Sunday 31 March 2013

Happy Easter Everyone

Happy Easter everyone.  
Stay safe and well wherever you are! 

See you tomorrow night with "This time last year."

Friday 29 March 2013

QOTW 29 March

If you are fortunate enough to be with your nearest and dearest this Easter Holiday then may your weekend be safe and happy and full of joy.  Please spare a thought for our wonderful Heroes and their families that cannot be together, and that includes not just those serving overseas, but the many around Australia who are posted away from their families as well.

To those of you in Afghanistan, Dubai, South Sudan, Egypt and anywhere else that our quilts and laundry bags find you serving Australia, thank you for doing what you do so well so that we may celebrate Easter, or not celebrate it, as our own individual preference dictates.  
You make us proud!

The tally so far-

 17 quilts this week and 49 laundry bags.

297 quilts and 671 laundry bags for 2013

1314 quilts and 2036 laundry bags in total.

The first picture isn't of a Quilt of the Week yet.  Earlier this week I received an email from Miah who is a ten year old student from South Australia.  Miah wrote to me to tell me that after reading the article in the Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazine, she decided that she wants to make a quilt for Aussie Heroes as a community service project  for school.  As soon as she got the quilt specifics from me Miah sat down and drew up her design.  It is going to be one lucky recipient who receives her original Ayre Rock design and I reckon we have some serious competition ladies with young designers like Miah coming up with such creative designs!  Stay tuned!  I have asked Miah and her mother to keep me posted and to take plenty of photos so that I can feature her in an upcoming post.

Happy stitching Miah!

And now on with Quilts of the Week.


This was a joint effort.  Pauline made all these blocks and sent them in.  They were put together at a sewing day and Caroline then quilted and completed the quilt.  The end result is an AWESOME quilt heading off to an Essendon fan.  Hope he likes it.

Bev and Jeff

Carole S (VIC)


Deb B

Outback Debra

and the back - and yes, this is going to a Navy fellow.

Dorothy sent in these blocks and they were sent on to Jeann who created this gorgeous quilt

Another joint effort.   The blocks were made by Kylie, they were then handed to Gail who pieced the top and then the quilt was sent to Angela who quilted and bound it and sent if off.  We really do make a good team ladies!

Judith M

This quilt top came from Nancy, it was quilted by Stephanie and Southern Cross added by me.


Judith R


Julie Ann


Louise (front)

(And back, or the other way round - can't decide!)

The next two are BOM quilts.  That is Block of the Month quilts for the uninitiated.  The blocks were put together by Louise, then the tops were passed on to Stephanie who quilted and bound them.

Stephanie wasn't content to quilt, she also made this entire awesome quilt.

If you are on the roads this weekend, please stay safe!

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

Thursday 28 March 2013

The ANZAC Day Laundry Bag Challenge

The ANZAC Day Laundry Bag Challenge.  

Yep!  That is right!  Another challenge. 

After the spectacular Laundry Bags you all made for the Australia Day Laundry Bag Challenge I have been trying to decide which direction to head with this challenge.

Should we make it Army/Navy/Airforce?  or should we stick with Australiana?  

Well, how about BOTH!

What you need to do is make a laundry bag (or more) and it must fall into one of the following categories

Army/Navy/Airforce      or       Australiana  


They can be spare ones to send off separately to my distributors or they could be ones that are being made to accompany quilts that you are already doing.  They do not have to be posted off by ANZAC Day if you are saving them to go with a quilt - they just have to be finished so that I can post a photo.

To be included in the blog all photos need to be emailed to me no later than 10am Sydney time on the 21st of April. 
All laundry bags must have SOMETHING on them that is specifically Australian or which tie in with the military theme -you can even make some tri service laundry bags if you wish.

All laundry bag photos will be saved for posts around the 22nd and 23rd of April.   I will have to wait and see how many we get to see when exactly I will post them.  
All will be revealed closer  to time.  

There will be prizes!

I have some prizes here but if any of you followers out there would like to donate a prize please PM me.  This includes those of you who are serving.   It would be great if I could get a specific prize for the Navy bags, the Army bags and the RAAF bags and maybe something from Afghanistan or Dubai but this is as close as I will get to asking.  
So, any recipients or recipients loved ones who would like to help me there please get in touch.  Prizes do not need to be expensive, just tokens would be great.

I have a couple of Judges in mind but I haven't asked them so that will be announced at a later date - might have to sweeten them with some ANZAC Cookies perhaps - 
home made of course!

If you haven't made a laundry bag before, then now is your chance to give it a go!  
They are really quite easy!

We made 90 laundry bags in a week for Australia Day.
Surely we can blow that number out of the water this time!

