Grati-Tuesday 11 May

Written by AHQ

10 May 2016

G’day all,
More lovely messages tonight. Grab a cuppa and enjoy.

Hi Lisa R,
I just thought I would drop you a quick note to let you know that my Aussie Hero Quilt arrived recently!
I sincerely appreciate the time and effort you have put into making it for me.

Attached is a picture to show you it is now in use – believe it or not the UAE is now cold enough to justify a blanket at night.

Keep up the good work! 


Hi Jan Maree,
Thank you for the fantastic quilt you arranged for me (made by Norma A), it has brightened up my room while I am deployed and will continue to do on my deployments to come! Thank you again for the great work you do running AHQ, I know that everyone who has got one of your quilts or laundry bags is truly thankful for it.
Kind Regards,

Hi Anna, I am currently deployed onboard HMAS Darwin in the Middle East. I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all your time and effort that went into my quilt and launrdy bag. I am overwhelmed with excitement and joy. I will cherish this special gift for ever and will pass this down to my children. I have posted a photo on the AQH facebook page, so I hope you got to see it. Thank You again,


Hi Deb!
Just a card to say a massive thank you for the parcel I received! 
I absolutely love the laundry bag…’s officially the “girliest” thing I own over here – which is great because the boys won’t steal it!
I will get lots of use with it here and at home.
Thank you for putting in the time and effort – it goes a long way, I can assure you.

I live in Brisbane, but am from Perth so I return there every year for Christmas and to see my family.
I still think the beaches there are the best in Australia!! 
I hope the weather has started to cool down, or at least you can make it to a beach to cool off with your fur babies.
I have another five months here before I am reunited with my dog, she’s a gorgeous German shepherd who is dearly missed!

Yes, the bookmark will come in handy – I read a fair bit to help pass the time!
Once again Deb, thank you for your support and parcel – was not expecting it!
I wish you all the best in the Perth heatwave and thank you for supporting the Australian Army and ADF.



I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you so much for my new laundry bag. I believe this one, a cricket fielding themed bag, was made by Bev F at one of the fortnightly sewing days you hold at your home as detailed in your letter.

One of my sailors was handing out the bags and chose this one for me. Whilst I was initially stoked to have been thought of, I was even more flattered when he handed me this particular bag. Why? Because in July this year I will be jet setting as a member of the ADF women’s cricket squad as we tour the UK playing the British Service teams.

I have seen so many facebook posts from my friends who have received quilts and laundry bags and have always been slightly jealous. They’ve all been so happy and the gifts have been wonderfully presented. Now I have one of my very own and I’m ecstatic.

There’s few things better than being in the middle of the ocean, with no land in sight, than to be reminded of home. This bag will be something that makes me think of my home, family and cricket for the rest of my Navy career.

Thanks again to you and Bev F, and all the other people involved in this incredibly thoughtful organisation.

Dear Dianne,

Thank you very much for the wonderful laundry bag that yourself, Dianne and Dot made for me on behalf of Aussie Hero Quilts.
I am very impressed and love the colours and personalization. 
I would also like to thank you for the letter that you included in the parcel, as it is always nice to know something about the people who have made such a generous and personal gift.

 I am currently a Major in the Australian Army and into my 14thyear of service after joining in January 2003.  I am currently in Afghanistan where I am embedded with five other Australians.
I must admit that I did not come over here with too many preconceived ideas about what I would be doing, and that worked out to be a good thing because very rarely is any day quite the same.
Suffice to say, Afghanistan is a very interesting part of the world and sometimes the time over here can feel a little surreal.  One thing that isn’t surreal is the weather and it is certainly starting to warm up!        

The efforts on behalf of volunteers such as yourself in supporting soldiers through programs such as Aussie Hero Quilts are truly appreciated by the men and women for whom they are intended.
What might sometimes seem a simple gesture has a large impact on soldiers who are away from home and their families.  The thought that someone we have never met has taken the time to make something personal for them out of kindness reminds all of us as to the reasons why we choose to serve our nation.  To that extent, I am very pleased to read that you plan to continue your efforts and that another soldier, sailor or airman/airwoman will benefit from your generous efforts.

Thank you again for your wonderful gift. 
I will definitely be holding onto it for a long time to come as a fond memory of my time in Afghanistan and the generosity of the Australian public.

Yours sincerely,

Dear Clarissa,

I received my lovely laundry bag today and just wanted to say thank you. The Aussie Hero Quilt initiative is such a wonderful and effective way of sending a powerful message to our people. While I fell undeserving, I certainly feel honoured to be a recipient of your wonderful effort.

