Grati-Tuesday 13 Mar 18

Written by AHQ

13 March 2018

G’day from beautiful Canberra. 

I caught up on last night’s emails and now today I have three, maybe four meetings today so won’t be on the laptop til tonight. I will catch up though so please bear with me.   

Some great messages today… enjoy. 

Hello Kerry, Bev and Geoff,

I have received the beautiful quilt that you all hand made, and I just don’t know how to express how much your work means or how to thank you. Here goes…

The work that you and the Aussie Hero Quilts team do is so selfless. Having watched the faces of people when they receive their quilt, I can tell you that your packages are amongst the most poplar to receive. It is truly overwhelming to open the package, see the quilt for the first time and read about the people who have gone to the effort to think about us and work to create something so individualised and special. You guys sure have been the cause of more than a few quiet tears of appreciation. Thankyou for being such good humans.
A handmade gift is something special – time, love and effort goes into creating a precious heirloom, and I know it holds a place in the heart of the creator. Prior to deploying, I completed my first cross stitch project – a birth sampler for my newborn niece, and I wondered if this would be something that she would appreciate as she grew up. Now that I have received a handmade masterpiece, I can honestly say that it is one of the most special items in my possession. Thank you for the beautiful workmanship, and for creating a piece that will be an heirloom within my family for years to come.
I have attached a photo of your quilt taking pride of place in my cabin. I have slept so well under it and the doona since it arrived – must be a good omen!
I am married to T, who is in the Navy and we have two miniature dachshunds who we dote on. Due to both of us being in the Navy, T and I have spent lots of time away from each other, and he is also the recipient of an Aussie Hero Quilt following his three deployments (‘Gulf Trips’) aboard various warships. His most recent deployment was aboard HMAS Newcastle in 2015 and I remember seeing a group of Aussie Hero Quilters on the wharf to welcome the ship home! 

I have to get back to work, but Thank you again for all the work you do. I cannot express just how much it means to so many people.

Yours Aye 


Hey Jean,

I am a Lance Corporal in the Royal Australian Army, Infantry Corp.

I was delighted to receive your hand-made wash bag upon my arrival to
Malaysia. It definitely brightened up my day and has made me realise that
people still care about us in the military.

Also, thank you for the letter. It was very nice to find out about the
person behind the bag. Finding out about your family, home and also your
love for travelling was very interesting. I definitely hope that one day I
get to experience Africa, just as you have.

I enlisted in the Army in March, 2015. I am apart of the 1st Royal
Australian Regiment. I am in the Infantry Corp (ground soldier) but I am
also a qualified pioneer. That means I have qualifications in demolitions,
field engineering and boating. I was recently promoted to Lance Corporal.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about the person that received your
very kind and generous gift.

Kind regards,

Dear Robyn H,

Words fail me to express my sincere appreciation and admiration of your work, and the truly amazing Aussie Hero Laundry Bag which you have made.  It is very evident from the bag that you are both very gifted and passionate about your fabric art.

The laundry bag arrived here just at the end of last week, after some reasonably challenging issues which I have been dealing with.  I am about a half way through the deployment, and whilst it has now become a rhythmic routine of days, there are days which present their various challenges.  It is really nice to be distracted by something totally unexpected.  The arrival of the laundry bag was one of those moments that were wonderful, timely, and really welcome.

My role here is to coordinate the chaplaincy and philanthropic team, and also provide the suite of chaplaincy ministry and support to the areas that do not have a chaplain in location.  I have deployed on previous occasions, with mostly infantry battalions, so this is a very different deployment for me, a role which I am learning from and greatly being blessed.

Our home presently due to posting is in Brisbane where two of our four children (a daughter and a son) are at university.  We have a further two children (daughters), one in university in Sydney and the other works as a manager at McDonalds.

Thank you again for your wonderful gift, I definitely value it, and I look forward to showing the laundry bag to a number of ladies in our present home church upon my return to Australia.  I believe that there are a number of quilters in their midst.

I wish you and your family every blessing and thank you and your quilter friends for you participation in Aussie Hero Quilts programme.

With the blessing of Christ to be upon you.

