Thursday, 29 September 2016

Block of the Month - October


WOW!  What a fantastic colour way Jan-Maree has given us this month.  I hope you enjoy playing with your red and white fabrics as you make up these beautiful blocks.

Choose a dominantly red fabric for the diamond.  My diamond is red background with white spots but any printed fabric that is mostly red would work well.  

The background stripes can be any type of print e.g. large prints or small prints, stripes or spots or any combinations of red and white.  Choose 5 fabrics that contrast well with each other.  

I have chosen to place a white background beside a white background in the following selection.  I don't think my choice of a striped fabric for the first or last strip was a good idea and I probably should have used that in another position.

Please use 1/4 inch seams

Working from left to right...
Cut strips about 20 inches long and 3 inch wide, 1 3/4 inch wide, 2 inch wide, 1 1/2 inch wide and 2 1/4 inch wide.

Join the strips together as shown and press the seam allowances flat, either open or to one side.  I prefer to press seam allowances away from white fabric where possible, so that the seam doesn't "shadow" under the white fabric.

Position the piece of fabric made from strips on cutting mat and trim off a small piece as shown on the right and then cut two 8 1/2 inch squares.
Please note...our seam allowances are not always quite the same as each other!  Measure across the 5 strips.  If your measurement is 8 1/4 inch then cut 8 1/4 inch squares.  If your strips measure 8 1/2 inches then cut 8 1/2 inch squares.  The blocks will all fit together because they will be trimmed.

Cut diagonally through each block as shown.

Cut a 7 inch square of fabric for the diamond.  Press in half and then in quarters as shown in the picture below.

Take two identical triangles and find the centre of the diagonal side by folding in half.  With right sides together, position the halfway crease on the triangle over one of the creases on the diamond and pin in place.  The triangle will extend beyond the edges of the red square.  Stitch the seam.  Repeat on the opposite side of the square.  Press the seam allowances to one side.  

Repeat the process with the other two identical triangles.  The following picture shows the third triangle stitched to the square and the fourth triangle pinned in place ready for sewing. 

The flappy triangles can be trimmed away, as shown, after the last two seams have been sewn.
Press the seam allowances to one side.


This is the finished Diamond Block.

Thank you for making blocks for Aussie Hero Quilts.  
Your blocks will be sewn into quilt tops and personalised with details to meet the 
requests of our wonderful Heroes.

Please send your finished blocks to

Sandy Corry
9 Wendouree Court
North Boambee Valley.   NSW.   2450 

If you include your email address, I will be able to let you know when I receive your blocks.

Thank you again...your contributions are very much appreciated!
Happy sewing with these beautiful colours.


PDF version of this tutorial can now be found HERE

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Clear Lower Decks.... HMAS WATSON by Bev U, Gail and Joan McK

Visit to HMAS Watson – 23 September 2016

Perched atop South Head at the entrance of Sydney harbour is HMAS Watson, where Jan-Maree was invited to attend a luncheon and she kindly invited Gail, Joan and Beverly from Cherrybrook Headquarters to represent all of the other AHQ volunteers. 

We were ushered to our specially designated seats by Chaplain Colin Tett, while the impeccably dressed crew stood to attention! The occasion is known as Clear Lower Deck, where every available sailor must attend.

Following various announcements and presentation of awards to deserving members of the crew, the CO, Captain Craig Powell, asked everyone to raise their hands if they had received a quilt or a laundry bag from Aussie Heroes. It was wonderful to see at least half the assembled personnel raise their hands.

After saying a few words the CO presented Jan-Maree various vouchers, which were from funds raised by the wonderful men and women to help her put her home back together after it was lost to a house fire in June this year. Jan-Maree was asked to respond, which she did with great aplomb.

We were then escorted upstairs to the Junior Sailors' Mess for the most delicious lunch of prawns, oysters, bbq meats, and a variety of salads followed by the most decadent desserts, all prepared on site by Navy cooks.

