Grait-Tuesday 3 Jul 18

Written by AHQ

3 July 2018

Last month I made a quick trip to Canberra for some meetings and also delivered a quilt to a pleasantly surprised Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN.  

Vice Admiral Barrett has always been extremely supportive of Aussie Heroes, so it was an absolute pleasure for me to make a quilt for him. Thanks to Kerri for the embroideries and to Keryn for the quilting.   Their efforts certainly made this quilt a team effort, as so many of our quilts are. 

Vice Admiral Barrett will be leaving the Navy on completion of his time as Chief of Navy so I would like to take this opportunity to wish him much success and happiness for whatever he plans for the future. 

With Warrant Officer Gary Wight, Warrant Officer of the Navy and also a recipient.

Hello Su,

I am pleased to say that I have received your fabulously hand- crafted Quilt and I am speechless. To say that I am humbled by your efforts would be an understatement. Thank you so very much; what you have created will be with me for life, and has now completed the journey made by my family before me during WWI & WWII. The dedication to creating it and the final product with all its embroidery is remarkable and well beyond my expectations.

Upon receiving and opening the package, I had to read the letter in private as I shed the first tears of my tour. The feeling of knowing that people at home put their hearts into making something that can be so meaningful to themselves as well as to others – is precious.

This quilt is nothing but amazing!

I have been in the Military since 1982, I first joined the Army but later decided to transfer to the Army Reserves. In 1992 I re-joined a permanent service the RAAF and this is my very first overseas deployment since in my career. Both my Grandfathers served Army; one in the Boer war, the other in WWI then WWII and my Father also served Army in WWII. I have quite a few photos of them and memories spent hearing their tales and sadly they are all gone but never forgotten.
What this quilt represents is part of my journey to follow in their footsteps but also it symbolises the influence from the first war on our fine country and upon the values that embody the Australia Military Forces today. 
I personally am very grateful of the values that are instilled in me and of which I believe are depicted on this Quilt.                                    

Thank you.

Thank you also for the fine treats and I am being mindful to eat one Fruchoc at a time – 

Truly, I appreciate the effort you have taken.

Take care and best wishes


Hi Ally,

Yes I LOVE the quilt, lucky you have ties to BMW to get all the colors and designs, it turned out awesomely, and thanks for the key ring too 🙂
Haha! I’d seen it a few times when I’d read your letter but I only really just noticed the mini-Mini and the mini-mini-Mini!! You must really love your Mini’s!
Well I have to go get back to work, have to prepare for an early morning job we have on tomorrow. Thanks again so much for the quilt and thank you for being part of Aussie Quilts, they really do have a positive effect over here.
Warmest regards,

Good Morning Cheryl 


I am just writing back to say thank you for the quilt I received it this week in the mail. I very much appreciate the hard work that you have gone to in regards to doing this for me and the fellow soldiers we received so many care packages over the Easter and Anzac day period we had thousands of letters and are trying to reply to them all.
Currently we are 3 months into out 6 month deployment so home in October sadly I will miss having a beer on afl grand final day but the following week is the nrl grand final so Im sure I will make up for it.
The rotation I am on is called force support element 8 which is based in Dubai at a coalition base and we are working in a warehouse which holds thousands of different items and we receive orders from in country for vehicle parts clothing weapons parts and the list goes on its hard been away from home but we have a close group in our section of around 30 personal.
I hope your son is enjoying life outside of the army now and is happy in the civilian world 
I could tell as soon as I got the package you were a crazy Adelaide support by the address on the package.
Thank you once again for your time and effort cheers 

Dear Helen,

I want to thank you for the laundry bag.
I have recently arrived overseas on deployment and coincidentally could not find the laundry bag my wife had made for me when I deployed to the Sinai some years ago, so it is very greatly appreciated.
I have been in the Army now for nearly 25 years and have deployed multiple times and these types of support programs make a big difference to our time away from home.
I am married to my wife for 22 years and we have six children with my eldest turning 22 this year and my youngest turned 13 after I deployed.
Well thank you again for the laundry bag it has been very useful and I appreciate the work you put in.


G’day Jan-Maree,

Please pass on my sincere thanks to Caroline L for the amazing quilt. It could not have turned out better!!
Kind regards 


Dear Bridget,

It was both a wonderful surprise and jaw-dropping admiration.  Your quilt is absolutely beautiful.  It has so much thought put into the planning and has been completed with meticulous detail.  I am so very grateful for your efforts.  I showed the quilt to an Air Force friend of mine and she claimed it was the most wonderful quilt she had seen – and she had been deployed at the same time I had been.

I will admit it still sits on my bed and warms me each night.  So thank you so much for all your hard work to support me and all the troops who head overseas each year.

I must admit I am a tiny bit jealous you are able to partake in your hobby and then put it to such a wonderful cause.  I hope you feel a degree of satisfaction in knowing how special your work is received.  Service men and women all talk about the work all the quilters do.  As each new quilt arrives it is proudly shown off to all in their workplace.  As guys and girls go to the command laundry, people have an individual story to tell.  It certainly adds a smile and laugh to an otherwise long day.

At the bottom of your letter you hope you had fulfilled my request and that I like it.  Well Bridget, I absolutely love it and could not have ever imagined it would turn out so beautiful – so thank you so, so much for all your efforts.  It has made me feel so much gratitude for my service.
I wish you all the best and thank you whole heartedly for what you have made.
Kindest regards,

Good Evening Jan-Maree and all members of Aussie Hero Quilts,

I am currently posted to HMAS Rankin. Your organisation recently supported our current deployment by gifting members various quilts and laundry bags. I just want to say thank you for the amazing support you showed myself and the crew. The items I received from your organisation is something I will keep for not only this deployment but for the many more I plan to encounter throughout my career in the Navy.