How many do you think we can make between now 

and the 21st of April?  

Navy News

I had a great meeting yesterday with two of the Chaplains from the Navy.  As you know I never name our Aussie Heroes here on the blog and I am not about to break that rule but I thought you would like to see who I met with.  On the left we have the Fleet Base Chaplain and on the right the Chaplain of the soon to deploy HMAS Newcastle.  

I think it is fairly safe to say that Aussie Heroes is pretty well received by those in the Navy.  All is set in place now for HMAS Newcastle to send us requests when the time comes.  The Fleet Base Chaplain was particularly impressed with the variety of colour and design involved  in not only the quilts, but also the laundry bags.  I had loaded ALL the pictures of both onto my ipad and he took his time enjoying all of them as we talked.

These gentlemen were kind enough to remove their name patches so that I didn't have to get the Tech Guru to block them out for me.

Been to the Post Office this week?
As usual here is the list of those who have sent something off this week.  If you have sent something and are not in this list please email no later than midday tomorrow to be included in the post.

Bev and Jeff
Carol S (VIC)
Cath M
Outback Debra
Deb B
Judith R
Judith M
Julie Ann

Easter Schedule
With Easter coming up this weekend I thought I would let you know when the 
posts will be up.

Good Friday 29 March - Quilts of the Week
Saturday and Sunday 30 and 31 March - no posts planned
Easter Monday 1 April - This Time Last Year 
Tuesday 2 April - April Block of the Month 


And finally something that I have been trying to avoid but just can't put off any longer.

Last year I received a phone call, followed up with a hand written invitation to speak to a group this April. I can't remember the name of the group - it was just a small one.  Now at the time I was worried about losing that little letter in the little envelope so I recorded all the details in the calendar on the computer.  The only problem is that now I have had my computer crash twice and it is one of those things that I have lost.  This is so frustrating because unless the group calls me up to re-confirm which is what most groups do thankfully, I don't know where to go and when.  And I would HATE to be so unproffessional and I have no idea where to start to try and find the group!  


So, if you have asked me to come and speak please contact me.  If you haven't asked me to come and speak - please PRAY that they do read this and contact me.  I will be repeating this regularly at the end of posts every now and then for a couple of weeks in the vain home that someone associated with the group reads it!


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

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Happy Mail Wednesday 27 March

Welcome to Happy Mail Wednesday again.  
Some lovely things to show you tonight so here goes.

First up some special happy mail.  

This message was left on facebook for us by one of our special Aussie Heroes who is about to return home.  He has been one of our biggest supporters and has been receiving and distributing our laundry bags for us where ever he can.  AND he has clocked up over 37 years of service in the RAAF!  A real gent and an absolute Aussie Hero!

Hi to all the ladies, gents and children who are a part of the Aussie Hero Quilters. I am just finishing my tour overseas and would like to pass on my thanks to you all for the efforts you have put in making the Quilts and Laundry Bags for us. It is very heartwarming to get so much support from you all, I can say that coming home to my room with my Quilt on my bed gives me pride in the Aussie spirit of mate ship and support for one another. Thanks guy's my quilt will be on display in my home as a reminder of the great work and support you are giving to the Aussies serving overseas. Keep up the good work.
A hard act to follow but here is a good story and it goes like this....

Janelle made this awesome helicopter themed quilt and sent me a picture.  Well of course we had to try and find an appropriate person to give it to so I emailed my handsome friend here (on the left) and asked him if he was able to find just the right person to present it to.  He wrote back and said he felt he had found just the right person if Janelle didn't mind him giving her quilt to an American.  This lovely young lady is currently on an exchange posting to a unit in Australia.  Whilst here she has been deployed to Operation Slipper.  She is "over there" working on helicopters.   Now my feeling, and Janelle agreed with me, is that if that is what the fellows over there think is the right thing to do, then that is just fine by me.  Americans have given our guys and girls quilts in the past and it is so nice that Janelle has given our blokes the opportunity to return the favour.

So here is a picture of an Adopted Aussie Hero and her new quilt.  
Looks like a perfect match to me!  Don't you think so?

Now time for some of our more traditional Happy Mail.

These three quilt tops came from Jill Maree plus some VERY WELCOME prepaid satchels from her daughter! Thanks to both of you.

The next two quilt tops came from Carol S who also supplied the backings.  
Love that curvy piecing.  Very clever!

We received a few more BOM blocks for March.  I am loving these.  If I thought they were more popular and you would send in more I would do this again.  I can just see a whole quilt filled with Aussie sayings or quilts with just one row of sayings somewhere.  These are so much fun.  

This first one is from Tania DM and this is her first gift to AHQ!  I love it Tania.  You can do as many of these as you like.