A special table was set for us along with Chaplain Tett and Captain Powell. They were both very generous with their time and knowledge, as you can imagine we had lots of questions! We all learnt so much from them. 

During lunch a few recipients of Quilts and Laundry bags approached our table and thanked Jan-Maree and her volunteers for our wonderful contributions. They told us how much the quilts and laundry bags meant to them.

(I was thrilled that this young lady came to say hello as we have made quilts not only for her, but also for her father and step-brother.   Their father still stays in touch with me though we are yet to meet. 
One day.....  JMxx)

After lunch we were taken on a guided tour by the Chaplain of the magnificent HMAS Watson Memorial Chapel. 

He kindly explained the significance of some of the priceless historical items. It is well worth a visit! The view is breathtaking with the Sydney Harbour on the left and North Head on the right. The majestic cliffs of South Head dropping straight down into the ocean.

We were treated with the utmost kindness and respect by everyone involved. We would like to pass this on to all AHQ volunteers. Please don’t ever think that what you do is taken for granted! These men and women appreciate and love their Quilts and laundry bags. 
We had a lovely day and were so inspired and encouraged we couldn’t wait to get back home to our sewing rooms!

 Beverly U, Gail and Joan McK.

From me, personally, thank you so much to all the staff and students at HMAS Watson who contributed the funds to the vouchers I was given. I will put serious thought to what I spend them on and make sure that it is something I will remember you by.  Thank you again.

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



Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Grati-Tuesday 27 September 16

G'day folks

Just when I thought I did not have any photos to share with you today this gorgeous one was sent to me with the message "one of your bags being put to good use!"  
Love it!  Guess that means that Mum or Dad are home safe from Deployment!  

Now you can enjoy the rest of the messages!!

Hello Susan,

I was so so happy to receive my quilt today! So I thought I'd email you back to say a big thank you.
It is amazing and exactly what I had hoped for. You absolutely hit the nail on the head when I said I wanted purple fantasy! The colours are all so amazing and I absolutely love your work in the middle of it! I must say, my name sewn into it is my favourite part, makes it special, not that it wouldn’t be without it. Its magical and went straight onto my bed the second I pulled it out of the box. Your sister-in-law has great taste obviously because I adore the backing, tell her she did a good job picking it and you did an even better job sewing and putting it all together. I honestly cant thank you enough.

I just recently got back from leave and its been a little hard trying to find my feet again. Just know that this quilt completely made my day. Its also made me realise that I am out here to do a job for people like yourself in the world. Thank you for all the kindness and warmth you put in to making this. It makes me happy to think that your boss was jealous of you taking on the task of making me this particular quilt, makes it all the more special and unique from – as you said – the usual themed football quilts. I am a Collingwood supporter, so lets be honest no one really wants to parade that around haha

My time in the army has been amazing, but its time now for me to move on to bigger things. I plan on living life a little and travelling the world to see all the great things life has to offer.  Your quilt will most definitely be packed up in my suitcase and come everywhere I go on my travel. To keep me safe. Exactly what you stated in your letter, the way I feel every time I lay with my quilt... ‘He will cover you with his pinions and under his wings, you will find refuge.’

I will always remember you, Susan for your kind heart and dedication to people like myself.

I wish for the rest of you and your husbands life, one full of love, health and happiness.

Warm Wishes,

Hi Sue

Thank you so much for the quilt. I was blown away when I opened the box today. I absolutely love the quilt - the bush walking boots are fantastic. Your generosity of putting so much work into my quilt is extremely heart warming.

I have been on deployment since 3 Aug. When I return I will then pack up my home & move to Canberra. This will be my first posting to Canberra & will most likely find the first winter a challenge. I love the heat of Townsville.

Thank you so much Sue. You & your team of quilters are very much appreciated by the defence members on deployment. 


Thanks so very much for the amazing quilt and laundry bag, from Pennie, it arrived today and is an amazing gift that I will cherish. The quilt will take pride of place on my bed at just the right time as the nights are starting to cool off here. The work you and your ladies do for us over here is fantastic and I know I speak for everyone in passing on my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the hard work and dedication it takes to produce such wonderful gifts. 

