Sewing Day, Updates and Wonderful Thank Yous!

Written by AHQ

19 May 2013

Hi All,
Today was another sewing day in Penrith and what a productive day.  Liz B made the huge three hour drive (each way!!!) down to join us for a special treat and she brought this quilt along to show me so that I can find it a home.  

Pam came and she got busy stitching nine patches that would become disappearing nine patches by the end of the day.  There are enough for a quilt!

Carolyn took on the task of assembling some of our BOM blocks into a strippy quilt.  

Now, I know someone will recognise their blocks in this quilt so if you do can you please let me know.  I think I know who sent them but please save me from having to go through all the back issues of Happy Mail to confirm it.  This quilt top isn’t finished yet.  I am going to applique a certain logo onto it and then it will be off for quilting!  Can’t say too much of course.  I do love the way this quilt top has turned out.  It  is so effective for a simple strippy quilt.

Terry’s job for the day was to sew more big nine patches, ably assisted by Carolyn once she had finished the strippy top.  These nine patches are ear-marked for a chaplain’s quilt – can’t say too much!

And then we had these two lovelies.   
Meet Lisa and Chelly.  
Chelly has sewn before, but clothes not quilts and Lisa had never sewn before!  Today they came along for the first time and got stuck into a joint project for a friend of theirs.  When Chelly walked in and immediately got distracted by all the bolts of material and started talking about needing to buy this and needing to buy that a few of us started to giggle.  
Yep, we have another quilter in the making.  Actually, after today, I suspect we have two, as both girls did a sterling job and achieved so much!
And they were loads of fun too!
They worked under the tutelage of Liz B and soon had learned how to cut with a rotary cutter and in short order had produced their first four patches!

Before long they had sewn their four patches into rows 

And two rows into a panel!   

Woo Hoo way to go girls!  What a great effort for a first day, especially for Lisa!

Before we move on to some lovely thank you messages I need to tell you about some changes to the blog.  If you look below the title you will see some pages listed, starting with “Home”, “A Brief History” and “Intro to Aussie Heroes”.  If you  keep looking you will see that there are Tutorial pages and much more.  The lovely Tech Guru has been slaving over a hot keyboard and has rearranged these pages a little, amalgamated some and added others.  There are now two Tutorial Pages.  One is for Quilts and Misc Tutorials and the other is for BOMs and the Laundry Bags.  If you haven’t looked at these pages you will see they contain loads of info and if you have looked at them you will see there have been some changes.  Hope you find them useful.   Thanks so much Naomi!  You are such a big help!

These two messages are from a couple of people on HMAS Newcastle who have heard that their quilts or laundry bags are on their way.

Thank you for your email, I will definitely let you know (when the parcel arrives), I’m so excited.

Can you please pass on to all the ladies who are involved, that it is very much appreciated what you are all doing. It means such a lot to me, knowing someone is taking time out to make something special for our crew, what a great gesture.

Thank you very much for your lovely email and I am very honoured that my quilt is the first one to be sent to the ship. I am sure I will be the envy of many others on board when I receive my quilt before them! Please pass my sincerest thanks to Kerryn and I will be sure to let you know when it has arrived – I can’t wait now for the next mail drop! 

This is a very kind gesture to do for us all on deployment and I cannot begin to imagine the enormity of the task for you. I know I will always treasure my quilt, not only as a special reminder of my time away, but also of the support people have for us back home. At times I sometimes reflect on why are we doing this and for what gain, but when an amazing act of generosity like this happens, it becomes clear we have something in our society worth protecting and makes it all the worth while.

Thank you again and I look forward to letting you know it has arrived safely. I am sure I will love it! 

And on with some more thank you messages

Dear Joan,

I wanted to let you know that your box with six laundry bags arrived today. Thanks so much for your efforts – your clearly use a lot of your spare time on our behalf and as always, we are very grateful. The bags have already been distributed this morning and you will not be surprised to learn that the ones with the pig motif went first! I imagine that your bags will all soon be on their way to Australia, as we start to pack up and move home after over seven months here in Tarin Kowt. Your bags will be a constant reminder of our time here and I’m sure will be in use for many years to come.

Thank you again for all your support over the past months.

Kind regards,

For Rita M

Greetings from the land of sand and spitting camels.
Thank you very much for my Arsenal quilt. It looks absolutely fabulous and is now adorning my bed with a great deal of pride and pleasure. Apparently it arrived a few weeks ago but I’ve been ‘over the wire’ so it was a special surprise when I came back.

I can see myself now, sitting on the lounge on a cold winter’s night wrapped in a superbly made Arsenal quilt, while watching Arsenal beating Manchester United. You can’t get better than that.

Thank you again Rita. You have made my deployment a very special one by providing me with a unique and enduring memory. A memory I will look back on in years to come with great fondness.

Thank you and best wishes,

And Rita M has another fan

Hi Jan-Maree,

I have received my quilt and Wow..Rita did such an amazing job.  To be honest I was really touched that someone who doesn’t even know me would go to so much trouble to make such a beautiful quilt for me…..It truly hit a soft spot and I cant wait until I can show my wife.
Anyway, I have to run because I am crazy busy at the moment.  This is almost it, we head for home in about a week and I’ll be with my wife and children in less than 30 days, how exciting.  Please pass on to Rita my thanks and that she is doing an amazing job not just for the deployed members but also for the work she is doing for the third world countries as well.
Bye for now

Short and sweet for Judy D


Just wanted to let you know that my package has arrived thank you so much i love it.

