreading the word ladies – you just never know who you are talking to!
Till next time……………..keep spreading the word and happy stitching!