Grati-Tuesday 18th June 2024

Written by AHQ

18 June 2024

Happy Tuesday Friends!

We have another lot of beautiful messages from far and wide and some awesome images, so grab a cuppa, sit back and relax while you soak up some well deserved gratitude. 

Dear Toni, 


Thank you so much for my beautiful laundry bag! It is absolutely stunning. It was such a lovely surprise to come home to after being away. 


We have a 7 month old German shepherd named Kora, hence asking for dogs on the bag. 


I’ve attached a photo of myself and Kora with the laundry bag! 


I can’t thank you enough for your time and dedication, it’s something I will cherish for a long time ! 


Kind regards, 




Dear Anne H, 

Thank you for making my laundry bag (poliwhirl), and also for your letter (and Tim Tams). The bag has far exceeded my expectations and I love the thought and attention you have put into making it.  The fact that you hand stitched each component instead of printing a picture and gluing it to the bag really impressed me – particularly as someone who wouldn’t be able to stitch to save my life!  Thank you for taking the time to research the Poliwhirl and the water theme, I love the background and it is a very relaxing blue which will definitely brighten my room.

I joined the RAAF after I graduated from university in 2018.  I met my partner, whilst I was in Sydney and he has followed me around since.  He works in cyber security for an American company so I have been very fortunate to find someone with a portable job.  We have no children and unfortunately because of the frequency of moves – I’ve lived in Sale, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and now Darwin in the last 6 years – a pet is not really viable as most animals do no cope well with changing environments rapidly.

I have just found out I have been selected for a position in Canberra which is very exciting. There are a plethora of jobs there so I’m hoping we will be able to have a bit of stability over the next few years and maybe we will be able to get a pet.  I’m thinking rabbits maybe. My partner wouldn’t mind pigeons. Either way we’ll have to get two as they are social animals.  I’m not really looking forward to the cold weather though!

At HQ Middle East, I am the Host Nation Liaison Officer, a rather unique (and different) job where my primary function is to serve as the central touchpoint between the Australians and the UAE military.  However, as we share the base with other nations such as the Kiwis and Brits, my role has expanded to also include interactions with them.  It is definitely very different from my job at home, but I love meeting new people and chatting with them so this job is perfect for me.

On my return to Australia I have a trip planned to Europe where I will visit London (briefly), Iceland, Finland, and also a short hop across the ditch to Washington to visit a good mate of mine in the US Navy. We worked together when I was deployed to Japan.  I only have 48 hours in London but my plan is to see the Tower of London and do a tour of Buckingham Palace.  Apparently they only open it for tours for two months in the year and I will be there on the last day it is open.  I will also catch a show at the West End – I’m thinking Les Miserables.   The alternative was Phantom of the Opera, a musical I saw last year in Sydney and I loved; however, I thought in the interests of trying new things I thought I’d go for Les Mis instead.  I plan on coming back to the UK and spending more time there next year, so if your son has any tips on what to see and do, I am all ears!

Thank you again for taking the time to write a letter and (more importantly) for stitching such a beautiful bag.

Your sincerely



Hi Ellen N!
I received my quilt today and it is exactly perfect. 
Thanks for dedicating your time and effort to making our service feel valued and bring us a bit of warmth from home 🙂 
I think it took a bit of time to get here, mail seems to get here on its own schedule, sometimes a couple of weeks, sometimes a couple of months! 
For a bit of background about me, I am in the Army, as you probably guessed by the motifs I chose for my Quilt. 
This is my second overseas deployment, but the first one with the United Nations and over such a long period of time. The previous one was a quick response to the crisis in the Middle East in October 2023, so I’ve spent a bit of time away from home recently.
Before deploying to UNMISS in South Sudan, I was posted to RAAF Amberley at the Joint Movement Section South Queensland. I am not a local Queenslander, but I must admit that it is a very nice place to live and I hope to be able to settle in the vicinity of Brisbane for a few years once I come back. 
Before that I had postings in rural West Victoria and spent some time in NSW. 
My partner is also in the Army. While he has two beautiful daughters from a previous relationship, we do not yet have children together. Coming here to South Sudan meant we had to put family planning on hold for a little while!
Thanks again!!



Kind Regards,


Hey Anne H, 
The quilt you made me arrived a few days ago, just in time for a bit of a cold spell. I got home a few weeks ago and am enjoying being back home, where I live with my family. It was a very interesting trip, got to see many of the small communities and meet many interesting people. Thank you very much for the quilt you’ve done a great job, I’ve been using it while I watch the telly of a night time. 
Kind regards.

Hi Sheena B,

I would like to take this opportunity to ensure you that your amazing quilt safely made it to me a couple of days ago and to also thank you for two things: 1. The Quilt of course and 2. Your personalised letter.

The Quilt itself turned out amazing! You have done such an incredible job on it, considering the very unique emblems and specific designs requests. The best part is that it was a complete surprise – a good one of course. I can certainly see the amount of care and attention to detail you committed to the design and build. Thank you so much. It certainly amazed my fiancé and both my parents who had conveniently come down for the weekend.

On another note, I’d also like to thank you for your letter. The letter and what you included makes your Quilt feel so much more personal and special to me. Thank you so much for sharing your story and what you love doing in your retirement. I’d like to point out that I am a huge tennis supporter and love to play myself. I’ve been playing since I was 4. When I was in late high school, I was at a crossroad – join the military or continue on my competitive tennis career to become a professional. Unfortunately, you need money to make money initially in the tennis world, however, joining the military almost 12 years ago, straight out of high school was the absolute best decision I made. The experiences I’ve had, the places I’ve been and the mates I have made have made the sacrifices absolutely worth it.

The Operation I was on when I requested your quilt was my first overseas operational experience, although I have been overseas a couple of other exercises. I have also deployed on Domestic Operations. Throughout my career I have bounced up and down the East coast a few times, including postings to Canberra, Townsville, Syndey and now currently Brisbane. My fiancé and I currently live with our two fur babies, Phillip  and Archie. We recently got engaged before deploying on operations this year and look really look forward to our journey together in the future – certainly a unique one in the military lifestyle we lead. We love our camping, 4x4ing, beach trips and just general exploring with our boys. Of course I am a huge GWS Giants supporter, similar to your daughter’s husband and son – great choice of team!

Thank you so much once again for your generosity, and genuine care in the quilt you created for me. Thank you for volunteering to Aussie Quilt Heroes and thank you so so much for being my chosen quilter. I absolutely love it and know that your quilt will remain very dear to me and my family when I hand it down to my kids in the future or when I bring it along with me for future endeavours – maybe even when we go camping!

All the best to you and your family. Go the GWS GIANTS!!!!

Kindest Regards,

Dear Sue J,


I trust this message finds you well.


I am writing to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the exquisite mat provided for Alma’s appointments. The attention to detail and the vibrant colour are both commendable and greatly appreciated.


As a current serving soldier, this mat will serve a multifaceted purpose. Beyond its use for Alma’s appointments, it will be integrated into my professional environment within the workplace and utilised during my academic endeavours at university. Furthermore, its utility will be invaluable during presentations and events where I co-host, ensuring Alma’s comfort and familiarity in diverse settings.


Your thoughtful gesture is truly appreciated. 

Thank you once again for this considerate gift.


Thanks for your time,

(Alma is a Defence Community Dog (DCD) and this thank you is for one of the stay mats) 

Dear Beverley R, Gail Mc and Philomena H,


We received the beautiful quilt you made and we very much appreciate your fantastic skills and hard work. Here’s an attached photo of myself, my wife and our Italian Greyhound puppy named Enzo with the quilt. It’s a chilly eight degrees overnight in Brisbane so the quilt is keeping our legs warm.


We are very impressed with the work that has gone into it. We definitely think you succeeded in bringing together all the different florals and putting them together in a harmonious way. We also feel very lucky to get such a detailed design. We were told we picked a good design as the image we saw online was actually a quilt that had been used as a prize in a competition.


Thank you for the work you do. It is very much appreciated.


It also was great to receive your letters and learn a bit more about yourselves, your busy lives and travels, your families and backgrounds. It’s also nice to see you are keeping the skill of quilt making alive and maintaining this tradition that’s part of Australia’s history.


Most of our ADF contingent were in Solomon Islands for around seven weeks. But the deployment happened on short notice, and we didn’t know how long we’d have to say, so it was challenging for the families of many deployed personnel. Getting the offer of the quilts and laundry bags was a morale boost. Lots of people on the trip seemed excited to be putting in details about their preferred design. 


My wife and I just recently moved to QLD at the start of this year. While I was deployed to Solomon Islands my wife was feeling lonely (and a bit flustered managing our very energetic new puppy!) Hearing about the quilt made her feel happy, particularly knowing that people like you were thinking about and doing something to support deployed ADF personnel and their families.


My wife still has another quilt that’s been handed down through generations. We’re looking to start a family soon so your quilt will also become an heirloom for us. It’s great to know it already has a story and meaning from the deployment attached to it.


Kind regards,


Until next week keep your letters, emails and photos coming in.  Tuesday’s would be so totally boring without them!


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