Grati-Thursday 21 June 18

Written by AHQ

21 June 2018

Another busy week is almost over. Where does the time go??  

Lots of gorgeous thank you messages here..  Enjoy!

Hello again Jan-Maree,
Upon receiving my laundry bag and the letter from Ruth, I was so very grateful for the trouble and effort that was crafted into the finished item. As discussed I have sent a reply to Ruth letting her know this and how it was beyond anything I could have expected. Also it was my first package from home so it helped me settle in to a strange environment – many thanks. However, this is not the main point of this email.

2 days ago I received another package (I was expecting cookies yet to arrive from my wife) – when I opened it I was taken back by another hand- crafted gem. I have now received a full scale Quilt that has been lovingly pieced together by Su J. First I want to thank you for co-ordinating the quilt and thank you for supporting the members here in country a long way from home. You have done yourself proud by creating such an iconic pillar amongst our deployed community – Thank you ! so much.

To say I was taken back by this quilt and the story of its manufacture as well as the combination of symbolic embroidery would be an understatement – the feeling of knowing that people at home put their hearts into making something that can be so meaningful to them as well as us is precious. This quilt is nothing but amazing and I will have it for life. I have a direct link to the WWI & WWII and receiving this quilt with all its recognition of Military esteem and ANZAC spirit brought home the very purpose of my 30yrs in service. Finally on my maiden deployment and with this quilt in hand, I now feel that I am walking the same footsteps proudly walked by my family before me.

I will write to Su next chance and express my appreciation but I wanted to let you know that the Quilt is safely here with me in the Middle East Region.
Best Wishes

Hi Ruth,

Thank you so much for the time and effort toward my laundry bag. Very much appreciated.
The fact that you are a Port Power supporter creates an even warmer touch with the decoration on the laundry bag. Like your husband and yourself, I too frequent the Port home games with my wife. Mind you, I spend most of that time trying to quieten her down. Although very fair, she is most passionate. 
The laundry bag has very much brightened up my day, with some of my colleagues becoming quite jealous (love showing it off). Have to protect it now. I dare say, my wife too will become quite jealous (lol).
Once again, thank you so much for investing your time toward something for myself. Most appreciated


Thanks for all the hard work you put into the quilt, I very much appreciate it and I know the rest of the guys here are pleased with how theirs turned out, in short we love the work you and those like you put in for us, it makes the world of difference over here.
Small bit about me, I’ve been in the navy for 6 years now, travelled far and wide on 4 different deployments. The ocean has always been very close to my heart and they say home is where the heart is, so thank you for bringing a small part of ocean to the sand for me I really do appreciate it. 


From HMAS Rankin for a laundry bag….

Hi Pennie,

Thank you very much for your efforts.   It’s very nice and will be well used.  

Everyone appreciates your great work.


Dear Beverley,

Thank you so much for the beautiful quilt, it really made me feel so happy and means so much to me!

I am a military police investigator and I have been working out of Kabul and Al Minhad Air Base.  I have been here for 3 months and have a few months left.
I really miss my family who are all in Brisbane. 

It sounds like you have a lot of family links to the ADF.  I am the first in my family to be in the military.

It is starting to get really hot here and I’m looking forward to going home into winter.
I really miss my cats, I have 2.

Again, thank you so much for the quilt, and I have included my patch in this card which I wore on my right shoulder in Afghanistan.

Thank you!!


Hi Beverley,

I received the wonderful quilt you made for me a few weeks ago, but unfortunately there was a delay in delivery due to the postal system changing our mailing address so it took a bit longer than normal to find me.  I then posted the quilt home with your letter, not thinking to write down your mailing address.  I have now had to wait until it got home so my wife could give me your mailing address to reply to.

The quilt really is beautiful with bright colours, but has enough earthy tones that it will fit right in with our décor at home.  Frangipanis are one of our favourite things in Bali, and they look great on the quilt too.  The other thing we love is the culture of the Balinese, particularly the Hindu religion, so the addition of the Om sign is also significant to me.

I am actually a Defence Civilian now (there are a couple of positions over here that are filled by Public Servants) however; I have spent close to 30 years working for the Department of Defence, initially as a photographer in the RAAF for the first 8 years of my career.  I am now a contract services manager.  My wife is also an ex-RAFFie, having worked in communications for 12 years.  She has also maintained employment the Defence for 30 years.

My role on deployment has been that of service delivery manager for several service contracts within the Middle East Region, from vehicle maintenance contracts and provision of linguists in theatre, to our combat first aid training contract that provides revision training to personnel prior to going into theatre.  It is a demanding job, but very fulfilling….not something us civvies get to do too often!!

At home I have three adult children; a daughter that has also started a career with Dept of Defence in the procurement world; another daughter that is a registered nurse; and a son that is in his second year as an apprentice diesel/plant mechanic.  My oldest daughter also made me a grandfather 3 weeks into my deployment, so I am looking forward to returning home to meet the little man.

