Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Still unpacking...

Hi all

Well thanks to the amazing help from quite a few wonderful volunteers the Aussie Heroes Headquarters is almost completely set up now. But first... we were delighted to have our first recipient visitor today. Tom came bringing afternoon tea, to say thank you, especially to Bridget who made his quilt.   

Note, you don't have to bring cake to visit us but it never goes astray.

Just a little look around the headquarters... firstly this is the storage for all our fabric scraps.  I have yet to make better labels for these baskets but they area all colour sorted scraps. The top row is all the quilt backs that we have ready.. unfortunately we have to get some more as we are running very low.

This is my part of the office, my work desk with laptop and then my sewing table, which also doubles as the Post Mistress's table when Jenny N comes along on working days.  I still have a fair bit of organising to do to tidy this up but that probably won't happen til the weekend.

And this is the rest of the office.  We have a working table in the middle which is used for cutting fabric, layering quilts and all sorts of miscellaneous tasks.   Down the back underneath the orange quilt is our Simply 16 quilting machine and those three bookcases hold more of our stash of fabric. There is more to come from Canberra where it has been stored, waiting for the new house to be completed so that we have room for it. 

The long term goal is to get some peg boards on the wall, just need to get some made, and then some pictures but all in good time.

It is such a lovely airy bright room to work in.  We are incredibly fortunate.

Please bear with me this week.  There are more posts to come but little time to spare whilst I am busily trying to unpack the rest of the house and so on.  Tradies still coming left right and centre to do this or that, and that the same time I am still doing two half days of physio etc at Mt Wilga Hospital twice a week to prepare in the long term for a knee replacement. 

Time is short. 

The blog will get back to normal next week I hope.

Till then, keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Not the Request List....

Hey All

Just a quick reminder... 

The removals truck comes tomorrow morning and tomorrow night I will actually sleep in my new home for the first time.  There are no words to explain how good that is going to feel. 

After two years it is wonderful to be going home. 

Photos soon I hope!

A huge thanks to all those who have helped over the weekend.  You have made a huge difference and made things so much easier.  

Please remember there will be 


We will be back ready to go next week.

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

Jan-Maree xx

The Latest ADF Chaplain's Course

Hi All

Ten days ago the latest batch of laundry bags were presented to a graduation Chaplains Course. I would have liked to be there to present the bags in person but that was the day that I was scheduled to collect the keys to our new house so instead I asked a friend of mine, and a recipient, Tina, to present them on our behalf.   

Tina took her own quilt along to show them and let them know what it was like to receive it whilst overseas.  She was very pleased to report back that all the chaplains knew about Aussie Heroes before she spoke about it. 

I am sorry I do not have a longer write up for you but I have lots of photos thanks for Tina so I hope you enjoy them.

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

Jan-Maree xx

Friday, 18 May 2018

The move is on......

Hi all 

Sorry there was no blog post last night and no Weekly Dispatches tonight.  There is a very good reason.. as most of you know, this weekend Aussie Heroes is moving from our rental home, to our new Headquarters in our new home.  For those that do not know, 23 months ago, we lost our family home in a house fire. Well, now WE ARE almost BACK!!!

Yesterday the awesome WPH ladies packed up the AHQ office in the rental (which basically took over most of the living areas of the house) and began moving things over to the new house.

There is a bit of a difference between the two work areas. I so cannot wait to start work in our new airy fresh office.  I think it will be a joy to work there. 

Today Kristy, Ashleigh and Bridget spent a few hours assembling our new bookcases and then helped to move stuff around so that my sewing table, our work table and the Simply 16 will fit in on Monday.

Tomorrow and Sunday a bunch of wonderful volunteers are coming to help move all the rest of the AHQ stuff across. 

On Monday a removalist is coming to carry all the big stuff, fridges, beds, tables etc and then by Monday night we should be ready for our first night in our new home. 