Two years and three days ago, I completed 40 years of service in the RAAF and have been a Reservist since then. During that time I have been an aircraft engineer, explosive ordnance disposal technician, UN weapons inspector in Iraq and returned to Baghdad 18 years later to be the Defence Attaché. My experiences during that time have reinforced the fact that a career in Defence not only defends our nation, but also provides opportunities and rewards of being a member of the team. The Aussie Hero Quilt initiative indicates the much larger and, at times unseen, size of that team.

Thank you very much for your efforts!

Best regards

Dear Anna,

finally I get some time to write and say a huge THANK YOU for all the work you put into my beautiful quilt.  It is just stunning and will remain a wonderful keepsake for me of my time here, and an heirloom to pass on to my children.  We have taken some photos, but are still waiting on clearance to be able to share them.  

Your gift of service through Aussie Hero Quilts is truly appreciated, and I hope that these few words of gratitude express the deep meaning behind them.

kind wishes,


Dear Lisa,

I was fortunate enough to receive two packages from you containing my quilt and laundry bag.

To say the least, I was amazed by what I received! It is such good quality that I’m saving the quilt for when I get home in case I damage it. The laundry bag on the other hand couldn’t have come at a better time and will be put to use straight away. My old one fell apart on the last patrol.

I’d like to say a big thank-you for what you have done. It has already been a long four months away from my partner and your gifts and to know that other people care makes a big difference to people like me. How long have you been a part of Aussie Quilt Heroes? How long did the quilt take to make?

I hope that this letter finds you well and once again I thank you for supporting me.

With gratitude,

P.S. I apologise for the delay of this reply but I thought a hand written letter would be a bit more personal than an email …”

Hi Jan-Maree,
    Have received a Laundry bag from Aussie Hero Quilts. I’d just like to pass on my sincere appreciation to you and Andrea J for providing such a thoughtful gift. Before this I was using a recycled pillow case like many others onboard. The bag I chose was made with very bright and hip sharks all over the material (easy to spot). I’m sure when I get home my kids will love it. My wife who is also a quilter I’m sure will love to know about this organisation.
    At present I am at sea conducting border protection operations onboard ADV Cape Nelson. I’m not sure how many people personally emailed you but I know everyone onboard loves there brilliantly decorated laundry bags and it’s now very easy to identify other peoples laundry.

    Again thank you so much for this thoughtful gift
Hi Julie-Ann,

I was lucky enough to receive one of your gorgeous Laundry bags all the way across in Sinai, Egypt. I have attached a photo of me standing in front of the Red Sea.

I absolutely love it. It is perfect and better than I ever imagined. I use it everyday.

I am getting ready to go home in 2 weeks.  I look forward to the cooler aussie weather and being around grass again. I am sick of sand and desert. 

It has been a very challenging yet rewarding 7 months. I am gained lots of experienced and really enjoyed my deployment. Receiving care packages, like the one from you,really cheer us up and make our week better. Mail day is our favourite day. It has been taking a long time for our mail to arrive. 

Thanks so much for putting so much time and effort in. I really appreciate it and will be forever grateful.

Best wishes and kind regards,


Dear Robyn,

I am the Team Sergeant Major of one of our training teams here in Iraq.
I recently had the pleasure of handing out your laundry bag to one of the members of our team.
He was most appreciative of the gift as he can now have two loads of washing on the go at once.
As we are coming into summer here, having two washing bags is very handy.
With the temperature regularly hitting the mid 30’s and only getting hotter, I’m sure you can imagine how sweaty we get while we are training Iraqi soldiers.
It means a lot to us that you choose to put in the time and effort to make us these bags and send them over.
A big thank you also to your sister Bev for making sure the bag got over here.

Thanks again both Robyn and Bev from the members of the Iraq training team.

Yours sincerely,

Hello Bridget

Firstly thank you very much for your kind and thoughtful gift.

I am a Petty Officer in the Navy and my current job role on Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Cape Nelson. I am  currently at sea assigned to Operation Resolute and Operation Sovereign boarders. I have been In the Navy for 11 years and have been working on Patrol Boats assigned to Operation Resolute and other various tasking’s operating out of Cairns for the past 10 years.

I am also married with two children and have a pet dog that we are still confused on the type of breed she is.

When my Commanding officer told the Crew what we had received every one’s eyes light up. Laundry bags for a sailor is an extremely useful and a mandatory piece of kit as it helps keep the Ship tidy and keeps the laundry room in some sort of order. With every sailor onboard having a different pattern laundry bag it will make identifying each other’s washing a whole lot easier and less chance of losing socks. I can’t tell you how many odd socks and shirts the laundry room has claimed to hiding.