Once again, thank you to yourself and all the other quilters that support our military heroes over here.

Take care and best wishes on your ‘Grey Nomad’ adventures.  When I retire in about seven years, I hope to be doing exactly the same thing, so we may cross paths in the Kimberley one day.

Warm regards,

Hi Sue

I was absolutely thrilled to receive my beautiful quilt that you made for me.  It was everything I wanted and more.  I will treasure it forever thanks so much I really appreciate what you do for us over here.  I am a Public Servant so the opportunity for me to be deployed is rare and a great honour.  I am due home to the freezing cold in July.  At the moment it’s about 45-48 during the day and about 30 overnight. It will be a real shock.  
Thanks again so much

Hi Pennie,

I’d like to take this opportunity to kindly thank you for the laundry bag you created for me. I am a big fan of the turtles, they look great, as do all the bags that were created for the crew. 
It is certainly difficult at times being away from home with very little contact with friends and family; something which you’re obviously no stranger to with your sons involvement in the submarine industry. 
I am personally very grateful for the time and work you’ve dedicated to creating these laundry bags for our deployed sailors, they will be put to good use and are a lovely home-touch to an otherwise at times harsh and formidable environment. 
Best regards


Hi Melissa,
            Thank you very much for my quilt and linen bag, to say I was blown away when I opened the box would be an understatement. I can’t even begin to imagine where you found the big bunnies and the fabric with the bunnies on it, absolutely brilliant. I put it straight on my bed when I got back to my tent and sent pictures to my mum and my wife, both of whom were extremely impressed.

I am in the RAAF currently serving a deployment in the Middle East Region. I am an Aircraft Structural Technician by mustering but have spent most of my time here in Operations, which takes care of the day to day running of a very active Airbase. It gets busy at times and the days can be long. I am almost halfway there. I am married with 2 kids, 7 and nearly 4. I currently live in Adelaidebut have enjoyed postings all over Australia in my 17 year career.

When I’m back in Oz I like to cook barbeques, I have 2 webers, a charcoal rotisserie and a 7 burner gas barbeque. I also like to ride BMX with the kids, I have my own bike, (because I’m a big boy now) and I enjoy fixing up bikes for the kids in my spare time. I have a Staffordshire terrier called Dolly and 3 snakes called Bellatrix, Malfoy and Salazaar.

Over here we are getting warmer, we have had one day in the 50 degree range and we had a run of 11 days above 43. Most of my time is spent working or sleeping, but in my down time I hit the gym and watch movies and if time permits we go off base and explore the country. I have deployed with a good bunch of people, some of whom I have known for years, but some have become friends during the deployment.

I would like to thank you again for the time and effort you put into my quilt and linen bag, it really does mean a lot to get a bit of Australia while over here, we are immersed in military here, we eat, sleep and live it every day and everyone we socialize with is military too. Being over here really makes you appreciate what we have in Australia and how important family is. 

Thanks again, and best wishes to you and your family.

Dear Jan-Maree,

I am a sailor from HMAS Waller. Earlier this year we received a delivery from Aussie Hero Quilts.

I would like to commend Aussie Hero Quilts for the supply of Laundry Bags. It was a huge morale boost to the crew and the thought was appreciated by all.
After months away from friends and family, it was a nice surprise to receive something that somebody had gone to the trouble of  making by hand.

I’m not sure if all the crew will make the time to contact the makers of the laundry bags but please,  on behalf of the crew of HMAS Waller pass on my gratitude to all involved.  

I congratulate you on the success of your organisation and also encourage you to continue your support for the troops.

Kind regards,

A lovely thank you to Sally R for a laundry bag she made… 

Good morning Maam

Just sending a thank you message for my care package I really appreciate it and put a smile on my face.

I’m fortunate to know all about Portland been there few times to play footy as I grew up in Warrnambool and have even headed your way for a surf now – had 18 years in Warrny. I’m a bombers supporter so hoping they can have a better second half of the year.  My wife is mad bulldogs so trying to persuade the 2 kids to come over to the bombers side is a bit hard being away. Yes this is my first deployment I’ve been in for 5 years so glad I have got the opportunity.
Thanks again 

Hi Jean,
First I would like to apologise for the tardiness in responding to you. I have found myself so caught up in my work that I’m a little ashamed to admit that I forgot to reach out and thank you for the laundry bag you made me.
I am very appreciative of the effort you and the rest of the team at Aussie heroes put in to make our lives a bit more comfortable and trust me it goes along way in keeping our morale high whilst we are serving overseas.
Once again thank you so much for your support, it means more than you know.
Best regards,

Dear Irene, 

Thankyou very much for the quilt. You have done an amazing job and I will use it with pride. It is a fantastic thing that you all do and it is greatly appreciated by everyone here. Please keep it up and know that you brighten our days with your kind hard work. 