On Tuesday the WPH ladies come over the UNPACK AHQ and blinds will be fitted to the office and then Wednesday... I start unpacking everything else.   Woo Hoo.

Wish me luck and please understand if I am not keeping up with the emails over the next few days. 

Remember, there will be no request list on Monday!!!

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

Jan-Maree  xx

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Block of the Month Quilts 16th May 2018

Thank you to all who contribute blocks using the Block of the Month Tutorial
The Coffs Harbour Sewing Team love making quilts for 
our deployed Aussie Heroes using the blocks.  Every quilt is personalised
to meet the requests of the Recipient.
I hope you can find some of your blocks in the following pictures.

If you would like to make the current Block of the Month, please click here for
the Tutorial and all you'll need to know to get started.

 Made and quilted by Jennifer W

 Designed by Sandy C 
Top made by Nola B 
Quilted by Lynne V

 Top and quilting by Jennifer W

Design & Artwork by Sandy 
Top made by Lynne V 
Quilted by Mary M

Artwork by Sandy C 
Top by Jo H 
Quilted by Mary M

 Design & artwork by Sandy C
Top by Jennifer W 
Quilted by Mary M

Artwork by Sandy C 
Top & Quilting by Lynne V

Design by Sandy C 
Top by Cheryl D 
Quilted Mary M

Design and artwork by Sandy C 
Top by Marj H 
Quilted by Lynne V.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these great quilts.

The Thank You letters we receive from the Recipients, tell us how 
much they love their quilts and how much it means to them
to receive their gifts from  "total strangers" at home, who are 
honouring them and thinking of them.

Until next time,


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Grati-Tuesday 15 May 18

The moving in process continues... today the backsplash has been fitted, the fire shutters on the outside of the windows, the curtains and blinds and, hopefully, the appliances... 

Currently sitting in the new Headquarters, surrounded by boxes, quilts, laundry bags and stuff..... answering emails after spending the morning unpacking boxes and trying to decide where to put things in the kitchen.. easier said that done!!!

For now.. enjoy these great messages. 


Dear Clarissa, 

Thank you so much for the amazing laundry bag that you made for me. I am unsure if you know this, but my sneaky best friend actually put the request through so I had no idea it was coming. What an amazing surprise to receive in the mail. Thank you for making my day so vibrant and reminding me just how amazing humanity can be, especially as I serve in a country that is not so fortunate as we are. 

I am very grateful that you have utilised your sewing interest to contribute to AHQ - it is such a fantastic venture that really does make a difference to us deployed. I have been in the RAAF going on 11 years and am married to a RAAF pilot. Between the two of us we have completed 6 deployments, so I can say with the utmost confidence that your work is not unappreciated and that it really does make a difference having laundry bags and quilts put together for us. 

Your life and family sounds so loving and talented. What a proud mum you must be! Give your daughter a huge thanks for also partaking in the sewing - as a 28 year old female I must admit I have zero talents with a sewing machine, so kudos to you both!

I must dash, but I really wanted to touch base and thank you personally for what you have done for me. I have attached a photo for your viewing pleasure!

Have a great day, 


Good afternoon Mary, 

I was super excited to get my Hero Quilt yesterday! Thank you very much for your time and effort, I love it. It fits perfectly onto my bed here in my room. The detail in the badge is perfect and the RAEME flag in the middle is just what I wanted. 

The chocolate is gone already; I shared it with the guys in my section. Crunchie is my favourite so I made sure I got my share of it before the gannets got stuck in. The lollies I am saving for cards one night this week. 

A bit about myself, I joined as 17 yr old Apprentice. I am from Nth Qld and joined to travel and see the world, which is pretty well what I have done for the last 27 yrs. I now live in Canberra with my wife and three kids. I have spent my whole career repairing Army equipment and now am at the top rank and drive a desk in Army Headquarters doing Career Management. I did not think I would like being out of the Maintenance stream but I do like managing Soldiers’ careers, I have 660 in my portfolio. I will go back to the job when finished here. 

