Wednesday 31 October 2012

Happy Mail Wednesday 31 October

Naomi's BOM Bit first - :-) Why thank you Ma'am!

OMG, I have been blown away this week with the amount of blocks I've received....I think with next months block combined with this months' we'll be seeing lots of very special quilts coming out of them.  Thank you all so much for the blocks, I'm having so much fun checking them all out....and so I don't get into trouble for hogging the post again (Sorry about last week JM)(she is not really sorry you know!) here's this weeks happy snaps of some of the blocks I've received....I've decided to include initials and where you're from instead of names, just in case anyone was wondering!

The above pics are a selection of the blocks from Bernice from SA.

These are from Teresa all the way over in America.

The above were all sent by SB from Oaklands Park, SA...and the bottom pic shows what they all look like in a pile!

These were all sent in by PM from Newborough Vic...and the bottom pic shows the lovely note and extras she sent, which aren't a necessity, however were a lovely surprise (much the same as the lovely soaps I got the other week) and all will be put to good use within my quilting for AHQ....there was extra fabric, a cone of thread and some sewing machine needles)

So, all in all, I've received loads of great blocks and even though it's bad to wish the days away, I wish it was the beginning of December already so I can kit all the BOM's up into quilt packs after I get next month's blocks.

Thank you all so much, I'm loving being the recipient of the BOM's....might have to try and talk JM out of a few more months worth next year...but I'll get these sewn up first.....can't add to my existing UFO's with a section devoted to AHQ now can I, or can I???? *smiles*AHQ UFO's not allowed - :-)

Stay tuned tomorrow for the new BOM, which is as easy as this month's, and they're going to go together so well....I can't wait....hopefully you all like it as much as I have in writing it.

To all the troops, stay safe.


Naomi aka Tech Guru

That's all for me from sunny and hot Berri, back over to you at AHQ headquarters JM.


Thank you so much Naomi.  Let me know when you have completed all the BOM quilts and you can receive another month's worth!

Before I forget - this week's Friend of the Day post will have to wail till Sunday because tomorrow is the first of the month and that means................
Ta Da..........
The launch of the November BOM block!  Rotary Cutters at the ready ladies!

My letter box ran over with goodies on the weekend.   As well as the great BOM quilt tops I received from Janet which I showed you last night there was also a parcel from Lynn containing the  next three quilt tops.

These two blue ones, plus the quilt tops from last night, made into the car when I took  a load of 12 quilts to the wonderful duo Paul and Paula yesterday.  They are two wonderful quilters who have volunteered to quilts AHQ for us!  Got to be lovely people right?  More about them in a future post!

I have the perfect backing for this one Lynn - just need to piece that and it will be ready to go to another lovely quilter who helps out!

Had a huge day yesterday.  My front door was like one of those ones that just swings round and round.  Terry came to help me piece batting, iron backings and iron bias binding for the 12 quilts I took to P&P yesterday afternoon.
This is Terry with the AHQ she is working on.

A couple of nice thank you messages came in for quilts that Nancy sent off.  This one is special as the fellow who received the quilt is more or less a "local" to the area it came from.


I would like to express my thanks at receiving an Aussie Hero Quilt and Laundry bag from your organisation.

My quilt was made by Tina from Boulder, Kalgoorlie W.A.

Having lived in W.A for more than 25 years and spent quite a bit of time in Kalgoorlie and the surrounding bush, I was not only surprised, but honoured that I was able to receive a gift from somewhere close to home.

Can you please pass my thanks to Tina from me, and know that as winter is approaching it will be put to very good use and will brighten my room / bed space.

The quilt arrived in excellent condition and although the box had received a few bumps on the way, was still in tact with the contents unharmed.
Thanks again 

I am writing to say thankyou for the Awesome Quilt and laundry bag I received in the mail today.
I will no doubt get plenty of use out of them especially with winter just around the corner.
Thankyou for all the time and work yourself and your team put in to making these Quilts and for all your support to all the deployed
men and women.
Many thanks again.

