Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Happy Mail 29th July

Hi Everyone

Here are the beauties we have received this week.  Keep up the great work.

These beauties are from Glenda W... Lovely

Great blocks from Sally N

Lovely Laundry Bags from June A

Three more fabulous Laundry Bags from Dorothy C

Some great quilt tops from Norma A

I think you'll all agree they are all fantastic.

Thanks everyone and Happy Stitching


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Grati-Tuesday 28 July

You might remember that not too long ago Aussie Heroes was featured in an article in Yours Magazine.  We got another mention in the current issue as well.  Thanks to Liz for taking the time to write in and send photos of the quilt and laundry bag that were sent to her daughter, Bec, when she was on deployment.  Thanks also to Carole for telling me about the article or I might have missed it! xxxx

Dear Jean,

I am writing to say thanks. Firstly, thanks for the terrific laundry bag. Until I received it I was using a tired old mesh one that has followed me around since the nineties! I am sure that it is going to accompany me to some other far away lands in the years to come.

Second, I want to thank you for helping to keep an important tradition alive within Australian society-support to the men and women of the ADF. I have been deployed three times prior to this, and each time I have been very fortunate to experience such support from people from all walks of Aussie life. Children send letters, family members send news articles, and complete strangers compile and send care packages (and of course make gifts with their own two hands!) There are many factors that make deployments like this tough to endure, but experiencing thoughtful gestures like yours do more to lift our spirits than you could ever know. 
For this, I thank you. I will always remember your kindness and support.

Kind regards,

Hello Pennie, 

I just wanted to say thank you so much for my fantastic looking laundry bag!! I received it on Friday, I could only imagine how much time you put into making it!!  and to find that time while you work as a nurse is beyond me!! I have had the pleasure to have a couple of operations over my time ( well it wasn't a pleasure at the time!!!!) but being a nurse is sometimes a thankless job, especially putting up with grumpy people!! 

So again thank you very much for my great laundry bag and another thank you for the special treats you put into the parcel!! It was a great surprise. 

Thanking you 


Good afternoon Tina, 

I would just like to thank you so very much for the amazing quilt you made. It is absolutely amazing and I appreciate how much time and effort you have put into it. I can't express the amount of appreciation I have for all the time and effort spent by all of the amazing 

ladies at Aussie Hero quilts. These laundry bags and quilts have really made our deployment and have brought smiles to all of our faces. 

I am so very thankful and definitely brought a smile to my face when I read your letter saying you are a big Raiders fan and are actually from Canberra also. 

Thank you so very much again. I really can't express my appreciation enough. 
I hope you have an amazing afternoon. 



Good Evening or Morning Yvette and Family,

I really appreciate the kind and generous packages that you sent me. Knowing that there are people at home who care about the mission that we are working hard to achieve brings great pride to both my sailors and myself. It is always a happy day when we get mail from family, but it is especially touching when people, who used to be strangers, put so much effort into making us feel appreciated. Your family's generosity and the hours spent making this quilt cannot be replaced. I will cherish these kind gifts for the rest of my life. 

Kind and Warmest Regards,

Hi Alicia,

I received the laundry bag and quilt you made for me. I would like to say I am very humbled and honoured that you took the time to do such a lovely thing such as this. Can you also thank your friend Sally for the beanie. I haven't had a need for it just yet, everyday has been upwards of 45 degrees up here. 

Thankyou again for such amazing gesture and our whole ship is so appreciative of everyone at Aussie Hero Quilts


Hello Heather B and Marj T,

Firstly I would like to apologise for the lateness of my reply, very deeply sorry. Some days its very busy here and the days that are more quiet its great time to relax .
I received the Laundry bag on the 2nd of July,

Now that laundry bag ............. It is absolutely fantastic, you ladies did just a sterling job
I'm very greatly appreciative of the fantastic work Aussie quilt and laundry bags group are doing. Everyone over in MER are ecstatic  with their laundry bags.
You see them walk around like hand bags and show them off all the time lol

I deployed over here at the end of  Mar. This is my third deployment to the middle east region, first as a firefighter, and first as a father. My daughter was born on 25 Dec 2014, yes Xmas day.
So I have missed out a lot of her growing, so yes I am soooooo looking forward to go home and holding my daughter, and can't wait to give her my Quilt and laundry bag.
On saying that, I have enjoyed my time over here. Met some great people from all over Australia.