And these ones came from Jeann - more fun!  

Two cool choice phrases from Janine

I know there are more of these BOMs on their way from one or two other brave souls.  I am almost impatient to get them so that I can do something with all of them.  FUN!!

And now for some Happy eMails!

Hi Terry, I would like to thank you for the quilt. It looks fantastic and fits perfectly on my rack. I can see a lot of work has gone into it. Thank you for the lovely letter also. 

Hi Jan-Maree, 

I thought I would let you know I have received my package and I absolutely love my quilt, thank you so much, I have written a letter back to Carol and I will put it in the next mail drop we have have.  It was quite a coincidence that Carol spoke about her rescue dog Milo, as I am a massive lover of animals and have 2 rescue dogs and a cat myself and am hoping to help out at an animal shelter when I return to Australia. My friends on the ship asked how she knew I liked animals, to which I said Carol didn't know it was just a nice coincidence :)

If possible could you please pass on the message that I received my quilt? Once sent the mail might take a while to get back to Australia.
Once again thank you very much and if I can figure out how to get a photo onto the defence computer, I will send a photo of my quilt put to good use on my rack :)
Kind Regards,

Good morning Jan-Maree,
I would like to sincerely thank you for the wonderful Laundry Bags you sent over to our Unit. It is such a fantastic organization that you have founded. I was truly blown away when I received the boxes. The deployed personnel were very grateful and have put the bags to good use already.

If at all possible I would like to request a few more as some of the Unit did miss out and they were such a big hit with all concerned.

Once again I cannot thank you enough for the thoughtful gesture. It is the little things like this that really have an effect on moral. It is an amazing feeling to know that a complete stranger appreciates the sacrifice and dedication to service. 

Thank you.

And this is my favourite email for the day because this is one of the most purely fun quilts I have made.  I emailed this fellow to see if his quilt had turned up on Toowoomba and this is the response I received.  It just made me smile!

OMG I did:) Thank you so much for that. I love it and I can't wait for show it to my families:) You are guys are so kind and thoughtful. I'm so proud to be in the Navy.

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

Tuesday 26 March 2013

From Eagles to The Girls

Now part 2 is only partly to do with Aussie Heroes but it is such a good story that it deserves to be told and if you stick with it to the end you will see I get back on the Aussie Hero Track.  
add link for part 1

So, are you ready for part two to the story?  If you don't know what I am talking about you need to go and check out Part 1 here...

..... and so the story continues.  

So Marg made a fabulous Eagles laundry bag for Molly and in return she received a really lovely thank you from her.  Now Molly didn't ask for a quilt but Marg, being Marg, felt she deserved one.  Only problem was, after sewing the hundreds (well I am sure it felt like hundreds) of Eagles laundry bags for all the blokes it was now too close to Molly's RTA (Return to Australia) date for Marg to get a quilt made and sent to her whilst overseas.

What to do?

Not to be bothered by that Marg checked with me that it would be okay to arrange an AHQ for Molly  and then she used to ace up her sleeve.  When Molly had emailed to thank Marg for her laundry bag she had also addressed the email to her mother.  Marg sent an email to Molly's mother explaining that she would like to make a quilt for Molly.  She asked for a suitable address to send it to and then asked for a little input regarding Molly's tastes and interests.    Before long she had all the information she needed.  

First she needed inspiration!  Apparently Molly loves to shop!  Well who doesn't!  Turned to a favourite old card she had bought ten years ago but would there be a problem with Copyright. 

Easily solved or so Marg thought - write a letter and ask permission.


First a note from Marg...

Hello Jan-Maree
just read below from the very start when i was seeking permission 
to use the image on Molly's quilt.. [copyright fear]
............  no more bright ideas from here and if i ever make any... shoot me instantly!


Dear Sarah,
About 10 year ago I bought a Doc Milo card.
May I request permission to copy the gorgeous  drawing and make a wall hanging quilt, please?  It will be for personal use, not commercial sale, but may be exhibited in a local quilt show, in which case credits will be given to Doc Milo.

Is this possible please?

marg waters

western australia  

Don't you love the card?

Back came the reply...

From Sarah
that is the sweetest email I have gotten all day and quite frankly it has been a day in which a sweet email is wildly welcomed!
and yes, you are more than welcome to use it for a quilt - how fabulous! but one condition: will you promise to send me a photo? ;)

I have to say that I do really like the sound of Sarah!  Don't you?

Hello Sarah,
I am so happy to make your day!  You have made mine even more!!
I took the risk and started the image. There is more "shopping" yet to be sewn.  
All of the white you can see on the image will be cut away except for a 1/4" then the gorgeous girl will be sewn onto another background quilt top.  Top to toe the image is 30"
I promise to send you a photo of the finished quilt.
...and Sarah, thanks a million; you are very creative and talented.