My lovely Liaison Officer from Kandahar sent me a picture of their laundry today -

A quick photo from our DIY laundry tonight. A good mix of bags! Some lovely Aussie Hero Bags, an issued mesh bag, a garbage bag and a laundry bucket :) Looking forward to more bags here!

We definitely need to get that fellow with the garbage bag a new laundry bag!

Now I am going to leave you on a funny note.  I have a new Liaison Officer from 7RAR and he sounds like he is Army through and through!  I had a lovely chat with his wife on the phone yesterday and when I asked her what his interests are she just laughed and said "Army, Army, Army!"   LOL

Later in an email I asked "Need I ask his favourite colour or should I assume army green!"  This is the response I received!  LOVE it!

Her: What's your favourite colour?
Him: disruptive camoflage
Her: Um...that's not a colour!
Him: Yes it is, in fact it's the ONLY colour
Her: No really, what's your favourite colour?
Him: Army green
Her: Really? Come on, be serious.
Him: okay then maybe...maroon
her: since when?
Him: since I joined 7rar - 7rar's colour is maroon.
Her: oh gosh!
Him: who are you emailing?
Her: Jan-Maree, the AH quilt lady (he comes to look at what I'm typing) and says:
Him: Not to nitpick but "RAR" should really be in capitals!

It still makes me smile!  Just keep the man away from the household decor decisions!

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

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Gorgeous BOMs

Now I don't normally cover things on the blog that are not fairly well AHQ related.  This is an exception as we have lots of people in the States who read the blog.   I just wanted to wish all those on the East Coast all the best as you batten down the hatches and hold on whilst Hurricane Sandy heads your way.  Stay safe guys.

Just so happens that my own husband is in Baltimore, Washington, at the moment but thankfully he tells me that he is safe and sound in the hotel and not going anywhere - of course his track record is not good as in the past he has flown from Hong Kong to Taiwan in the middle of a Hurricane, telling me it will be no problem, only to get within 150ft of the runway and find that the wind was too strong so that had to divert - that is not fine!

Look what turned up in my mail box - these four quilt tops have arrived from Janet who pieced them out out of the BOM blocks I sent her.  I just love them.  I am always saying how much I love scrap quilts but as one recipient said recently "to call it a scrap quilt does not do it justice"!

LOVE that stripey border!  

And I would never have though of putting the light blocks together in the middle like this but I love it. 

And this quilt has a different feel altogether!  

Thanks for helping out Janet and for doing such a great job.  These are just four of the quilts that are heading off to the quilter this afternoon.  I managed to get all the backings pieced last night and today we have five more battings to piece -we ran out of batting tape - and I am hoping to get the binding made for at least some of the quilts before Terry gets here to help me.

Stephanie, Jenny and Susan and Aileen received two very appreciative thank you messages from HMAS ANZAC overnight. Enjoy! 


Today I received a very special gift from yourself. I am lost for words apart from saying Thank You for the time and effort you have taken to make the quilt and laundry bag for a complete stranger. It means so much to know that apart from our family and friends back at home, other people will take the time out of their lives to do something special for a serviceman or woman deployed overseas. It also just so happens that it was my birthday recently so receiving this gift in the mail 6 days after makes my birthday away from my family even more special and again I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to making quilts for Aussie Hero Quilts. Attached is a photo of the quilt and laundry bag on my rack taking pride and place with the pics of my wife and daughter. 
Kind Regards

To Joanne, XXXXXX, and XXXXXX and everybody else at Aussie hero quilts
I would just like to say a big thank you for the time and effort you have spent making this wonderful quilt and laundry bag for me. It is so good knowing that there are groups like this supporting us back home. It makes me appreciate that we are not getting forgotten about and the work we are doing is getting recognized  When I found out that I had been chosen as one of the lucky people on board to receive a quilt I felt very honored  And when I was informed it was in the post I could not wait to receive it. Today was that day. We had a lot of mail delivered today and I believe there were a fair few people that received their quilts. 
It is difficult to explain to a lot of people how hard it is being away. I have my fiancé and 8 month old baby boy waiting for me at home and receiving things like this and hearing about your group makes it just that bit easier being away. So once again I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I will try to get a photo in the next day or two

