Well it is for me because while my teens have been languishing in bed now that they have become nocturnal creatures I have been binding!  So far three quilts down and three to go!  Mind you, I have only sewn one side of the binding down – then it will be over to my wonderful friend, Del, to do the hand sewing for me!

It is always lovely to be able to share some thank you messages and photos 
and this one is particularly nice.  This fellow’s Mum requested 
a quilt and laundry bag for him and she wrote on his behalf. 
Check it out.

I am sending you this email because XXXXX has been experiencing some problems with his email account. I know he has tried several times to send a thank you without success. He told me he has sent an email via his mate’s account but in case that doesn’t get to you, I will thank you most heartily on his behalf. He is most appreciative of the time and effort that goes in to creating something so beautiful, and also for the “lovely message” written on the quilt. 
XXXXX tells me there is snow on the mountains already so the quilt will be very welcome!
I have attached a photo of my very happy son with his brand new quilt by Miranda. Thank you so much to Miranda for making the quilt, Jill- his laundry bag-although I don’t think he has received this yet- and to you Jan-Maree for organizing everything. He is the envy of his mates- so much so that he has asked if I would pass their names on to you. He has had a real morale boost – and looks so very happy! THANK YOU!! 

And he does look happy doesn’t he!

Then Melissa received this thanks for the Dobey Bag she sent to HMAS ANZAC – A Dobey Bag is Navy speak for laundry bag!

I would like to say a big thank you for the great effort and time you have put in to making the dobey bags. I was lucky enough to receive one of your artistic designs and already have it on display in my cabin. The Padre has had them available for collection today and they have gone very quickly! 
…………………………………….He wrote lots of other lovely info about himself but you don’t get to see that…..sorry……………………………….
Once again a big thank you for the time and effort you placed in to making the dobey bags for the crew onboard Anzac. It is a lovely gesture and well appreciated. 
Kylie had just asked me the other day if her quilt should have arrived in Afghanistan yet and then this turned up in her inbox.

 My name is XXXXX and I currently serving overseas 🙂 Words can not express the gratitude that we all have in receiving the wonderful quilts, and in particular that one that I received today. It just absolutely brought a tear to my eyes and I was extremely proud showing it to everyone on my team. Thank you so very much Kylie, receiving something as beautiful as that makes me appreciate that there are kind wonderful people in the world who care and who are thinking about us all over here.

         This place makes you realize that we certainly do live in the lucky country and one that we should embrace with every opportunity that we get. ……………………. Please extend my gratitude to all the wonderful people who make the quilts and for you, I would like to express my sincere appreciation. It is people like you who make what we do over here all worth while – you have certainly made my day and for that I will be forever grateful!

Please take care and please be so very proud of yourself for making a difference to our lives 🙂
Kindest Regards,

And from HMAS ANZAC a couple of thank you messages for Julie Ann..

Hello Julie, I would just like to say a big thank you for your time and efforts in making these wonderful laundry bags. It brings a big smile to my face when I think that there are people out there that do care about us and are thinking about us in during our deployment. 
I don’t have much else to say except thank you again. 
Warmest regards, 

Hello Julie, My name is XXXXX and I am on board HMAS Anzac, currently deployed to the middle east as part of maritime security operations.  I’m writing to you to say thank you for the homemade laundry bag that was distributed to me after the last mail delivery to the ship. 
It was nice to get something homemade and it really helps to be able to pick my laundry bag out of the otherwise identical ones in the laundry. Our issue ones are all the same, white cotton mesh, and sometimes you can end up bringing the wrong bag of clothes back to your living area ! haha. 
Things up here are pretty good at the moment, its really long periods of fairly standard patrol, with a few exciting moments popping up at random. The heats a factor, its around 39 degrees outside, but down in the engine room where I work it can get up to about 60 when everything is running at full speed. Its good for losing weight anyways. 
Thanks once again for the gift. 

Karen B also received a couple of lovely thank you emails from ANZAC.

Thank you so much for the laundry bag you made, its a good feeling to know that the people back home are looking out for us. Again thank you it was a lovely gesture 

This was also sent to Karen but unfortunately she didn’t make the actual cookie laundry bag.  Linda did so I have forwarded the thank you on. 

Today I received a lovely laundry bag that was made by you, I just wanted to say a big thanks for it as the one I picked is bright blue with cookies over it, blue being my favourite colour it brightens up my day whenever I see it and it means allot knowing we have support from back in Aus and kind people like yourself are thinking of us while we are serving overseas.

The chaplain is trying to keep track of who sent over the individual bags but, given the number we have sent, and the fact that some of the boxes arrived with only the address on the back of the box, I am sure he can be forgiven for getting some of them mixed up.

