What to make…….some helpful (I hope) hints!

Written by AHQ

22 May 2014

Hi all.  
I hope you find this post helpful.  I regularly get emails from people who do not want take on a special request because they don’t feel comfortable being tied down to a time frame but they still want to make a quilt that someone is going to love.  They ask me what they should make.  I try to give them some guidance as to what sort colours and themes are popular.

I thought it was time I wrote a post on the subject as I suspect there are others out there with the same questions.  So where to start.  What sort of quilts are ALWAYS popular and easy to find homes for.

Firstly you can’t go wrong with something Australian.  Even the simple green and gold is so iconic that it does the trick.

Both these green and gold ones have some navy blue added it but it doesn’t matter and the one below (it may not be clear in the photo) has boomerangs in the green print so it is even more Aussie in flavour.

This one has a wattle print in it – one of the few floral prints that I am comfortable with sending to a male.  The addition of a kangaroo gave the quilt a bit more of an Aussie flavour and it could have gone without it except that the recipient requested it and it was an easy addition to make.  This roo was added after the quilt was completed.   Just iron on whatever you are going to add and use a small straight stitch as close to the edge as you can to hold it down. If you skip off the edge a little no problem, just go around the whole shape twice and the stitching becomes part of the quilting and looks fine front or back. 

I did a post on Southern Cross quilts just recently and that received a good response.  
I love the Southern Cross.  To me is says “HOME” and I think it makes any quilt a winner!  Actually one of these days I think I might have to make a Southern Cross Quilt for myself.

Of course any quilt with a flag panel in is is always going to be a winner.  I love our flag too.  I know there are some who would like to get rid of the Union Jack but I grew up and served under this flag, so politics aside, I will always love it and I know that many of our serving men and women feel just the same as me.  Mix the flag with red, white and blue and you are on a winner.  The motorbike prints in this were chosen as we knew what this fellow wanted but this quilt would be great for lots of blokes.  Mix up the novelty prints a bit if you want to but stick to a red, white and blue scheme and again, you are on a winner!

Add some good old Aussie language!  Again, this is perfect for lots of our blokes. 

This is still one of my favourite quilts with a mix of roos, and aircraft plus lots of flag colours it is perfect for any RAAFie chappe.

Another simple construction, mostly blue and one red roo.

Or multiple red roos – you can’t go wrong.

Some camouflage soldier BOM blocks, combined with an Aussie flag, and you are on a winner!

The Boxing Kangaroo is another iconic Aussie symbol and the logo of one of our deployed units.   

Aussie quilts don’t have to be in green and gold or flag colours- good rich earthy tones are wonderful.  These ones are just simple strips of Aussie fabrics and toning prints.

Waiting till the recipient is decided and then adding a personal touch is the perfect way to finish the quilt off.  In this case, the RAAF motto was added and it was well received.

 This one may have a Rising Sun on it.  It was made for a specific request but that could easily have been replaced with a roo, a word or just another block.  The colours and the Aussie fabrics are what make this one so appealing and they don’t ALL have to be AUSSIE prints.  

Another earthy quilt with some Aussie prints, some toning prints and a gathering or roos 

Red and ochre for the outback and blue for the ocean 
and one strip of Aussie print is all you need.

This is an oldie but a goodie – A good old Aussie Tea Towel quilt!

Okay, so you don’t want to do something Aussie.  How about focusing on a colour.  This one went off recently.  There was not enough time to make this fellow a themed quilt but his favourite colour was green.  He loves it I am told.  

The most popular colour requested across both male and female recipients is BLUE.
This was a random quilt that I was able to personalise with the unit and motto.

Simple squares in blue with some Aussie fabrics thrown in always works well.

The thing about blue is that often it can be personalised for a number of themes.  
Lots of football team colours are blue, or blue and white.

This could easily be a Canterbury Bulldogs Quilt

This Mystery Quilt is obviously for a Carlton fan 
but could have been adapted for all sorts of themes.  

Haven’t we done some great Mystery Quilts –  
for a Sharks fan this time but so easily adapted to other themes.

