Grati-Tuesday 11 August

Written by AHQ

11 August 2015

Dear Jan-Maree,
I’m emailing you photos of the Aussie Hero Quilt that we have hanging on the wall in the hospital.

Thank you very much for sending it to us. It not only adds colour, but is a constant reminder that people at home do appreciate the work that folk do here.

I’m the chaplain for the Task Group, and spend quite a bit of time with the medical team – who are awesome. Because photography is my hobby I get to take photos of people and events. The quilt is the most colourful thing here by a long shot.

Please thank everyone involved in the project, and know that what you do is very much appreciated.

and from the medical staff…

Hi Jan-Maree,

I wanted to write and say a big thank you to every crafter who had input to the wall hanging and the 4 quilts we have currently received at the ANZAC Role 2 hospital.

Everyone who has seen the quilts has been awed by your kindness and generosity. And they have certainly brought some colour and life to our otherwise very dreary surroundings.

We have been touched by the kind sentiments written on the wall hanging. The embroidered patch with our hospital logo on it is truly amazing, and we love the designs which have been quilted. We have named our two wards, one with an Australian theme (the Bullwinkle ward), and one with a New Zealand theme (the Jacinda Baker ward). The two quilts which came via Julie Ann in Adelaide have found their way  into our Aussie ward (we loved the animals!!), and the other two which came via Tess have a slightly more Maori feel in the quilted designs, so they have landed on the beds in the Kiwi ward.

Apologies for not writing the moment the wall hanging arrived, I was expecting the ones for the beds to turn up at roughly the same time as the first one. For some reason something went awry with mail to this location, and they got separated in transit. Thankfully they have all been reunited now, much to our delight.

I believe our chaplain has sent a photo of the quilt as it hangs on the wall in our tea room. I have asked him to send photos of the beds in the wards as soon as he is able. I am also in the process of trying to get you a photo of our team so you can see whose lives you are brightening. This comes with the usual dramas of operational security, so this may prove difficult.

Please accept my thanks on behalf of the medical and nursing team at the ANZAC R2E hospital on OP Okra/Manawa.

It turns out that we have only provided enough quilts for ONE ward so they are currently shared across the two wards meaning that two beds in each ward have UGLY brown blankets on them.  

Not happy JAN!!!  

So make sure you check out tomorrow night’s post as i have a plan to rectify that with some great quilts perfect for the Jacinda Baker Ward.  I will also tell you more about these two remarkable women because if you don’t know who they are, I think you should.

Here are the rest of the thank you messages.

Dear Mrs Carter

I am writing in response to the beautifully crafted laundry bag that I have received and to let you know how much I appreciate the gift.

The laundry bag that you have spent so much care and time creating is an excellent visual expression of my favourite colours, red, white and blue. I personally understand the time taken, dedication and passion for quilting as my mother in law also makes quilts.

Once again than you for your effort: please find enclosed a small token of my appreciation. I am proud to our our county and profoundly grateful for your support.
Yours Sincerely

Dear Marcia,
I have just received a parcel in the mail which brightened my week! It was my new laundry bag! I have been using big black garbage bags to do my washing but this is a fantastic upgrade!
I am a mad Port Adelaide fan, in fact my father used to play for them way back in the early 70s.
A little bit about me – I live in XXXXX and I am married with three children. My two girls are 8 and 5 and my son is 18 months old. And yes, it is very hard being away from the little rat bags! This is my third deployment with the ADF, serving twice before in Afghanistan and progressively the technology has improved so much that I can spend time on Skype every day if I wish to, but I don’t think I would get any work done!!!

Thank you very much for the laundry bag and the lollies! I really appreciate the effort you have gone to, not only making the bag itself, but supporting us soldiers!
Kind Regards,

Dear Lynda, 
so early into my time in Afghanistan it was such a lovely surprise to receive your quilt and the message attached – my sincere thanks to you and all your team for your work in making our men and women know they are in people’s thoughts and prayers while on active service.