Thank you again Bridget for this unique and useful gift. This is the first time I have seen a crew or anyone in the defence receive an appreciation for their service like this. We all appreciate the time and effort you and everyone at Jan-Maree’s has put into making each bag.

Hi Deb B,

        I’ve received your gift of the laundry bag and I am blown away. It is so much more than I was hoping for. 

My team and I, and everyone on board Darwin, is in awe of the generosity of people like yourself at AHQ. Your selfless efforts bring a shot of happiness and pride to all the lucky recipients, when sometimes after long hard patrols it is difficult to see the big picture. People spend days talking about their various designs and the thought and effort put into each quilt and bag. Believe me when I say that no one is ungrateful. 

The Dive silhouette is spot on and although we don’t have a dog search capability we often talk about wanting one. With a few exceptions, dog search teams are usually embedded with Army Search Engineers. 

Despite this I really appreciate that you have put it on there. These guys (and dogs) really are the pointy end of the general forces when in country on operations. They clear roads and structures of IED’s so that other forces can get though. It is a dangerous job and despite their professionalism and extensive training it comes with a high casualty rate and their efforts often go unnoticed. 

Thank you again for the laundry bag Deb. I will put it to good use.

Kind regards,


Hi Laura,

I am a section commander currently serving in Iraq. I recently received a hand-made quilt from you through Aussie Hero Quilts. Thanks heaps, I love the design, the Thai Boxing shorts on the front look very similar to my favourite pair. I imagine my wife may have tipped them off! It is getting hot over here too and the quilt is considerably better than the cheap doona on my bed that pretty much cooks you.

Cheers for the postcard too! I lived in Cairns for a while back in 2006 when I was a chef at Green Island Resort. It was a pretty laid back town and the pubs are way better than Brisbane. I do miss the place and always kinda wished I hadn’t left. Brings back some good memories.

Thanks again Laura, I wish you the best in your Muay Thai pursuits and I hope your time in the land of smiles is awesome and well spent!


Dear Lisa N 

I recently received your quilt you made for me in a care package 🙂

I just wanted to send you an email to say a massive THANKYOU and to let you know i really appreciate the time and effort you put into not only making my quilt and sending the care package but taking the time out and sending me your letter and photos of your property.

The photos you sent look amazing.. looks like a lovely place to live. I live in XXXXX which is in Sydney.. Have lived there my whole life.. And I cant wait to return home after this deployment.

I am 26 years old and have been in the navy for 7 years. This is my 2nd trip up to the middle east on HMAS Darwin. I have also served on HMAS Tobruk(3years) and HMAS Stuart (1month) before coming onto Darwin in 2013. 

Everyone onboard who received a quilt really appreciates the work you guys do back home for us. Its a very special moment when we open the package and find our amazing quilts inside.

Also a big thankyou for the Liverpool Mug and Stickers. I have put the stickers on my locker and on my Rack(Bed). 

Once again thankyou SO MUCH for everything you have done



Hi Julie-ann,

I recently received a laundry bag from yourself, I would like to thank you for giving up your time, making me this gift!

I assure you it will get used daily on this deployment in Iraq and no doubt a few more… 

A few of our guys have received these gifts and we really appreciate what has been done for us!

Thanks again!

Hi Joan and Robin,

I received one of your laundry bags today, I want to say a big thank you for the bags and all the time you guys have put into making these for us deployed in the middle east. These bags bring a little bit of home into our deployed lives.

Thanks very much for the bags.

Kind Regards,

I just received the quilt and the letter you wrote. I would take the time to write a handwritten letter but there’s no way knowing how long it will be before I see the postie again so I hope this gets to you alright.

This is my fourth year in the army.   I’m a private currently serving with 8/9 infantry battalion in Kabul. I’m in the tactical drive team doing force protection here.

Your probably wondering why the dinosaur theme, I have a 2 year old son back home and a lovely wife. My boy loves dinosaurs at the moment and everything he wears has to have a dinosaur on it. Makes it easier for him to get dressed if he wants to wear the clothes we put him in haha.
So a quilt to remind me of him and home is perfect. I’ll bring it home with me and might even help him want to sleep in his own bed.

But for now It is put to good use with me over here.

Thanks again for the quilt I can tell you put a lot of time and effort into making it and it really shows. Thank you for supporting us.


Hello Rita and Jan-Maree,

I just wanted to write and let you both know that the quilt arrived safe and sound last week. Rita, you have done such an awesome job on the quilt, I couldn’t be happier with the finished article, it will come in handy for those cold Canberra winters that I am sure you know all about. I just want to thank you Jan-Maree as well for making this happen even after I had returned from the MER .