Sincerely yours,

Dear Beverly U.
Thank you very much for my lovely Aussie Hero Quilt. I received it today. It is awe inspiring work. The Americans are deeply jealous.  I am currently on my 3rd deployment in Australia. I served 17 years in the SA Army as an Infantry man. I have been in Australia for 10 years and love it. I live in Canberra and have a 16 year old princess a dearly loved wife. They will appreciate your handiwork immensely.
I am truly thankful for your gift. May God bless you and your family.

Dear Pennie,

Thank you so very much for the fantastic quilt, laundry bag and letter. The quilt is wonderful and will be going straight on my bed tonight. It has arrived at just the right time as the nights are starting to cool of here and I was about to go and purchase a blanket. The laundry bag will make the trips to the laundry that much easier and is also very much appreciated.

It sounds like you had a wonderful time in France and Belgium to commemorate the centenary of WWI. I visited the battlefields around Flanders just prior to joining the Army in 2009 and the service at Menin Gate is still the most touching remembrance I have seen in my life. The fact that a town could still hold such high regard for men and women, not even from their own country yet alone their town is an incredibly touching and humbling experience  and a memory that I cherish. Most importantly though it is good to hear that the champagne and beer flowed eventually!!

Thank you again for the wonderful work that you and your group does for us. It really does brighten our day to receive a letter let alone such a wonderful gift that I will cherish.


Hi Sue,
How are you? Thank you so much for the laundry bag, my other little pop up one literally broke on me yesterday so I guess you are my hero!
I considered sending you an e-mail but who doesn't love mail that isn't a bill right? ☺
I'm 26 years old and have a boyfriendly, I'm thankful I don't have children while I'm over here otherwise I would be quite the emotional admin clerk haha...
I wish your whole family is well!


 Hello Joan 

I would like to send my sincere thanks and gratitude for the fantastic laundry bag I received today. I’m over the moon with the brilliant colours and my initials in the centre. 

I do appreciate the time and effort you’ve placed in this laundry bag and I’m now showing it off to all my friends here in TAJI. You have brightened up my day today and I thank you big time. 

Yours sincerely 

Good Morning,

I was the glad recipient of a brand new stylish laundry bag while on deployment on OP OKRA in the MER.

Thankyou for the gift, it means a lot to me and my mates when we receive gifts like this from back home, it reminds us of where we come from and why we do the job.  Life can be tough when spending an extended period of time away from our loved ones, though your generosity goes a long way to revitalise me in completing our mission,


Good afternoon Helen,

Apologies for the length of time to get back to you.   I would like to thank you very much for the quilt you made for me, with Poppy above camels.  I sent it home for my grand daughter whose name is Poppy and from all accounts from my daughter, she absolutely loves it !!   It was fantastic to have something that my family has to have a connection with me during my time here.

Thank you once again for a truly wonderful gift


Thank you Monika Mary and Judith. 
It was a wonderful surprise to receive such a beautiful quilt. The Night Owl Quilters have created a quilt that will be a very treasured and cherished item. To receive a quilt was great but what a fantastic blessing to receive one from the Blue Mountains.

Hi Leanne, 
I received your quilt yesterday and it was a pleasant surprise!  I have been in South Sudan now since April and will be going home end of January – another four months to go!  I do have leave coming up so that will break it up somewhat.  I hadn’t heard of Jan-Maree before arriving in South Sudan and when I became aware of her initiative, thought I would take advantage and get a Broncos quilt.   I’m very much a hard core Queensland supporter, I watched the very first State of Origin on the ABC as a 12 year old in Yeppoon (my home town), and also the first Broncos game in the NSW competition in 1987 (I was at Duntroon at the time).  Having spent half my military career outside Queensland, watching the State of Origin takes me back home, if only for a night!  No doubt once you finally move to Queensland you will convert, they nearly always do!!

Please pass on my thanks and appreciation to your ‘helpers’ and to your family, your teams efforts are greatly appreciated by those ADF members who are deployed.