Once again thank you very much Ladies, truly greatly appreciated and the goodies were the icing on the cake.

Kind regards


Jill's group at Mooroolbark East Primary School have received some more thank you messages...and I have also included a couple of photos that I did not receive publication permission in time for the post last week..... Enjoy

Attention Jill S and Ryan

Hi there, I am a deployed soldier working in Iraq and I am the lucky recipient of a laundry bag which was made by Ryan.  The bag is very colourful with lots of records on one side and vintage cars on the other side.  It looks great and is an excellent idea as this is exactly what we need here.  Most people here are now walking to and from the laundry with very colourful laundry bags.  The best thing is that they are all different so it makes it very easy to instantly recognise the bag that has our laundry inside it.

You may have picked up from my e-mail address that I am from New Zealand.  There are a lot of us here working as part of an integrated force with the Aussies.  This is a fantastic opportunity for both the Aussie and the Kiwi's as we are learning each other's systems and processes as well as meeting a lot of new friends while working in what can only be described as a very harsh environment.  It is very sandy, dusty and extremely hot.  We have had temperatures of over 50C for each day over the last week.

Dear Jill - thank you so much for your great idea and your significant part in bringing this plan to fruition.  I really appreciate the time and effort it must have taken for you to organise 80 Grade six kids to make these laundry bags and the quality is fantastic so the coaching must have been fantastic as well.  I am only one of many who have benefited from this project and I can assure you that it is extremely humbling to know the support is there for your troops (and their peers - of which I consider myself).

Dear Ryan - Thank you very much for making the laundry bag and for the letter that you wrote to attach to the bag telling me a bit about you. The bag is awesome and I can see that you have put a lot of effort into making it.  I love the selection of material that you used. I really love your cats names - Blade and Machete are cool names and I suspect that you might have had a big hand in those names.  I do like sports and have played representative rugby, cricket, tennis and volleyball.  I played and managed cricket right up to level where I represented the NZ Defence Force.  

I have lots of interests, I like reading and draw to relax,  One of my main interests is music (that is why I picked the laundry bag you made) and I love to play the Guitar.  

I have a beautiful wife and three lovely daughters at home and miss them very much.  I also have two grandsons.  We will be home in time for Christmas so that will be very good.

My job here is working in an office supporting the Human Resources for both the NZ and Aussies. My boss is an Aussie and we have two Aussies working in our area as well.  Our job involves looking after their pay and administrative requirements as well as travel, leave and reports.  It has been very busy since we arrived here as this is the first deployment and it is always a bit harder setting up the mission and making sure that it is all set up for any groups who follow us in.  

We don't have AFL in NZ but I have been to Melbourne a few times as I have relatives there and I have watched a few games live at the MCG.  It is a very fast game and I enjoyed watching it very much.  I do enjoy Rugby union most and support the Crusaders team as well as the All Blacks. I hope that they do well in the World Cup later this year.  I also enjoy League and support the Warriors (who are not doing so well) but also like the Brisbane Bronco's.  I have been to Brisbane lots of times and have watched them live as well.

You said in your letter that it is very cold where you are with it being winter.  It is also very cold where I come from at present.  My wife said that she had a -4C frost just last week which is cold - even for NZ.

Thank you very much for your efforts to make this bag and for your kind thoughts towards the troops serving overseas.  I hope that you are not disappointed that your bag did not go to an Aussie soldier but you can be rest assured that it is very much appreciated and I know you can be very proud of yourself for making this and for supporting us.

Thank you.

Kind Regards

Hey Rachel M.

I'm a Private in the Australian Defence Force. I'm a rifleman right now, but I might change jobs soon just to try something new. I've been in the army for just over a year now.
 I'm in Iraq right now. It's very dusty and very hot. It came close to hitting 60°c the other week. Apart from the heat it's a nice looking country. It's a shame there's been so many problems in this part of the world lately.

I don't have any pets or kids. I have a girlfriend back home, and a brother and sister waiting for me back home. I'm 25, my sister is 23 and my brother is 16. He knows what it's like to be the youngest in the family too haha.

Back home I have a different set of hobbies, but here on deployment I play a lot of basketball, football and volleyball. We also watch a lot of movies and read a lot. Anything to pass the time. It can get very boring here. We're in a compound surrounded by concrete. Our home is about 1 square km and there are hundreds of people here from all over the world. It can get a bit cramped, especially when we have to live here for at least 6 months!

