Well as promised it is time for me to tell you about my adventures in Adelaide. I have to say I had a great weekend.
Once I said I was going I was invited to stay with the family of one of Liz’s recipients from 2012. Paul, seen here putting his quilt to good use
his lovely wife, Amanda and their gorgeous daughter Hayley
and super cute and funny son, Aaron.
They made me feel very welcome and even gave me a lovely quilting book.
I actually love to look at quilt books, even if I never intend to make anything from a particular book. I just love to look at shapes and colours and designs. It is all inspiring and this book has some great patterns, including some gorgeous Australian native birds and I reckon the patterns could be adapted to applique……
On Saturday morning Paul, Amanda, the children and I went off to meet H and his lovely sister, Sofi, and her husband, Peter, for brunch at the Cafe that H owns with his cousin. What a treat, after leaving cold, grey drizzly Sydney to sit outside the cafe in the dappled shade and enjoy some yummy food. Before we ate I presented H with his quilt. For those of you who are not familiar, last year I called for blocks in the shape of an H. It was one of our Mystery Quilts and blocks came in from all over the country as often happens with Mystery Quilts. Once all the blocks were in I sent them down to Lynn and she made the quilt top. I found some red fabric covered in letters and spliced in some cafe themed fabric to create the backing and sent to the lot up to Kym in Bundaberg who quilted it. (more on that later)
Not too many words needed for the next few photos..
The quilting was rather special. Kym outdid herself quilting coffee cups with steam coming out of them and the letter H on the side of each one!
H noticed the “H” straight away but he told me later that he only noticed the coffee cups later that night – there was just too much for him to take in.
I hope you (and H) bear with me as I have included quite a few photos of him getting his quilt to try and give you an idea of just how much he loved it and how delighted he was to receive it. This is something that we, the quilters, rarely get to see – those moments when a recipient receives the quilt and sees it for the first time.
“Look there are coffee beans on it!”
Here we are posed outside H’s restaurant. If you are in Adelaide I strongly suggest that you head over and check the place out! Yum!! I know I will be heading back there next time I am in Adelaide! Many of those who came to the dinner made plans to eat there later on too. You can check it out here on Facebook.
Thanks for the brunch H! It was scrumptious!
When I first said I was heading to Adelaide Amanda told me that another recipient, Jacky, was also planning to visit that weekend as well and maybe we would be able to meet up. Jacky had requested a quilt for herself and then Amanda had unknowingly requested one for her as well. I was really pleased to be able to tell Amanda that one was already on its way to her. Turns out that Jacky and Amanda are great mates and it was Jacky’s birthday on the Friday and Amanda’s on the Sunday. I had had quite a bit to do with Jacky while she was deployed so it was lovely to meet her in person and have a chat.
After our leisurely brunch Amanda, Hayley and I visited a couple of quilt shops – I know…..hard to believe! Who would have thought I would go to a quilt shop???
I can’t believe that I didn’t take more photos of the dinner. Julie Ann had gone to a lot of effort with Aussie flag table cloths, napkins and cups. She had even made this special AHQ Banner.
Everyone bought a plate and there was plenty to eat for the main course and lots of lovely things to choose from for desert. The best part of the evening though was meeting all the quilters and having some more time to chat to H. I am so pleased that someone (obviously not me!) thought to take a group shot.
Back row – from left to right we have Penny, Mary, Sue A, Kerri, Anne D, Su J, Melissa, Liz J and Rita (aka Granny Smith)
Sitting in the front we have Alicia, H, yours truly, and the hostess with the mostess, Julie Ann.
Just for info, within this group we have Mums of two currently deployed soldiers, Mum of Navy personnel, the mother of one of my previous recipients from the RAAF and one mum whose two sons are interested in joining the army.
Special thanks to Rita’s husband Bob for being her chauffeur for the night and for being the photographer as well. I have to say it was wonderful to meet both of these characters in person as I have had plenty of chats on the phone with both of them over the time AHQ has been running! And they are both Characters in the nicest possible way! 🙂
One very special story that H told on the night was this one…….