All the best,

Hello Joan and Robin,
A huge thank you from a soldier stationed at the Taji Military Complex in Iraq.
Upon my arrival back in Iraq from holidays back home, I received your perfectly crafted bag. It makes the few hundred metre travel to the laundry service a lot less difficult, as our issued laundry bags are much too small and renowned for breaking.
Making a stressful environment a little more homely and colourful goes a long way in lifting morale.

Best wishes for the future. 

To Dearest Sue,
Thank you so much for your support of the Australian Defence Force. It is greatly appreciated.   The washing bag you have kindly made and sent my way has already been put to good use.   They are the perfect size to fit two uniforms in as well as other personal items.
 I also enjoy sewing and have wanted to learn how to quilt for the past couple of years. Upon my return this is going to be my new adventure.
 Thank you again 

Good Morning Joan,

First of all I would like to thank you for the amazing laundry bag you made in the theme of Perth.  It sounds like you and Robin make a good team :)

We are currently on our fourth patrol and seems a little like ground-hog day but working makes the day go faster and doing PT in the morning and evenings gives you the little extra moral boost where needed.

A little about myself.

I am married with 2 boys who are about to turn 4 and 2 so my wife currently has her hands full at home.  We have been together for 13 years and married for 6 and live in WA.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my two boys and taking them to swimming lessons and soccer on weekends and catching up with friends for a cheeky beer or two.

Pls keep up the excellent work and helping the Aussie Hero Quilt organisation


Hi Robyn,

I am currently serving in Iraq on my fifth deployment to the Middle East and I've just received my custom laundry bag in the mail, it's perfect, thank you very much!

Thank you for putting so much of your time and energy into these bags and quilts, it is very much appreciated from myself, my fellow team members and the wider ADF I am very sure.

Hoping this email finds you healthy and well, it sounds to me like you have the perfect place to retire and put your feet up. All the best and thanks again for the laundry bag it's much appreciated.

Ps. The Tim-tams were a hit, and arrived almost completely unscathed! The boys and I enjoyed them!

Kindest Regards,

Hi Donna,
I received your laundry bag recently and wanted to pen a short card to say thank you for the kind gift and thoughts... they have certainly brightened  an otherwise dull & dusty place!

The guys have eagerly awaited their bags and always enjoy comparing them. Nearly all of our group are from Sydney and are a mix of first, second and third times to Iraq - most have spent the majority of their overseas deployments in the past in Afghanistan.

Again thank you for thinking of us & please keep up the great work.

Hi Jan-Maree and everyone at AHQ!
I'm currently deployed in Iraq.  I have received one of your laundry bags and I just wanted to say thank you. 
It was really wonderful to get something hand made from home and it really made my day. 
You guys are doing a great job supporting us and sending small pieces of morale,  it's very much appreciated!


Hi Jenny & Steve

Thank you so much for the laundry bag - I love it!. I can't believe how much you ladies put into making quilts & laundry bags for defence members. Everyone here talks about the quilts & laundry bags they receive & it is a real morale booster. We are looked after very well on deployment in the United Arab Emirates.

We are now in autumn here & the weather is starting to cool a little. Only reaches 38 or 39 during the day & high 20s over night.

Thanks so much for your support, which is truly appreciated.

Good Morning Carla (Kia Ora),

First of all I would like to thank you for the magnificent quilt you made in the theme of Perth and it was definitely worth the wait.

It sounds like you have quite an interesting life and career! I am glad you have seen the light and moved to Perth from the land of the long white clouds to joining most of your family

We are currently on patrol and seems a little like ground-hog day but working makes the day go faster and doing PT in the morning and evenings gives you the little extra moral boost when needed.

I would like to thank you once again for the quilt as I used it last night as it is half as thick then the duvet they provide us and is much more suitable in this climate up here (40 degrees +) as the ship struggles to cool the ship down.

Pls keep up the excellent work and helping the Aussie Hero Quilt organisation.