Thank you heaps for the laundry bag. It's exactly what I needed! I'd been taking my clothes to the laundry in a big leather dive bag. Yours is much nicer (and lighter).

I hope I answered all your questions and thank you. It really was great to get your letter.

Hi Jan-Maree,

The beautiful quilt and laundry bag have arrived. Both make wonderful additions to my room and really brighten the place up. Please thank everyone who contributed their time in crafting these lovely items. They will get plenty of use at my end.

Hello Jan-Maree,

You will be pleased to know that my laundry bag has arrived safe and sound here in the Middle East. It came with a lovely letter from the maker Julie-Ann.  Since we have been in port, the quilts and laundry bags have been coming hard and fast. The messes and the ship's laundry is aflush with new colour and vibrance. It's a welcome change from the deep blue of service issued quilt covers and the stack of off-white of dirty laundry bags.   I thank you very much for the effort that your team applies to ensuring that everyone here has something special to remind them of the country that we have left behind and the family (including sporting teams) that they miss. Thanks again for this wonderful gesture

Kind regards



I am very pleased to say that I have received my quilt and an unexpected surprise, a laundry bag as well. Both are absolutely awesome! And I can't thank your organisation enough for doing this, the quilts have been the talk of the town here.

Again thank you very much for sending a little bit of happiness to those deployed .......


Dear Irene,

I received my laundry bag today and was in awe of the amount of effort you have put in for me, the print is better than I could have imagined.

It is a truly beautiful thing and says a lot about the person behind this work, I cant thank you enough for the gift and am very excited about seeing the quilt.

Thank you for all the goodies and I will be sure to share them around with my crew who are currently flying a mission as I write this email. On the next flight the Minties and Tim Tams will be a real treat for them.

Take care, many thanks and chat soon,

Dear Faye,

I just wanted to say thank you for the fantastic quilt that you made for the program.
I got it yesterday with a package that my girlfriend sent over with some musliebars and M&M's. I'm not going to lie, I was really happy with what you sent. I'm sure I had this stupid grin all over my face at 11pm when I got back to my room to open it.
Given that we had space restrictions on what we could bring over with us, I couldn't bring one from home.
So your quilt is a much welcome replacement for the blanket which was supplied here.
I took a photo to show you.

This is my first deployment, so I'm really happy to be out here doing my job on operations. My girlfriend would agree about the sacrifice bit, but I'm just glad that I got to be one of the few to serve with the Kiwis on the centenary of the ANZAC's. 

I hope this email has found you well.

I - we do appreciate the actual support you have shown. actually doing something to support the guys and girls here just seems uncommon, so thank you.

Warmest Regards, 


Dear Joan & Robin,
I am writing to say many thanks for the laundry bag, it has certainly made my day and life a bit easier for carrying my laundry around.

Over here we are the force protection company protecting the training teams as well as the Aust/NZ personnel. Today it reached 50C and with body armour and helmet on it’s like working in an oven.

We are a combined Aust/NZ company and also have US, British and Spanish over in our areas. 

Anyway thanks once more for the laundry bag, already had one american offer to swap me his bag, no I said this is Australian made!

Cheers again, I will try to send a picture of it in action.



I have just received my Aussie Hero Quilt in the post. I will send Kay an email thanking her for the time she spent making this amazing quilt for me.

I would like to thank all the wonderful people associated with Aussie Hero Quilts for what they do for us. You guys make what we do worthwhile.


Dearest Joan and Robin,

I would like to give my sincerest thanks for the lovely laundry bag that you have sent me.
The mere fact that you have given up your precious time and energy towards creating such a lovely gift is very heartwarming.
Sometimes it is questionable as to whether we have the public support in the duties that we must fullfil. Knowing that complete strangers have us in their thoughts help keep us focused on the job at hand.
Genuine kindness is rare and I wish you and your family all the best.
Your efforts are greatly appreciated and will be remembered by those who benefit.

Again many thanks

Dear Julie,

I hope this email finds you well.

I wanted to thank you and tell you that I absolutely love my quilt. I wasn't sure how Rotti's would be incorporated into my quilt and I was hoping I hadn't set an impossible request. This is my third deployment to the Middle East region and your quilt is my first ever from AHQ. I am sure I will treasure it for years to come and look back at it with fond memories. I am just over half way through my tour and I am looking forward to going home to be with family and friends!

