Written by AHQ

3 June 2014

G’day all.  Well what a great night last night.  It didn’t take long and I had all the volunteers I needed to make the blocks for Cameron’s quilt and that even allows us to make it a bit bigger so that it will work better for him in hospital while he is having chemo.  Well done everyone!  Some of the blocks have already been made.  These are the ones I have photos of already. 


 Robyn A
 Robyn W
 Sue N
Julie Ann

Anne B

Well done everyone.  I have a busy day ahead so any photos of blocks sent to me today may have to wait and will be shared in Thursday night’s post.

Just a quick reminder that the next sewing day is on in Penrith this weekend.  
If you are planning to come can you please let me know.  
Now it is time for some thank you messages.

Hi Angela M (NSW),

I have received your laundry bag.  I just want to say thank you very much! I have put it to good use and it has brought some much needed colour to my living quarters.  I am so impressed with the skill, craftsmanship and the quality of the bag! It must have taken you some time to make.  I don’t consider myself to be a hero, I’m just a sailor doing his job a long way from home.  Our ship, HMAS Darwin, has been quite active in the middle east area of operations, we have made several significant narcotics seizures during our time here, as well as two at sea rescue operations. So all in all quite a busy deployment.  I am looking forward to getting back home to my wife in august.  

Thank you again for this wonderful initiative, I can assure you it brings many smiles to the people who receive the quilts and laundry bags.  

I have spent a fair bit of time this week sending “Chase Up” emails.  I try to follow up as many of the quilts as I can to make sure they are arriving and that noone is missing out.  Some of these messages are the result of the emails I have been sending.
For Pam M

Good Morning Jan-Maree,

Yes, I received the quilt and it is absolutely beautiful. It makes my room look a lot more like home and it will be something I will cherish and have a story for when I get back home.

I am very appreciative of the time spent in making my quilt.
Thankyou very much for the Aussie Quilt service that is provided to members deployed.
Kindest regards


Some of you might recognise some of your BOMs in this quilt which was put together by Melissa and then sent on to is new owner.  Here is her response.

Words cannot describe how appreciative I am!  I love it!  Thank you so much!


I would like to advise that I have received my beautiful quilt from Stephanie D.  I have made contact with Stephanie and thanked her for the quilt and laundry bag.  I am not sure if my request was filled from the one that I made or one of the ones made on my behalf by my Mother in law and my friend Andrew.  Either way I am very thankful for the detail and personalisation that Stephanie added to my quilt, it couldn’t have been more perfect.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank yourself and all the other quilters for the amazing work that you do for our troops.  I don’t think words will ever be able to express the appreciation of those who are fortunate enough to have received a quilt.  A little slice of home, from someone who you don’t know, but who is supporting the job that we do is very moving.  I have witnessed this first hand, when someone receives their mail and they realise their quilt box has arrived, it is the first box opened, before any other mail they may have received.  We are all very truly thankful to you and your team. 

The Carlton mystery quilt has also arrived.


Sorry I haven’t returned your email, it has been rather hectic these last few months.
To answer your question, I received my quilt and it has taken pride of place on my bed.
Thank you for the Carlton Quilt and the laundry bag, all you guys do a great job with all the items that are sent over, the workmanship is excellent.

It is a great feeling that the guys over here are not forgotten, as a lot of personnel back on Australia have the assumption that there is no Australian Soldiers here anymore.
Once again , all the work you guys do, I have a great admiration for you all and it is greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards

For Margaret and the Old Bags and the Dag

  I have had many experiences both good and bad, during my service career but none match the pleasure of receiving the wonderful gift you and your members have given me. The amazing work that has gone into this quilt is exceptional and fits me to a tee. The cars are very colourful and brightens my sometimes plain and not so scenic environment. The sandy colour we see daily does not change much and the colours of the quilt remind me of home and our beautiful country. We are so lucky to live where we do and I ensure I take time out to appreciate this everyday. This quilt will help me think of all the good things we enjoy and the great pride I feel saying I come from such a great place.

                I thank you for the letter and the story of your members and would like to thank each and everyone of them. I am so glad they enjoy sewing these so much and would like to say on behalf of everyone who would receive such a gift, that you are all truly amazing people. 