I know some of you are as impatient as the crew for the quilts you have sent to HMAS ANZAC to arrive but I have confirmed with the Chaplain that none arrived in the last batch of mail.  Not sure when the next batch will be but I am sure we will hear as soon as the boxes are ripped open.

As I said I have been busy this weekend.  As well as binding I have packaged up 16.5kgs of blocks and fabric and so on to send off to all points around the country.   A big thank you to all who have sent me pre-paid satchels to use as required.    Now I just have to get some help to carry it all.

I don’t know if this tickles anyone’s fancy but I have more scraps that i know what to do with and i am gradually sorting them out.  Here is a crammed full bag of strings .  If anyone thinks they would like to make some more string blocks quilts as per the String Block Tutorial just let me know.  You will need to send me a 3kg pre-paid satchel.  I think the strings will just about fill it but if not I will make sure it is full to the brim with other donated goodies.  Most important – contact me before you send the satchel in case someone else has pipped you at the post.
EDIT – the strings have already been snapped up!!!

When I started the Aussie Hero Blog I deliberately didn’t think about what I was getting myself into, because I knew if I did, I might not be game enough to go ahead.  I just felt that one way or another I could make it work if I started small enough and let it grow gradually.   And that is just what has happened.

Every day new people would hear about us and offer to help.  I knew there would come a time when I couldn’t do everything on my own, but I also just trusted that when I needed them, the right people would come along.  And they did!
I deliberately didn’t seek publicity in the beginning as I was concerned that the organisation might grow faster than my ability to coordinate it or the requests might come in faster than our ability to keep up with them
We now have over 580 followers on Facebook and a smaller but still important 122 followers on the blog.  If you are one of the new followers I encourage you to check out all the parts of the blog.  Have a read of the page called Intro to Aussie Heroes – you will find it just under the title at the top of the blog.  There are other pages there too like the Quilts Gallery and the Laundry Bag Gallery and even the How toHelp and Brief History Pages.
Most people know me I guess. You know that I am the Founder and Coordinator of Aussie Heroes and you mostly know my name.  I felt it was time to introduce you to a couple of ladies who have stepped up to help me out and who remain largely anonymous!  Till now………
This is the story of Deputy Nut and the Tech Guru
Why Deputy Nut?  
Every so often, when the mood takes me I have been known to answer the phone by saying “Funny Farm, Chief Nut Speaking!”  That should give you an indication of the state of my life from time to time….LOL.  Well, this lady has taken to answering “Deputy Nut here” and it has stuck.   Caroline, or Caz, has been with Aussie Heroes since at least March and she and I have been meeting regularly to sew together every second Friday.  
These days Caroline does some of her own quilts, but we also collaborate on quilts, and often set homework to be completed each fortnight.  It works really well.  In addition to that Caroline also keeps an eye on the Facebook page for me and you might hear from her if you contact us and ask a “how can I help?” question.   She is one of my main sounding boards and sources of feedback and we would touch base most days by email, phone or text and sometimes several times a day.   I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have someone else to discuss things with, particularly someone I can get together with in person!  That is a rarity in Aussie Heroes as you would all understand!
Caroline has her own blog, Hunnigirl Quilt Designswhich has, like my own personal blog, suffered as a consequence of her involvement in Aussie Heroes.  She is not complaining though as she loves what she is doing as do I.  Caroline has also been featured this month on the Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild Blog in the current Member Spotlight.
You really should check them out.

And then there is the Tech Guru
Another invaluable source of support for me is the Tech Guru, Naomi.  She has been around since at least February and her assistance has also been invaluable.  Tech Guru she is!  Naomi has managed to get the Paypal Button up and running on the Facebook page.  She creates the pdf files of all the tutorials we do for the BOMs (blocks of the month).  Now some of you probably think it is not big deal, saving docs as pdf files and uploading them for example, but it can be for me and knowing Naomi can do it for me is one less thing I have to do and that is a great time saver. 
I can count on Naomi to take care of a multitude of other things that need doing when those confusing messages pop up on the screen which confuse the living daylights out of me.  She is also able to save photos in a format I can work with when I can’t!  In short I would be lost without her.
Please go over and check out Naomi’s blog at Nomes’s Brag-a-Long.  A dose of her down to earth sense of humour will certainly help your day along.

Both these lovely ladies have made the job of running and coordinating Aussie Heroes a lot less lonely and much more fun!  It is more than time to give them a pat on the back and acknowledge their involvement behind the scenes. 
Thank you girls!!!
And can I say I had to be particularly sneaky about this post as both these ladies have access to both the blog and the Facebook page and can see the posts before they go up.  I had to wait for a day when I knew I could assemble the post at the very last minute on the blog and then post it straight away.  Today was safe as Caroline is interstate on a quilting trip and with my hubby also away, currently in transit from London to Sydney I knew I could do it.
And that is also why I have posted so early today – so I didn’t get busted as my kids would say!

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