My job here is in the Head Quarters.  I advise the Commander and ensure our equipment is always ready to go. It is a very interesting job and I am tested weekly in making decisions and finding ways to fix things in isolated places. I have only days left of my appointment over here. My family are looking forward to me coming home, my wife has done a great job keeping the three kids alive on her own, she deserves a medal! 

Attached is a photo of me and the lovely quilt. 

Thank you very much for your support, it means the world to me.


 Hi Ruth,

Thank you for your time and efforts with the Laundry bag. It was unexpected and a surprise, as I thought I was only ordering a quilt.

The design is well put together, the colour scheme works well and is of good quality. Something I will cherish for time to come.

It is appreciated there are people like yourself out there who are willing to give their time and show their appreciation for the job we do.

My American counterparts are very jealous - they do not have this kind of support and had nothing but good things to say about the quality and design.

All the best to you and your family (grandkids included) for the rest of 2018. I hope many more soldiers will enjoy your craftsmanship like I will.

Thanks again Ruth, please keep your kind thoughts going as I'm sure a lot more soldiers in the future will appreciate it.

Hi Janis, 

You sent me a lovely package which arrived just the other day. The amount of effort you went to (and trauma you sustained) in order to research my obscure request was outstanding. 

I really appreciate you including those clippings from the newspaper too! What an interesting little rabbit hole you went down on my behalf. It's crazy. I'm going to watch the parody as soon as I get some reliable internet coverage. 

The Tim Tams were a real treat from home, as were all the items in there. Thank you so much. 

There was no quilt however lol I assume it's in a second package due to size? I'll keep you posted once that arrives. 

Again, your efforts have been very much appreciated from the bottom of my heart. The kindness and generosity of complete strangers never ceases to amaze me. 

Thank you. 
And then this arrived.....
Hi Janis, 
The quilt arrived. It's a beauty! Thanks again. I've attached a photo as I put it straight on my bed. 

Kind regards, 

Hi Sandy,

I recently received a wonderful quilt from you while we were in port. I’d like to thank you and your team for what you all do. It’s been a great point of morale on HMAS Warramunga since we left Sydney in October 2017 for our 9 month deployment. People have been receiving quilts ever since and everyone has greatly anticipated the arrival of their own.

Mine in particular is beautiful and just what I had in mind. I particularly like the personalised name patch which adds a nice touch.

Although we’ve been away from home for months now we’ve had an exciting and successful trip which makes it all worthwhile. We’ve managed to interdict over $1.5billion of narcotics which would have ended up on streets all over the world and in turn, funded terrorist organisations. In the meantime we’ve had the opportunity to see some wonderful countries and cultures that I otherwise never would have, while working alongside 191 fantastic people.

Please thank Mary and Jo for me, what you all do is a wonderful thing and greatly appreciated by us all. Your quilt will be a talking point in my house for years to come.

Thanks kindly,

Dear Sue,
I am the very happy (extremely happy) receiver of your beautiful hero quilt and other lovely goodies. Your blanket made it to South Sudan at the perfect time that I wasn't feeling the best from the dust here, So the blanket was the perfect weight to fall asleep under. I grew up in scouting so spent a lot of time camping, and loving to wake up to the sound of birds. This is my 22 year in the Air Force and my 4th deployment. I have a 12 year old daughter. 
I do hope this letter finds you well, and thank you for giving so generously, we all deeply appreciate the work the Hero Quilt team do, my Mother - in - Law just recently became one and did a lovely quilt for one of the team here on mission.
Your quilt really does mean the world and I cannot wait to bring it home, and watch a movie whilst we are snuggled under it.

Kindest regards

Dear Georgina,

I am a serving member of the ADF currently deployed; my wife requested a quilt for me via Aussie Hero.

Firstly, I would like to thank you for one taking the time to craft quilts for serving personnel, I admire the selfless, thoughtful gestures you all do. Second, I truly appreciate the fact that you will/did personalize the quilt in accordance with my wife's wishes.

