Went into the laundry the other morning to drop my bag off. I think that for the first time, your bags were in the majority on the floor! You must have sent dozens here in the past few weeks

That message made my day today!   
How exciting to hear that in some places our laundry bags are in the majority.  But we still need more.  Today I also received this message

Good morning Marg and Jan-Maree;
Your beautiful laundry bags have arrived. I opened the box to have a look and the bright skeleton patterned bag on top drew attention of others in the room who came over for a squiz. Damn stickybeaks (lol).
Marg, your laundry bags will be moved to another location in this area where the lads and ladies are doing it a bit tough. From all the reactions I have seen so far when quilts and laundry bags are received from Aussie Hero Quilts, I have know doubt your skill and gifts will be greatly appreciated.
Please stay well, stay safe and thank you for your kind generosity.

Another Aussie Hero Friend, Jill, heard from a friend of hers who is in contact with friends in Afghanistan.  Apparently some of our laundry bags made it to an area that hasn’t seen them before and not everyone got one so there was a fair bit of envy.  it seems those that scored a laundry bag could just about name their price for them if they wanted to – but of course they are not parting with them!  So, if you have the time and the inclination to sew a laundry bag or two – you know it is going to be well and truly appreciated.

The following photos made my day yesterday!
In this one I can identify Cheryl R’s lovely yellow and black quilt and my blue and green Star Wars Quilt with the matching laundry bag.  If you can pick out your workmanship can you please let me know.
I can recognise Liz J’s laundry bag but I can’t remember who made the pink bordered quilt – with 900+ quilts on the books now it is not that easy.

Surely someone will recognise the quilt and maybe the three laundry bags.

Now the same fellow who sent me the photos is responsible for distributing care packages around Op Slipper.   He also sent me this photo and said – 

This is the quantity of stuff being sent from Australia by very generous people.  Bearing in mind that this is about a fifth of what we have ready for distribution and each of these pallets hold about 100 x 2kg boxes of goodies..

Now, what do we need to take away from this picture?  Basically he wants us to know that whilst the goodies we include our boxes are certainly appreciated and enjoyed by those that received them, we do not need to feel obligated to add them if we can’t.  If you want to include goodies feel free and know that they will be gratefully received.  If you find that it stretches your budget a little too much then do not feel you need to.  There are enough care packages around for everyone and the value in what we send comes from the quilts and laundry bags and even from the letters we include and that is more than enough.
I hope that makes sense.

Now on with the lovely messages. 

Good morning Debra (or rather good afternoon in Australia).
  I am writing to say a heartfelt thank you for not only the quilt and food treats you sent, but also the kind words you wrote in your letter. A lot of things here can dampen one’s spirits – the freezing weather, the environment and the general nature of life over here. Letters and packages from people like you and your family can certainly lift a person’s spirits.
  Deployments are testing in many ways but hearing news from home and receiving gifts such as yours absolutely helps, so thank you to you and all the others who sent over quilts and packages.
  In conclusion I’ll once again say thank you very much for the lovely quilt and treats you sent. It will certainly come in handy as the weather is now dropping down as low as -15 degrees, with temps of under -20 expected within the next week or two. I’m certainly very envious of your 42 degree days there in XXXX but it’s not too long until the end of my tour, so I’ll certainly be making the best of the good weather when I get back.
  All the best to you and your family Debra.

Dear Kaylene,
Happy New Year to you. I trust you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the festive period.  I recently returned from my mid deployment leave period which I spent with my family and have been busy catching up on some work. I received the quilt you sent through two weeks ago on my return and cannot thank you enough (also for the extra goodies you included). I put the quilt straight on my bed the day I got it and it is amazing what a bit of colour can do to brighten up the mood. I am humbled by the time and effort you have put into making it. Aussie Hero Quilts is a great idea and one that is very appreciated by serving members. 

And a message from a delighted wife. 

Talk about Defence taking me by surprise, but XXXXX quilt arrived this week which may be some record for their postal service!
 He was so surprised and loves it. He said he will send Terry a message of thanks directly and will try and get a pic too.
Once again thanks for providing such a selfless service. It meant a lot to him that someone from home took the time to make something so special for someone they don’t know.

Hi Jan-Maree
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you I love my Quilt so much. I received it today and it is so awesome thanks again for all the time you and your team put in to make these for us. It’s put a smile on my face for the rest of the day and it will definitely brighten up my room. I will send an email to the two beautiful ladies that made it for me shortly.

Kelly and Carol Lee – standby for your email.

And one last one for Stephanie

Good Morning, I received the quilt and washing bag and it is so beautiful. Thank you so much, it has made my room nice and bright. thanks again.  

Today was The Penrith Sewing Day and we had the most people ever.  Kiwi Karen, Carolyn, Pam, Jan, Diane, Amanda (a newbie) came along to sew and sew we did.  

All of the quilt kits I took along were sewn into new quilt tops.  

Linda’s BOM blocks joined by Kiwi Karen 

Random BOM joined by Jan

Scrappy November BOMs joined by Amanda

September BOMs joined by Diane

And I think this was joined by Carolyn …
bit hard to remember when they won’t get in the pic!

 Most need borders but they will be sorted out on the sewing day on the 21st. 

 One quilt needed binding, thanks Pam!

  I had backings that needed piecing and most of them were done – only two left I think.  

I can’t show you what I worked on because that would give it away to the recipient who I know reads the blog but I nearly got my quilt top together!

Three ladies also dropped in to say hello.  Cheryl R dropped in to say hi and to show me her latest AHQ  – can’t say to much about her quilt either, it is just too distinctive but wait till you see it!  magic.  Cheryl didn’t want to promise to sew today as she is currently on standby to play Grandma to TWO babies – one to be born at Westmead, the other at Maitland.  All the best, Cheryl! keep us posted please.  Leanne dropped in to collect two quilts to quilt – big thanks Leanne.  Last time she quilted for us she used an awesome gumleaf design.  Can’t wait to see what she does next.
And Wendy B dropped in to deliver a donation of fabric from a friend of hers! Thanks so much!!!

Yet another super productive sewing day!

A small request

When you are deciding what quilt to make next feel free to make anything you like, however please bear in mind that it is really difficult and quite time consuming for me to try and match a special themed quilt with the “right” person.  There are only two ways I can do it.  The first is to put a picture of the quilt on the facebook page and ask if anyone knows someone this will suit.  This has not been particularly successful in the past.  The second way is to individually email those who have requested quilts and ask if a particular theme appeals to them.  I am sorry but the second method is just too time consuming to do.  It is also fraught with danger because if I go to someone and ask if they like a particular theme and they don’t they often come back with “but I do like ……..”

So, please, feel free to make anything you like but please also understand that it is often the luck of the draw  as to who it goes to unless you are making it with a specific request in mind.  Finally, it is actually really hard to get quilts to specific jobs types such as cooks and dog handlers.  My contacts over there are usually really busy and I really don’t like to email them with requests to find a home for special quilts on a regular basis.  I have searched for “just the right person” in the past but I do hope you understand if I don’t do it in the future. 

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 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.  

I suspect that this year is going to be extremely busy and I am already looking at ways to delegate jobs to make it easier for me to manage.  There are a few things that are set to happen in coming months that will hopefully bring in more quilters, coupled with the fact that news of AHQ has spread so much more than last year so that we are getting more requests.   

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