I was just thinking the other day that it was time I reminded you, especially for the new Friends, that it is good to occasionally sew a WWQ.  That stands for Wounded Warrior Quilt.  And then I got this message on Facebook and I don’t think I need to say any more……….
Hi, I recently came across “Aussie Hero Quilts” after a friend posted about it on Facebook.  I think it is great what you are doing for our service men and women.

Two and a half years ago, my husband was very seriously wounded in Afghanistan, he spent time in an American military hospital in Germany where he received a beautiful quilt by “Soldier’s Angel’s”. On return to Australia, after being in a coma for a few weeks, he then spent 20 months in hospital. This quilt was definitely much appreciated, it was comforting to my husband that a lady in America made these with love for a soldier. It was also a great talking point at the hospital among visitors, nurses, staff and my husband.  I have had a look at your blog and see that you do quilts for the Aussie wounded in Kandahar, they will love that. I did not know of an Australian organisation doing this also.

One thing that we did notice is the quilt my husband received was sized for a bed, he quite often used it with his wheelchair, we found that in the summer months it was way to big and hot because it was folded over many times.  He found it comfortable to cover up, because of his injuries. I think for my husband a smaller size quilt would have been perfect.

My husband is now home and attends a hospital outpatient rehabilitation program three times a week. He still uses his wheelchair although is not confined to it.

I just thought I’d let you know, that what “Aussie Hero Quilts” are doing is great.  I would love to help when I have the time, although at the moment I am a full-time carer for my husband, so am quite busy.

It was very generous of this lovely wife to write to me but even more generous that she gave, unasked, permission for me to publish this.  No stories I could tell you would bring home the meaning of the WWQs more than this I think.  

For the newbies, WWQs are the same size as our normal Aussie Hero Quilts.  No I am not going to change the size. The Quilts of Valor Quilts and similar are actually very different from ours – they are shorter but also wider – more of a tradional single bed size.   I think our size is pretty versatile – perfect for the intended uses in the field but also versatile enough for use by someone in a wheel chair.  I have also offered to send one to this couple so that the husband can road test it and give feed back if they are interested.

If you feel like making a WWQ please feel free.  There are no special requirements other than the quilt needs to be as Aussie as possible.  An Aussie flag panel, the southern cross, the words Australia – all make a perfect WWQ.  Here are some I have in waiting – 

I do have others on my books but I chose a selection to give you an idea of the variety of designs.

Okay, time for some thank you messages.
Recently I sent a batch of laundry bags over to a girl in Afghanistan.  She needed one as she had been using a green grocery bag and it had come off second best in a fight with a dryer!  So I filled the box with ones for her to hand around.

Good news! the other four laundry bags went in a flash. Is there any chance I could pretty please get another box of five sent over? Apparently we are all laundry bag deprvied here πŸ™‚

That request has been upped to eight plus a quilt please – I told you, and her, that the laundry bags were popular.  Anyone who just wants to sew laundry bags, I have plenty of takers.

Then this lovely email came from the chaplain on HMAS ANZAC

Dear Jan-Maree, Julie Ann, Sue, Aileen, Lyn, Karen, Linda, Melissa,

My sailors will be contacting you by email or snail-mail individually (and here in the Middle East we mean “snail”), to thank you for the fantastic laundry bags and pillow cases we received by helicopter last week (and for quilts that are on the way).

Your kindness really boosts the morale of our people and they smile for a long while despite the dangers of the area and being away from civilisation and family and friends for so long in arduous conditions. It is a real treat to receive a gift like the ones you provide.

The way the sailors show off their bags and cases – and for those who will receive quilts too I am sure – I know they will be treasured for years to come and take on a very valued meaning for them. We can’t thank you enough.

With much appreciation, God Bless you, 

And now for some of the thank you messages from the sailors themselves.  The first three for Sue and Aileen who work as a team.