I have attached a photo of my beautiful quilt I fitted on my bed on HMAS Rankin. Thank you once again for your hard work and dedication in supporting those serving in the ADF.

Kind Regards,


Hi Clarissa

Thank you so much for your laundry bag, its awesome!

I am completely amazed at all the volunteers that create quilts and laundry bags for deployed Australians. I used to work for Spotlight before I joined Defence and I am a keen sewer/knitter myself, so I really understand the effort and time it takes to make something like this. 

Thank you very much again for your laundry bag, its really pretty and I love sunflowers so it makes my room a little brighter!

Warmest regards,


Hi Debs,

Thank you so much for the Western Bulldogs quilt that you made for me. It is amazing! Wow. I am so impressed. And what’s the chances that Doug Hawkins lives next door? Haha…  that’s incredible.  🙂  I’m thinking that receiving the quilt must have brought the Doggies good luck as they beat Geelong yesterday.  

Thanks also for your letter. Your thoughts and kindness are very much appreciated. Its good to hear about yourself. 

Life here at camp can at times be quite mundane and its often referred to as ground hog day because it seems like it’s just the same stuff day after day. But we do find ways to stay entertained and at the moment there’s a bumper crop of sports on the tv – AFL, Soccer World Cup, F1 and Wimbledon and Tour de France about to kick off. So I don’t complain too much. The weather is scorching at the moment and it hit the 50s yesterday. Not nice. But somehow you do get used to it. No need for the cold tap in the shower! There’s a few patches of grass around the base, how they manage to keep them green is beyond me – something to do with a lot of water I suppose. The kangaroo one is my favourite. We also have a memorial on base to our fallen mates. I managed to take the attached photo of it on ANZAC Day at exactly the same time as one of our Hercules did an unannounced low pass over top – I’m quite lucky sometimes!  🙂

Anyway, I guess I’d better get back to the grindstone. Hopefully I haven’t bored you too much writing about myself.

I will cherish your quilt as the best memento of this tour. Your great work is much appreciated. Thanks once again,

Best regards,


Dear Clarissa, 

I would like to send out my heartfelt thank to you for the amazing laundry bag that you have sewn for me, it put a massive smile on my face seeing the work & detail that has gone into the laundry bag, especially putting the players signatures in the laundry bag. 
I was lucky enough that we manage to pick up some of the Fox Sports channels over here and was able to watch the entire Wallabies Ireland series while I was working, coming into work with my Wallabies scarf hanging over my desk, it was a shame to lose the series but it was one of the best I have seen in a long time. All I can say is bring on the Bledisloe Cup. 
For now, thank you once again for the laundry bag and thank you to yourself and all of the Aussie Hero Quilts volunteers who make these amazing gifts for us, it is very much appreciated.   


Good Morning Maddy,

First of all I must apologise for the lateness of this letter.
I am the recipient of your excellent Dr Who Aussie Quilt.  I grew up in Sydney with my parents, my twin, who lives and works in NYC and my older sister who I now live with in Canberra with.  I joined the Navy in 2014, HMAS Darwin was my first ship and Newcastle being my second.

I was one of the lucky few who received their blankets very early in the deployment, and was able to use it the entire time I was away.  I have very good memories watching Dr Who with my dad growing up.  Thus not only connecting me to the show, but also home and my family.

After I got home, I went straight on holidays to Nepal where I hiked to Everest Base Camp. 
I now live in Canberra where I work out of a place called HQJOC (Headquarters Joint Operations Command).

Thank you very much for the quilt.

Kindest regards,

G’day Joan
Thank you so much for creating such an awesome laundry bag, and don’t worry about the sewing around the word dragons it all looks perfect to me. You and the other ladies of Aussie quilt heros should be super proud of what you have produced as me and the boys are super thankful for them.
Now some info on myself, I have been in the army almost 9 years now and have enjoyed my time and been deployed overseas a few times. I was a combat engineer and deployed to Afghanistan in 2010/11 and to PNG in 2012 and 2015, I’m changed jobs to a safer job as I have a young family at home so I’m a lot safer being an electrician in the army now.  
Thanks again for the amazing work the Aussie quilt heroes have done for us and the other defence personnel around Austrailia.


Hi Joan, 
My beautiful quilt arrived on Friday, and words can’t express how much I love it. The colours are perfect- the main shade of pink is an almost exact match for my sheets!
As I mentioned, my quilt (and biscuits- yummy!) arrived on Friday, and it’s my birthday tomorrow. The timing was perfect, to help make my birthday special.
This is my first deployment. I work in communications, which I really enjoy.
I have 3 daughters back home, and I am missing them very much. They love pink and purple, I will have to hide my quilt so it doesn’t end up on their beds. 💜
Again, thank you so much for the quilt, and for supporting what we do. There are days when we feel like we are just doing our jobs, it means a lot to know that people back home appreciate and respect our efforts.


What a great batch of thank you messages.

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

Jan-Maree xx

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  1. Abby N Jack Quilts

    I recieved a few small gifts from a Recipient in the mail this week & the feeling of happiness was unreal so can imagine what Recipients feel when they recieve a Quilt or Laundrybag from an Aussie Hero Volunteer. Its the little things in life that mean the most. x


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