Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Welcome to the Club - New Aussie Hero Friends

WOW!   Well after last night's post I have been blown away by the response and the huge amount of support.  We will have our normal gratitude post on Thursday as I thought it was essential to write a post for all the wonderful new Aussie Hero Friends! 

To all the wonderful newbies who jumped on the bandwagon last night and today.  You are now eligible to become known as an Aussie Hero Friend.  That is what we are collectively called and personally I can think of nothing I would rather be, nor a more wonderful supportive group of people.  :-)


I thought I should briefly introduce myself so you know who is running this whole shebang!  My name is Jan-Maree, I am a 50 something ex-RAAF and ex-RAN officer of 15 years' service.  I live in Sydney with my very tolerant and supportive husband (also ex-RAAF) and our twin sons. If you email, PM or call Aussie Heroes you will get me.  

I could not do what I do without the wonderful volunteers and collectively we are called the Aussie Hero Friends.  We started operating as Aussie Heroes on 1 Jan 2012 and since then have sent nearly 3000 quilts and 4500 laundry bags to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and defence civilians deployed all over the MIddle East, including our currently deployed ship, HMAS Darwin as well as our Peacekeepers in South Sudan and the Sinai.


What follows is a brief rundown of how things work.  Hopefully there is enough info here to get you started.

Requests and how we manage them.

Each Monday I circulate a list of requests to all of the requests I have for quilts and laundry bags.  These are passed to me in a variety of ways but basically the members are told to tell me the following 


- their full postal address including rank and PM keys (PM Keys is like their service number)

- their email address
- the last full month they are deployed 
- and their favourite colour, hobbies and interests.  

We ask the latter because I have learned over time that many of the quilters like to have a starting point when making a quilt for someone else and just knowing their favourite colour is not enough.


If you are interested at the very bottom of this post will be the requests we have at the moment but here is an example.




Black Yellow Red Batman Jurrasic Park Navy

Barney the Dinosaur Beer

Basketball
29
B

In this example you can see that this fellow has listed three colours, and various interests. Some of my quilters pride themselves on including everything someone lists.  That is wonderful but really not necessary.  If I can send this fellow a red, black or yellow quilt then I am happy.  If it has anything to do with Batman, dinosaurs or any of his other interests on it then that is a bonus.   Remember, the vast majority of the people we are sending to are MALE and most likely therefore not quilters so they just tell us whatever they can think of to give us point to work from.
They will appreciate whatever they are sent.  

The number 29 is a reference number that applies to this request for the day that this version of the list is circulated only.  


The "B" in column three stands for Both a quilt and a laundry bag.  You might also see "Q" for quilt only or "LB" for Laundry bag only.  


If you see a request on the list and want to take it on you need to copy this entire line and email me.  If noone else has taken it on I will send you the member's details and you can get started.  Most important that you take note of the deadline for posting and if you are not able to make it you need to let me know.  What we do is time critical as we are posting to members who are deployed.  If you are late posting they may have left and returned home and may not receive the quilt or laundry bag that you have put your time and effort into. 

A little more on Quilts 

You are welcome to make quilts that are not tied to a request at any time.  Once you have nearly completed a quilt send me a photo and I will send you the details of a recipient to send it to.  I do ask for your full name and address, preferably with phone number before give you the details of one of our members though.

The following link will tell you all you need to know about our quilts  - size, batting, and some suggestions about what to make. Quilt Specifics

Laundry Bags

If you wish to make laundry bags that would be awesome. These are certainly not the poor cousin to our quilts by any stretch of the imagination.  They bring the colour, variety and interest out of the accommodation rooms and are walked around the bases and ships with pride!

You are welcome to look at the request list and choose to make a specific one or you can just make bags and let me know when you are ready to post some off. You can fit 4-6 into a BX2 box depending on the weight of the fabric you are using.  You can send them off individually or as a boxful. Just email me with a picture of your bags and I will give you an address to send them to.  There is a link to the tutorial for the laundry bag below.  

