Thursday, 31 March 2016

Block of the Month April 2016

Hi All
I know this is a day early but I thought we would give you a head start on the Blocks of the Month for April.  Thanks again to Sandy for her efforts in keeping the Blocks coming each month this year!>

Please use a strong red and a rich dark/medium blue.  The red and blue fabrics can be tone-on-tone prints or have prints including other colours but should be obviously red and blue backgrounds.  If you make more than one block, different fabrics can be used for each block.

These blocks can be assembled many different ways and create very exciting quilts.  There are some examples at the end of the instructions to inspire you as you make these blocks.

Note - 1/4 inch seam allowances please

Cut strip of each fabric 15 inch long x 3.25 inch wide
Place right sides together and sew 1/4 inch seam then press both seam allowances to one side
Cut 4 pieces from the strip each 3.25 inch wide

Make 2 squares - assemble as shown above and place 2 pieces with right sides together then sew with 1/4 inch seam.  The seam allowances should go in opposite directions and "lock" the seams together

Choose one of the following methods to make the above 2 squares...

Cut a square of red fabric 6 3/8 inch x 6 3/8 inch then cut diagonally to make 2 red triangles
Cut a square of blue fabric 6 3/8 inch x 6 3/8 inch then cut diagonally to make 2 blue triangles
Place a red triangle and a blue triangle together with right sides of fabric "inside"
Sew 1/4 inch seam along the diagonal side of the half square triangle (the longest side)
Press seam open or to one side while taking care not to stretch the shape into a "kite"


Cut a square of red fabric 6 3/8 inch x 6 3/8 inch

Cut a square of blue fabric 6 3/8 inch x 6 3/8 inch
Place the 2 squares with right sides together and pin around the outside edges
Draw a diagonal line that can be seen well

To sew a seam, place 1/4 inch patchwork foot along the drawn line and stitch seam 1/4 inch from the drawn line.
Turn the square around and stitch along the other side of the drawn line.  There will be a 1/2 inch space between the seam lines.
Cut along the drawn line then open out the squares and press seams open or to one side while taking care not to stretch the shape into a "kite"

Assemble the block as shown above and sew 2 squares together then press seams toward the little squares section.  Repeat for the other 2 squares.
Lastly, sew the 2 rectangular sections together and press the seams to one side or open

Thank you SO much for kindly making blocks for our Aussie Heroes

Information for those sewing the blocks together to make the quilt tops...

Blocks should 11 x 11 inch when sewn together and with seam allowances should be 11.5 x 11.5 inch
4 x 7 blocks = 28 blocks per quilt top
Finished quilt top 44 x 77 inch

Please post all completed blocks to 

Caroline Gunn
PO Box 3079
St Mary's South  NSW   2760

This beautiful traditional block can be assembled in so many ways.  Here are a few suggestions...

Thanks again Sandy.

Looking forward to seeing these blocks coming in and seeing the resulting quilts!
Till next time................keep spreading the word and happy stitcing!

Jan-Maree  xx

A PDF version of this tutorial is available, by clicking HERE

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Happy Mail 30 March 16

Last year we made a number of quilts that have been signed by members of the public and quilters with messages of support for the troops.  Today I received a photo of one of them with two of our wonderful air force chaplains who were deployed to the Air Task Group.  

This photo has taken a little while to clear and that means that both these fellows are now home safe.
Thanks so much for the photo gents.  

Another reason that this photo is so timely is that I was assitsted yesterday but Charis, the daughter of the chaplain on the right. She sorted all the mail for me and photographed all the envelopes that flooded into our mail box filled with Chapel Quilt blocks and Wounded Warrior Quilt blocks. Charis did not take all the pics below, but quite a few of them and you will see more of her work next week when I post an update of the Chapel Quilt blocks.

First up though we have some great Blocks of the Month.

Denise H 

Di G 

Jacqui D 

Janis K 

Robyn O'B

Now on to some of the laundry bags that have landed in my PO box recenlty.

Donna P (QLD)


Finally we have a few batches of Wounded Warrior Quilt blocks....

Denise H  



Lenore H 



Great job everyone.  Love the blocks that are coming in.  

The next Block of the Month will be out tomorrow night.... stay tuned. 

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

Jan-Maree  xx

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Grati-Tuesday 29 Mar 16

G'day all.   I can finally show you some photos of the quilt we made to adorn the beds in the ANZAC Hospital.  Note the artwork on the walls. As far as I know this was completed by the medical staff themselves. How awesome.,  Note our pillowcases on the pillows as well.  Now imagine these rooms without freshly painted walls, colourful quilts and drab pillowcases. I think this option looks much better don't you?

Don't forget there is one ward with an Aussie theme and one ward with a Kiwi theme.

It makes me so proud to know that we have brought some comfort to the troops at a time when they most need it.   Everyone now and then I receive an email from someone who comments on these quilts and how much they appreciate them.