I love the quilt, the colour scheme is spot on! and the three notes representing my children is a great touch; I placed the quilt on my bed the afternoon of receiving the package. Also, thank you for the goodies which I will enjoy, but not too many at any one time.

My family and I (3 children - 2 girls and boy) live in Townsville (beautiful one day, hot and humid the next), a great part of Australia. I see in your letter that you had/have twins, we also have twins (boy and girl) 8 years old and our eldest is 15. My mother always says that you never stop worrying about your children which I only truly understood once I had children myself.
My children are all healthy and live in a country that enjoys a wonderful lifestyle without fear of internal or other state conflict; "The lucky country".

In closing, thank you again for the quilt, best wishes for you and your family.


Hello Clarissa,

Firstly, I want to thank you so very much for making me a Quilt out of the goodness of your heart. I would also like you to thank Norma Ash and any other members of the team, on my behalf, who were involved in the design/making of my Quilt. I was truly overwhelmed at receiving this item which I just received yesterday. It was initially sent to Kabul, Afghanistan, where I spent the first 2 months of my deployment, but was then sent back to AMAB in Dubai, where I am currently based at. I have also just got back from a week in Taji in Iraq, so it was a very welcoming gift upon my return. I can assure you it made my day and will continue to give me ‘colour to my environment’ now and in the future. 

I will return to Australia in a few weeks and after a week will be travel to Scotland to visit my Mum for a few weeks.

I’m a Military Police investigator and have done this job for about 32 years - although 22 years was with the British Army. As you can image I have travelled extensively around the world and travel when I can. I love travelling. I am married (for about 25 years now) and am currently based in Brisbane and have been there for about 18 months now, but we live on the Sunshine Coast. Before that, I was posted for 3 years as a Police instructor at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney. Sorry to say, I prefer Queensland and see myself as a Queenslander :) (or Maroon)

Once again, I wish to thank you (and your team) so very much for taking the time and effort to make the Quilt. It is on my bed as I type this and is indeed a beautiful item and brings a smile to my face. I really do like it.

Kind regards,


Dear Chris,
Let me start by saying a big thank you for the Laundry Bag and Care package. I am humbled by your generosity and proud to know Australians like you and your family do so much for our Defence Force and other Communities back home.  It is great to have your support whilst we are so far away from home and I am extremely proud to wear our flag and know that there are people like you and your family dedicating a lot of your time and effort to others.
As you probably know, I am currently serving on a Coalition
Headquarters in Baghdad and our small team is made up of soldiers from seven different nations, so I made sure to share the goodies and in doing so shared your good will and put smiles on many faces. My family lives in Darwin, which is home for us after moving around Australia with the Army. My wife and I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary this year and we have a 17 yr old son and 13 yr old daughter who keep us on our toes (always). We all like our motorsport and are all  avid Holden fans but I have no doubt rivalries will develop as children leave home to start their own families.
I cannot thank you enough for all your endeavours  in supporting people like me and all the other troops that have received your Laundry Bags, Quilts and goodies. By the way, my children often tell me I am un-Australian because I don't like Vegemite so I think it was quite fitting for you to make me a very Australian Laundry Bag - thanks.
Kind regards

Dear Mary,

Please receive my warmest regards and gratitude for that amazing  work of art you sent me. I was so taken by the detail and thought that has gone into making this amazing gift. I can not thank you enough.

My wife and I have 3 children (2 boys and one girl). My
oldest is at University and the other two are in High School and Primary respectively. This is my sixth time away from home on Deployed Operations. This is my third time to this area of the world. This has meant a long time away from my family over the years. I am very lucky that my wife is truly a Defence wife and knows all the ins-and -outs of managing our home on her own and helping other defence wives who are experiencing, for the first time, the demands of deployed spouses. We are currently posted to Canberra
but do not know where we will be next year as I am due for a posting, "again".