I was lucky enough to receive one of your laundry bags, it is awesome. I live in a cabin with 5 other junior officers and it has definitely brightened it up a bit (it also looks like it may have a soviet union star on it which was good for a laugh). We received your packages via a vertical replenishment with our Seahawk helicopter from a US Navy supply ship.
Thankyou very much,

Good morning
My name is XXXXXX and I’m currently serving on HMAS Anzac and I’ve just had the honour of choosing your laundry bag to use. I can tell you its a vast improvement on the mesh bag that I had before and certainly looks the part hanging from my locker.
I’m very humbled that you have taken time out of your day to make the laundry bags for us up here. Its very nice to know that people back home do care a great deal about the job we are doing up here and are prepared to take a few minutes out of their day to make our lives up here just a little bit better. So please take this email as a very heartfelt thank you, its very much appreciated.


thanks heaps for the laundry bag!! I’m on of the Aviators on board and my laundry bag has blue sky with clouds, very cool and much appreciated for thinking of us!!! 

What follows are some of the messages that I receive when they first hear they have made the list for a quilt.

 When the Chaplain informed me of your group, I felt honoured that people back home were giving up their time in order to make these quilts. I do greatly appreciate yourself and your quilt group taking the time and being so generous in offering these beautiful items to myself and other members of Ships Company while on operation. Perhaps there is something I can do from this end for you being so generous.

I’ve been lucky enough to be selected to receive one of the quilts your organisation is kindly producing for us up here in the Middle East.  I’m currently on my third deployment to the Middle East having been in the Navy for 12 of my 33 years. 
I’m very humbled that you have taken time out of your day to make the quilts for us up here. Its very nice to know that people back home do care a great deal about the job we are doing up here and are prepared to take a few minutes out of their day to make our lives up here just a little bit better. So please take this email as a very heartfelt thankou to you and your quilters, its very much appreciated. 

The Chaplain has recently advised me that I have been fortunate enough to be in a position to receive one of your fine Aussie Hero Quilts.  have been serving in the Royal Australian Navy for 32 years now, having joined at 16 years of age.I have served in a variety of ships and Submarines throughout my Naval career, most of which are now dive wrecks or scrap metal, and continue to enjoy the lifestyle, the job but most importantly the people I work with and get to meet from around the world.  I am certainly impressed and humbled that people back in Australia would spend their own time doing something for people they do not even know and look forward to being introduced to one of your quilters.

I feel honoured to be given this opportunity, to receive a gift like this from a fellow Aussie. It will always be a reminder to me and my family of my operational service. 

I have been in the Navy for 15 years and this is my fifth deployment to the Gulf.  I am extremely excited to get one of these quilts
I was as keen as mustard to put my hand up to possibly receive one of these great quilts.  I unfortunately missed out during the random draw we held earlier this year to allocate quilts to owners so I was excited when the Padre told us we still may have a chance to get one!  My wife gave birth to our second child (first son)  shortly before we left Australia and I thought that the quilt would look tip-top on his cot.  Many thanks from the ship’s company on ANZAC for the pillow cases and laundry bags received thus far and they have become a source of great pride to their new owners. 
Isn’t it nice to know how enthusiastic everyone is about what we are doing.  I know not everyone reads the Facebook page but we get quite few comments there too from spouses, parents, friends of serving members saying how much they appreciate what we do too.  Nice to know isn’t it.
This next thank you is special – this lovely wife requested a quilt for her husband and Caroline sent off a lovely one which became one of only three that I know of that did ever make it to its new owner!  So, I arranged for another one to be sent off by Kaye.  Today I heard it arrived!
: -)

And we have a winner! At last, one of your spectacular quilts has made it to the other side of the world & into the arms of my husband in Afghanistan.
Thank you so much for organising this quilt to be sent. He loves it- he was definitely surprised! I asked if he could please send me a picture.  He wanted to include some scenery and managed get the mountains as back drop (note helmet) which is a better view than barbed wire & connex containers.
Please pass on our appreciation to the quilt maker- their care & hard work is appreciated and has made us both so happy πŸ™‚
My parents are helping care for our children this week so I can rest. There is only 2- 4 weeks now until baby #3 arrives & keeping everything crossed hoping hubby can get back on leave in time πŸ™‚

I have to admit I was beginning to worry about this quilt all over again! So glad it got there.

Just  a reminder as it is something different from the norm this month.  

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