Dear Jean,

I have just received the delightful laundry bag.
It is such a treasure and looks too good to be used for dirty uniforms.

I am married with 2 wonderful daughters – one an officer in the Army and the other a doctor.

I am currently posted to XXXX so have had to spend a great deal of time away from my family.
This deployment has added to the sense of separation.

I find the efforts of you and your colleagues overwhelmingly generous.
The joy it brings to each and every one of us cannot be overstated.
From the most hardened old soldier (I am the oldest AUS in theatre) to our most junior, each one of us is greatly moved by your support.

Thank you once again for your thoughts, appreciation and very tangible support.

Kind regards,


Hello Joy,

I’ve just received a lovely laundry bag in the post here in Kabul. And with it came your letter. Thank you very much for the bag and for helping out with Aussie Hero Quilts.

Now, I know there is always the possibility of items getting mixed up in the mail however I like to think you made the particular laundry bag that I ended up with! It’s main feature is one side being the map of Australia. It is absolutely great and I chose it for that very reason.
You will have to forgive me though. I think for my next 5 months in Afghanistan I will leave it up on my window as a room decoration, as I love the Australian map and planning where I want to travel next. It will most certainly be used as a laundry bag in the future, if not for me then for my kids (hopefully!).

It is such an inspirational thing that you are doing here Joy. I really do appreciate your effort in doing a little thing that makes people feel much appreciated. Well, each of the items is no ‘little thing’ I know – a lot of work goes into it.

I grew up in Central Qld, west of Rockhampton on cattle properties. Mum was often sowing after dinner; some of our ripped jeans or shirts, a blanket for a new baby somewhere or a small item for someone’s wedding. I certainly know the effort that it takes. Thinking of this, I should really ask Mum to make one and contribute to AHQ because of the joy it will give someone.
Thank you again Joy.


Hi Ladies, (Crib Point Community House)

I received one of your laundry bags on my way through AMAB to Afghanistan a few months ago. I just wanted to say thank you.  Your effort is much appreciated and the bag has been very useful over here. Also, the bag will be a treasured memento when I return home and I will continue to use it everyday.

It’s great to know we have the support of everyone back home and gifts like the laundry bags lifts your spirits and makes you proud to be Australian. The more I travel the more I realise Australia really is the best place in the world and we are very lucky to live there.

Once again thank you and keep up the good work!

Hi Anne,

Your quilt arrived last week – it is lovely. I have written you a more detailed letter as I still like the opportunity to send a hand written note so I won’t duplicate my efforts too much here.

Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into making it, it is much appreciated. I told my parents about the quilt (plus sent a photo) and I think they now want to put something in their local newspaper about it as they come from a small country town and these sort of ‘good news’ stories are always good.  

Hope all is well is Tasmania and not too cold.

Kindest regards,

Dear Bridget,

I was simply blown away by the generosity, skill and artistry you showed in presenting me with a personalised quilt ad laundry bag.  Brilliant!! I was touched and totally surprised by the gesture on the day I opened the care package.  Since then I have used both items with pride.

I am 2/3 of the way through my deployment here, working alongside US and NATO counterparts, in a mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan Air Force.  It is a rewarding and challenging proposition.  The best parts are, of course, getting to know our multinational coalition and Afghan friends.  Teamwork is absolutely the key ingredient to success.  The worst part, of course, is being away from loved ones and friends, especially during those occasions where we all should be together; Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, ANZAC Day and so on.  This makes the gift of quilts and laundry bags – made with care and attention (and great skill), all the more moving.

Thank you Bridget, and good luck with leisure time (if you actually have any), your hobby and your continued care of your fast moving family.



Dear Bridget,

I recently received a laundry bag that was sent by you, and I wish to thank you for the very kind gesture that you have made.  I am currently serving with the Royal Australian Air Force in the Middle East Region, and am deployed as part of the Air Task Group on Operation OKRA.  To receive packages from Australia is very comforting; knowing that you are being thought of and supported.

Whilst it is hard being away from family and friends, especially over holidays and family occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, we have very good support and activities planned that allow us to look after each other and keep morale high.  This week we will be celebrating Anzac Day, and those who have served before us.  It will be a very special day to be in the Middle East Region.
On behalf of the Airmen and women deployed with the Air Task Group, thank you for your continued support.

Good Morning Sandy,

This email is to thank you and all your ladies who assisted in making the quilt for me.

I received it in the mail yesterday and was very impressed in the pattern and incorporating the labradors and also the way it was made.

I realised it took a lot of time and effort which I greatly appreciate and will keep it in my family always as a reminder of the effort you ladies put into every quilt you make.

Anyway thank you very much.…..

No photos to share this week so decided to bring back one of my favourites. This quilt was made from blocks sent in with an ANZAC Theme and now hangs in the Coalition hospital  in Iraq.   It remains one of my favourite quilts but also one of my favourite photos!

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

Jan-Maree xx

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