Grati-Tuesday 12 April

Written by AHQ

12 April 2016

I have been out of the “office” for most of the day today as I was the guest speaker for the Southern Highland Quilters in Mittagong.    I have a few emails waiting for attention and will get to them as soon as I can.  In the mean time, yesterday I received a very happy email from our chaplain on board HMAS Darwin which he said I was welcome to share….

JM – today was a big day for HMAS Darwin. 

We had 98 bags of mail and a huge number of quits and laundry bags. 
We will work on a disk of photos and I  know many will send you photos direct. 
The one  thing to say is there have been a lot of tears of joy today. 
So much love, so much incredible creativity, so much thoughtfulness, so much skill. 
I am constantly amazed at the quilts and laundry bags that mean so so so much to those who receive them. 

So often today – across all rank, and including the captain, someone has seen me and said….. 

” Hey Padre – hey padre come and look at my quilt. ”  I get to share in so much joy. 
A tired crew from two long patrols all of a sudden has a spring in their step. 

As you know Jan- Maree – sailors can be a tough lot- but the care, the love and the commitment of your quilters has melted many a heart on HMAS Darwin today. 

Well that just made my day!


and from other recipients….


Today my quilt that you have so lovingly made, arrived.  Thank you so much for the quilt, it is just perfect. I’ve attached a photo taken today, not long after opening the mail. 

I really appreciate the effort you, Jan-Maree and the whole team put in to making the quilts and send to deployed personnel.  We had a huge load of mail arrive today and there was a large number of quilts in the many boxes that arrived. Many happy sailors, proudly showing off their personalised quilts. 

I do get many onboard here questioning my loyalty, noting my New Zealand background, but although I have lived in Australia for quite a while now, I still passionately support the All Blacks and now have the quilt to reinforce the message!  And thanks also for the Melbourne Rebels scarf and chocolate! 

Sue, thank you so much for the quilt, you have made my day today, and thanks for your support to us while we are deployed. I look forward to staying in touch and hopefully meeting up when I am next down your way. 

Thank you 


Hello Irene,
One word – fabulous!!!

Thank you SOOOO much for the fabulous quilt. I love it, it is perfect!

And thanks too for the Easter goodies. Thank you SO VERY MUCH. It is fabulous and so special to receive such a beautiful handmade gift from Aus!

And Jan – please feel free to put a photo on the facebook page as well to show off such beautiful quilting craftsman ship.


Hello Bridget, 

I received my laundry bag today, it looks awesome, you ladies (and guys I guess) do a great job and provide a bit of “home”  while we are away.

It is good to hear that you have found an outlet for your hobby, I know that every time one of the guys or girls here in the office get their quilt or laundry bag, everyone is excited to see what comes out out of the bag/box, and they are always beautifully made and the material is always what we have requested.

Anyway, thanks again for the support for the troops and the laundry bag, I look fwd to seeing the quilt.


Hello Joanne,

I have received your wonderful quilt and laundry bag.

I was delighted to receive the items in our last port visit. 

I absolutely love starwars and it makes a wonderful addition to the Darth Vader clock and 5 little stuffed toys I have beside my bed.  It is funny how many other people on the ship also love star wars and are very jealous of what you have created for me.

We are nearly half way through our trip and it is these tokens which bring a massive smile to our faces after a long day.  On the ship there are not many places to get away from it all.  My cabin is also the flight office and briefing room and that small 1.8m x 1.3m bed is the only place I have where work does not touch.  Seeing the quit spread out providing some colour and fantasy makes all the difference.

Thank you again very much!!!


Hi Kaye,
I just wanted to say a big thank you for the laundry bags you sent. I chose one with an Aboriginal design and you’re right,  it does remind me of home. I smile whenever I look at it. I miss my family in South Australia,  so it’s nice to have that reminder. Thanks again for all your support. The work your group does brightens our day. Best wishes and thanks again.

 Hi Christine

Thankyou for the beautiful quilt, it’s perfect and I like older aircraft much more than the newer ones.
I have been deployed to this area twice before, but working on different aircraft and in a different country. All up I have been in this part of the world 11 months.
I appreciate the time you have put into making this blanket for me, part of my job is industrial sewing, so I understand the effort put into this.”

Dear Sandy, 

I have recently arrived overseas on Deployment for the ADF. I am a member of the Royal Australian Air Force and come from Newcastle NSW where my wife and children await me!

As part of my duties here, I am lucky enough to coordinate the distribution of the wonderful laundry bags and quilts the fabulous volunteers from Aussie Hero Quilts produce for us. I found your letter in one of the bags about to be allocated and could not help but write to you. 

For me personally it is a great honour to serve my country, made all the better by amazing volunteers such as yourself. It means a heck of a lot to all the serving members knowing many people care for and think of us back home.

Please accept my thanks on behalf of all I work with.


