Grati-Tuesday 16th August 2022

Written by AHQ

16 August 2022

Happy Tuesday Friends!

Hope everyone has had a fantastic start to their week. 

I have to admit that one of the thank yous got me a little teary this week. Another gave me a good laugh (I am sure all quilters have a fabric obsession – I know I do!) 

Its such a privilege to prepare this blog each week and read all the beautiful thank yous to the most amazing group of volunteers I have ever known.

So now its time to grab a cuppa, sit back and get real comfy, 

and enjoy another bumper crop of gratitude letters. 


Hi Ellen N

I would like to thank you for the effort you put into making my laundry bag. I have had it for some time now, it was just the other day I came across your letter and thought I would make the effort to thank you. You have an impressive family regards military history. I had a great grandfather who served in the Tibetan conflict and WW1. He sadly lost his life in the Great War. My grandfather was in the RAAF as a Signalman in Papua during WW2. I started in the Army very late in my life. I qualified as a Sapper and have had a couple of deployments.  At present I’m serving in WA as a Reservist with the Pilbara Regiment. I chose to come and live here as the northern part of Australia is an active area of defense.  

Once again thank you.


Hi Melissa L,

I’ve elected to use email as mail is quite slow at the moment.

First of all, thanks so much for the laundry bag. It’s fantastic. The Canadian flag is for my Fiancée, who is from Canada. We are due to get married after I get back from this deployment. The green and black is for my pride and joy, my Holden Commodore Ute. I enter it in various racing events when I’m back home. It’s currently at the mechanic absorbing all of my money.

Thanks again. The laundry bag is something I’ll hold onto for years to come.



Good afternoon Ann S,

Thank you so very much for the beautiful quilt and laundry bag that was made for me.  By chance I visited the clothing store to see the ladies there before I headed off on Long Service Leave and they surprised me by presenting your gift. I was overwhelmed to receive such a beautiful creation.  It was much more than I expected.  When family and friends have been to visit me, I have shown my quit and they have been just as amazed as I was with each person picking out their preferred bird embroidered on the cloth.  It now holds a special place in my heart and home.  I think now I will have to learn the art of embroidery as both my daughters would very much like the quilt for themselves.

I really do feel very special as I have not had the opportunity to deploy overseas, I have only deployed within Australia and friends who did leave, always told me about the quilts they received for their bunks. I was very disappointed that I did not have one and thought I never would.

I am leaving the Defence Force next year to start a new chapter of my life and do hope that I too am able to give the joy of something back to those who are still serving.

Thank you so very much.


Good Morning Toni F,

I am writing to you this morning to thank you for the lovely creation of my ninja laundry bag!!.

Thank you very much for this beautiful bag I love it to pieces, I thought the theme would have been a hard task to pull off but you did such a good job with it and it looks amazing.

I am working aboard HMAS Canberra on one of our two LHD’s within our fleet as an electronics technician. I do long deployments away, ranging from 2 weeks to 5 months at sea and port visits away from home and loved ones.

As you probably assume I rack up quite a significant amount of laundry on my ship and this is the perfect place for me to put it while also showing some style to my other shipmates, it is strong and will be able to hold all my heavy uniforms and keep in all those horrible smells from annoying my other shipmates. I loved reading the letter that you sent to me. I loved learning about your experiences, life and a bit about the person who made me this lovely bag.

Again thank you very much for this lovely bag. I will use it for the rest of my career, and also please keep doing what you’re doing, your amazing at it and you help some many people with such a simple gesture of a quilt or a laundry bag.

Kind Regards


Dear Cath H,

Its’s hard to know where really to begin other than to say thank you so very much for my amazing quilt and (matching!) laundry bag. I say its hard to know where to start, as when I look at my quilt – which has been every day since returning to Australia a week ago – I’m left speechless. To be given something so truly special and created with such love and skill to commemorate the important job I had the honour to do leaves me speechless. I absolutely adore my musical references and the names of all the men whose headstones we dedicated. I look at them all and I can remember each of those services, the cemeteries and the peaceful farms that surrounded the area.

As I mentioned we’ve arrived back in Aus just over a week ago after being away for nearly six weeks. It was the longest I had ever left my family before – I am a mum to three young boys. But they were very proud to know that soldiers who had died a long time ago now had headstones with their names and that they were in peace.

My role with the study tour was a little unique in that I travelled over as staff of the Unrecovered War Casualties – Army. After 23 years of full time Army service as a vocalist and clarinettist with Band Corp we decided to settle in Canberra and I now work as a reservist with both the Army Band as well as the UWC-A in the role of Family Liaison Officer (when I’m not wearing the uniform I’m a Vocal and Clarinet teacher). Initially I was travelling to France and Belgium to assist with the families that were coming over to attend the dedication services but my UWCA boss asked if I would be willing to assist with musical support in singing the Australian and French national anthems as well as setting up the sound system and choosing other appropriate service music. I was delighted! It was my two Army worlds and specific skill sets coming together!

I am still in the process of reflecting and deciphering my thoughts and emotions about what we did and achieved on the tour. In all my Army career I have never been involved in something so poignant and meaningful. One highlight though was participating in the Menin Gate ceremony in Ieper. I was asked to recite the Ode which, as a musician we never get to do as we’re usually waiting to play or sing the Anthem. Standing under the gate and the names of thousands of soldiers who had lost their lives in WW1 as well as the very large crowd was surreal.

Cath, thank you again for my beautiful and personal quilt and laundry bag, indeed for all that you do with Jan-Maree and the other volunteers of Aussie Hero Quilts. Its truly amazing and you will forever be in my thoughts.

With the warmest of regards and much gratitude,


Dear Jan-Maree B (and Jo H),

Would you please convey to your wonderful group my sincere thanks for the lovely quilt that was presented to me. To say that I was quite overwhelmed would be an understatement.

I would be less than honest if I did not tell you that, while proud of my service, I have never considered myself a hero and am rather honoured that others think otherwise!  To me the real heroes are those men and women whose service placed them in harm’s way.  And there are those who through their voluntary home service carry the ongoing scars of such service.

Your group is doing such a caring thing and I sincerely hope that your attention has been drawn towards the many men and women who have recently left the Australian Defence Force under distressing circumstances, some living in poverty, and need all the love and support they can get.

It is great to learn that an organisation such as yours exists and that those skilful hands and caring hearts are sending comfort to our Aussie Heroes.

Thank you for your service

Your sincerely,


Good Morning Lesley B & Susan J, 

Apologies for the delay in my reply, we have received our quilt and it is amazing. My wife has sent through some pictures and the design is perfect. 

We are thoroughly appreciative of the work involved in this whole process, in particular the amazing volunteer quilters who give up there time to deliver us this unique piece of art and joy to us all.

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,


Dear Wendy V,

Thank you very much for the wonderful Laundry Bag I received. It is MAGIC!

Ha yes how very appropriate that you are on Dunghutti country when you got the request, it truly was meant to be.

I would like to thank you for your efforts and it is really commendable that in retirement you dedicate your time to sewing and producing quilts and laundry bags for our soldiers overseas on operations, whilst also still running the library a few days of the week. What you have done with the Laundry Bag is amazing, and yes the Biripi Shark is very special to me, so I am truly appreciative of the efforts to have it included onto the Laundry Bag.

Thank you again for the Laundry Bag Wendy, it will get good use and be a treasured item for me and it will certainly make me smile when I use it 



Hi Wendy V. Thank you so much for the laundry bag – it was a very unexpected surprise. I enjoyed reading your letter – especially about your involvement with the dance community. Our two daughters have been dancing since 2009. Our oldest did a musical theatre course after high school and is heading off to London next year to try her luck on the West  End. Our youngest is completing her musical theatre course this year. We have a son too – he is about to graduate from the Royal Military College. I am an Armament Engineer in the RAAF. My job is to make sure all of our explosives are as safe as they can possibly be. My wife also serves in the RAAF. Her job is in Human Resource Management. Once again Wendy, thanks so much for the laundry bag. It definitely brightened up my day and it will do that every time I use it.


Hi Pennie T,

I just wanted to email you to express my thanks at the incredible amount of effort, time and skill that went into making my laundry bag and quilt. They are very beautiful and as my wife also sews (she also has a fabric obsession), I really do understand how much work goes into a quilt and creating a hard wearing laundry bag.

We were really impressed with the different materials and the quality of them. Both the quilt and the laundry bag were so fun and vibrant. I am really chuffed with what I have received so thanks again.

I showed my wife your letter and she laughed when you mentioned you bought some of your material from the USA. We regularly get random packages from the USA (not as much after COVID) that my wife insists didn’t cost too much. Luckily our two boys share a room so she is able to enjoy a sewing room. I decided to move a computer in there so we could spend time together when she gets into a groove, sewing clothes for the boys.

I am humbled that I received a gift from someone who has given and still gives so much to their community. More time for sewing does sound great; fingers crossed you can get some projects finished. I can only imagine how your own fabric collection might look like.