Now for the rest of this week's mail... 

Diane, Heather & Dot,

I am a Nursing Officer currently based at the ANZAC hospital.  I recently received my Aussie Hero Quilt, I have attached a picture the quilt!  I'd just like to say thank you so much for the beautiful quilt, I love it! My 3 fav colour rolled into one awesome blanket. I will keep it forever :-) thank you so much for all the time you put into this quilt, it really brightens up my room! I hope you all have a great Easter weekend.

Kind regards


Hi Anna.

I hope this Email finds you well. I received your quilt just the other day. It managed to find it"s way half way around the world and meet us in our last port.  I'm very grateful for the gift and it makes me pleased to think that there are people like yourself and the others that will give up there time to make these incredible quilts.

Just to let you know I'm a Clearance Diver up in the Arabian Gulf keeping the waters safe. We left Australia at the start of the year for a six month deployment. The time feels like it is going pretty fast so far as we are keeping fairly busy on the high seas, and hopefully it stays that way.

We will be getting photos of us with the quilts soon so stand by for these to be sent through to you at a later date.

Again, thank you very much for the quilt. It has been keeping me at a perfect temperature every night in my bunk.


Hi Leonie,

I’m the lucky airman who you made a quilt for. I hope this makes it to you. I'm not a fan of sending emails, I would have sent you a letter but I have no address. I just want to thank you for the quilt you sent. I received it a couple of weeks ago and it is great.

 It is perfect. Just what I needed for when I’m in bed, these tents we live in have industrial aircons attached so its not too hot for summer but it makes it feel like I’m in sub zero temperatures (haha). It is very humbling to know that all of you back home are thinking of us blokes/ladies over here. I was absolutely gobsmacked when I found out that Aussie Hero Quilts is operating. I wouldn't have thought that organisations like that still exist. It’s so nice that you took the time and care to make such a great quilt for me. I’m very happy with it.

It’s really awesome to see the different combinations people have been getting and seeing the skills of the “Quilt Ladies”. You all do such a great job. I’d like you to know that the F/A-18’s that were sewed on my quilt were perfect silhouettes. You did such a good job. I will definitely try and get a photo of me and the quilt and send it to you.

I really enjoy my job and I am proud to serve my country, especially when there are great people like you in it. I am a mechanic on the Hornets. My dad and brothers are all mechanics too in one way or another. My Dad and eldest brother work together as Automotive mechanics. The next two down are both Diesel Mechanics working on trucks. My twin brother is serving in the Army as a mechanic on helicopters. My mother says the same thing…she would’ve liked a doctor or teacher haha. I guess we all get it from the “Old Man”.  

My mother on the other hand is a very crafty lady. She runs a quilting group (every second Monday) with a couple of her good friends and goes to painting with a group of other ladies every Wednesday. I told her about the quilt you made me and she thought it was great. I reckon she’ll like it.

Thankyou for your snacks and letter. It was really nice to read it and learn about your family. It adds a personal touch that cannot be matched and means more than you could imagine. Your hand writing is really neat. Much neater than mine would ever be. Unfortunately since I left high school my writing skills have only gone down hill.  I want you to know that from the bottom of my heart I am so thankful that there are people like you still in the world. It makes everything we as Soldiers, Airmen and Seamen do worth while. I’m am proud to serve.

If you would like to continue correspondence, I would like that. Take care and thank you again so much! and I hope your mum is well.



Hi Deni, 

Thank you for the quilt and your note. You have done an amazing job with the quilt and I am proud that you chose your father and uncles as inspiration. My Great Uncle was a Rat of Tobruk also. Rest assured, I will treasure this quilt - it's a great reminder of my time here and those people that have given their life in service of our country. 

Currently, I am based at the Australian and New Zealand hospital deployed to Iraq - we have a number of hero quilts here that we place on our ward and intensive care beds. The soldiers that stay with us are grateful for the touch of home that they bring and the work that you do. Your devotion to this is an inspiration and very much appreciated. 

Regards and best wishes, 


Dearest Sandy and Trevor, 

I am the very lucky recipient of your very lovely laundry bag. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your gift. 

My name is Sergeant XXXXX ( Airforce) so your laundry bag with the Royal Flying Doctor Service motive is really rather suitable. My job over this way is the the Air Load Planner for our aircraft to insert passengers and cargo into various locations within the Middle East, it's a job that keeps me very busy but I do enjoy it. 

Once again thank you both so much it's really comforting to know that Service Men and Woman are being thought of back at home, I wish you both the very best, take care. 