Anne D,

I just wanted to send you a short note thanking you for my laundry bag.
I have been in Malaysia with the RAAF for a little over two years and return home in January.
For me I am lucky enough to have been sent here with my family, however have deployed to East Timor and understand that gifts like yours really make a difference.

Thanks again, your laundry bags and quilts remind us over here that we are appreciated.
All the best for you and your family.

Kindest regards

Katie, I would like to say a huge thank you, the quilt that you made for my little baby was better than expected. I received it just after Christmas.   I can’t thank you enough for the time and effort that you put into making this. I would also like to thank you for the laundry bag as well as all the extra’s. I would like to finally thank you for the service you provide us.”

Dear Ruth,

Thank you so much for my wonderful laundry bag, I love it so much. I just love the detail with the jersey, I honestly can’t say enough about it. And I’m not sure how you picked it but Palomino horses are my favourite (even though I have a Bay and an Arab X at the moment)
You are absolutely right, the quilts and laundry bags people have received from Aussie Hero Quilts are amazing and lifts everyone’s spirits. They are starting to come through now as we’ve had some mail delays here which has affected morale a little too.
As for me I’m now the envy of the laundry! Not to mention that the size of the bag is enough to hold all our muddy gear as it has been raining a lot here. The weather is starting to get warmer now and our muddy gear will become sweaty gear soon enough.
Anyway Ruth, many thanks again for my bag, I’m honestly really touched and love it to bits. 
All the very best,

Hello Beverly,

I am the very lucky, and proud, recipient of your rainbow creation quilt. I am currently deployed on HMAS Warramunga in the Middle East and my role onboard the ship is the management of our computer network. You would probably have seen our ship in the news a bit recently for drug seizures. We have had a lot of success intercepting the drug traffic around the Indian Ocean.  It is hard to be away from home for that long but I know I am over here for a good cause and have a great bunch of shipmates who I consider to be my second family.

I joined the Navy at the age of 19 as a Communications and Information Systems Sailor. I have now been serving for 6 years and still love every minute of it. Prior to joining the Navy I had never done any overseas travel and this job has opened me up to a lot of amazing opportunities. This is my second deployment to the Middle East, but I have also been lucky enough to visit the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea, as well as spending a month on exercise in San Diego, USA. When I’m not deployed, I live in Sydney with my little brother, who is also in the Navy. We both play AFL for a local club which keeps us very busy with trainings and match days.

I very much enjoyed reading about you ‘Grey Nomad’ adventures as this is something enjoyed by my family also. When I was in high school, my family packed up our off road camper trailer for a couple months and drove from Tasmania to explore the Cape York peninsula. My parents have recently upgraded from the camper trailer to a caravan also, as they like to be a bit more comfortable these days. They are in the process of setting themselves up to be grey nomad’s with semi-retirement on the cards. As much as I enjoy travelling the world for work, there are so many beautiful places in our own country that I am yet to explore.

The quilt is absolutely beautiful and so well made. I can see the time and effort you have put in to making it for me and it is something I will cherish for a lifetime. One day, when I have children of my own, I plan to hand it down to them so that they too can appreciate its value.

Many thanks, and all the best for your future adventures.

Hey Anne,

Thank you so much for your wonderful quilt. It’s perfect!

I really enjoyed seeing the Tonka trucks incorporated into the design. It put a massive smile on my face. 

It was very nice of you to write me a letter. It was lovely to hear about your family. It sounds like a very exciting time with the grand daughter keeping you busy. I hope Alan is having a bit of luck on the golf course. 
A little about me, I was born in NSW. I grew up there and when I finished school I decided to join the Army. I went to ADFA and studied Civil Engineering. I completed my training at the Royal Military College in 2009. I’m a Major in the Corps of the Royal Australian Engineers. I’ve been in the Army 13 years now. All of my time has been spent building things. I like the fact that Army sends me around the world to build things for the less fortunate. I have done a lot of humanitarian construction throughout the South Pacific. I have been lucky enough to build schools, community centres, fresh water supplies, first aid clinics, and much more in Tonga, Vanuatu, PNG, East Timor and the Federated States of Micronesia. I have also spent a lot of time working in Indigenous communities in Australia building housing. I spent two years living in Lae, PNG working with their Army Engineers teaching them and acting as a mentor for their staff in 2013-14. Which was a lot of fun and a massive adventure! Since then I have deployed twice to the Middle East. I’m now very close to finishing my second trip. I’m in command of a team of engineers who have projects in the UAE, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. We are very busy but the work is great and I feel as though we are helping to improve these countries, especially Afghanistan and Iraq. And that’s me as a soldier. 
I want to thank you again for the time and effort taken to make me such a wonderful quilt.
I wish you and your family all the best.