I have been in the Airforce 17 years and before that I had also spent 3 years in the Army. I hope to do another 5-10 years before I retire from the forces. I have 3 children at home, they are now in their teenage years but I have spent a lot of time apart from family on exercises and deployments throughout my career.

It is always nice to hear from home. It means a great deal so thank you again.

Kind regards,

Dear Val,

Please forgive the e-mail, thank-you cards are in short supply here.

Thank-you so very much for the Quilt. I like it very much, it was just what I wanted.

It now has pride of place on my bed and it is good to have something to remind me of home. I'm sure that the quilt will come in handy later, although it is currently a balmy 47 degrees at the moment, having been in Iraq before I know winter comes with a vengeance and I'll be grateful for the warmth.

Again, thank-you for the effort you have gone to, I know that I echo the sentiments of all here when I say keep up the good work.




I received the amazing Arsenal quilt today, when I opened it I was lost for words. If you could of seen me, I was showing everybody that was near by, I was like a big kid who just received the best present ever. I will treasure it and can see it hanging with my small collection of Arsenal memorabilia when I return home.

I have been supporting Arsenal since 1971, as an Australian it's hard trying to explain where my passion for supporting them comes from. Your husband must a be great man following The Arsenal and you sound just like my poor suffering wife, she has very little choice but to support and watch them play. You will both enjoy watching them play at the Emirates, my wife and I where lucky enough to attend three games at the Emirates last year.

I can't thank you enough, kind people like yourself making and sending even just the smallest things go a long way to making our time over here worthwhile.   I'm very proud and honoured that you have personally taken the time to make this wonderful quilt for me, you are an amazing person.

I have attached a picture of me with the quilt for you.


and shared on Facebook last night....

To the amazing people that made our quilts, thank you so much. They were not only great while we were away they also kept us warm at home. We just took them with us while we attended the "navy alpine ladies development camp".

Dear Pennie

I would like to say a big thank you for the amazing quilt. It is beautiful and I absolutely love it. I cannot wait to share it with my family.

I am a mother of four young children. It has been so hard leaving them as I know I will miss them so much. However I have a very understanding husband. I will be meeting them all soon for a family holiday. I am so excited.

I too am a nurse. My background is paediatrics which I did for 15 years. I decided to have a sea change and joined the RAAF. I am loving the change and have learnt so much. I now look after ‘big kids!”. Nursing is so changeable and that’s what I love.

I really appreciated it. I am sure all members that have received your quilts would think the same.

Thank you

Kind Regards

Dear Alicia
Thank you for the lovely quilt you made me.
It adds a homely touch and some colour to my bed space here as we are living in bunk beds in tents and are provided with basic linen and a simple metal wardrobe.
I have been deployed for a little over 4 months now and have less than 2 months remaining.  I’m looking forward to returning home and sleeping in my own bed!

It is really gratifying to know that those at home such as yourself take great efforts to support servicemen and women whilst we serve overseas.  Thankyou once again for the quilt which has brightened my space and for your heart warming letter.

Till next time...... keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree xx

Monday, 27 July 2015

Campbelltown Patchwork and Quilting Group Rocks....

Quick note about laundry bags before I move on to tonight's subject.

Please, please, please when you make them can you stick to the tutorial. There are several features in the design that have a purpose and are not just to make it pretty.

For example, the cord channel has to be hard wearing and sturdy and it needs to last without the stitching wearing out.  Folding the top of the bag over and stitching it down, leaving a gap for the cord might seem functional, but in the long run it is not going to wear well and it does not make the cord as easy to draw up.  

Additionally please, if you are not adding the initials to the bag, can you please add a patch so that the recipient can write their name. Also please do not send me fabric to add the patches as I just do not have time.  Whilst on patches, please remember that the purpose of the patch is so that the recipient's name or initials can be written on it.... using a dark fabric for the patch makes that a little difficult. 

Finally, if you have yardage and want to use it up to make several bags please remember the whole point of our bags is that they are individual so making two bags the same defeats that. Again, the cord channel being a separate piece of fabric and the patch being added are two opportunities to add some individuality to each bag. Make several bags from the same material but vary the fabric you use for the cord channel or the patch on the front to make it easy for the guys and girls to immediately find their bag at the end of a long hard day.

I hope you can help me with this.  It would be much appreciated.


On Saturday I had the pleasure of joining the ladies of the Campbelltown Patchwork and Quilting Guild at a working day. I took my sewing machine and stitched away as they sorted and cut and prepared kits to be sewn into Aussie Hero Quilts.  

