Thursday, September 4, 2014

Aussie Hero Quilts - Get Involved!

Berrima Patchwork Logo        Aussie Hero Quilts
Berrima Patchwork is excited to announce that we have teamed up with Aussie Hero Quilts.

Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags) is designed to encourage sewers to make quilts and laundry bags for our Aussie Servicemen and Women currently serving Overseas. We care about the person, not the politics or the mission.
Aussie Hero Quilts Image
The photo above is from their AHQ Blog and is of some of those who received quilts on HMAS Darwin. The photo is taken on the Flight Deck whilst the ship was in Muscat, Oman.
Last week we were fortunate to have a meeting with Jan-Maree who is the founder of this organisation to talk about what we as a business can do to support them. It was great meeting Jan-Maree, the stories that she has about those who receive these quilts and laundry bags are very inspiring. Aussie Hero Quilts does have a facebook page and a blog and on these pages you can see many of the quilts and bags that have been donated, thank-you messages from those that have received these gifts and more.
This is the first organisation that Berrima Patchwork has directly linked up with. Why? Most of us have had someone in our family who have served in the military. For me both my Grandfathers fought in the Second World War and my Great Grandfather was an ANZAC who fought in Gallipoli and on the Western Front. While currently you hear on the news about our military forces not many of us are directly affected with family members or friends in the forces. Many of those serving leave family and friends for several months whilst on mission overseas. Aussie Hero Quilts are requested by both the personnel and their families. When they receive these gifts of a quilt it serves as a reminder of home and a small thank-you for  their service. They are touched by the fact that someone out there who doesn't know them will take their time to create this gift.
Aussie Hero Quilts are sent directly to the recipient, so you know where your donation is going. As part of our teaming up with this organisation Berrima Patchwork will take the responsibility and costs of the boxes for the postage of the quilts and laundry bags which are donated via our shop.
So what can you do to help?
We have set up 4 different ways if you are interested in taking part to help this organisation.
We have to stress that you don't have to donate via Berrima Patchwork, we are happy to do this to assist this organisation and to cut back the number of individual people that Jan-Maree has to work with (she gets up to 200 emails a day!) If you wish to donate directly with Aussie Hero Quilts you can contact them via their blog or facebook page.
1. Make Quilts and Laundry Bags
The main demand is for Quilts. The quilts are 42" wide, or width of standard quilting fabric, by 70-75" long. The quilts are made and sized specifically to fit into a Special Bx2 sized post box so that they can post them for free .  Anything posted to the members serving overseas under 2kg is free.  Some of you will think that this size seems a little stingy but the quilts also have to be small enough for the recipients to fit into their luggage if they are required to move from one location to another unexpectedly.  They also need to be the right size to fit on top of a navy bunk at sea and a bunk bed on land.  If you make the quilts too wide this makes them too big and bulky.    The quilts are often used whilst sitting on picket duty and for this the soldiers want to be able to wrap them around their shoulders.   PREWASH your fabrics or wash your quilt once it has been quilted.  
Theme: Quilts that will appeal to a broad range of tastes are best.  If you want to use up your themed fabric think about mixing a few themes and making an adult "I Spy" quilt as those have been really popular or make a quilt that is predominantly colour based and throw your themed fabrics into it based on colour.  Quilts made with a sporting theme, one sport or multiple, always go down well, regardless of whether the recipient is a particular fan of that sport. If in doubt about what to use, think about what the men in your family or male friends would like as a quilt. ONE BIG REQUEST - please keep your quilts gender neutral or masculine.  Yes, they have female members serving but they do not often request girly quilts.
Batting- Please use only 100% cotton batting. This type of batting has been trialled in country and we know it does the job.  The climates where these quilts are going vary from tropical to below freezing so these quilts need to be versatile.
Quilting- All quilts are to be quilted not tied.  Straight stitch quilting is fine as is stippling and fancier quilting designs.  Please, NO RAG QUILTS. At the moment we ask that the quilts donated are completely finished as we don't have the resources to quilt them at this moment in time.
Binding- Binding can be hand sewn or machine sewn. 
Label: All the quilts that are donated via Berrima Patchwork do not require to have a label attached, we have created a special label that will be sewn onto the quilt when it arrives at the shop that will include your name as the maker of the quilt.

