By now I suppose all of you have heard that three of our wonderful soldiers were injured in Afghanistan, two of them seriously enough to be sent to Germany for further treatment.  I thought we had managed to get our quilts there just in time but unfortunately our first WWQ arrived on the Chaplain’s desk an hour before they left for Germany.  At least I know that all three WWQs have now arrived.  

I made inquiries to see if there was anyway we could post a WWQ direct to them in Germany but it seems they are usually not there long, maybe a couple of days.  It is so frustrating to know we missed them by an hour or so but I can’t help thinking of their families back home and what we have to deal with is nothing!

So what can we do?

Two things – sew and spread the word.  

The sewing…….

I know our next mailing period is not until November but i believe that as the guys get parcels from others including the RSL at Christmas anyway we should try and send as many quilts as we can during the year.  I want to be ready to respond to any requests we get throughout the year.  

For example,
we can now send at least ten quilts and laundry bags to Egypt if we have them.  
Anyone who is interested in sending one now or in coming weeks please email me or leave a comment.  I am just confirming the address and finding out how many males and females.

I have even heard from one lady who has a daughter in law serving in Egypt!   That prompts me to say that even though we have focused on those serving in the Middle East if you know of an Aussie serving anywhere overseas of course they can have a quilt too.  If you can’t organize it just let me know.

Also, if you have the time and the ability, it would be wonderful if you could make a WWQ or even just a quilt top which you can send to me so that we can always have a supply of quilts ready to go when needed. If you can’t make a whole quilt and a whole quilt top is beyond your means time wise or otherwise, send me an 8 inch block (7 1/2″ with seam allowance makes it “) in Aussie fabric or red white and blue and I will combine them into WWQs.

Now to spreading the word……………

There are lots of ways to do that, some easier than others.  As I recently told you I have just had an article published in the Online Quilt Magazine.  I am also set to be a guest speaker for the Canberra Quilters in August as well as for my local Rotary Club  in September(how nice of them both to ask me!!!)

You can do things too.  Here is one story….

Wendy wrote to me to tell you  the following     “Just got to let you know of a conversation I had when trying to decide which beautiful fabrics to choose at Darn Cheap Fabrics this morning.  I was there to get some ‘Bling’ for a movie costume for DS#2’s Uni course… but of course ended up in the quilt fabrics

Not being able to decide on which ones to have, so bought a half meter of the entire range (Michelle’s Backyard – by Michelle Marvig for Charles Parsons @ $7:50 per mt).   Ouch big hit to my quilting budget BUT there was a voice from the other side of the table said “Do you have a project in mind?”    Of course too good to resist I reply “Well, actually I am part of a program that makes Quilts for our Serving soldiers overseas so some of this will be going to the Middle East”

The lady (customer) asked “how did you get involved” then took the details of what to google and then told me that her group was without a project at the moment and then asked if it was ‘self funded’ and whether there were any girls to make for, I gave her as much info in a very short time. I hope that you will be getting an enquiry from someone in the Heidelberg/Ivanhoe area of Melbourne.”

I did a similar thing at one of my local craft stores and a lovely lady called Diane contacted me later and has recently handed over a quilt and a laundry bag and just last week came and collected two quilt tops to sew and more than a dozen laundry bags to sew!

Tell your friends, even your non-sewing friends.  I phoned my hubby’s travel agent ( they have booked his travel for the last 16 years!!!  Lots of it!!!!) to ask them to donate a prize for a quiz nite being held to benefit a young lady in our community and after sorting that out we chatted and I brought up Aussie Heroes.  Lo and behold, the lovely agent knows someone who is a quilter so she asked me to email her the details and the links.  

Another girlfriend from up the coast visited me yesterday and she isn’t a quilter but she is going to pass the news on to friends of hers who are.  You just never know where things might lead. 

If you are game enough, ring your local talk back station, tell them what you are doing and announce that we are looking for more Friends.  You don’t need to give them your number,  Quote the blog name or my email address.  Call your local paper.  Talk to the lady next to you at your local quilt store.  Talk to the owner of your local quilt store.  Just do whatever you are comfortable with and above all, have fun.  If you want me to send you some of my business cards to hand out just leave me a comment.  I have found them a great tool and they have all the important info on them. 

On a more pleasant note I received another thankyou email from a soldier serving in Egypt.

As a lucky recipient of a quilt, laundry bag and snacks provided by Aussie Hero Quilts, I am truly appreciative of the gesture. It is really wonderful knowing that women from all over Australia donate their time and materials to make such items for the Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen serving overseas. Support from back home is crucial to the success of our missions and the morale of our Service men and women.
My sincere thanks to you and your colleagues on behalf of all the Aussies currently serving in Egypt.

And finally…
I will leave you with a couple of pictures of what I have been working on.  This went together so quickly.  The stars on this quilt took me just a couple of hours one evening, including the cutting.  The strips didn’t take long either.  The whole quilt went together really quickly
 including piecing the back and the lovely Carol from Turramurra Quilters stippled and bound it for me.  Does anyone what a tutorial on this one?
This will be going along with it but I can’t show you any more of Belvedere’s quilt till it arrives in Afghanistan.  All will be revealed then.
Till next time………..keep spreading the word and happy stitching!