I would just like to start and say thank you for making me this very great quilt and laundry bag i can see alot of time and effort has been put into its creation, it is making a great cover for my little bunk that I have on the ship. It is a great that people at home appreciate the work we do overseas for our country and understand the sacrifices of family and love ones that we make.
Till next time..........keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Monday 29 October 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Posts might be a little short this week.  Today I had a new Aussie Hero helper come to help me join batting! I was so glad of the help as it would be pretty tedious otherwise.  No photos - we were too busy working.  LOL 

Tomorrow I have another helper coming to help me piece more batting and we may even have to piece some backings.  I have a twelve quilt tops and backs all just waiting for the backs to be pieced,  the battings to be pieced and then they can be divided up between the quilters.  That is my focus for the next couple of days. 

12 quilts just waiting for me to piece the backings -which are all cut and ready to go - and piece the backings!  I am feeling so organised! 

Wednesday I have two appointments, not related to AHQ - I know amazing - I do have a life outside AHQ!  LOL But on Thursday I will be back into it with a presentation at the Baulkham Hills Uniting Church in the morning.  Friday is another working day with Caroline!

Yep, a busy week that is for sure. 

A couple o f friends to keep in your thoughts...

We have become a nice community of quilters and stitchers and friends and I thought it appropriate to share some news with you.

Chris from South Australia has let me know that she has to scale back her involvement with AHQ due to ill health.

Jill from Queensland has also hit a bump in the road in the last week or so.  Jill's mother-in-law, Nanny Jill,  suffered a severe stroke about ten days ago and is now in hospital and will eventually head to re-hab.  She will need lots of love and care in the following months as will Jill's family.  They are a very close unit and I know that together they can cope with anything.

I know you will all join with me in wishing Chris a speedy recovery and Nanny Jill all the love and care that she needs as she adjusts to her new life.  Send prayers, good wishes and kind thoughts, whatever you are comfortable with as I know they will be much appreciated.

Guest posts

At the beginning of December (5th and 6th I think) I have to head up to collect my son from his boarding school again and those would be good days for some guest posts.  I am wondering if there are any volunteers.  One subject that I think a tutorial would be helpful for is applique, as in using fusible wedding and not needle turn of course.  If anyone is interested in writing a tutorial for that please let me know.   Some of you may wish to write a tutorial on a particular pattern you have come up with for Aussie Heroes.   You may have something else in mind.  A bit of military history might be interesting too. Whatever floats your boat as they say.  If you are interested in writing a post just send me an email with your ideas and we will go from there.   

A tour of Tarin Kot

Caroline, aka Deputy Nut put me on to an SBS video which she found on another facebook page and it is basically a tour of some of the amenities on the base at Tarin Kot, including their accommodation and recreational centre.  Well worth watching - you will find it here

Just another reminder
Update on the Sydney AHQ dinner.
WOW!!!  I am so delighted by the number of you who are keen to attend, especially from interstate!    We are looking at Saturday 8 December.  
Email Caroline (aka Deputy Nut) if you can make it.

Michelle received a lovely thank you on her facebook page today and this is just a snippet of what was a lovely long, but personal message of appreciation.

Hi Michele I received the most wonderful gift from you during the week and I love it thank you so much .  When I opened the box I saw the quilt I couldn't believe some one back home had gone to so much trouble to make something like that for me.  I love it as it was a true heart felt gift and thank you .
The patterns and colour is me all over - I mean the the snowy gums and the poem.