Laundry bag Tutorial

Posting the goodies off

Everything we post is sent using the AFPO system which means that as long as we have an AFPO number on our box then we can post up to 2kg of contents in an Australia Post Bx2 box for free.  You can check out our Posting Information for further information.  I really appreciate it if you check that link  before you post for us for the first time.  

Finally some of you might be non-sewers.  There are still ways to help.  One really big way that would be a great help now is to donate some 3KG and 5KG prepaid satchels. I use them for posting quilts around the country to various quilters for completion.  It is the only way I can get as much done as we do.  Other ways non-sewers can help are listed on our How to Help page.


As promised here is the request list for this week.  Those in PINK are girls and the others are fellows.  

B=  both quilt and laundry bag (you can opt to make one or the other)
Q= quilt only
LB  =  laundry bag only 

I am asking that quilts and laundry bags from this list go in the mail no later than 4 September but if that does not give you enough time we may be able to negotiate depending on the request. 

If any of these requests interest you please let me know via email to friendsofAHQ@gmail.com

Till next time................KEEP SPREADING THE WORD and happy stitching!  JMxx

Purple, sports
2
B
blue and dark purple american football and NRL
3
B
Aqua,  Basketball, Computer Gaming, Dirt Rally Racing
5
B
Purple, Motor Sports, Movies
6
B
Enjoy sport, AFL – Hawks, or favorite colour blue
7
B
Green, lifting weights/sporty activities (i.e soccer)
8
Q
blue and purple, my family, wife and children, and motorcycle riding
9
B
Green,fast cars, loud music and nauticalia.
11
B
Blue. Fishing
13
B
Blue- Soccer, BRONCOS!, Surfing and the beach.
14
B
Yellow & purple/ paddle boarding and running.
15
B
Canberra Raiders (lime green, royal blue, yellow and white)
16
B
Black or Red- Cars, Holden and HSV (Holden Special Vehicle)V8 Super
17
B
Basketball Miami Heat
18
B
Purple/ mountain climbing/traveling
19
B
Blue, Black, Orange/music, (producing and DJ-ing), golf, cricket
20
B
blue, skydiving and navy aviation
21
B
Navy blue, house renovations, gardening, golf, family
22
B
blue surfing.
23
B
blue : motorsport, motorbikes, travel, fitness
24
B
Blue and red, Rugby League, Surfing/beach
26
B
Blues   hobbies Surfing   interests. Turtles
27
B
Black/ (Penrith Panthers), fishing and camping.
28
B
Black Yellow Red Batman Jurrasic Park Navy Barney the Dinosaur Beer Basketball
29
B
Blue or purple, fishing and all water activities
30
Q
Basketball, Gaming Technology, Blue
32
Q
AFL - Port Adelaide, Music, Sports, Gym      Green
33
Q
NRL, Super Rugby, Melbourne Storm, QLD Reds, Purple, Red
34
Q
cars, fitness  AFL, Carlton      navy & white

35
Q
motorbikes, NRL maroon, yellow, white
36
B
Computers, Cars, AFL, North Melbourne      Blue
37
B
books, gaming social interaction, Azure
38
B
motorbikes, cars, Diablo 3, gaming, motorsports, bundy rum, blue, orange, aqua
39
Q
Sailing, Cycling           Sydney Swans, WW 2 history.           Yellow
40
B
car, games      anime  blue
41
Q
Golf and Rugby          Canterbury Bulldogs, blue
42
B
soccer, games, sports sports  blue, red
43
B
cars, rc, pc      cars     blue
44
B
4x4, games IT red
45
Q
games, cars    IT blue
46
Q
sport, fitness    sports, cars     green, black, white
47
Q
diving, electronics yellow, hot pink
48
Q
Car restoration            Dancing           Yellow
49
B
Online gaming Computers      Blue
50
B
Gym  Spearfishing/soccer      Blue
51
B
Cars/sports      Blue/Black
52
B
BMW, all things F1 and Hugo Boss. Geelong Football Club  - these suggestions submitted by a good mate- love that he picked out Hugo Boss  J
55
Q
Loves the snow
56
B
Black and Gold of the West Tigers. fishing, motor bike riding, trail bikes
59
B

Monday, 28 July 2014

Supply versus Demand - WE NEED YOU!