Dear Sue,
Thank you for the time and effort you have put into making the quilt and laundry bag for me.
I have the quilt on my bed and it is a colourful reminder of home. I will be heading back to Canberra soon as my deployment nears the end and I am looking forward to being reunited with my wife and my two young daughters after six months away.
Thank you again for your great service.

Gratefully yours.

Dear Maree J,

Just a quick note to thank you for the laundry bag. I will now be able to recognise mine from the others and my two children who are Scouts will no doubt be using it for years to come.
It is great to know that what we are doing over here is appreciated back home. It is a shame that the Vietnam Veterans were not appreciated and treated in the same way.
Thank you again


Not sure how you came across my details and tastes in motorcycles but thank you for the laundry bag and letter Di T.  Australians like you are one of the main reasons Australian soldiers deploy to far away places. Service to ones country can be carried out in many ways.   Thank you for yours. 



Just wanted to write a quick thank you for the wonderful gift you made and sent through recently.

When I originally arrived on deployment, I noticed a quilt hanging proudly in our break-out room and enquired about who donated it.  I quickly learned about the great work you all do there at Aussie Hero Quilts and how many people were proud of the ones they had received (most people had deployed multiple times with theirs). I was initially reluctant to ask for anything since I figured there would be plenty of people that would benefit from your generosity, but I was quickly convinced that something that had a personal touch would be a welcome addition when separated from my family.

So when you package arrived in the mail on Thursday and I received my personal laundry bag (complete with the space theme which I love), I was pretty chuffed. It does stand out in the laundry here…perfect.

Your personal note and extra goodies were also well received…I’m trying to be good but the MMs are already gone

So thank you again for your kind effort and will treasure the gift as a reminder of my time over here.



Hi lovely quilters,

I was just skyping my daughter in the middle east and she was telling me and showing me the lovely laundry bag she just received with her initials embroidered on to make it personal.

Thank you from a very proud mother, who appreciates what you have done for her daughter.

Hi Cath – and family,

Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness and generosity in creating the Singing in the Rain-themed laundry bag for me. I arrived in XXXX today to find it waiting for me in the ship’s mail bags, and although you describe it as a small token, it means a lot to me and will often make me smile – wherever I may be – and think of that infectiously cheery scene. Please feel free to let your sons know that their quality/lameness checks on your fabric selection are proving very successful. Even I can tell that the bag will last for years and years.

I had no clue how anyone would decide to approach the theme request, but the silhouette looks great – its quiet subtlety is also perfect for me. I also thought the Australian flags around the drawstring were a lovely touch. I am glad that you enjoyed creating one to this theme – I thought it might be a bit different.

I can’t say I’ve ever visited XXXX, though I spent a few months in Canungra in QLD last year, which seemed to be a very nice part of the country. I grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne, and have lived in Sydney, Cairns and Canberra since joining the Navy five years ago, so I can’t really imagine what it’s like to live on fifty acres, though I hope it is as peaceful and beautiful as I am imagining it to be.
When I’m not at sea, my favourite pastime is ballroom dancing – I thought of Gene Kelly when trying to come up with a subtle dancing-related theme to request (one has to keep up appearances). I’m also known to spend hours playing bridge on the slightest excuse, and for being nutty about dogs. My family currently own a Shetland Sheepdog and a Rough Collie, though unfortunately I need to cram a year’s worth of affection for them into one or two visits each year. Still, there’s nothing like a doggy welcome when one finally gets home.

Thanks again for the bag (and tim tams!), I will enjoy telling people that Cath from Aussie Hero Quilts made it for me when they inevitably ask about it on future postings. I will have to see how many countries in the world I can take it to over the years.

With warm regards,

Morning Jacqui, 
                               I would like to thank you for the Laundry Bag you made for myself.
I could not be happier with the design and colour scheme of the bag. I am a mechanic
looking after a fleet of over  40 vehicles and the laundry bag represents that. You have 
done a fantastic job and it will come to great use whilst I’m here. Also I would 
like you to thank the News agency that donated the car magazines, which have been 
great reading. 
                             Once again , thank you for everything. It makes me feel proud that people 
back home in Australia appreciate the work we are doing over here.

                 P.S  I hope you are getting on top of those bandicoots digging up you lawn.                          



Shared on Facebook this week….

Big thank you to Lesley Poole for my quilt. It means so much to all of us on deployment to receive these. 

Thank you for all of your support for past and current serving members


Got my Laundry bag a couple of days ago….thank you very much to Jan and the team of young ladies. I’d like to give a bigger thank you to Su J who made my Laundry bag…..I love it, it is just like I was hoping it would be 

smile emoticon

For information, everybody who received a laundry bag the other day all had a smile on their face, especially when proudly telling everyone about them…..there are some very happy people over here 

wink emoticon

Thank you again to all who gave their time for us to make the bags, Su….Thank you very much 


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

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  1. kiwikid

    Another wonderful post. So good to see the photos.


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