Jenny also received this thank you message for her quilt and laundry bag

Hi Jenny,
I received my quilt and laundry bag yesterday and would like to say thank you very much.
It has brightened up my bed space no end. All the guys are envious of such a funky laundry bag too. Sure beats a plain green or calico one.
It makes for a little bit of comfort in an otherwise bleak and hostile environment.
It's obvious that you have put a lot of work into it and I really appreciate it.
Again, thanks a lot. 

And then I received this email of appreciation - he hasn't received anything but I will offer to send him a quilt and laundry bag.

I'm currently deployed on OP Slipper and saw a poster up for the great service you are doing for our troops. Bless you for making such an effort for our soldiers, sailors and airmen. I know it really hits home when the guys feel appreciated and receive one of your packages.
Again, from someone currently deployed, what your doing is making a big difference.
God bless

What a nice way to end tonight's post.

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

Sunday 28 October 2012

WWQ Update and Dog Tag Clad Heroes

Update on our Wounded Warrior

I was delighted and felt very privileged  to receive this update on one of our special Wounded Warriors this weekend.

Hi Jan-Maree, I know you don't expect photos of all your quilts' locations but I took this picture of the quilt at a different hospital where my husband has gone for surgery.  We had a new bunch of nurses that we could explain its origins and the stuff that "Aussie Hero Quilts" does.

I was telling his physiotherapist about you guys and she said her mother, who is part of a group - rotary or something else - but she said that someone came to speak at her group about sending quilts and laundry bags.  A small world.

Small world indeed - that must have been the talk I gave to the Rotary Club recently.  You just never know who are you are going to reach when you talk about Aussie Heroes!

They are right.  I do not expect photos of where ever the quilts go, but I LOVE getting them.  I am so pleased that the size seems to be just right for what it is needed for.  It is just so good to see that the quilt is serving its purpose, not only to cover and warm, but also to raise the spirits.   I never thought about our Wounded Warriors spreading the word, but I am so touched that they do.  I know, once again, I can say that all of the Aussie Hero Friends will be sending prayers or good wishes their way.

Proof that Aussie Heroes don't wear capes they wear dog tags

This fellow will blush (I know this as he tells me I have already made him blush!) when I say this but this email is one of my favourite thank you messages so far.  This relates to a quilt that Liz H from WA sent over.

The quilt arrived today. What a fantastic quilt, I am speechless to the quality, to call it a scrap quilt just does not do it justice.
I hope you don't mind but I gave it to one of my soldiers that is just about to go out to one of the patrol bases and he has only a summer weight sleeping bag. He certainly needs it more than I at the moment, night temperatures are getting down to 5 deg and below now.
Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart, what you ladies are doing is fantastic. Please pass on my gratitude to them all.
Keep safe and bless you all

What a gorgeous, selfless man.  Could we not do with more like him in this county! 
Before you ask, I headed to the post office yesterday morning with a second quilt for this Hero.  There is just enough time to get one to him.

Seriously - who would head over to winter in Afghanistan with only a summer weight sleeping bag and why are we not issuing these blokes with appropriate gear - why do they have to provide it?

Finally, speaking as a MUM, guys if you are heading over in the near future please ask around and find out what you need and take the right gear!  Our quilts are good but they are no match for the snow and the cold that you will experience over there!

Only a very few items of the loads that we have sent to HMAS ANZAC have made it through so far.  Karen B received a thoughtful hand written thank you letter from this young man and I have type up part to share with you.

I would like to thank you for taking time to make a laundry bag and pillowcase that I received after our last port visit.  You probably do not realize but to receive gifts like this lifts morale and makes one feel appreciated in the past that we are doing under hazardous conditions.
Once again, thank you 

Did you know it is actually easier to get mail to those in Afghanistan that it is to those on HMAS ANZAC?  A very small mail delivery made it in mid October, another was due around ten days later and it was supposed to be a big one, but it didn't happen, probably because they were too busy keeping the shipping lanes free!  Now they have to wait till mid to late November!  I guess they are used to it but I am not sure I would be so patient!
Please be encouraged, if you are working on an ANZAC quilt to get it in the mail sooner rather than later (if you can) so that it makes it to the ship.  I want to send the Chaplains quilt off in the next week or so and even though it is late October there is no way to know if it will make it in time for Christmas!