Kind Regards, 

Good Morning Karen, 

I received the laundry bag and goodies when we reached XXXX. I have been meaning to send you an email for a couple of days but have been extremely busy. The Laundry bag is excellent and is now one of my most prized possessions. I don't normally receive a lot of care packages and this was my first for this trip so it holds particular significance. I don't think I can express just how excited I was to receive it. 
I am originally from the Sunshine Coast and have been a Reds fan for as long as I can remember but I think the laundry bag is in better condition then they are this season. 

I am extremely grateful for the effort that has gone into the laundry bag and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the quilt. What you do means a lot to anybody that receives one of the Aussie Hero Quilt packages, I have seen grown men (including myself) smiling like children at Christmas on receipt of their laundry bag/quilt so far this deployment. 


Good evening Karen, 

I am sure a carrier pigeon would deliver a post card faster than the Defence mailing system, hence I am writing this email to express my appreciation and gratitude for the effort you put into designing and creating my laundry bag. I have decided the laundry bag is too nice to utilise onboard the ship and instead I will preserve it and make use of it when I return to Australia. I recently sent a quick Facebook message to your daughter to thank you for your efforts as I was unsure when I would be able to write a lengthier email due to operational restrictions, I also said I was lucky I was nice to her throughout course or perhaps I would of ended up with a less impressive laundry bag. 

I was very excited when I was informed my quilt and laundry bag had arrived as I had been eagerly waiting since the previous two ports. Upon reading your card I was stunned that XXXX's mum, happened to be the person who made my bag and I thought to myself 'What a small world' and many thanks for your kind words. 
I am into health and fitness, however I am not a junk food Nazi as XXXX would have you believe. The snacks in the bag were most welcomed and you can never have too much body wash on a 6 month deployment. 

I was very lucky to have your daughter's class as my first class to find my feet as an instructor. I instructed 5 different CSO courses whilst at Watson and none quite stood out like her class.  It was never a dull moment to say the least. 

Good Morning Joan and Robin
I would like to pass my thanks to you  for such a beautiful laundry bag. I received it today . I liked it very much :-).  I really appreciate your efforts for making it for me .



For a quilt made by Nancy...

Dear Jan-Maree 

I have received my Aussies Hero Quilt this last mail drop, I cannot thank you enough it is very comforting for us to know that there are people out there that care enough to take the time to send us something so personal and hand made it now has pride of place in my office 

Thank you again 

Afternoon Irene,
                            Just received my quilt this week. And I want to say a big thank you for the thoughtful gift of a quilt and goodies. My crew enjoyed the chockies. Even the SQN toughs were impressed when they received theirs. Finally going home next Wed to my family in Newcastle. I have missed some events with my family so I am glad to be going home.

Thanks again for the gift.

With Regards,

Dear Irene, 

I received your quilt this week, and I wanted to thank you so much for it.  The chocolate treats were also an awesome surprise!  Thank you. 

As you said it's better than what I expected !!  You did a great job finding NZ themed material in Australia - I can well imagine that's hard to come by. 
We're getting along very well with our brothers and sisters in arms.  The ANZAC spirit is truly alive here.  I'm looking forward to ANZAC day next month - it'll be my first whilst deployed. 

Once again, thank you very much.  I can see the hard work you've put in, and everyone who I've showed is really impressed. 

I hope this finds you well. 

Kind regards, 

Hello Joy

Sorry I accidentally sent the email before I had finished.
I am an Australian Soldier currently serving in the Middle East Region.
I am writing to thank you for the laundry bag that you made and sent over. Also thank you for the items that you sent as well. It will definitely come in handy during my time here. While it is currently not too warm, during the coming months it will be heating up (up to about 50 degrees Celsius) so it will come in handy during this time.
Again thank you to you and all the people who continue to support the soldiers, sailors and airmen.

Kind Regards


Hello Julie-Ann,

Thankyou so much for my laundry bag (and the extra goodies of course)! It is incredibly appreciated. When I mentioned Kanye West in the list of things I’d like to have on it, I knew it would be a long shot. But thank you for accommodating him! He is, of course, (perhaps sadly?) one of my favourite musicians, and I wanted him to be included along with soccer and coffee as the three combined were a big part of this deployment for me.

Thankyou for the amazing work all of you do at AHQ, you’re all very appreciated amongst everyone over here and back at home.

I head home soon and needless to say I’m definitely looking forward to that. I have a two week mountain biking trip in XXX (where I grew up) lined up so I’m hanging out for that.

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

Jan-Maree xx

Monday, 28 March 2016

Lisa's Big Day Out

I hope you have all had a great Easter weekend.   Trust it included some chocolate, some loving friends and family and most importantly, I hope it was safe and happy for all.   Special thoughts go out to our serving men and women, wherever they are, who are not with their loved one this weekend.  

I have a lovely story for you tonight.   Lisa recently met up again with some of her recipients.  It is so good to be able to share stories like this as I hope it shows just how much the troops appreciate what we do for them.  

Here it is as told to me by Lisa...

