The woman who founded the organisation that has donated thousands of quilts and laundry bags to Defence personnel on operations has received a quilt of her own to recognise her work.

Jan-Maree Ball established Aussie Hero Quilts in 2012.

Touched by the work of that group, a team within Joint Task Force (JTF) 633 in the Middle East organised for a quilt to be made and sent to Ms Ball.

The team was led by Sergeant Katherine Morris and included Sergeant Jodie Mitchell, Warrant Officer Korey McGregor and Squadron Leader Andrea Fullick.

Work on the quilt began in August when the team set about gathering materials. 

Squadron Leader Fullick said COVID-19 restrictions made buying fabric and quilting supplies challenging.

Help came in the form of JTF 633’s Camp Baird coffee shop owner, Aileen Stoddart.

“Aileen was a saving grace as she lived close to a specialty shop that sold quilting supplies,” Squadron Leader Fullick said.

“With money raised by donations, we would put an order through and she would send suggestions via WhatsApp.”

With supplies secured, the team set about cutting and piecing together their masterpiece.

“Sergeant Morris created the design based on the Joint Task Force logo with a simple pattern on the reverse in tri-service colours,” Squadron Leader Fullick said.

Personnel with computer skills enlarged the initial design to the correct dimensions, while JTF 633 Force Support Element members provided templates made of plexiglass to use in cutting the fabric.

It represents how grateful Defence personnel are for receiving a quilt or a laundry bag

Squadron Leader Fullick was the only experienced quilter in the group, but the master and her apprentices worked every Saturday to create the gift.

“This quilt has been made with more enthusiasm than expertise,” Squadron Leader Fullick said.

“It represents how grateful Defence personnel are for receiving a quilt or a laundry bag. 

“It is not about how perfect the sewing is, but it’s a heartfelt way of deployed members showing their appreciation.”

Jan-Maree Ball was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2016 for service to the community through support to serving Defence members.