What a lovely, friendly bunch of ladies.  If only I lived closer I would be joining their group like a shot. 

Some groups were cutting strips, some were cutting squares, some were sorting but everyone was chatting and generally having a good time.

All up 19 wonderful ladies gave up their Saturday to come and prepare kits for Aussie Heroes.

At the end of the day some kits were taken home to be put together and others are going to be assembled at organised sewing days in the future.

Of course, as you do, we ate well.  There were the most yummy fresh bread sandwiches for lunch and then a delicious homemade peach slice and yummy homemade gingerbread biscuits plus other goodies.

At the end of the day 34 kits had been assembled and countless strips and squares have been cut for scrappy quilts.  I did not get to know too many of the names on the day, we were all working and chatting too much, but the two ladies pictured below on the right are Jacqui C and Denise (on the right) and they are pretty much the driving force. Jacqui is the president of the guild and Denise is in charge of their community projects. Never underestimate how much preparation goes into days like Saturday. 

Thanks so much for all your hard work ladies and thanks for having me.

Till next time................keep spreading the word and happy stitching.  
Jan-Maree xx

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Just letting you know...

Good morning all.

Just a quick post to let you know I am heading off again soon.  

Queensland bound...

At the end of August I am heading up to Brisbane. The Rosewood Craft and Quilters are holding their show over the weekend of the 28th - 30th of August.

Proceeds for this year's show are to go to Soldier On, Mates for Mates, Wandering Warriors and the Dog Squad - Obviously all causes that I am more than happy to be aligned with.

I have been asked to be the guest speaker at the Show Opening on Friday the 28th of August,  The evening commences 630 for 7pm.   Supper will be served following my presentation.

The tickets are limited to 100 pre-sold tickets so if you are interested in coming along and hearing more about Aussie Heroes please PM me for details.  Tickets cost $10.

It you can't make it to the opening on the Friday night you might like to come along and check out the show over the weekend.  If you do come I hope you will stop by and say hello then as I will have a display for the duration of the weekend.  The show is being held in the hall at the Rosewood Show Grounds, Railway Street, Rosewood.  

The show will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9am till 4pm and entry cost will be $5.

Again the proceeds will go to Soldier On, Mates for Mates, Wandering Warriors and The Dog Squad.

Back to the ACT...

Next weekend I will be making a brief presentation at lunch time on the Saturday to the Southern Cross Quilters at their Retreat in Canberra. I will manning a table for a while after that so that people can chat to me informally if they wish to.

I hope some of you can make it to one venue or the other as it is always great to catch up with or meet both the quilters and the recipients.

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

Jan-Maree xx

Friday, 24 July 2015

Weekly Dispatches 24 July

Before I get on to this week's "show and tell" I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone for your lovely words and messages in response to my tribute to my husband on our 25th Anniversary.  You blew me away and your messages have gone straight to my heart.  Thank you so much.  And to think I was worried that post might be a little personal and might be seen as indulgent.  LOL what would I know.  You all make it so easy to do what I do.  xxxx

Lots of gorgeous quilts and amazing laundry bags have headed off this week. 

956 quilts and 1373 laundry bags for 2015. 

4538 quilts and  6790 laundry bags in total.

These first two quilts were made by the North of the Yarra Quilt Group and were quilted by Tess.  They had the crest of the ANZAC Hospital added to them which was embroidered by Linda H and now they are on their way to Iraq to be used in the ward on the beds to brighten the coalition patients' stays. More will follow in coming weeks.  Gorgeous quilts ladies.


Front and back

made by the Queanbeyan CWA with fabric donated by Tamsin from Berrima Patchwork.

Sophie H 

Stephanie D

Su J  

Sylvia of the Chocolyn Laugh-a-lot ladies. 

Front and back of the Laundry bag

Cath L


Top by Lynn and quilted by Debbie

Debbie with an embroidery by Cheri

 Debbie T

And the back

Glenda Joy 

Gwenda's Gaggle

Jean B

Front and back

 Kay H

Kim F 


Linda H 

Lisa N 

Louise D quilted by Debbie

Linda A

Michelle T

The wonderful children from Mooroolbark East Primary School with Jill S

I am off tomorrow to sew with the lovely ladies from the Campbelltown Patchwork and Quilting Group.  Looking forward to it.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Till next time.......................keeps spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree xx