Please say hello to XXXXXX too – it was very good of him to pass on my name to you and I love the design.  If we get another snowy winter ( hard to imagine at the moment ) the quilt will get plenty of use !  Please keep up your great mission – it is much appreciated,

Safe travels and God bless

For Sylvia

I received my Quilt today, safe and sound.

It is fantastic, and bought a huge smile to my face when I opened the box.

A big Thank you, to you, and to all of the Ladies involved in making these quilts and laundry bags.

Kind Regards


Dear Pam,

Thank you so much for the lovely quilt. It has really brightened up my bed – I share with one other girl and she was lucky enough to receive a quilt too so we have quite a colourful room!
I’m one of around 30 officers onboard. This is my second deployment to the Middle East but first time in this area on a ship. My husband was in the Navy too and has also deployed up here; so, between us we’ve spent a fair amount of time apart over the past few years. It’s so nice to know that people know about our deployment and appreciate the work that we’re doing. As you will have guessed from my quilt request I love animals, particularly cats. I have two cats and three horses waiting for me at home. My husband and I have just bought 105 acres so there’ll be plenty of room to add more to our menagerie!
We’ve had quite a busy but successful deployment. Hopefully you will have seen us on the news or in the newspaper. We’re in the home stretch now and looking forward to getting back to our family and friends.

Thank you again for taking the time to make such a beautiful quilt and sending on your well wishes. All the best to you, your children and grandchildren.

Dear Julie
I have just received your Quilt.  It is absolutely beautiful, thank you for the awesome blue colours,  I will treasure it forever.  We are all safe and well,  the heat here at the moment is extremely hot, so I won’t be using the quilt here,  but will definitely take it home with me when I leave.

I am grateful that you could take the time to make it for me.  It has absolutely made my day.  Thank you very much.

Kind regards

             Dear Julie Ann,

             I and the rest of my team were delighted to receive such splendid laundry bags
             from yourself. The skills used to make them are remarkable, and the embroidery is absolutely superb.

             I know for myself that at one of the locations I was travelling through on Afghanistan there was a brief shortage of linen,
             in particular pillowcases and your laundry bag saved the day.

             I also appreciate all the dogs. I have never had the pleasure of having my own dog, but hopefully next year my girlfriend
             and I will rescue a retired greyhound.

             Again, many thanks and best wishes.


Good morning Jan-Maree,

Please excuse the lateness of my reply, I have been away from my location for the last fortnight.

Upon returning yesterday, I found my quilt waiting for me on my desk. I opened the package and I was struck with what an amazing job the quilter did. Not only me, but others loved the excellent design and creativity displayed in my quilt (and all other quilts). I’m not sure whether to hang it up or use it!

Please extend a very special thank you to quilter Kitty who completed this quilt. She has mentioned in her card that she plans on visiting Canada next winter – she may need her own quilt!

Thank you very much for organising these amazing quilts. Everyone here is very impressed with the amount of work and creativity that goes into them.

Good Afternoon Jean,

I wanted to write you a quick email to say thank you very much for taking the time to create such a wonderful laundry bag! I am so very happy with the result – very impressive, especially considering you made the logo yourself (I showed my mum who has done a few quilts in her time and even she was impressed!)!!! I have already put it to good use and it’s also being used as a morale booster on my wall…it really adds to the ‘home’ feeling of my room.

It’s currently 50+ degrees here every day which makes the training hard, but luckily the soldiers we train are very motivated and keen to learn from us – comforting knowing the troubles they have in this country. 

We still have 3-4 months left here but time is going very quickly, thankfully we’ll be home before Christmas so we’ll be able to see family and friends over the festive season – I look forward to my Nan’s Christmas pudding the most!!!

Anyways, just a quick reply to you – again, I thank you so much, and I wish you all the best!

I am currently working in Kabul. I received a laundry bag from Aussie Hero Quilts that was made by you. First let me say that my laundry bag before I received your parcel was the floor at the foot of my bed or once a week it was a pillow case when I washed my bed.  So thank you.  Thank you to yourself and to Aussie Hero Quilts for taking the time to do this for myself and my team.  It’s great to know that there are people in Australia that still do this even after the rest of Australia see our war as over.