Elsie, Bertha, Audrey, BEBS, Harold, Elaine, Jean, Barbara, I thank you all for the well wishes and for the amazing gift and hope this message finds you in good health. I am truly honoured to receive this wonderful gift from such a group of people who I should be doing things for. Once again you have made me feel very proud to serve in the defence force and I Thank YOU all for this wonderful gift.

Margaret, A special Thank You for starting the sewing club and continuing with this wonderful idea. As your profession shows you must be an amazing and caring person to do your line of work. I could never fully express my gratitude for this gift and it will be surely treasured for ever.


Good Afternoon Elizabeth,

I was recently very fortunate to receive a quilt and laundry bag expertly crafted by yourself! 

I would like to express my gratitude for such a kind gesture. This is my third tour over here and kindness like yours makes life a little easier being away from family and friends, so I thank you!

Warmest of regards


Alicia and I received thank you messages for her quilt on the same night that I sent off a chase up email.  

Hello Alicia

I have received the quilt and laundry bag that you made me and I am over the moon with it!! It was exactly what I was hoping for!

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the outstanding job you have done!
Myself and all the other diggers here really appreciate what you do as it is a tremendous morale boost for us all, 
Once again many thanks for the outstanding job!!
Warm regards


And then I received this from him as well.

Hi Jan
Yes it has (arrived) and I am absolutely thrilled with it!! It looks amazing and was exactly what I was hoping for.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the quilt and laundry bag, myself and all the others diggers here are really appreciative of what you all do!
Thanks again 
Warm regards
In his signature block this 1RAR digger signed off as part of 8PL (BODY SNATCHERS).
Well, I just had to ask why and I thought you would be interested in the story.

Hi Jan-Maree

It’s a crude yet interesting story actually that dates back to the Vietnam war
Charlie Company 1RAR that consists of three platoons, 7, 8 and 9 platoon
The story of how the body snatchers was named is this:

During the height if the Vietnam war. Each company’s had piled up the bodies of killed enemy. Each Platoon had their own pile. However 8 platoon wasn’t seeing much action at this time so in an effort to save face with the other platoons, what they used to do was take bodies from other piles and place them on the 8PL pile to give the illusion that they had had more kills.

They got caught out and were known as the body snatchers ever since

7PL are known as the “unpredictables” due to the fact they were known to get lost in the jungle from time to time making them “unpredictable” in their movements

9PL are known as the “Lepers” due to the fact that they were harboured outside the company position like a “Leper”

Warm regards

How very Australian to adopt the nickname, even an unflattering one, and keep it alive!
Dear Jan-Maree,

Did my hero quilt arrive? Yes it did and it could not have been more perfect or special. Lynn who chose the fabric and colours did a fantastic job. Getting this quilt in the mail was a big highlight of my trip as I know it is for many of the other boys. You are hard pressed to go into the lines and find a room that does not have a quilt in it or a soldier wrapped up in one. I know I will sure keep mine for years to come (hopefully on another deployment). A big warm and humbled thank you to everyone involved in the process of making this quilt, it is nice to know that people in Australia still know we are here representing our country and that they appreciate what we are doing.

Dear Stephanie, Jake and Jarryd,

Your quilt is WONDERFUL!  I particularly liked the patches painted by Jake and Jarryd. Everyone thought it was very sweet and I got to brag that three people made mine, automatically making it the best!

Aussie Hero Quilts is a fantastic organisation.  The gesture of support and to simply be thought of  is so touching.  It makes it easier for all of us to be away from home and our loved ones.

We have been home for two months now and in June I am off overseas again for three months; needless to say, it will be coming with me.  It will be a very well traveled quilt in no time and serve with me on many a warship in the future.

So thank your for your generous gift.
Warmest wishes,

And finally I had a brief exchange with a veteran of deployments in Iraq, Timor and Afghanistan with a shorter service in the Solomon Islands.  He is proud as punch that his daughter in now on HMAS Darwin and another family member will deploy to the Middle East next year.  He received a laundry bag during his time in Afghanistan and his daughter has just received her laundry bag.  He told me that when he was planning to evacuate his family from bushfires, the laundry bag was in the box packed to go as well.  Who would have thought our humble laundry bags would mean so much.  It was my turn to be humbled.  

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

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