Tropical Sunset Quilt - An Aussie Hero Quilt

Tropical Sunset Quilt - Original design by Anorina Morris

I just looked back at my previous post and it's been over a month since I last posted here on my blog. Gosh, life has been super busy and time is just flying by. I feel like I'm a permanent taxi driver, ferrying kids around to various activities at all hours. They say life with toddlers is full-on, but I say toddlerhood had nothing on tween/teen life.

I did manage to start and finish a quilt this last fortnight, so that's something. For the longest time I've been on the list for Aussie Hero Quilts, but always put off signing up to make a quilt.

If you've not heard of Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags), you can read more about it by clicking through this link.

The quilts and laundry bags are sent away to an Aussie person serving in the military. We (the quilter) send the parcel to an address in Australia and it is then forwarded through the ADF globally. 

I looked at the list of required quilts (there are LOTS, so if you find yourself wanting to sew quilts, this could be the thing for you) and came across an urgent request for a female quilt with a tropical theme. I put my hand up for this quilt and then spent a few days wondering what sort of quilt I'd make. When I asked my friends what they thought of when I said "tropical", the first thing everyone said to me was "pineapple". For a while, I'd contemplated making a pineapple quilt, but in the end (after some time on pinterest), I decided to make something with hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus flowers are suited to tropical climates and I have memories of visiting the tropical island of Vanuatu and seeing all of the beautifully coloured hibiscus bushes and the ladies wearing hibiscus flowers in their hair.

I started out by using a Lecien Sushi Roll of solids ranging from light yellow to dark blue/green. This is the Lecien version of a jelly roll with 2.5" strips of fabric x the WOF (42"-44").

I arranged the colours so that they'd make a sort of sunset effect if you were looking out over the ocean. Can you see it? Yellows, through to blues to represent ocean, through to greens to represent land.

I then appliqued hibiscus flowers across the front of the quilt, starting with a single bloom up top, a couple of blooms in the centre and a bigger bunch of flowers and leaves at the bottom. 

I'd originally wanted to applique the blooms with black thread to give them an solid outline and to have an 'etched' look. I put the question up on Instagram and the majority of comments suggested using matching thread. I was hesitant and I wanted the flowers to pop, so I went with a happy medium - matching coloured thread, but in darker shades. It's a good thing I have a big box of different colour Aurifil threads to play around with.

I quilted this in a Aurifil 40wt variegated light grey to dark grey cotton thread. I love how the colours change and the overall texture of the quilt.

I also made a 'tropical' themed laundry bag for my military person. It's a fabric I had at home with toucans and flamingos. I sewed on a white patch on the front so my person can write her name or initials and make her laundry bag easy to identify. 

When sending away these parcels, we fold them up in a B2 size box at the post office and if it's under 2kg, it's free, so with the box about 500g under, I made sure to fill up the empty spaces with a few goodies and sweets for my person to enjoy.

Now that it's all sent and done, I really hope that my 'person' likes it :)


  1. So glad you decided to take a request. The personnel really appreciate them.
    It looks great. Fits the brief very well.

    1. Hi Debra,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I'm glad that I got involved and really hope my lady likes it. The list of required quilts is long, so I might sign up for another one next month.

  2. I think your quilt looks wonderful and fits the tropical guidelines perfectly. Love the colour range in the sushi roll.
    Great idea to use the hibiscus flowers.
    I think it will be enjoyed and appreciated.

    1. Thanks Karen. I'm a sucker for hibiscus flowers. There was a park near my school when I was young that had hibiscus bushes and I remember helping myself to a flower every now and then to put in my hair. I felt so exotic in 1980's regional Australia :-)

  3. The Tropical Quilt and laundry are lovely and will be loved by the recipient... great !

    1. Hi Maria, hope you're well. Thank you my friend. I really hope so too xx


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