I just wanted to thank you for the lovely laundry bag that you made for me.

You can't understand how good it makes us feel that people would spend so much time, just to show they appreciate what we do.

I am currently on my 13th deployment and this is the first time that I have received one of these laundry bags.

I love how it is personalised and very obviously mine, when I walk into the laundry. I share two machines and dryers with about 40 other people, so it makes it easy for me to identify my stuff when I walk in there.

Once again, thank you very much.


This thank you is for one of our BOM quilts... put together by Gail...

Hi Gail,

I have just recently received the fabulous quilt that all you lovely ladies have put so much time and effort into making.

I have got to say, it is doing the job very nicely indeed!

The group of pers that I came over with are all getting ready to soon return home, and are all very much looking forward to the new guys coming in. I’m sure they’ll get as much satisfaction from the great work all you ladies do.

Again, thank you very much.

Take care.

Hi Inge,

Thank you so much for the Laundry Bag, it is perfect and was a lovely surprise to come home to. 

I just returned from my third deployment last Thursday and am very thankful to be home. I'll be looking forward to a few weeks of R&R in which I plan to do a lot of riding myself. 

I'm actually enjoying the cooler weather after spending a summer in the MER. It was the first time I have seen rain in a long time. 

Again, thank you for taking the time to sew my laundry bag. The work you people do is very much appreciated and goes a long way to help keep out morale high. 

Take care and all the best to you and your family for the future. 


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

Jan-Maree xx

Monday, 26 September 2016

Request List 26 September 16

Hi all
Tickets are still available for our annual dinner in Canberra on the 5th of November at HMAS Harman but get in  fast… numbers are limited.

All emails for any subject should now come to me at

Here is this week’s list.   Anything you are not sure of.. JUST ASK!


I do have a couple of urgent ones for people who have only just out requests in.  These are numbers 2 and 3.  They would need to be in the mail in a couple of weeks if possible. At least if we could get personalized laundry bags done in time that would be great.


The post by date for the rest of the requests in this week’s list 31 October.  PLEASE note the date and let me know if you have any problems getting your quilt/LB away on time. In fact, if you are going to be late posting it please let me know BEFORE you post it.  Also, if this time frame is too tight for you, there are options, just email me to discuss.  

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE copy the ENTIRE line if you wish to nominate for a quilt or laundry bag.  This is really important to make sure that neither you nor I copy the wrong number which could lead to me giving you the wrong details for specific request.
B=both quilt and laundry bag (feel free to nominate to JUST do the laundry bag if you wish)

Q= just a quilt

LB = just a laundry bag

Requests in pink are for girls.


Australian National Flag - you can buy panels at Spotlight – ask for them if you can’t find them.


7RAR is deployed and they are known as the Porky 7 or the Pig Regiment. We still have  few of them on the list so you might like to add a pig to their quilt or bag…..just about any pig will do from cute little porky pig to farmyard pigs to big mean looking boars.    If you are interested in doing that please let me know and I will tell you which requests to look at. 


If you have a quilt underway that does not match any of these requests please let me know. I have options for you.

Remember, you do not have to include everything they have asked for.    Footy quilts do not need to have the logo or even the team name. Using the team colours is all that is required. Simple is perfectly acceptable.  A number of these requests have given you favourite colours as well as footy teams or other hobbies and interests.    It is fine to make a quilt using their favourite colours and include only one of their interests.  It is fine to keep it simple.

If there is more than one request on this list that you would be happy to do I suggest that you send me a list of requests and tell me how many you want to be allocated…. ie one of the following please….  There are always a few requests that everyone wants to do (and I can never pick them) so if the first one you ask for is taken then I can allocate another from your list if I have a list.

A quick note… even if you check the request list every week, please take the time to skim over this preamble.  I edit it to make it relevant every week and I know that many of you are not reading it by the questions I am being asked. It takes you just a minute or two to scan it but takes me considerably longer to read and answer the emails I receive ….. please give me a hand in this. Your assistance is appreciated.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Cheers and happy stitching!