Hi Jan-Maree

As you know I drove up to Albury in NSW this Saturday. I was invited by SGT Mike.   was lucky enough to be assigned to make both the quilt and Laundry Bag for him. Mike was on an eight month deployment to Camp Baird JTF633 just out of Dubai. I say lucky enough as not only have I been able to meet up with him when he came home on leave he also invited me up to Albury to visit after he came home. We were to meet at the SS&A Club on Olive Street in Albury. SS&A stands for Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen’s Club ... I learned from reading the sign out the front of the building.

I found out that Mike had also arranged for a few others from the group that he served with to come and have lunch with us. I met CPL Laura P and LACW Lauren M (Patsy H made her quilt top). I also met Lisa R, one of the Albury quilters for Aussie Heroes. She bought along one of her quilts  ... it is going to one very lucky recipient I think.

Lisa N and Lisa R

We “networked” for a bit before the meal arrived. The overriding theme was how thrilled everyone was when they got their Aussie Heroes parcels and how that excitement permeates through the group. How sometimes the extra goodies have to be guarded and not kept in the communal fridge but that mostly they are shared. Most of all how much the parcels mean to the individual – that someone from “Home”, that they don’t know, cares enough to say “thank-you for your service".  It is a HUGE morale boost and sometimes makes all the difference. Did you know that to buy Tim Tams O/S they can retail for about AUD$12.00 per packet? They are treasured, shared, used as bargaining chips and ice breakers with visitors. I asked if sometimes the Tim Tams or other goodies arrive as sent or do they melt with the heat ... the answer was that sometimes they are a little worse for wear but they go in the fridge and it doesn’t matter what they look like ... they still taste the same. One lucky recipient received a big box of Maltesers ... it melted into one big block, got refrigerated and eaten by breaking pieces off the block.

Mike, Lauren and Laura shared individual experiences and photos from their deployment (nothing classified – promise!). One of the photos showed the desert landscape near the camp. While I am sure it is beautiful in its own way I know why everyone I met that day said the thing they missed the most was grass and trees ... mostly anything green. That one of the more difficult things they missed was the quiet if they were at home, alone ... no hum of voices, machinery, computers or the loud rumble or high pitch of the aircraft ... just the quiet. Mowing the grass and daily chores were becoming more familiar. Being with family and friends ... treasured.

It was a wonderful afternoon meeting some very interesting, genuine, funny,strong and talented people. I felt privileged to be presented with a framed memento, a thank-you to share with all of the Aussie Heroes Quilters ... There were photos taken by everyone (hopefully wending their way to Jan-Maree) and I found myself unable to exercise my usual mad ninja skills at avoiding the camera lens ...

I drove home the next day admiring our beautiful landscape and the imagination of the people who came up with of the place names - the turn-off from the Hume Highway for Eldorado is Cararagamungee Road (try saying that quickly), Turnip Bridge or, Broken Creek. Hoping that I had wrapped up the frame and I wasn’t going to get home a find the glass broken. Feeling honestly humbled by the generosity of the men and women who serve, singing loudly and wiping away the odd tear ... I have allergies (that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Somewhere I received some photos of photos of Lisa R and her quilt.... I know I saved them somewhere safe..... apparently not so safe as I thought as I now can't find them for love nor money!  Apologies Lisa!

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

Jan-Maree  xx

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Weekly Dispatches 24 Mar 16

G'day all.

I can't believe that it is Easter already! Oh my goodness this year is going by far too quickly.   
I know we do not normally have the Weekly Dispatches on a Thursday but I am going to have a bit of an Easter Holiday although I am not going anywhere.   Weekly Dispatches tonight and at this stage, no blog post tomorrow night. 

I hope you all have a happy weekend wherever you are.  Spare a thought for the families that can't be together this Easter. Think of all the Aussie Heroes who are serving both here and abroad over this long Easter weekend.

May your weekend be enjoyable and above all, safe.

Now let's start the week off with some great show and tell.

So far for 2016 we have sent off 607 laundry bags 

which brings us to a total of  8427 since we started...


We have also sent 382 quilts 

bringing our total since we started to over 5626 quilts

Sue O'D

Suzannah R 

Wendy F 

Bernie C

Bonnie O 

Cath W 


Debbie D 

Denise H 



Helen P 

Jacqui D  

Jacqui P 


Janet H 

Jenny W 

Jo H (QLD)

Jo R


Kaye G 

Laura K 

Lisa R 

And the two lovely Lisa's, Lisa N and Lisa R with Lisa R's quilt...

Lyn K 

Lynn and quilted by Keryn


Maree J 


Pam W 


Queanbeyan CWA

Rachael B Blind Bight Community Sewing Gp

Ruth F 


Samantha D 

Sandy A 

Sue N 

Till next time...............Happy Easter......
and above all else, stay safe on the roads.