Written by AHQ

29 April 2014

G’day all.   I hope this finds you all with a smile of your dial.  

I know these messages never fail to put a smile on my dial.   
I think some of these are extra special so I have enlarged the font so that you don’t miss them.  Enjoy!

First up we have some photos sent to me by one of the chaplains of some of our recipients.  

Alicia made this gorgeous quilt.  I am told he loves it!

Rachel made this gorgeous nurse themed quilt and to quote the chaplain “she is over the moon” with it.  What more could any quilter ask but for a response like that!

Sue N (SA) made this gorgeous quilt top.  It was quilted by Stephanie T, bound by Del and sent off by me.  Another response that made me smile.

I GOT MY QUILT!!! Thank you so so much Sue, Stephanie, Del and Jan Maree for all the work that has gone into it… before I read the letter I was looking at it so closely thinking how do they do all that quilting to it.. Then how do they do the border so neat… This has inspired me and when I get home from my deployment I will be trying to help make some of these too… I will write a letter and send it back to you soon. Thank you, there is so much work involved in making these quilts , we are all talking about you here and really appreciate what you do for us all.


Hi Fran,
You made me the most amazing quilt. Thank you so much, it is absolutely gorgeous.
It takes pride of place on my bed. Most Friday and Saturday nights, there is a group of us who have a movie night on base, and we all take our quilts with us (I will try and get a photo for you). I have had so many comments on how amazing mine is.
Thank you.



Thank you so much for the Laundry Bag. I can’t being to tell you how much it made my day. 

We sit over here in the heat on long shifts away from the ones we love missing home, then this arrives to really makes my day.

I live in Qld on the coast and am looking forward to returning home.
Once again, thank you! and go QLD ! 


Hello Angela,

I have today received the quilt you made for me, I know that you sent if a little while ago but in the meantime I have moved locations and am now a little further away in country.

Takes a little while for the post to catch up sometimes.

Thank you so very much for the time and effort you put into this quilt, I was extremely happy with the way it turned out, even though I really had no idea how it would look.  There is certainly no way that I could replicate or buy something like this – it is certainly one of a kind. 

I know we have not met before but for those that know me, would know that this quilt fits me to a tee.

I have read your letter and was quite impressed with your group the Chatting Chooks. I am fortunate to have a few friends that I have had since primary school and I like to think that there are a few people in your life that you can call your lifelong friends, those that will be there for you with whatever you need. In some cases a good group of friends can provide a substitute when you don’t have family close by.

It is probably difficult for you to understand the actual impact your quilt making has on soldiers over here.  Since I heard about what you guys do with these quilts I have noticed them around. Not on beds or being used as blankets but mostly placed on walls or doors, displayed proudly and often talked about. 

Whilst the quilts ultimately do serve a practical purpose, they achieve a lot more. The quilts give soldiers a sense that someone back in Australia cares and appreciates what they are doing. Some of these soldiers don’t really understand why they are here and weather it is worthwhile or not, worst of all a lot of Australia do not even realise there are still soldiers operating in Afghanistan, some in harms way. The quilts tell them that someone is listening. 

Soldiers are a funny breed, it is not often that they stop to appreciate things, in fact some of the things that come out of their mouths would shock and disgust even the most crude of us. Their job is to always be on the front foot, keep moving forward. SO when a quilt comes it is an interesting site to watch. They are never made fun of, often they all gather around to have a look, see if the quilt captures the personality of the person. 

Anyway I am sure that you know these are appreciated or else you would find something more worthwhile to do with your time, I just thought my point of view might help.

Angela I am truly grateful for the quilt and for the effort that you put in for all of the soldiers. For now like others my quilt will sit proudly slung over my bunk where it can be seen. 

Enjoy your time with the Chatting Chooks.

Kindest Regards, 


Dear Anne,

I received your very thoughtful care package yesterday afternoon. I would like to start by thanking you for taking time out to put the package together. I would also like to offer my appreciation for the long hours you must have spent making the laundry bag which is now in use. A special thanks for the NSW Fire Fighter T- shirt which I know is hard to get and has become my pride and joy. Please pass my thanks on to the ladies who give up their time to make the quilts and laundry bags, they are very much appreciated by the military personnel overseas.