Dear Sandy & Trevor

My name is Private XXX from 1 RAR in Townsville.  I am currently in Malaysia for a 3 month rotation. I would like to thank you for your laundry bag that I received upon arriving here. I have always heard about the laundry bags and hoped that with in my time I would actually get to receive one.

Having something I can actually use everyday is very useful in this line of work. ( It is beautifully made, my mother does do sewing in her spare time as well, I should get her on to doing these!).

I was originally from Brisbane but was sent up to Townsville upon graduating from my training.   I went in to the army as soon as I finished grade 12  and have now been in the Army for three and a half years, I have made such great mates in my time here so far.  I can say I love Townsville.  Its ridiculously hot but there are definitely worse places I could have been posted to.
I can not thank you enough for this laundry bag it truly means so much to me and my mates here to know we have people who appreciate the work we are doing.  Its definitely not easy work but its great to know that we are serving our country and we are all very proud to be doing it. Your laundry bag will be a present I forever hold close to my heart and something I one day hope to pass down in my family to show that there are still wonderful selfless people in this world.
What you are doing is truly beautiful,
I Would love to hear back from you
Thank you again


Hi Ellen,

I have just received my quilt and its wonderful thank you. Please don’t underestimate the work you people do as it lifts the spirits of our people over here.

I share in common with your brother and nephew that I also served in East Timor. To your family, please pass on my thanks to them for their contribution as well.

Again thank you, you have made my day!

Good morning Rita,

I received your NASCAR laundry bag. At first when I received it, I didn’t really appreciate it until I read your wonderful letter to me.
I am the Whole Ship Coordinator onboard HMAS Sirius, the Fuel tanker for the RAN. This is just a quick email before I have to go and drive the ship during the next RAS.
I can’t wait to get back to my family. My little one will enjoy the laundry bag very much, he is into that so much. It is too pretty to use so I will give it to him, when I finish this deployment. I promise I will use it for the next 10 months I have left on here. It is greatly appreciated and every time I look at it, I think of my little boys. All the boys on the ship wanted to swap with me but I declined and kept yours.
Thank you very much.   I have served 20 years in the RAN, (2 Feb 98) and this is the first time I have ever received anything like this.
Thank you very much.


Dear Rita C!

Thank you so so much for your letter and the beautiful Dobbie Bag I received!! I am Maritime Warfare Officer – Officer of the Watch. My job is mainly on the bridge on watches taking care of the navigation, tactical picture and execution of operations. I am on HMAS Sirius at the moment and have been posted here since December 2016. 
I absolutely loved your letter! It has been a very high tempo week so to receive your letter really lifted my spirits. 
I was so excited to receive a Dobbie Bag from you! I have heard about the quilts and Dobbie Bags for a number of years now and think it is such a beautiful gift!! It really means a lot as on the ship where we are allowed our own personal belongings, we tend to go as bright as we can – it helps maintain our morale as well as personality when all day we are wearing the same uniform. I hope to improve my skills in sewing eventually so I can join you all in sewing some quilts and Dobbie Bags for my oppos.
Thankyou again so much for your gift! I am a huge fan of emails/ letters (no matter how small) so would love any correspondance if you have time! I apologise but I don’t have any photos I can send at this stage but will send one through as soon as I can.
Kind Regards,


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

Jan-Maree xx

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  1. Robyn Hanstock

    I loved my beautiful letter and a small gift from my recipient. It is such a joy to make these quilts and laundry bags, and it amazes me that sometimes it seems the laundry bags are appreciated as much as the quilts.


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