Highlights from  APRIL 2012   –  (researched by Janine C)

Aussie Hero Quilts are not a work of art, 
but a work of the heart.

POSTING April 2012: April was a month of bulk posting of quilts and laundry bags.  When Jan-Maree told the Senior Chaplain in the Middle East that 160 laundry bags and at least 125 quilts were on the way, his response was   “WOW! WOW! That’s totally amazing. Please thank all the women who help with the AHQs.”

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: This message from Jan-Maree on the blog that month is one we all need to remind ourselves of: ‘ I should caution you just a little not to get too disappointed if you don’t hear back from whoever receives your parcels.  It seems to really depend on where the individual soldiers are stationed and what sort of conditions they are living in.  As an example, when the Gumnut quilters sent off the original 23 quilts, 15 were for the lovely Warrant Officer and his group.  The rest went to other soldiers – no idea who – but 8 soldiers received quilts and we have only ever heard from one. There could be a good reason for this. The messages we do receive are so heart warming and appreciative that you know that all the quilts are appreciated even if not all of the recipients are in the position to express it. ‘ 

THE ROLL: Jan-Maree tried to create a Sewer’s Roll as people kept asking her how many ladies were sewing for Aussie Heroes and she had no idea, but realised she could never make a perfect list as new people were joining in every week.

NAME IDEAS:  There was some discussion at that time on what to call those who sew for Aussie Hero Quilters as Jan-Maree was not comfortable with Aussie Hero Sewers.  Some suggestions on the list were – Aussie Hero Divas, Aussie Hero Darlings, Aussie Hero Friends, Aussie Hero Angels, Aussie Hero Sheilas, Aussie Hero Kylies …. and everyone had to wait until May to hear the decision – for those who don’t remember last April, you’ll have to wait until last May.

A SPECIAL GOAL: The Singleton Quilters set themselves a goal to make 60 quilts. Apparently a local lad was serving in Afghanistan and they set a goal to make 60 quilts so they could send one to each member of his team. It was a successful task for them and below are some of the quilts.

MAGAZINE: In April 2012  the Down Under Quilts Magazine, Issue 152, included a mention of Aussie Heroes on Page 7 ,explaining briefly what we do and how to get involved. It may have been the first time AHQ was seen in print – exciting for everyone!

REQUESTS:  A special request came in for a quilt for a VIP named Private Belvedere – just a small quilt was needed as  Belvedere is the mascot – turtle!  So cute. Photos next month.

Another request came from a man serving with SOTG in Afghanistan. He said, “A few nights ago my Padre presented a beautiful quilt and laundry bag made by you great folk at Aussie Hero Quilts.  Not only would I love to have one of these quilts for my bed space over here I would also love to give it to my 11 year old daughter on my return to Australia later in the year. I think she would love it as a keepsake for the time that her Dad was away.”
Of course Jan-Maree wrote back and promised a quilt and a laundry bag and offered to make the quilt relatively gender neutral so that it would be acceptable for him during his time over there and then still suitable for his daughter.
The reply came back, ‘”Thank you so much for your quick response. Again your very kind words have made an old soldiers heart skip a beat and raised his morale tenfold. Please don’t be too concerned about making the quilt “gender neutral” because after 20 yrs there is not too much of a hard time these lads could give me that I haven’t heard before.”

ANZAC DAY 2012:  After sending Anzac Day messages from AHQ to the troops Jan-Maree received this reply.

A response came an army Corporal:

Thank you for sharing this with me and I am hopeful that you don’t mind me passing these words on. This morning I stood here on foreign ground to remember all those who have fallen for our country, those who have been injured and those who have and are still serving in all parts of the world.  I must say today being away from home and my children not only made the real reason of ANZAC day ring true in my ears, it made tears as it does every year run down my face.  So to hear these words of support to us serving members is wonderful and touching.  God Bless you all. 

and a reply from a Warrant Officer:
Well we are about half way through or ANZAC day here and to be honest it is one of the most remarkable ANZAC days I have ever had. To be paying tribute to the fallen in the country that they have paid the ultimate sacrifice is a feeling that is very hard to describe. The mixed emotions of pride and sadness come over you at different times but to be with mates you have shared the battlefield with is very satisfying.   I hope you have had a great day yourself and you and your loved ones are well.

The kind words you have sent from your “Army” of workers have been passed on to the boys and they are very grateful. To know that people, from all generations, are supporting us in our task is not only encouraging but also very humbling. We really do thank you and your crew from the bottom of our hearts. 

As I watch the celebrations from back home, and from around the world for that matter, it is pleasing to see that the young people are going to carry this tradition well into the future and beyond.  To see them in places such as Gallipoli, France and Turkey and of course Australia really is fantastic. You would have to be an extremely hard person if those pictures didn’t bring a tear to the eye and a swelling to the heart. The ANZAC’s are in very good hands.

On behalf of the SOTG I wish to thank you and your AMAZING staff again for EVERYTHING they are doing for the men over here. I fear that these words in an email can never really express the gratitude we wish to express to you all. Please pass on our thanks and best wishes to all your ladies and may they be safe and always free from harm.

PHOTOS from APRIL 2012:

Pinwheel blocks – March BOM
Singleton Quilters’ Group

More quilts from the Singleton Quilters Group

Laundry Bags by Verandah Post Patchworkers
Laundry bags by CAZ

Debra’s quilts

Quilt by Marienne

A golfing quilt for the Head Chaplain by Jan-Maree
Flag laundry bag by LIZ

Flag quilt by LIZ
 Laundry bags by RHONDA
BOM for April 2012

April BOMs on quilt wall
Crazy scrap quilt by Rita

Pinwheel quilt

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