It’s been an age since I made a quilt for AHQ.
Last year, to reveal the full depth of my shame. But I find myself without an urgent project, and AHQ has a list of 100 quilts for 100 Aussie Heroes by Christmas, so I held up my hand. Moving swiftly when the list came out, I’ve secured myself a great one: the only requirements are (as always) the size, 42 x 70″ to fit the ‘rack’, or bunk, and the brief: “blue and white, and be as creative as you like”. How great is that? Just when I happen to have plenty of blue and white scraps around the place…
The corporal for whom I’m making this quilt is on active service in a rather lively area, it gets cold at night where he is, and the operation of which he’s a part is doing a difficult and dangerous job. He’s not just standing around being an awesome advertisement for military life… So I owe him the best I can do, in thanks for his service and the great job he and his fellow servicemen and women are doing. Nothing fluffy, floral or pretty-pretty in this quilt, either; he’ll be a fairly blokey bloke! The size format may seem stingy and skinny, but these quilts have to be easy to fold and stow quickly, to fit the rack exactly, and to be a sensible shape to wrap themselves in at night when it’s cold.
It does present some challenges to come up with a design that works, but I believe I have it, after lots of scribbling and rubbing out. At the top, a crest to represent his branch of the ADF. If the air force, then the Air Force kangaroo roundel (blue ring containing red kangaroo on white background) and a banner below with ‘Per Ardua ad Astra’. If it’s the army, a Dresden plate fan to represent the Rising Sun cap badge, with ‘Duty and Honour’ in a banner below. I’m waiting to find out which it’ll be; either one works. Below that, a background of fairly solid blues, but with white star blocks arranged in the shape of the Southern Cross constellation, which appears on the Australian flag and is a symbol of home to Aussies everywhere. In the bottom right corner, the corporal’s initials.
Somewhere, if I can work out how to do it, I’d like to add the following: ‘Pointy end towards the enemy’, which I feel applies equally to any branch of the Service… If any of my Australian readers has a sewing machine with an embroidery function, and you’d be prepared to create a strip of text for this quilt, I’d love to hear from you – it would need to be done within the next 3 weeks so that I can hit the mailing date to get this to my corporal before Christmas. My email address is on my Contact Me page.
Now for some quality time with cutting mat and ruler. I’d like to get the cutting done before I go into hospital tomorrow, but it’s going to depend on incoming information…
If you’re interested in the work of Aussie Hero Quilts, click on the button in my sidebar to go to their website, or in the link given in the first paragraph. Bring some comfort and appreciation to our serving Australian Defence Force personnel with an Aussie Hero Quilt or laundry bag. For the U.S.A., please go to Quilts of Valor for the same work.