Doing my bit

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 10.56.10 AM

Patchwork is the new camouflage…

Up to now, my quilts have all been to please myself, my friends and my family.  It’s time to change that.

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 10.56.32 AMI’ve been thinking vaguely for a while about doing some for a good cause. There are so many causes out there to support, it was hard to choose. And then I read this post on Celi’s blog:

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 10.56.53 AMScreen shot 2014-07-13 at 10.57.15 AMShe’s now rallying action on behalf of American service men and women after hearing how drastically short of basic necessities they can be, but the same thing applies to ours here in Australia. They can feel a bit forgotten and unloved, a bit short of comfort and appreciation. And someone’s doing something about that. Aussie Heroes Quilts was begun in order to send serving Australians a quilt suited to their circumstances, and a colourful, distinctive laundry bag they could use which was easy to pick out from the multitude of green, white and blue ones issued by the Defence Forces. These useful items are made with love and sent free of charge by our dear postal service so long as they are a certain size and weight. With them can go small luxury items which are hard to find Out There or which will give them a taste of home. Here’s the link so you can take a look:

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 10.59.48 AMIn case you’re wondering why I chose this cause, well, my family has a history of service. My great-grandfather fought in the Boer War, my grandfather in WWI in the Somme and my father in the Normandy landings in WW2. My brother was in the Reserves, and so was my husband for many years.

So, I have a favour to ask. Please may I have some of your scraps, any unwanted or spare blocks, UFOs you’ve fallen out of love with, excess binding strips, large-ish pieces of batting, etc? And if you have any colour fast cotton in heavier weights (ie, furnishing or curtain fabric), I could use that for making laundry bags. Everything will be used, nothing will be wasted. The only thing I’d stipulate is that I probably wouldn’t be able to use huge quantities of pink… Most of our soldiers, sailors and aviators are still blokes, after all… Obviously if you’re the other side of the world, the cost of mailing fabric would be an issue – but if you do, it would be so gratefully received. If you do decide you’d like to contribute, send it by surface mail; it’s much cheaper and there’s no rush.

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 10.59.07 AMEmail me if you can help – the address is on my Contact Me page, or reply in a comment to this blog. Or, if you’d rather work on them yourself, email Aussie Heroes: there’s a button to click on the website, or just type in the following: Go take a look, and be amazed at what has gone out already to our boys and girls.

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 10.59.29 AMThank you to Jan-Maree at Aussie Heroes for permission to use the photos shown here. I think the last one says it all…

Now then Aussies, get into your scrap storage and send me some love for our service people.

25 thoughts on “Doing my bit

  1. cecilia says:

    What a stunning idea. Thank you for the mention and most of all thank you for getting involved with such a super organisation. I love the laundry bag too.. i shall sort through my fabrics, I am a great collector but I seldom sew.. There will be something in there for you i am sure. c

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s I who should thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I hope you get a Care Package supply chain going for Triple T and his mates. And if you should want a quilt made for him, let me know. What’s one more among the many…

  2. tialys says:

    I’m sure I could spare some of my scraps Kate. I’ll have a look at the shipping costs between France and Australia and see what I can do.

    • katechiconi says:

      The request was aimed more at people here – after all, it’s OUR soldiers we’re cosseting! But I do appreciate the generous thought. If you were to send anything, it could easily come by surface mail at much lower rates, since I won’t be in a hurry – I have plenty of my own scraps to use up first. But if I do, as I hope I will, manage to turn one out every month or two, I will at some stage run out…

  3. Nice idea…. I think I might have something to send squirreled away in the loft (if the moths haven’t beaten me to it).

    • katechiconi says:

      If you’d like to, that would be great, but don’t bankrupt yourself with the postage. I wonder if the guys need woolly socks….

      • It’s just that I have a quilt that I started many years ago and it’s never going to get finished, so if it’s uneaten I’d love the blocks to go to a good cause!

