I posted off three quilts today – one masculine and two feminine.  They all went to specific soldiers whose details we were given.

I managed to finish off three more quilts today.  I would have finished four, but on the last one I stitched the binding onto the front as if I was going to be hand stitching, instead of stitching it onto the back first for machine stitching – CRANKY MUCH!  But I am lucky that I was able to drop it off to dear Del from Gumnuts and she will hand stitch it for me.  It will make it a couple of days late sending the five off as they are going together.  Grrr.  In the big scheme of things it doesn’t really matter…..but I still wanted to get it done!!!  Ah such is life!

This quilt top was made by Andrea, a Gumnut.  Some of the quilting (by me) is a bit wonky, but I have decided to call it “organic”.

This is the back so you can see the quilting (don’t look too closely).

 A lovely lady in Melbourne, Jenny, made some of these nine patches and the very cooperative Irene made enough to make the quilt big enough and she also assembled the rest of the top.  I just LOVE this.  Irene doesn’t like blue and I think it is safe to say that she hates this blue and was so pleased for it to be almost used up in this – BUT I LOVE IT!!!  I can’t decide which of the five quilts I am currently readying for the mail is my favourite but this is certainly a forerunner!!!

 This is the back but the colour isn’t good.

 And another front runner for favourite status is this one.  Tarnyia made these nine patches and Debbie, also a Gumnut, completed the top.  The nine patch is such a simple block but I just love it.  I hope the girl who gets it loves purple as the purples in this are lovely!

Whilst some mail went out a little more mail came in – firstly these labels from Cathy.  Last week Cathy sent me some backings and now labels.  These will be great on girl’s laundry bags.

I also received a lovely thank you letter from an officer today.  I never name the people who contact me as most of them have some sort of protected identity status and I don’t know what can be released and what can’t so I just follow a policy of not releasing anything.  Although  the letter was written on the 23rd of December, the day the last of the quilts arrived in Afghanistan last year, it only arrived today.  So, whilst I can’t name the officer who wrote to me I can share a part of it with you …..
“…the quilts that you provided now sit in pride of place on our beds.       Your support encourages us to continue in our mission, particularly over the Christmas period when we are separated from our loved ones.”

What is becoming obvious to me the laundry bags are the necessity that prevent the guys and gals from losing their washing, which is a huge inconvenience, but the quilts are the thing that seems to touch the hearts the most – they will be taken home at the end of the tour and kept as a memento or handed to a son or daughter etc.  

Recently I have been thinking about how to proceed with AHQ given the fact that batting is the biggest expense and the hardest thing to get donated.  I had been trying to decide if I should phase out the quilts and concentrate on laundry bags….but this letter has confirmed that we need to keep doing both and I just need to find some batting or some donations for some.  I have a few ideas and I will start working on them as soon as my boys go back to school.

In the mean time I have more quilts to finish, laundry bags to cut out and sew and blog posts to write and so on.  Between now and 1 Feb you can expect the blog to be a little quiet.  I will post if quilts get finished or if things arrive in the mail but other than that I am going to spend a little time re-organizing my sewing room and de-cluttering a bit so I can work more efficiently on AHQ and my other projects.  Sometimes you have to slow down a little in order to run at a more constant speed over a longer time period.

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

Quilts and Laundry Bags sent so far this year
Quilts – 4
Laundry bags – 10