The temperature is starting to warm up here, yesterday we had 50.8 degrees and although we have air-conditioning it is quite warm. We have ice vests to lower the temperature and they are used quiet frequently. By the time the cooler weather arrives here it will be time to go home to the summer at Katherine. We are currently working 12 or 24 hour shifts although the 24 hour shifts are sleeping shifts.

Easter has passed and I hope you had quality time with your family. Tomorrow is ANZAC day and I am sure you know that this day is a special day for military personnel. We are all looking forward to the dawn service and as it will occur whilst we are on active service it will be more special.

Once again thank you for the care package it will keep me going for ages. 

All the best for now and don’t forget to pass on my thanks to the ladies.


Hi Jan-Maree just letting you know my laundry bag arrived today. It’s absolutely beautiful and receiving the package really brightened up my day. Thank you so much for taking the time to make it – the effort you put in really shows.  You are such a special person to do this. Thank you again!

This email is from a fellow who received his quilt lately.   He wrote to me as well as to his quilter, Jillianne.  

Again, I am truly moved by all of your support.  Although you have called us heroes, I would like to turn that around and highlight that you and your wonderful team of volunteers are certainly my (and I can speak for some others onboard HMAS Darwin) our heroes.  Your organisation is the only one (outside of RSLs) that I know of that takes the time to remind us of all the good things about home and makes a lot of what we do that much easier.  I will certainly be contacting Jillianne via email and letter to personally thank her for the wonderful quilt – her work is a masterpiece.  It will be commissioned into service tomorrow and is expected to serve with pride and distinction during what remains of our Middle East deployment and beyond.  

and to his quilter…..note he has assigned his quilt a PM Keys 🙂


I hope that this email finds you well.  

The Aussie Hero Quilt 8520XXX arrived onboard HMAS Darwin today (28 Apr 14).  It is an amazing work of art and your loving attention to detail is evident in each stitch and graphic.  I also note that it has been custom made to accommodate my little larger than average frame!  
To try and convey my sincerest thanks in an email is difficult as your act of kindness has moved me deeply.  It is exactly what I wanted and I do not think that I could have designed it any better than what I see before me.  I chose aeroplanes as the topic for the quilt as my son has a love for all things airborne and so this item of fine stitching and graphics allows me to connect with him when I miss him the most.  Your choice of colours has also brought a dash of brightness to what is otherwise formal uniform colours within a warship.  It certainly has added a dash of personality to my cabin and has brightened up my day.  HMAS Darwin’s Aviation Department have made a number of substantial offers to have it transferred into their care – but am happy to report that it is being jealously guarded. 
I would also like to point out to you that I received this item the first Monday after Anzac Day and so for me personally it has a little more meaning in that I will associate it with great Australians both abroad and more importantly at home who sacrifice for our welfare.  That includes you wonderful ladies of the AHQ organisation – your act of kindness and charity is received with a warm heart and will be well maintained, used and cared for through out what remains of our deployment and beyond.
AHQ 8520XXX will be commissioned into service tomorrow morning.  The reason for this, is that it is so perfect that I am struggling to put it to use for fear of spoiling it.  
I will be sending you a separate letter to thank you and to provide you a little about my background.
Once again, thank you so much for your wonderful gift – it certainly has made this sailor’s day.   

And this one is kind of special ….
from a quilter’s son to the lady who made him a laundry bag.

Hi Linda,
I recently received a laundry bag from you. I just wanted to write and thank you for your generosity! It was such a nice surprise to receive one as I hadn’t signed up for the program as of yet. My mother is a keen quilter from Adelaide and I believe she organised it. It is such a nice gesture to receive a laundry bag from back home. The post card is also really nice, I love Perth and think its a beautiful city.
> On behalf of all of us over here receiving laundry bags and quilts, thank you for your time and effort providing us with just a little bit of home.
> Kind regards,

Have a great night everyone!  Sewing day here tomorrow and the sewing day in Penrith on Sunday.  Please let me know if you think you can make it to either day, even if you are a regular as the regulars can’t come every time and I need to be organised for it.
Till next time……………….keep spreading the word and happy stitching!  JMxx

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1 Comment

  1. Sue Niven

    Just wonderful, every single thing we do is really special, it shows and spurs me on even more.


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