I have three more lovely thank you messages for tonight!  

First up these ladies combined to send a fabulous quilt (Liz), Eagles laundry bag (Marg) and care package to this lucky but very deserving fellow.

Hi Liz and Marg,
WOW.   I just received my quilt, laundry bag and care package just when I thought my day couldn't get any better.   It is such an awesome thing to receive not one, but two, items like that, especially when one has the West Coast Eagles' emblem beautifully embroidered.  They are truly sensational and I can't thank you both enough. The winter months are rapidly approaching and the quilt will be sure to get some serious use and laundry will now be high on the agenda.
What a shame (but lucky for me) that this is the last of the production. ( he is referring to Marg's FINAL Eagles laundry bag)  XXXXXXX (his mate who requested the laundry bag for him) looked after me well with the timing of this order that's for sure.
Thanks again guys, I really, really, really appreciate it.
Yours gratefully

The next two messages were posted on Facebook but I am sharing it here so that all you non-FB ladies can enjoy it too!  This first one relates to quilt that Nancy sent off from Kalgoorlie.

I just want to say thankyou,I received my quilt last week and so appreciate it.The difference you guys make to us over here means a lot. Keep up the good work and again thankyou.

This one relates to a quilt that Tracey sent off.

HI, Just letting you know that the quilt that you sent off for my Nans friends son was recieved. He is greatly appreciative and says a HUGE THANKYOU!!!!!! 
He will be taking a picture so I can post it on here.


Update on the Sydney AHQ dinner.
WOW!!!  I am so delighted by the number of you who are keen to attend, especially from interstate!   The date is set for Saturday the 8th of December.   
Email Caroline (aka Deputy Nut) if you can make it.

The end of the month is coming up.  I am dying to see what new BOM blocks have arrived at Naomi's this week - only another few days to go till the new November BOM block is released.  I think you are going to like it and Kylie has already picked the December BOM and I am sure you are going to like that one too!

Great work this last week everyone.   
Hope you have all had a great weekend.

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

Friday 26 October 2012

Quilts of the Week 26 October

685 Quilts 837 Laundry Bags to date!
100+ laundry bags this week!

Not all of them in the pictures as I don't have pics yet or can't spoil the surprise.

A little update.
For those of you sending goodies to our lovely ship-board friends they were hoping receive mail this week but it didn't happen.  Next chance for mail will be some time late November.  Can you imagine! 

Sydney Aussie Heroes Dinner
At this stage we are looking at the weekend of the 8th or 9th for the dinner - venue to be decided depending on the numbers.  If you want to join us please email Caroline (aka Deputy Nut) on Caroline  on


I make it a rule to try and make sure that as many chaplains as possible receive quilts whilst they are deployed.  Mind you, they are such selfless people that it is often very hard to do that.  Here is a note from the wife of one that I had some success with.

As you can see from the photo below my husband is a chaplain who received an AHQ whilst he was deployed.  It was certainly an improvement from the Disney princess Doona he was using! Just thought you might like to know what happened to his, seeing as he is back in our queen sized bed.   :-)   It gets an awful lot of positive comments whenever people come over!  

 Thanx heaps ladies, it means a lot to the wives and children to know that others appreciate not only the sacrifice that our servicemen make but also the sacrifice we make going without our husband/daddy for months at a time.

This quilt top was the work of Sue from Mt Gambier and it was quilted and completed here in HQ AHQ.  
I love it when we hear from those who have received and find that our quilts are well loved after they come back as well.  
I just have to say....Disney Princess Doona cover?  Really?  
Only a Chaplain would get away with that!