Can you please  thank Judy and Dickie.

This message regarding one of Gweneth’s quilts


I have received my quilt and laundry bag, thank you very much it will be/currently is being well used.

Again my sincere thanks to both you and all those in your organisation.

Where possible I send of a quick email to see if the member has received their quilt. That is how I know we are getting them there safe and sound.  This is one of the recent responses.

Good Evening Jan-Maree,

Yes it has arrived and certainly brightened up my bedroom. When I received it my spirits were certainly uplifted!

Thank you for all the hard work you all put into this amazing service. Just knowing people at home are thinking of us in such a way that they would spend time making a quilt, makes my day. I will be making a donation tonight to ensure this service continues for future members who serve in our defence fource.

I don’t normally mention donations but I thought you should know that it is a symbol of how much what we do means to the serving members.

Hi Jan-Maree

I received the quilt and laundry bag today.   Many thanks to Laurel, I think she has done a fantastic job and I appreciate it very much (it is me). The guys here are very impressed as well. As promised a photo. 

Thanks again. 

Can I tell you – his quilt was posted on Monday the 13th at 10am and was in the Middle East in around 6 DAYS!!!  Must have caught a tail wind somewhere!

The following message refers to a quilt sent off by Debbie M

Hi Jan-Maree,
I want to thank you so much. My husband received his quilt and it looks absolutely fabulous!!
He loves it.
Thanks so much once again,

For Maddy

Good day to you,

I just wanted to email and say thank you for the lovely wash bag that you sent me a few weeks ago. It was such a wonderful surprise to receive it and I was truly humbled by your kindness.  Thank you again for your hard work and beautiful quilt making.


Hi Judy,
Thankyou very much for the quilt and laundry bag that you created. It is a wonderful example of your creativity, talent and artwork and lays on my bed.
Along with your letter describing parts of South Western Queensland, they are not only a reminder of Australia but also of the wonderful people of our great country, family, friends and strangers alike.
You and all the other women who make these quilts are extraordinary individuals who together create an extraordinary sense of community that makes Australia the great nation that it is.
Australians like yourself remind us here and elsewhere around the world where Australian Service Men and Women serving on operations, how very grateful we are to have a wealthy country both in its resources but more so in its people that make us service men and women proud to serve you.
I will always remember your gifts and well wishes.

Hello Jan-Maree, 
I received my quilt and laundry bag in the mail today. I was blown away by how lovely they were and the thought that went into making them. I have had a smile on my face all day. The generosity is amazing and it makes the things we do here all the more worthwhile knowing there are people like you and the others who do these things out of the goodness of their heart. 
I have to say there are a few jealous people here when they saw my quilt….. It is now a very treasured possession that will remind me of the good things in humanity every time I use it for years to come.
 Once again a very big thank you for my wonderful quilt and laundry bag (I truly love them!) Kind regards, 

The quilt in this email is one that Paul and Paula gave me to pass on to someone appropriate and I think I found it the right home.

Dear Jan-Maree,
I just had to jump on my emails and let you know how thrilled I was to receive two surprise gifts from total strangers, just for me this week.  I had to check the parcel name to make sure it was mine.  Your letter explained that the lady I replaced had set this up before she left.

After arriving at Al Minhad Air Base on my first deployment I was overwhelmed with how full on all the activities were.  The feeling of being isolated from your loved ones was one of the many hurdles to try and overcome.  But to receive your welcomed parcel, just when I required a morale lift, was certainly what I needed to take me out of my doldrums and make me feel more positive about the support I was supplying here.

My little room is now a pleasure to walk in to of an evening after a long day at work.  The bright colours of the quilt are in pride of place on my little bunk.  It really gives the room a touch of friendliness and when I think about how some wonderful people, who I have never met, volunteered their spare time to bring this joy to me I feel even better about being here.  Thank you for being so thoughtful.

Kind Regards,

I don’t often post thank you messages that are directed specifically to me as I find that a little embarrassing but I felt I needed to post this one to give you an idea of the magnitude of what we have achieved as a group.   This is from one of my main contacts in 7RAR TG.

I’ve no idea how many bags you’ve directed our way since November but I don’t think there are too many people in this Task Group without one! We are embarrassed by your kindness and grateful for your personal efforts as the founder and coordinator of AHQ. For many, I know that although the quilt or bag is lovely to receive, it will be of equal importance to know that someone in Australia beyond their immediate family cares enough to make the effort you do. I will make sure that XXX(his postion) 2 Cav (the unit replacing 7RAR gets your details so that you can continue your great work.
Best regards,

7RARTG as a unit has been a dream to work with, and the people I have dealt with have been just wonderful.  I am very happy to know that they will soon be home with their families but I will be sorry to say goodbye to them, especially, as with most of the people I deal with for AHQ, I am unlikely to ever meet any of them.   Thanks guys – thanks to those that have assisted with AHQ and thanks also to the family and friends I have dealt with as well.  I think I will always have a soft spot for the Porky Seven! and hasn’t it been fun to adorn the quilts and laundry bags with the occassional pig here and there!

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

Follow Us…

You May Also Like…

1 Comment

  1. Sue Niven

    Great sewing ladies! love the quilts and the messages too. I will be checking out the new headings too. Great job Naomi!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *