Thank you for my beautiful quilt…….

Written by AHQ

5 May 2018

Back in February one of our quilters, Katie, and her partner, Bill, arranged to catch up with me to discuss  a project they are doing for Aussie Heroes….. or at least that is why I thought we were catching up….. 

I asked Katie to tell you the story….

On 24th Feb  my partner Bill, Lisa N and I had a coffee date with Jan-Maree at Poppy’s café AWM. She thought we were all just catching up but little did she know I had a surprise for her. I presented her with a very special quilt created from blocks signed by ADF members serving overseas in 2016. It was Jan-Maree’s  turn to be on the other side of the presentations and to say the least she was very surprised and yes there were tears.

History behind the quilt.
On the June long weekend in 2016 Jan-Maree and her family lost their house and every thing they owned in a house fire, including prize possessions, quilts and presentations from grateful ADF members. On hearing this devastating news I came up with the idea of creating a signature quilt with blocks signed by ADF members serving overseas. With the help of my friend Bill, who was currently deployed, he handed out signature blocks with a letter explaining the project and with strict instructions not a word to Jan-Maree. In total there are 17 signed blocks and all but one (from the Pyke family) were signed overseas whilst on deployment to the Middle East region. Some blocks were signed by a whole unit, some individually and others are on  behalf of their unit. In all I would say there are over 50 signatures on the quilt. All share the same message of support for Jan-Maree and Aussie Hero Quilts.

I designed the quilt with the dominant orange colour – signifying the colour of the flames Jan-Maree saw in her sewing room as she evacuated the house. Secondly the only material saved from the inferno was orange. The backing of the quilt represents burnt flooring.  Badges from the Sallyman and Operation Okra Task Group 630 are sewn on the back with a label saying 

“This gift is given on behalf of the Australian Defence Force personnel who were deployed during 2016. It is an appreciation for the tireless efforts of Jan-Maree Ball (on behalf of AHQ) 24th Feb 2018.”
A huge big thank you to the wonderful guys and girls who took time out of their busy day, whilst on deployment, to sign these blocks with lovely messages of support. Thank you to LTCOL Phil Pyke for writing my story for the newspapers and my to wonderful Bill and Lisa N for supporting and helping me with this secret squirrel project.

Katie L 

Yes, there were tears! I did not see this coming at all.  
To all those who were involved in creating this wonderful surprise for me, a huge heartfelt thank you.

I love the quilt and I love all the special patches you created for me. 
I love the orange colour. That is pretty close to the colour my office was the last time I saw it ,and it may seem strange that I want to be reminded of it, but to me, seeing it reminds me that the fire happened, but it did not beat me!

Thank you also to Katie and Bill for their part in this.  You guys make an awesome team!

I can’t wait to get into my new home and get this on the wall, somewhere that I can see it and enjoy it every day. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


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  1. Unknown

    A wonderful tribute to you, a real life hero, are an amazing lady!

  2. Marianne Boot

    Wow what a wonderful surprise to receive!!!��������������

  3. Unknown

    A wonderful tribute to you, a real life hero, are an amazing lady!


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