When I went to Melbourne someone admitted to me that when they heard about Aussie Heroes for the first time they thought that I had bitten off more than I could chew.  They then went on to say that I had proved them wrong.  Tonight I have to admit that we might be reaching the point where supply will struggle to equal demand over the next six months.

I don't know HOW we are going to meet demand, 
I don't know IF we can meet demand, 
but I do know that we have to keep going and DO WHAT WE CAN.

The bottom line is that WE NEED MORE HELP

We need more Aussie Hero Friends.  

We need more people to make quilts and more to make laundry bags.

QUILTS FIRST
If you can only make one quilt that could be the quilt that turns up somewhere when someone really needs a boost.  If you are able to make complete quilts from start to finish, or if you can take a quilt top and turn it into a quilt - we need you. If you can take a set of blocks and put them together with some of your own stash to produce a quilt, we need you. 
  
LAUNDRY BAGS
Our laundry bag production has taken a hit recently, two of our regular sewers are currently not able to sew for family and health reasons and that means we need you.

Laundry bags are easy to make -if you have been thinking about getting involved with AHQ but don't want to quilt - then make a laundry bag, choose some bright colours from your stash and go for it.
  
When you think that in the last thirty months or so we have sent nearly 3000 quilts and over 4500 laundry bags on their way that is pretty amazing.  Do the sums.  That is around 100 quilts amonth and around 150 laundry bags a month. An absolutely amazing effort especially when you consider we have only around 150 active Aussie Hero Friends.

Currently we have more requests than I can confidently say we can meet between now and the rest of the year.  Am I discouraged?  Am I going to panic?  Well I did a little to be honest and then I remembered the philosophy I started Aussie Heroes with.

We can only do as much as we can do

 and

 what we are doing today is more than was being done before

 and

definitely more than was being done before Aussie Heroes existed.

There is no question that what we are doing is making a difference and absolutely no question that we need to keep doing it.

What can you do?

Please spread the word.  Maybe you know a quilt group who might be interested or who might not know about us. Please feel free to contact them and show them our blog.  All the information needed to get involved is on the blog. Once they have read that and know what we do I would love to hear from them.  I just don't have time to make all the first contacts.  I need your help.  


AND TO ALL OUR DEFENCE PEOPLE 
Please know that we are working as hard as we can to get quilts and laundry bags to all of you but it may take time, and it may take longer than we want, but as long as you are on my list, and as long as I can contact you, and that may mean that you need to give me a personal email address as well as your deployed address, I will get a quilt to you.

Till next time.................KEEP SPREADING THE WORD and happy stitching!  JMxx

An oldie but a goodie  - fellows from 17 Construction Squadron in Tarin Kot in 2013.



Saturday, 26 July 2014

Weekly Dispatches 26 July

Just  a day late but I know you won't mind.  Check out the numbers.  We are so so close the crossing over the 3000 quilt line.  WOW.  I suspect that after HMAS Toowoomba deploys and we post all the quilts that are waiting for their deployment we will blow three thousand out of the water.  

Not long to go folks.  

For now here are this week's quilts and laundry bags to enjoy!

601 quilts and 726 laundry bags for 2014.  

2971 quilts and  4572 laundry bags in total.

Barbara




Carol


Cath


Charmaine made this quilt top and Kym quilted it.


Kitty created this quilt top and it was quilted by Kym


Another quilt top by Charmaine and quilted by Kym.


Irene


Naomi


Sue P


Tracie


Valerie




Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks! 

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