It was interesting to read your letter and learn a bit about the person who created this wonderful quilt. It really is a wonderful thing that you all do, giving your time and effort to create and then give away the quilts, and although I am grateful from my point of view I am just doing my job. Anyway a bit about me, I have served in the RAAF for 17 years now, I am an Avionics Technician. My recent deployment was my second to the MER.

When I was deployed, getting mail was always a morale boost, and I saw the lift people got from receiving a quilt, they where always greatly appreciated and of the highest quality. As you say sometimes it can appear that nobody back home, except the families, care as we are out of sight and life back home rolls on. Thank you for taking the time to make a difference to all the guys and girls that are over there doing their thing, you probably don’t realise how much receiving something like this is appreciated. Take care and all the best.



I have just received the quilt that you made for me, it is absolutely  awesome, everyone in the office loved it and commented on how much work you must have put into it. I am sure that when I get home, my son, will steal it for his own and it will mean a lot to him that it was made especially for me.

You ladies and gents do a wonderful job and all are greatly appreciated when they arrive, every time a quilt comes in, the whole office stops to admire… the only thing that tops getting the mail from you is mail from home… which I tell my wife is the most important thing, even above phone calls.

The treats will get shared… well some of them will, the girls are eyeing off the tim tams already. Most of us share our treats when they arrive, it adds a bit of family feeling to the office for a while.

Again, thank you for your work for me personally and for all the work that you do for all of the defence mbrs.


To Sue

I am in Malaysia in a place called Butterworth, opposite Penang Island, and have received a laundry bag that you and your grandsons Sean and Charlie made. I received the one with the purple sea serpent on the front of it.
I work in an Artillery Regiment back home that operates out of Brisbane. Thank you for taking time to make the laundry bags they are much appreciated. Also thanks for the biscuits, the boys in the platoon have already eaten them on me, they liked them heaps.

Dear Sue,

I am the Operations Officers for Rifle Company Butterworth rotation 113 (RCB 113) in Malaysia. RCB 113 is comprised mostly of soldiers from the 1st Regiment Royal Australian Artillery and supporting units based out of 7 Brigade at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane. We are currently on a three month exercise conducting jungle training.

The soldiers were pleased to receive your laundry bags. The bags were exceptional and the crafting of them must have taken you a long time. The soldiers of RCB wanted to pass on their thanks and appreciation for your gift. We appreciate your support immensely. It reassures the soldiers that their service to the nation does not go unnoticed, even if we are only training.

Please tell Sean and Charlie that they have excellent taste and the monster designs were a big hit amongst the soldiers. Your bags were highly sought after by the soldiers, especially when they discovered the sweet treats that were in them.

From the soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers of RCB 113 we thank you for your support.

Like many others, you recently completed a quilt for me in behalf of Aussie Hero Quilts. To be more specific, you completed the quilt for my daughter.
It is not possible for me to overstate my gratitude for your work. The quilt is amazing. As soon as i saw it on the website, i got my hopes up that it was in fact mine. When the postie here got in contact with me to tell me i had mail i raced straight over and, obviously, was not disappointed. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

A little about me: I’m currently in my 18th year in the Army. I’ve had the honour of deploying to various places around the world on 8 occasions, as well as traveling overseas for some training. I have (and still do) work with some of the most professional people I’ve ever met, which makes what i do so much more enjoyable. I’m very much looking forward to getting home and spending some time with my gorgeous little girl.

Thank you to your very understanding husband for putting up with your (obvious) passion for quilting. I can only imagine the “few things” you’ve collected along the way!

I’ll leave this here. I’m sure you receive plenty of “fan mail” and you can certainly add me to your list of very satisfied customers.
Thank you so much for all that you do. It is truly heartwarming.
Hi Jan-Maree,
I am very excited to write and tell you my quilt has arrived and I have fallen in love with it instantly ! Irene S is the name of the lady who created my quilt and it is just so amazing! I have taken it around camp and have been showing it off every chance I get. Thank you for what you do it is amazing and your support means a lot to us all. This quilt will be something I treasure for the rest of my life. 

Hello Lisa R, 

I just wanted to send you a really big thank you for your amazing quilt. I’m always amazed at how well these quilts come out and I know everyone who receives one are very grateful for the time and effort that are put into these quilts, myself included. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t actually the one who put in the order. I was away when my coworkers put in the order and didn’t tell me what they ordered but it turned out to far exceed my expectations. XXXX for my last name, Beagle for my nick name at work and the bananas are a personal joke at work. I really hope it wasn’t too much trouble for you but you did an amazing job. So thank you very much.

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

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