You can also make Laundry Bags. At the moment the demand for these is not as great as the quilts. They need to be made to a specific size and Aussie Hero Quilts has written instructions which can be downloaded on their Blog. CLICK HERE to download these instructions or go to

To donate quilts or laundry bags you can either bring them into the shop or send them to us at Berrima Patchwork, 21 Old Hume Highway, Berrima NSW 2577. Include your details - Name, Address, Email Address on a separate piece of paper (so we know who it  is from!) and include a small note about yourself that can be sent along with each of the quilts. Jan-Maree told us a postcard from your local area is great to write on and to be included for each of the quilts.
2. Take Part in our Special Sewing DaysBerrima Patchwork will be running special sewing days every month to create quilts for Aussie Hero Quilts. These will be a workshop style day in which you will be creating a particular style quilt. The fabric for the quilts will be donated by Berrima Patchwork and be ready for you to work on.  You can bring along your own fabric or donate fabric, let us know if you want to do this before the workshop. On the sewing day you will be provided with instructions and a teacher who will take you through the steps of creating that day's particular quilt. You will need basic patchwork/sewing skills to attend these classes (e.g know how to use a rotary cutter, sew on a sewing machine, sew a quarter inch) You do need to have your own sewing machine and to bring basic sewing supplies and thread. You will be working on the quilt top in the workshop. We will have 2 of these days a month and this may change depending on demand. The cost of the day is $10, this fee goes towards the postage of the parcels and fabric costs.
 September workshop's: Stack Slash and Sew
Workshop Dates: Saturday 20th September or Wednesday 24th September
Stack and Slash

October Workshops: Disappearing Nine Patch
Workshop Dates: Wednesday 8th October or Saturday 18th October
November Workshop: Aussie Applique
Workshop Dates: Saturday 15th November or Thursday 20th November
 To book your place in any of these workshops call us on (02) 4877 1382. The class fee is payable at time of booking and is non-refundable.
3. Make the Block of the Month
Every two months we will be posting on our website a 12" block Pattern. To take part in this program you can make as many of these blocks as you wish and then bring them or send them to the shop.  When we receive these blocks they will be sewn up to create quilts. When making the blocks we ask No Pinks, or Florals.
Our first Block is called the Friendship Star.
This Block is for the months of September and October
You can download all the instructions by CLICKING HERE or go to
(yes I know the sample in the instructions is made using pink)
Friendship star
 Once you have made up your blocks either bring them into the shop or send them to us at Berrima Patchwork, 21 Old Hume Highway, Berrima NSW 2577. Make sure to include you contact details and email address.
4. Donate
We know that many of you are very busy and don't have the time to sew. Your family and friends may be interested in helping but can't sew. So what can you do help?

Donations of good quality 100% cotton fabric will be accept at Berrima Patchwork, please gender neutral or masculine fabrics, no florals or pinks. This fabric will either be used in the quilts made at Berrima Patchwork on the sewing days or will be sent directly to Aussie Hero Quilts to be used. 

Donations of Bx2 Post pack boxes will be accepted. These can be ordered directly from Australia post and you can either bring these into Berrima Patchwork or send them to us (you can place an order online with Australia Post and then enter our postal address) Once again we will be passing these onto Aussie Hero Quilts to be used.

Probably most usefully, but also the hardest to ask for, is a cash donation to the bank account.  Aussie Hero Quilts is not a set up charity and therefore raising money is difficult. Batting, backing fabrics, postage are just some of the expenses that this organisation spend money on. If you are interested in making a cash donation please contact us and we will provide you with Aussie Hero Quilts bank account details.

And Finally - Spread the word to local sewing/craft groups. They can either contact Berrima Patchwork via email for more details or contact Aussie Hero Quilts via their blog or facebook page.
We thank-you all for reading this email and hope that you will be interested in taking part and supporting Aussie Hero Quilts
Information and photos for this post was provided by Aussie Hero Quilts to be use by Berrima Patchwork.

1 comment:

  1. could you please let me know if there is a contact / drop =-off point in Adelaide to deliver completed quilts ?
    thank you, Jo Z