      • katechiconi says:

        In that case, YES PLEASE! Send it even if it’s eaten, I can salvage whole bits, applique over holes, etc.

      • They are not eaten! Surface mail will not be too expensive according to the royal mail web site, so look out for a parcel in 8-10 weeks 🙂

      • katechiconi says:

        Fantastic! I shall look forward to that. I’m waiting for my first recipient list today (Monday), so your UFO blocks will feature in later quilts – I shall spread the joy. The quilt size we have to use to fit standard army and navy bunks is quite small, so I will probably need to do some deconstructing and redistributing. I’ll be posting the results, so keep a look out.

  4. Arrived here via Celie.
    As a quilter who doesn’t believe in UFOS, my scrap bin is more of a crumb closet! I make lots of crumb quilts, joining tiny pieces higgledy-piggledy onto batting QAYG, until big enough to use as a block.

    There seems little point in my sending crumbs all the way to Oz, but there is a well established Help for Heroes organization in the UK to whom I’ve contributed in the past. You’ve given me the incentive to get cracking (as soon as I’ve sewn the label on my latest project: a playmat for a delivery-man’s newborn daughter).

    I love your colourful quilts.

    • katechiconi says:

      Hi Viv, welcome to Chiconia. I’m not a great believer in UFOs myself, but I know that other people have them lurking in the back of cupboards and if they can be made over for a good cause, I’m all in favour. Good for you for contributing to your own Heroes. I enjoy reading your comments on Celi’s blog – she has an amazing talent for bringing people together. Thank you for your kind words about my quilts! Kate

  5. what a lovely idea !

  6. What a great cause, Kate. I won’t be sending quilting bits as I recently cleared out my extras and gave them to my group’s charity bin. We have at least one focused sewing day each year when we dive into the bin and make things to donate. (One year I counted almost 60 quilts to donate!) My quilting fabrics are also far too girly as a rule! I might have some laundry bag stuff. Don’t quote me on that. I’ll have to look!

    • katechiconi says:

      Laundry bag stuff would be great. And going forward if you end up with scraps, I’d love a share… I’ve got my first assignment – you’re told what colours they like and their interests, and you have to try and make something that fits in. It needs to be ready to post off on 25 August, so I’d better get cracking as soon as I get home.

  7. […] them, which are now being blocked so that they actually are triangular. In addition, Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia is planning to make some quilts to donate to Australian sevicemen and women. When I was in my teens […]

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you for the link! If any of your readers have any unloved or unwanted bits of quilt or fabric that they’d like to see go to a good cause, I’d be more than happy to make use of them.

  8. […] crocheting bunting for Scarborough and finding fabric for Queensland (a little of which I had to remove from the parcel to make it less than 2kg and thus affordable to […]

  9. A parcel is on its slow way to you… as long as it was less than 2kg it was affordable to send, so I had to take out a bit of the fabric, but there’s still quite a lot. Apparently, it should take 8-10 weeks to arrive.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s the same arrangement here – but we’re allowed to send to the Forces for free so long as it’s under 2kg. I’m going to spread the fabric across several quilts, and in the letter that goes with them, I shall tell the recipients that some of the fabric in the quilts is better travelled than they are!

  10. wombatquilts says:

    Kate this is fabulous…. you know how I feel about charity quilting and I get so excited when other people get motivated to help. Good luck with it.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m so glad you approve! BTW, did you get my email about participating in a Blog Hop? Do let me know if not, so I can send it again, or just tell me now if you’d rather not.

      • wombatquilts says:

        Shit I forgot to reply. I was waiting to see if we were going camping that week and then completely forgot. July is a little crazy for me, as you can tell by my irregular posting, can I bow out gracefully or does that leave you short?

      • katechiconi says:

        You can bow out gracefully! I suspected there was madness in your life when you didn’t post for a while. But I will ask you another time, hopefully when you’re less busy.

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