One of our Mystery Quilts was made as a Canterbury Bulldogs quilt but could just be a BLUE quilt or even, at a pinch, a Geelong quilt. Add a red roo and it becomes Aussie, add  red anchor and it becomes nautical.

So simple but with a couple of Aussie Flag blocks it becomes just a little more special.

Disappearing nine patch is a perfect pattern to make.  Quick and easy and lends itself the two or three coloured quilt.  This was for a Carlton fan but could also have been a Geelong fan’s quilt.

 So what other colour combinations are popular?  Red and white – the Swans, St George, add some blue to this and you have a Knights quilt, Western Bulldogs and probably some I have forgotten.
Obviously these next two a Swans themed quilts 

 and Western Reds but take off the logo and they are just great bring quilts with lots of possibilities.

Back to the red white and blue and this time you could send it to a Newcastle Nights fan, a Western Bulldogs fan or a Sydney City Roosters fan

Even with the roos this could go to a footy fan.

Blue and gold/yellow can be just lovely quilts but are also perfect for a West Coast Eagles fan,  a Parramatta Eels fan or a Queensland Cowboys fan.

The ACT Brumbies have blue and gold too.

Black and white – Collingwood of course

Black and gold for the Richmond Tigers.  These are also the state colours of Western Australia (the best state in the country pardon my bias!)  Add a black swan and a Sandgroper would love it – and it you don’t know what a Sandgroper is, nevermind, you won’t be wanting a WA themed quilt!

Black and red is another common request for Essendon

Add some white in to the mix and you still have a quilt suitable for an Essendon fan, but one that could do double duty and go to a St George fan.

And with State of Origin coming up again (Oh dear…..again…) many of the blue quilts could go to Blues fans though surprisingly we do not get so many requests for those.  We do, however, get many requests for Maroon and gold quilts for Broncos and Maroons fans.  

 There are loads of other team colour combinations but these are the most popular. 

Finally the quilts that are always popular are the ones that feature “boy” things – big boys toys like cars, aircraft, ships, motor bikes and pushbikes. Sports themes such as football, golf, basketball, fitness, and so on.   Outdoor pursuits such as canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, surfing.  Actually ocean and beach themes are always popular including fishing, surfing and diving.  

I call these ones Big Boys I Spy Quilts and they are always popular.
Here are two more stunning I Spy quilts.  One went to a very senior Army Warrant Officer who absolutely loves it and the other went to a female sailor at sea – they are universally loved!

 Another red, white and blue one but with motor bikes in the centres of the stars.  Once again so easy to find a home for.

Don’t forget our wonderful Aussie Map blocks.  These will be making a reappearance for a BOM later in the year.  We have seen some great quilts made up with them. 

We always seem to have another ship on the request horizon and there are always a few requests for nautical quilts.   This one has gone to Darwin.  I just know it will go down well.

I guess you have noticed that I have not given much info for female quilts.  That is because we never have any trouble filling requests for girly quilts.  Surprisingly PINK is the least requested colour for girls but the easiest for me to find when I need to.  

My preference is always for GENDER NEUTRAL quilts.   That way I can send them to anyone.  

I can’t/won’t send quilts to fellows if they have obvious pink on them or lots of florals.  I know a lot of fellows are not so opposed to pink and flowers these days but remember we are dealing with Military blokes.   I don’t know, just from a name if the Private I am going to direct a quilt to is a young bloke, who might be okay with a bit of pink, or a crusty old fellow who bleeds green when you cut him.  

One of my favourite recipients recently told me that for a girl a quilt can be pink, but for a fellow you better call it “aggressive salmon” as no fella ever has pink!    Perhaps not all fellows feel that way but how can I tell which do and don’t we all want our quilts to be loved and enjoyed?  Better safe than sorry I reckon.

Well, I hope I have given you food for thought.  If you have any questions or there are any gaps in the guidance please let me know and maybe I can do a follow up post or edit this one so that I can use it as a reference for future requests for information. 

The following ladies have sent off quilts and laundry bags this week – only a small number but we have had some bumper weeks so we are catching up a bit.

Jo R
Julie Ann
Old Bags and the Dag (yay they are back!)
Sue N
and me!

If you are not on this list and think you should be please let me know.   

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

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  1. kiwikid

    So good to look through JM


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