Well, the quilts were made, laundry bags completed and finally the day had come to pack all the boxes.  First we packed up the laundry bags.  These just about filled a large box so we topped it up with some chocolates and tinsel and the like.
Then we got stuck into packing the 24 Christmas boxes.  We put in tinsel, chocolates, writing paper, chocolates, cookies, chocolates, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and more chocolates.  There were other things included too but you get the idea.
Each box had to be labelled.  A friend of mine printed up address and return address labels for me – thankyou so much Jacqui – it saved us so much time!  Each box needed a customs label and most of these were written out in advance by Andrea.  My husband and sons spent a bit of time the night before assembling all the boxes.  Aussie Flag stickers were attached too – can’t be too patriotic!!!
 Slowly the piles of completed boxes grew.
 Then they all had to be taped closed.
 By the time we sat down to a quick lunch we realized that we had one more box than quilts.  Most of us said oh well, there were extra quilts anyway so it didn’t matter.  But not Andrea – she finished her lunch, headed out to my back room where the group’s stash of fabric is kept and started gathering fabrics.  No way would I have been game enough to do that- they call me the slave driver as it is – but Andrea got away with it!  Before the girls knew what hit them, they were cutting and sewing strips, and then ironing them, then cutting some more.
Andrea pieced while others pinned and ironed.  
Glenys hand wrote the label and then I bordered it and attached it to the backing – had a spare one of those luckily!  
 Then I quilted
 and Andrea sewed on the binding.  
 For speed and durability all the bindings were sewn on by machine – took my quilt group out of their comfort zone a little – they all prefer hand sewn binding but there was a time crunch!
And finally, no more than two hours after it was started the final quilt was completed!
 Finally all the boxes were stacked up and ready to go!
 The next day Andrea brought her van over and all the boxes were loaded in – 49 in total!  23 blokes quilts, 1 girly quilt, 23 blokes Christmas boxes, 1 girly Christmas box and the one that started it all, one box of laundry bags!  I can’t tell you how proud I was of this pile of boxes!  This was the 9th of November – less than a month after I first asked Jennie if there was something I could do!
 Luckily Andrea taught the fellow in the Post Office in High School so he arranged for us to load our boxes straight from Andrea’s van to the Postie’s van and we waved them goodbye!
And then the hard part began….for me at least….waiting for the boxes to arrive!!!
What happened next?  Well, come back tomorrow!!!  And if you think you might like to get involved sewing laundry bags or contributing to quilts please email me or leave a comment.
Till then……..happy stitching!