Can you imagine Sarah's reaction seeing Marg's version of her card in fabric?

oh my god. oh my GOD. OH MY GOD!
that is the most beautiful thing i have ever seen!
oh. my. god.
i cannot believe you made that., i cannot believe you picked my design to make it from. and i cannot believe i don't have one for me! :)

would you ever make a second??? i can't even imagine what that quilt takes to make, but i can tell you that that card was designed with a quote from my grandmother (basically the love of my life) and i literally have tears in my eyes looking at it thinking how much she would have loved it.

what do you think you would have to charge to make more??? i would LOVE to give these as holiday gifts for my mother and aunt (her only two daughters). of course understand if it takes way too long to ever make another but can't help asking. but either way, just know even seeing this has so much more than made my day you have no idea.

seriously, thank you so much for this. the quilt, the sweet email earlier. and this unbelievable photo.

i honestly can't even explain how much i appreciate your having sent this to me.

PLEASE promise to send a final photo! can i post it on our blog???

okay, will stop gushing now, but am fairly well in love with you for life.

Well, Marg being Marg, and with a heart totally made of marshmallow and as soft as can be, just could not resist such heartfelt enthusiasm and appreciation.

Look what she did!

Three more gorgeous girls!

And each one just as fabulous as the next but all different!  

 Check out the Emu feather in their hats 

and their gorgeous jewelry!

It took a little while for Marg to hear back from Sarah after she had posted these off as "life got in the way" for Sarah as we all know it sometimes does and I won't go into that here as it is not necessary but here is what IS necessary.

dear marg-

i wanted to write you to let you know that there is a very happy day coming in my life this week, and it's all thanks to you. thursday is the anniversary of my grandmother's death (yes, the infamous myrtle matz!) and my mother and aunt and i are finally getting together all in one place for the first time in months and months.

and guess what that means? yes! i finally get to open your AMAZING gift!

i know it seems crazy that i have held on to it this long but really wanted to give your beautiful work the special attention it deserved, and ripping it open alone while racing from one place to the next just never felt right. so i have kept that box on my desk waiting for the perfect moment, originally thinking hannukah until hannukah was cancelled due to illness, but now it seems like it was meant to be - that we would open them on our annual celebration of our love for myrtle.

i will never be able to tell you what your kindness means to me and now will mean to our entire family, but from the sound of your last email you are just spreading kindness globally all the time.  sending quilts to the troops is just brilliant!

you are a fantastically talented woman, and i will always treasure having been such a lucky recipient of your work. can't wait to tell you all about our "opening day"!!!

thank you very much.

Would we all not wish to be even half as cherished as the marvelous sounding Myrtle.

Opening Day

Okay. I will write you a much longer letter when I get home but for now just thought you'd like to know...the three of us have been standing over these for 45 minutes saying the words "oh my god!" And "unbelievable" over and over again like crazy people. 

My mother is crying and Janice and I can't close our mouths.

Honestly, I can't even find words. These are absolutely incredible. Incredible. I honestly can't even believe how amazingly  generous you are. Feel like the luckiest girl on earth.

Thank you doesn't come close.

This is Sarah with her mother on Opening Day.

And now at last we come back to Molly's quilt.  Here it is in all it's glory - no cigarette for this health conscious athletic girl.  Just a glamorous fan and a gorgeous purse to hold the credit card for more shopping!

Now I am not going to explain the significance of the fabrics Marg chose for Molly's quilts as I think that is a bit personal and not really necessary to the story - let's just say they are perfect!

As I said earlier, Molly was home from Operation Slipper by the time her quilt was finished so Marg posted it off to Molly's parents and they held on to it till the whole family got together for Christmas.  Not long after this message appeared in Marg's inbox.

Merry Christmas Marg!!

Thank-you so much for the beautiful quilt! I absolutely love it, it is my favorite Christmas present. You are such an amazing and generous lady, I will treasure the quilt forever. It will keep my warm and loved in Canberra for next winter and I am sure many more. 

I have attached a photo of my brother and I, hopefully he will email you soon. He loves his bag and thought I had paid someone to make it for him.

Thanks again and have a wonderful Christmas!

At last Molly's brother had his laundry bag and Molly had her quilt and Marg........well she went on to make other goodies for family and friends and then she got stuck tidying her sewing room and found enough fabric to make a FEW laundry bags.......

And just before I go - if you love Sarah's card as much as I do then you might want to check out her blog here     Ahhhh  Too much FABULOUS in oneplace!

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