Please keep doing what you are doing as it is greatly appreciated and this is something that I will be able to keep using for many trips to come.

Have fun and stay safe


Hi Stephanie D,
Firstly, I would like to say thank you very much for the wonderful job you did with my quilt and laundry bag. I think you did a fabulous job, even if the colour scheme had you thinking “how am I going to be able to do this one?” I have had a close look, and I reckon there are close to “50 Shades” of grey in it, lol.
So a little bit about myself………

One of the best life experiences I have enjoyed is coming home after deployment. It is right up there with getting married and the birth of my children. I have no doubt there will be tears of happiness on the wharf when I get home.
Enough about me…..
Again, I want to thank you for not only ‘my’ quilt, but for all the quilts you have already made for ADF personnel and for those that you will make in the future. It is nice to know we are being thought of while we are away. Your efforts and those of your fellow quilt makers keeps us that little bit closer in contact with Australia. All the quilts certainly are a big hit and it is like xmas day when they arrive – lots of happy faces and appreciative people. I am sure all the quilts will be prized items with our kids when we get home! Can I ask how long they take to make? I might need to look at getting into sewing and making some for my kids lol.
So Stephanie, thankyou again for my quilt and laundry bag, your support for our troops is much appreciated.
I hope this email finds you and your family in good health,


Hi Kay,

Thank you so much for my quilt & goodies.  I love it.  It really is perfect and exactly what I wanted.  It really brightens up an otherwise very dull looking room over here.  
I’m sure it will always bring back the good memories of my deployment & it will be something I can take with me on future deployments to get me through some of the harder days that you have while you’re away.

You are very lucky to live in the Victorian ski fields.  I used to go skiing at Mt Hotham with my family when I was growing up.  It really is a beautiful part of the country.  

Thank you again for your hard work.

Kind regards,

G’day Gwenda,

Just a quick email thank  yourself and girls for the lovely laundry bags and quilts you send to us over here. It is really appreciated!

Please keep up the good work everyone loves what you’re sending over to us.

Thank you again and take care

Dear Ellen,

Thank you so much for the gorgeous quilt that I now have to call my own. I really appreciate the time and effort that goes into making a quilt.

I had the biggest smile on my face when I opened the package. I adore it. It is such a simple yet lovely gesture. You mentioned that I was your first, you are very talented and I encourage that you continue to make others serving as happy as your gift has made me.

Receiving mail is the best part of my week to be honest. It is a nice way of connecting with back home and the smallest things can seem huge.

I have already learnt to appreciate what we have at home a lot more. This is my first deployment and it has been an eye opener. We are all very lucky to have such generous people back home willing to dedicate their time to doing something special for someone they have never meet, it is very selfless.

Again I would like to thank you and try to portray my sincere appreciation for the quilt.

Kind regards,

Hello Joan,
I just wanted to say thank you for the effort that you and the rest of the volunteers from Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags go to. I absolutely love my laundry bag (note it was a tiger one) and it means a lot to know that people outside my family appreciate what we do. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I had to wait until I could find a card and semi-reliable postal service. Once again thanks for all you hard work.


Hi Jean,

I’ve just received my laundry bag and wanted to say thank you for the gift and the letter. I’m sure you can appreciate that receiving mail/ care packages like yours is a welcomed injection of morale.

Once again a sincere thank you for my gift and for the work you and your busy team are doing as part of Aussie Heroes. We are very fortunate and grateful for the support you give us. 

This is a little unusual but sometimes you see a need and you just have to fill it. A while ago I heard that a team of medics was missing their daily vegemite on toast and, having lived overseas myself, I know what that is like!  I could not help myself so organised two parcels of small vegemite jars and sent them of – well you have got to look after the medics as they do such a great job looking after all our other heroes!

Till next time…………..keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree xx

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