On with the show!
Starting tonight's parade of quilts and laundry bags we have a special quilt!  So special that I have to caution you that there is a story behind this one.  A really good story, but I won't be able to share it for a couple of months.  I can't even share who made it as it might give a sniff of the story away and I can't risk that!  You will just have to wait.  
And don't anyone bother asking for another quilt like this - it is a one off for a very special reason that is not likely to be duplicated in a hurry.  

Hilary is sending this one off this week with the following laundry bag.  She deserves special mention, as does Ruth from VIC as they have combined to create two lovely Quilts from some of our September BOM blocks which will be used for Fall Warrior Quilts.  Ruth pieced the blocks into quilt tops and then Hilary quilted them.  Photos to come at the appropriate time. 

Caroline has been busy finishing off and posting two quilts and laundry bags.   These are going to the same destination but I am wondering if you can guess where they are going - we have given you a hint!

Ruth made this lovely ensemble that is heading off today ...

and check out the great labels she prints out to go on her box!

Donna has been sewing like crazy to get these four quilts and laundry bags off.

Love the half square triangles Donna - what size squares did you start with? 
I bet I am not the only one who wants to know.

Julie Ann has excelled this week, making and sending laundry bags

and more laundry bags

and one more laundry bag 

and last but not least a quilt.

Joy is a new Friend to the fold and she has sent off her first batch of laundry bags

Don't you think this one is just "ducky"?

Karen B sent off this one - it was just perfect for someone who requested an Aussie Countryfied quilt for a friend if it were possible.

Kaye had this one sitting in the QUilts in Waiting file and it was just perfect for a fellow plus there is a great laundry bag but the  details  on it make it too identifiable and I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Lynda and the Pilgrim Patchworkers have been busily stitching for the last part of this year and turned out 10 quilts and 13 laundry bags.  
All of them have headed off to the Post Office this week.

Love the wattle on this one- that is a new idea!

Two quilts out of the Quilts in Waiting File, this time made by Michelle, headed  off this week..

This one another of her lovely quilts featuring the Dorothy MacKellar Poem "My Country".

Annie is another AHQ newbie, introduced to us by Kitty.  She has turned out 10 great laundry bags - some with Aussie icons on them!    Way to go Annie!'

Pauline is one of our fabulous laundry bag making ladies and I think these ones are going to go down a treat!

Peggy put this lovely quilt together from blocks made during a sewing day I attended at the Duntroon Community Centre.  Fabulous quilt ladies!+

 Rae made this gorgeous plaid quilt.  Don't all the plaids make it look cozy.

 Wendy and Nan have been quietly beavering away.  First up a quilt by Nan.  Once simple kangaroo is all it needs to say "Australia"!

Then we have a whole gallery of their laundry bags.

 This one is going to be fought over I am sure!


Kirsty made this gorgeous pink and yellow dose of sunshine - 
it is certainly going to cheer someone's room!

Terry is also a newbie to Aussie Heroes and bless her cotton socks she is going to come and help me join batting next week and I could not be more appreciative. We will get so much more done with the two of us working.  And it will be a lot more fun!

Deborah has also caught the laundry bag bug.  I think her grand total for posting this week will be 36 laundry bags and if I am wrong that will be 36 spread over two weeks - either way that is 36 guys and girls finding their laundry more easily and no doubt doing it with a smile on their dial coz someone took the time to make them a bag!
Way to go Deborah!

And I know there are only 15 photos there - sometimes the photos don't make to me in time to publish - you will see them next week!

Deborah says - 

If I am asked why laundry bags My plagiarism of a classic poem expresses my response.

For Want of a Laundry Bag
For want of laundry bag a sock was lost.
For want of a sock some time was lost.
For want of some time some rest was lost.
For want of some rest a temper was lost.
For want of good temper a relationship was lost.
For want of a relationship the message was lost.
For want of the message the area was lost.
For want of the area the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the peace was lost.

All for the want of a laundry bag.
Deborah C

(If you want to see the original 14th Century poem look here)

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