I have been with the RAAF for over 22 years, so most of my professional life. I enjoy working in Defence and I am very proud of being part of the ANZAC tradition.

I will write to you through the mail  (it takes about 5-6 weeks to get to Australia from this location) but I wanted to acknowledge as soon as possible your amazing
quilt! Wow, you are certainly very skilled.

Once again, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. The last couple of weeks have been a bit challenging.  This special gift came at the right time.

Please take care of yourself and please pass on my kindest regards to your family.


Hi Ellen,

I want to say thank you so much for the beautiful quilt you sent me. The time an effort you went to is really appreciated.  I love the blues it very calming
and at the same time brings some brightness and colour in a world that is full of beige over here. While the middle east is a stunning place in a harsh way it really lacks colour and life. Everything is just a different shade of beige. Your quilt will definitely be cherished.

This is my 3rd deployment in my 23 yr career (East Timor 2001, Iraq 2005) and the support from back home always amazes me.  This is my first
deployment as a Mother and I'm finding it difficult being away form my two daughters
aged 6 and 8 yrs old but I know this sacrifice is one of the many required of service personnel.  Support from the Australian community back home from the many organisations
such as Aussie Hero Quilts always helps lift moral and that our effort over here
are not going unnoticed.

Again I really appreciate the quilt.

Thank you so much.

Kind regards,


Good Evening Sandy,

Just writing to say a big thank you to the Team in Coffs Harbour for my Aussie hero quilt!  I received it
this week in Dubai.  I am a Marine Technician ( Electrician ) currently deployed on-board HMAS Warramunga on Operation Manitou in the Middle East and have been for the past 7.5 months.

I live in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney just on the other side of the harbour bridge with my Partner who is a nurse and very much looking forward to me coming home.  The effort that has gone into this quilt Is amazing. I can’t thank you guys enough for the work that is done for deployed personnel to receive something this special from home.

It really does make a difference, making the 9 months away just that little bit easier.

Please pass my regards on to the rest of the team involved with my quilt, Marj H and Lynne V.

Thank you again !

Hi Ruth,
I just received the laundry bag you made for me, with some sheep and a border collie on it. Thank you so much for making it, I really do appreciate the time and effort you have gone to in making it. I grew up on a sheep farm in Western NSW, and now I have a pet border collie

called Jed, so the bag is perfect for me!
I am currently deployed on Operation Okra with the E-7A Wedgetail. We fly missions to coordinate the airspace in the fight against D’aesh in Iraq.I hope you and your family are all in good health and that your cousin’s daughter is still enjoying her time in the ADF. Once again, thankyou for this gift, it will be treasured for many years to come! I might even have to not use it and send it straight to the pool room for display!
Yours sincerely,
Till next time.... keep spreading the word and happy stitching.
Jan-Maree xxx

Monday, 14 May 2018

Aussie Hero Quilts - Request List 14 May 18

Hi all

Happy Happy Dance… I now have the keys to my house. We will be moving in over the next two weeks and I cannot wait to be settled there. 

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET……… NO REQUEST LIST on the 21st of May. I have my removal that day and it will just be too hard to manage that day.

Post by Date
The post by date for ALL items on this list is 18 Jun please.

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. 
For example….
Marvel Theme. Ironman     M       LB      1

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.  If you find it hard to copy and paste please copy the line out as follows…  

The first column is the theme or preferences requested.
The second column indicated the gender of the recipient.
The third column is as follows.

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
F= female
M= male

The last column with the number is a simple registration number for me to use… it is only relevant for this week only and will change if the request is still on the list next week. Once you have received the recipient’s details you will need to use those to refer to the recipient from then on if need be.

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.
If you don’t understand what people are asking for or where to get some of the bits and pieces then please ask me but the following might also be helpful.

