Thank you for your interest in Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags).
The vast majority of our quilts are made to match requests submitted by the sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen who will receive them.
Every Monday I put out a list of the quilts and laundry bags that people are asking for. If you would like to make a quilt and do not find any requests that appeal then please let me know, I am sure we can work something out.
I strongly suggest that you contact me before you start a quilt so that we can make sure that what you are making will have a home once you have finished it.
Many of my quilters like to have a starting point so that they know that the quilt/bag they are making will fit with the recipient’s tastes. The recipients are asked to give me their favourite colours, hobbies and interests. They will ask for every sort of quilt/bag you have ever imagined and a few you have never considered. Often they will include lots of information and the requests can look bewildering but you have to remember that often they do not know what to ask for or what is possible so the idea is to try and make something that somehow relates to their request without trying to include everything they ask for … unless you really want to.
You are under no obligation to make anything from the list each week but it will show you what people are asking for. If you would like to take on one of the quilts or laundry bags on the list then send me an email (email@example.com)
Providing I have your name, address and phone number I will send you their details. You then have 5-6 weeks to make a quilt and/or bag and get it in the mail. If you need longer than that please let me know. We will work something out.
When you tell me you are ready to post I will send you the posting instructions. Before you have sent off your quilt, you then send me a photo of the quilt and/or laundry bag and the full name of the recipient and their service details via email. I let them know their quilt/laundry bag is on the way and they start to haunt the PO.
You have about a 50% chance of hearing back from them depending on their circumstances etc. I am assured, all the time, by recipients I am in touch with that this lack of response is nothing to do with appreciation for what we do. More likely it is due to the hours our defence members work on deployment and often a level of emotional tiredness that seeps in as the deployment progresses.
The quilts were designed to be portable and easy to post. Aussie Hero Quilts are sized to be the width of the fabric so about 42″ at most. The length should be 70″. I know some of you will think that this size seems a little narrow, but the quilts also have to be small enough for the recipients to carry with them. Many will take their quilt wherever they go for the rest of their service life and beyond. They also need to be the right size to fit on top of a navy bunk at sea and a bunk bed on land. If you make the quilts too wide this makes them too big and bulky. Trust me, long and thin works. Please email me if this causes you any challenges.
Please use only 100% cotton batting, Bamboo batting or a 60% wool/40%polyester batting. These types of batting have been trialed “in country” and we know they do the job. The climates where these quilts are going vary from tropical to below freezing so these quilts need to be versatile.
All quilts are to be quilted. Straight stitch quilting is fine as is stippling and fancier quilting designs. We don’t tie quilt and please, NO RAG QUILTS.
Binding can be hand sewn or machine sewn. I cut the binding 2 1/2″ for hand sewing and 2 3/4″ for machine sewing. There is a tutorial for the binding here if desired.
Every quilt must have and Aussie Hero Label on it as follows:
This is an
AUSSIE HERO QUILT
made for an
with gratitude for your service.
I would appreciate it if the wording remains the same but feel free to the name of the quilter etc. I would like all Aussie Hero Quilts to be easily identifiable as such as they are very recognisable and widely known. Labels can be printed on printable fabric or hand written on plain fabric using a pigma pen (available from quilt stores).
If you would like help with your labels please contact Jan-Maree for the details of one of our volunteers who will send you some printed ones.
What if you would like to make a quilt that does not match a specific request?
My best suggestion for this is that you check out our request list. If you would like to see it send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I tell you how to find it. That way you will see what people are asking for and can tailor your design to suit some of the common themes. I think it is much more rewarding to make a quilt for a specific person and to be able to send it off yourself direct to them.
If you cannot make a quilt for a specific request, then quilts that will appeal to a broad range of tastes are best. We call these RANDOM QUILTS. Additionally, it is actually really hard to get quilts to specific job types such as cooks and dog handlers.
If you want to use up your themed fabric think about mixing a few themes up and making an adult “I Spy” quilt as those have been really popular or make a quilt that is predominantly colour based and throw your themed fabrics into it based on colour. Quilts made in the colours of footy teams are really popular as well. Quilts made with a sporting theme, one sport or multiple always go down well, regardless of whether the recipient is a particular fan of that sport. Just some suggestions anyway.
ONE BIG REQUEST – if you are making a RANDOM QUILT where possible please keep your quilts gender neutral or masculine. Yes, we have female members serving, but they do not often request girly quilts and when they do I have an over supply of volunteers to take them on.
What is the next step?
Once you have finished or nearly finished your quilt what do you do with it? That is easy. First, if possible, please email a picture of the quilt to me. Once I get a picture of the quilt I will allocate the name and address of a serving member to you, assuming I have someone appropriate.
Once I give you a name and address you can then post off your quilt, following our Posting Instructions. Please note, as I am giving you a serving member’s full postal details I require the quilter’s name, address and phone number first. I feel a little uncomfortable handing over a service person’s details if all I have is an email address. Hope you understand.
If I do not have someone on my list that is right for your quilt I will request you post the quilt to me so that I can hold it til the right person comes up. It is hard to remember who has what if the quilts are not here where I can see them. If you send a letter with your quilt I will pass it on with the quilt to the recipient and where possible, I will let you know where your quilt has gone.
Any questions? Please always feel free to email me at email@example.com