QLD Marooons (maroon and gold), Melbourne Storm (purple and gold)
NSW Blues, Melbourne Storm (purple and gold)
Aussie themed
Aussie themed
Aussie/ army theme
Aussie/ army theme
Aussie/ army theme
Aussie/ army theme
Aussie surfing
Aussie/ army theme
Dark Colours, Satellites, maps, stars
Navy Theme (AWE)
AFL, mountain bikes, cars and cats
all bright colours
Tan colour the following names and pictures in the corners with pics Simon - E7 Wedgetail aircraft, Rach - Makeup, Ava - Music, Isaac - Scorpion
West Coast Eagles
Yellow and whatever goes with Elephants
Snow Mountains
Maroon, QLD and North QLD/Tropical
Thomas the tank engine/ Trains
RAAF Ensign/Flag Arabic writing and Arabic landscapes
Australian Landscapes
Brisbane Broncos or their colours
Marvel or DC Comics/ Aussie theme
Blue, E7 Wedgetail Plane
Hawthorne Football Club themed quilt (HAWKS)
Sunderland AFC - (EPL team) red and white
Soccer, Photographer, lives Canberra, two dogs. Greek background.
ACT Brumbies (rugby) blue and gold
"hard writing makes easy reading".  Likes song birds like magpies and butcher birds for their songs.  Like to read biographies of leaders through time.
Adventure Time TV show
Bananas in Pyjamas, Finding Nemo (TV, Movie)
Sailor Jerry
Bayern Munich (soccer) red white and blue
Emu Export, VB's (beer)
Rick and Morty (TV)
Adventure Time
Kanye West (performer)
Fremantle Dockers Theme - purple and white and you could add an anchor
He Man (cartoon)
Sun's AFL team - orangey red and gold
The Mad Hueys
Ducati Logo with a  beach backdrop please
Pokemon style
Pokemon style
NBA Golden State Warriors team and NRL NZ Warriors team
Eureka Flag (Dark blue background, white cross and stars with red writing "Fight the Power"
Barcelona Football Club maroon blue and gold
Army Theme (PMV/Truck)
Boxing Kangaroo
Snow leopard on a mountain
NSW Rugby League
Rat - Disney style cartoon character
Halo (X box)
Video game 'Halo' design
A Kung Fu Panda movie themed one please
Transformers (1980 if possible)
My Little Pony with Ava Lee on it
Horse, Blue
Mario Kart theme please
Mario Kart theme (video game)
Army Kangaroo theme (colours red and white)
A giant Australian Flag would be much appreciated
A kangaroo in the centre, above have "Kabul Scenic Tours" and on the bottom have "Afghanistan 2016".  Can I have a black quilt with red writing
May I have a Star Wars Wookie (Cheubacca) theme quilt please
May I please have a Thomas the Tank Engine theme quilt with a traintrack around the boarder and a red kangaroo in the centre
(there is a Thomas panel that can be sent to you if you want to make this.)
Scotish Flag, English Flag, French Flag and the PNG flag
Red Blue Lime green Fishing
Any of the following would be great…. ANZAC themed,
Southern Cross, Rising Sun
Canterbury Bulldogs,
Fave colour: Blue
Nickname: Flats
Harry Potter Theme / Magic / Fantasy
James Bond Theme/ Melbourne Storm NRL Team
Red or the Maroons
Australian Submarine Squadron Blue/Aqua/Teal/Purple/Black or Collingwood. Basketball.
 huge fan of reading novels and Disney movies (beauty and the beast in particular), if I could get the quilt to reflect these passions that would be greatly appreciated. I would like to pass it on to my daughters one day.
Boxing kangaroo green and gold
May I have a theme of a variety of Australian Native animals.  Thanks
ANZAC Rising Sun and poppies
ANZAC Rising Sun and poppies
Red, White, Blue RAAF roundel / aircraft montage
 "Australian Flag" "RAANC "Nursing Corps" "NATO Badge" "Red Cross" "Afghanistan map" theme.