Whilst deployed, I had the misfortune of becoming food poisoned one evening. It was awful and I was all twisted up in painful knots. I was eventually found outside by a colleague, taken to the medical centre and placed under the care of a nurse. I was treated and taken to bed to rest. I immediately started to feel better and then the nurse placed an Aussie Hero Quilt over me so that I could sleep and I overwhelmingly felt happy and comforted by its familiar sight and touch. It also felt so nice to be wrapped up in a quilt that I knew was put together by amazing people with enormously generous hearts – it really helped me to feel cared for and cared about. It definitely eased my pain on the night and helped me feel better. I slept soundly and woke up the next morning feeling a million times better – I remain extremely grateful to this day!
This is one of the three Aussie Hero Quilts that are held in the Medical Facility in Al Minhad Air Base for just such occasions and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated hearing this story from H. We still have our Gumleaf blocks to be put together into three more quilts for the hospital and this story should leave you in no doubt that they will be well used and above all, appreciated.
On Sunday morning I packed my bags, farewelled Amanda and Hayley (Paul and Aaron had gone to scouts) and headed to the airport. I was meeting up with Julie Ann and another friend, E for a quick catch up before my flight. It turned out to be a lot quicker than I had intended as I had mixed up my flight times ( I never do that!) and in the end had to hot foot it to my departure gate with no spare time. It proved very frustrating as we passed a whole heap of young soldiers who had just disembarked and were heading in the opposite direction. Normally I would have handed a few of them my business cards but there just wasn’t time. Even after my brisk walk I was still about the last person to board but I made it and that was the main thing.
When I arrived home I received an email from Julie Ann with a couple of photos. She told e I had to call her to hear the story about one of them – this one.
It seems that as Julie Ann and E were heading back to the car they saw a fellow standing waiting with super cute little twins! E noticed his big green duffle bag at his feet and a camo backpack on his back. Being an Army Mum immediately recognised it. She struck up a conversation with him and asked if he had just returned from the Welcome Home Parade in Darwin. It turns out he had so E continued to chat with him for a while and eventually asked if he had received an Aussie Hero Quilt. See that smile? Well apparently it came on his face as soon as she mentioned AHQ! He told her that he had received a quilt made by Liz from WA. Julie Ann and E told him that they had just put me on the plane back to Sydney and he and his wife, who had rejoined him by now, could not believe they had just missed me. They could not believe it! I could not believe it! LOL It is all in the timing! LOL At least Julie Ann was able to whip out her camera and take this photo for me! Love those smiley faces and aren’t those little boys CUUUUUUTE. Sigh, as the mother of nearly 18 year old twins, it seems a loooong time since mine were that little and that cute!)
I can’t tell the story without showing you a photo of the quilt that Liz made proudly displayed whilst he was deployed.
All in all it was a fabulous weekend! I had been to Adelaide before but only for a day or so and had stayed in the city and had not seen much more the Rundle Mall and Glenelg. I have to say that I really enjoyed getting out and about in the city and suburbs. It reminded me so much of my home (Perth) and it did not hurt that the weather was just lovely the whole time.
(Now I am writing this on Wednesday afternoon because tomorrow morning I have to leave home at 6am to get to the airport to catch a flight to Armidale to be available to attend the Parent Teacher Interviews for my son at his boarding school. I will be travelling, out and about around Armidale, attending the interviews or attending a briefing at school that night so I will be hard to contact for the most part. I will get to emails and so on later tomorrow night. I am flying back on Friday morning.
Any emails I receive after tonight, regarding quilts and laundry bags being posted off may not make it onto the blog in time for Friday’s post but I will do my best.)
As it stands as of 5pm on Wednesday night – these are the quilters who I have noted have sent off quilts and laundry bags this week. If you think you should be on this list please email me and let me know.
Bev and Geoff
Now I am off (to get my packing done – it is really Wednesday for me remember!)
Till next time……………..keep spreading the word and happy stitching! JMxx