Hi all.  

Do you know what this is?

This is a new roll of batting which is what goes inside the quilts between the top of the quilt and the back of the quilt to give it some warmth.  This roll will provide enough batting for at least 30 quilts. I say at least because we use every scrap.  You always need to cut a piece of batting bigger than the top of the quilt (trust me you do) and the extra is cut off once the quilt is quilted.  These extra bits are saved where possible and stitched together to make a piece big enough to use. This roll arrived yesterday and I was only able to purchase it because of the generosity of those who have made donations – 
so many thanks guy!

And do you know what this is?  

I know the photo is not very good but this is what Terry helped me with yesterday.  I had cut out a bunch of laundry bag outers and Terry came over and helped me cut out the linings and iron patches on them.  We didn’t count them up til we had finished for the day – 56!  They are not all done yet  – some of them still need their cord channels cut and some need their patches made and ironed on but I will have them all done by the next Penrith Sewing Day so we can sew them – well some of them.

If you are coming to the sewing day can I suggest you bring along 4-5 written postcards, notes, whatever you like, to insert into the laundry bags that you make.  I will be bringing all the laundry bags home to send off as required.  Some of them have already been allocated, some are intended for certain areas in Afghanistan and some are so that I have some spares when I get a request and I don’ have time to sew one.  If you have a note or similar to include in the bags that you sew then your recipient will know you made it for them.

Just a reminder again – here are the details.

Penrith Patchwork
97b Henry Street, Penrith.
Sunday 17 March 
10am to 2pm
BYO sewing machine and tools, lunch and snacks and coffee mug.
We will be sewing laundry bags and I will provide all the fabrics.

I didn’t have time to photograph and upload the pictures of all the happy mail we received yesterday so you get to see it tonight.  First up is this lovely quilt top from my Mother’s Group friend, Louise.  Mother’s Group seems such a long time ago now that we both have 16 year olds.  Louise and I have a good deal going.  I send her up fabric or kits and she sends it back to me as quilt tops and laundry bags.  That is just fabulous because I can send her kits for special requests that I just don’t have time to sew myself, but for which I have the fabric, and Louise can sew them without having to go out and spend money on fabric.  Win Win!  And she gets to put her own spin on things too which is always fun to see.  

And Louise makes a laundry bag to go with the quilt top more often than not 

and this time even included some of her gorgeous homemade photography gift cards made using her own photos.  Hmmmm, maybe I should get Louise to take some photos of some of the quilts for me!
This set is about to go in the mail to Liz B who has just offered to quilt it for me!  Another WIN WIN!!!  Thanks ladies!

Judith dropped in yesterday with a great bunch of laundry bags.  She is a regular visitor – I get a phone call “Are you home?” and half an hour later Judith is on my door step with several laundry bags or a quilt top or two.

Jill M sent in this fabulous February BOMs.  These have already been included into kits.

And Terry brought these two February BOM blocks with her

and this special Aussie themed laundry bag that I will include with a Wounded Warrior Quilt next time I need to send one off.  Would you believe that kangaroo is part of a bandanna!

Talking about mail – if you have posted a quilt or a laundry bag off and are not on this list below please let me know or, if you haven’t already, send me a photo.

Christine C (WA)
Jenny and Gale
Jenny B
Julie Ann
Sue N

Now for a different kind of happy mail – this a more or less a thank you for all of us.  This fellow received one of our BOM quilts from last year.   One of my favourites as it is so bright and cheery.  The blocks were sent in by lots of you – here is a photo so that you can pick your blocks out.  The blocks were put together by Judith (who brought all the laundry bags) and then the quilt was quilted  and bound by Paul and Paula.  This was one of my favourite BOM quilts.

Well, this is the gift that we received in return.

We recently arrived at XXXXXX where I was greeted with a parcel from AHQ. I and a few other people that got their quilts are very happy and grateful for the efforts the quilters and laundry bag creators have gone to to make these amazing gifts for us. This was the first port we really received any mail, with only a few parcels coming in prior to that. 

I have included a picture of myself with my quilt which was taken shortly after we hosted a cocktail party (not even a beer for us) on our first night in port.  

Today (01 Mar 13) I got a parcel from Claire, which contained my new laundry bag. It is very colourful so it will be hard to miss and it will save me from digging through all the plain white laundry bags everyone is using. It arrived via the helicopter pictured in the attached photo “vert rep”. (“Vert Rep” stands for Vertical Replenishment) This is part of our replenishment at sea where we get fuel, spare parts, food and the occasional bag or two of mail, usually from American or British supply ships that go in and out of ports so the warships can continue to chase pirates and prevent drug smuggling. It is exciting to see a parcel with your name on it after one of these replenishments. 

I have also included a couple photos from one of our previous port visit in XXXX. Being able to appreciate the view is about the only thing that gets me through 8hrs of standing on the front of the ship with rifle and bullet proof vest (about 16kg extra weight) every fourth day while we’re not at sea. 

Here is your parcel among those bundles on the deck Claire!


I think you would have to say that we are doing pretty well with correspondence from HMAS TOOWOOMBA.  Did you know they are on Rotation 30?  Rotation 30 means that there have been 29 ships come and do the gulf deployment weather it is up in the old Persian gulf or now named the Arabian gulf or now the gulf of Aden and Arabian sea. HMAS TOOWOOMBA is the 30th rotation of Royal Australian Naval vessels to do the Job,

One last message.  I hate asking for donations but I often get asked how people can help if they can’t sew.  There is a whole list of useful contributions at the top of the blog called “How To Help”. If you are interested in helping out at the moment what I really need now is 3kg pre-paid satchels.  I post quilt kits to sewers and quilts to quilters for quilting.  3kg pre-paid satchels would be a big help.  If you are able to help please just post to PO Box 248, Cherrybrook,  NSW,  2126.  Many thanks!

So, enough from me for today because I am heading out the door to the post office.  This is today’s lot!  
If anyone wanted to include a sherpa with their pre-paid satchel I wouldn’t say no!  
Till next time……………..keep spreading the word and happy stitching!