Australian National Flag - you can buy panels at Spotlight – ask for them if you can’t find them.
Rising Sun, RAAF Crest, Navy Crest, Coat of Arms, HMAS Warramunga crest and other badges – ask me about them, I can often send you some to include if your request needs them.
 I have Afghanistan Flags I can send you… other flags are either easy to piece or can be printed… ask me.
If they want some text and it is too much for you to applique I can get it embroidered and sent to you to be sewn on the quilt or sewn into it.
 I can help you with football colours and logos of teams etc. Just ask me. Most of the logos are simple or you can just add team names if you want to … team colours are enough also.
Please think about what the request involves before you take it on. Google, ask questions, email me, make sure you can complete it to your satisfaction before you commit to it if possible please.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.



Australian Coat of Arms
Australian flora/fauna eg. Gum leaves, wattles etc..
Dogs  very colourful- please no red and black. Would like my initials please
RAAF Crest and Taji fern and boomerang.
And initials LR, VI, AT & AM
"Bright Pink Colour theme
Peppa pig or Paw Patrol. With
Ships penant number, motto
and rotation number along with
my kids names if possible please
Emma, Indiana, Rowan, Brodie
and Katelyn and just my last
name on the laundry bag please"
These need to be with me no later that 1 July as the quilt will be delivered to the member whn HMAS Warramunga returns from deployment.
cowboys (nrl) flamingos, family, airforce, and bright colours please
Fav colour red also likes blue loves shooting and camping. Grew up on a cattle property in the Bush 🙂
He's very proud of being in the Army and is currently serving in 3RAR
Please can I have a Little Mermaid themed quilt including Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder and Scuttle.
I would also like 4 poppies – one in each corner and my daughter's name on it
Multi-coloured with E.M.D. within the design
Secret garden themed with green colour base
Blue, Green, Video Games, Computers, Cartoons, Anime, RAAF
Cowboys, Broncos or Army Related
Cowboys NRL team
Brisbane Broncos
AFL, West Coast Eagles
Mean Angry Asian Hulk from Marvel. Favourite Color is Green.
DC Universe Theme
UN flag
UN and world map; Bag - mulitcoloured Africa map
Anything Aviation Fire Fighting & ANZAC/Remembrance Day related
Aviation Fire Fighting & Rescue related with Panther fire truck along with ANZAC and RAAF tribute.
Aviation Fire Fighting & Rescue related with Panther fire truck along with ANZAC and RAAF tribute.
Aviation Fire Fighting & Rescue related with Panther fire truck along with ANZAC and RAAF tribute.
Aviation Fire Fighting & Rescue related with Panther fire truck along with ANZAC and RAAF tribute.
Marvel Super Heroes
Anything Aviation Fire Fighting & British and Australian flag incorparated in it.
Aviation Fire Fighting & Rescue MEAO 2004 Aussie and Canada                                      Coalition Fire services Brits and Aussies MER 2018
Aviation Fire Fighting & Rescue related with Panther fire truck along with ANZAC and RAAF tribute.
 Dinosaurs safari - Go nuts, use your imagination. (Jurassic Park)
Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls and/or King James Cleveland Caviliers
Rick and Morty Theme
Marvel / Avengers / Super Heros / Transformers
Marvel Super Heros
NRL (Manly)
blues and purples. If possible, a small silhoutee of a helicopter and my initials (KW).  Thank you very much in advance.
Gold Coast Titans NRL team, Australian Flag, Military Aircraft (C17)

fishing and 4Wdriving.
an Australian aero medical nursing officer, I am passionate about helicopters and our flag.
I am a proud Geelong Cats (AFL) supporter.
RAEME corp flag. Royal blue on top third, yellow middle third and red bottom third. RAEME Corp badge in the middle with the Artificers badge underneath if you are feeling adventurous.  I can email pictures if required.
simple earthy colours. maybe a bit of red/blue./purple as well. I love the outdoors, nature, trees. But I am also a blackhawk pilot in the Army. I also love sailing and the ocean. But to be honest....I am very easy going -