I am an Electronics Technician in the NAVY and I maintain the satellite and radios systems on board. My position is more specifically centred around communications and although challenging, gives me a lot of job satisfaction. I have been doing it for 12 years now and I’ve loved every minute of it. I am quite fortunate time on the ship will be finished this year and I get to return to a shore based position in Canberra to spend time with my family again.

When I’m not at sea or I am lucky enough to be at home, I like to create things on my 3D printer. I also like using my electronics equipment to create my own electronics gadgets. I think my wife just likes that I can fix all the various gadgets that seems to breakdown all the time. I’m content with being useful.

I hope you are happy and healthy and the sun is shining for you.

Kind Regards,


Dear Melissa L,

 Thank you for putting the time and energy into embroidering this laundry bag for me. It is a welcome sight receiving a package in the tenuous mail system here!

I would also like to extend my thanks to Keryn M, for her efforts also.

It was particularly nice hearing about Australia, and your children’s current experiences. You never realise how great Australia is until you see the less desirable parts of the world. I know I am certainly looking forward to returning home eventually.

Lastly, the team similarly appreciates any Australia day to day stories, as it is a friendly reminder of what we get to experience eventually- can’t wait to go home.



Good Morning AHQ, 

I received my beautiful quilt made by the very clever Belinda D.  

Please pass on my sincere thanks and appreciation for such a magnificent objet d’art!

Aussie Hero Quilts is an amazing initiative, congratulations and thank you to all those ladies that make a difference to serving service people’s lives.

Warmest regards,


Good morning Gayle W

I am writing to you to thank you for your letter and my beautiful laundry bag that you made for me to honour my 10+ years of service. It was so nice to open a hand written letter for once. I would have like to reply to you with a hand written letter, but I am terrible at getting to the post office these days.

It has been a very wet and cold year and the flooded areas never seem to be able to catch a break, and COVID seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. 

I have been in the Navy for 15 years this year after I joined as a medic after leaving school. The plan was to complete my 6 year contract and head back to South Australia where I grew up. But I was enjoying myself, and had met my now husband as I achieved the 6 years, so I stayed in.

 Since then, we got married and had three beautiful babies – they are 10, 8 and 4 years old now. Its busy times with both of us serving. My husband is spending a lot of time away this year so we are finding our feet slowly. I completed my nursing degree in 2018 and transferred to be a nurse in the Navy. Part of the training was to work in Intensive Care for two years to consolidate. So I finished that last year. Was an interesting time given COVID started up when I was working in ICU. Massive learning curves.

Funny you should say you have a bush turkey running around. My 4 year old daughter absolutely LOVES bush turkeys. I don’t know where she found the love for them, but she is forever talking my ear off about Bush Turkeys. We have two dogs. A sausage dog and a Golden Retriever.

I am glad that Aussie Hero Quilts has given you purpose to your sewing hobby. It is very appreciated throughout the whole Defence Force. Most people will at least have something made from AHQ. My husband has a quilt from when he was deployed and recently received his laundry bag. It is something special that I know we will keep forever and hand down to our children.

Thank you again Gayle, I wish you well and keep safe.

Best wishes


Good Evening Team AHQ, I (Amy B) had the honour over the weekend of presenting a Navy member with his AHQ and LB. To say he was humbled and taken aback by it would be an understatement! He loved every detail with it so a massive thankyou to Pennie T, Laura C and the rest of the team. You’ve made a man who has given 35 years of amazing service an extremely beautiful token of thanks.



Good morning Keryn M,

I am writing to thank you for the outstanding quilt you have made for me. I was extremely pleased when it arrived in the mail yesterday.

I joined the Army in January 1988 at a 16 year old apprentice.

I am now married with three children.

We have a dog, who was a rescue and is part Dachshund and part Jack Russell. She is terribly scarred from her previous humans who treated her very badly and as such she does not like other dogs.

Regarding the quilt, I was extremely delighted when I saw it. I quickly identified the motifs on it. You may not be aware, but the region I was in in India was called “The Nilgiris” (Blue Hills). This region is famous for tea plantations. Additionally, it is also famous for eucalypt stands. The British attempted to diversify the tea plantations with Eucalypts from Australia. As such the region is packed with Golden Wattle. It was amazing to see it everywhere while I was in India.

I was wondering how you might bring Australia and India together and you have achieved this wonderfully.

Thank you so much.

Warmest Regards



Another awesome group of letters to make you cry and laugh!

Until next week keep your letters, emails and photos coming in.  

Tuesday’s would be so totally boring without them!

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