Grati-Tuesday 19 Jan ……………

Written by AHQ

19 January 2016

G’day all.  

Grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy these messages.

Me thinks the troops are liking what we are doing.

Hi Barbara,

I hope you received my card and had a lovely Christmas with your family. I thought I would just send you a little picture of the quilt you made me. I absolutely love it. Thank you so much, I really appreciate the work you have put into this 🙂
Its absolutely perfect. It has not left my bed since I received it. I will be going home soon, so its definitely coming home with me.
Thank you again, Happy New Year! Take care, and all the best in the future,


Hi Leanne,

I love the quilt, wow what a work of art! My favourite bit was the personal letter you wrote.  The lollies, tim tams and coffees were well appreciated too.
You nailed the Royal Australian Corps of Transport badge!  I would have to hold a picture next to the quilt to be able to tell where the jewels that you mentioned are missing from.
Your choice of backing fabric was inspired.  What a great choice.  Smile? I laughed out loud.  What a brilliant idea.  I proudly showed all of my mates and then hung it on the wall.
At first glance from a distance, some thought they were poppies, but everyone had a laugh when they put two and two together and realised they are cherries.

Your letter had a bigger effect on me.  There must have been a lot of dust in the air as I was reading it.  My eyes must have been affected by the dust because they started to seep water.

Just reading about what is going on back in Australia was fantastic.  Sounds like your patchwork group is a lot of fun. 

I might steal a couple of those Christmas games for our Christmas Day over here, they sound great.  I might google a few more too.

This will be my fourth Christmas overseas with my work, not too bad for 25 years I guess.  This one would have been with my Mum and most of my eight siblings,
I don’t think the sister who lives overseas with her husband will make it this year either.

It’s not the skills you show that do that, it’s the effort and the thought that make your work ‘increbidle’, which if you check the dictionary, is twice as good as incredible!

Well I was about to close out of this letter and sign off, but I realised I hadn’t told you one of the best bits.  It’s my Birthday the day after tomorrow, so this was a perfectly timed present.
I love this quilt, I can’t believe you have made 80 yourself!  I hope those other 79 people appreciated them half as much as I did, they are very lucky too.
I’m glad you like your work, but I am even more glad that you found a way to use it to spread so much joy and to show your support for the folks in our ADF.

Nice of you to put some tinsel in too, that will be put to good use on my desk. 
The tim tams, coffee and lollies will be shared with my mates, but long after those calories are all burned off, I’ll remember the day I got this beautiful quilt.
What a great keepsake.

Merry Christmas Leanne and all the best to you and yours.

Hope to see you around at The Square someday.


Jeann P

Thank you so very much for my laundry bag, it truly had brightened up my room.
I miss my plethora of paintings and cushions in my room at home.
Thank you for taking the time in making it and the many others I’m sure you and your friends make.
It is appreciated here and it’s a wonderful memento also to take home.

Kindest regards,

Dear Debbie,

Firstly, the workmanship and skill you demonstrated on my quilt is nothing short of spectacular!
It is absolutely sensational and had many of my Soldiers jealous.

The main catalyst for my quilt request stems from my lovely Girlfriend.
She is born and raised near Townsville and grew up on her family’s cattle property. 
The Station recently just celebrated its centenary and is still going strong amid the current dry weather and impeding Army training area it borders.
Due to being in North Queensland, they have Brahmans which roam the paddocks.
They also always have a fair few poddies at the house yard, which are kept honest by a couple of the house pet dogs.

Once again, I greatly appreciate your quilt work on something that we will hold close and dear to our hearts for years to come.

Many thanks,

Dear Jan-Maree,

Thank you for taking the time to organise my hero quilt.  I really appreciate the effort you went to, and it will be a wonderful memento from my time spent over here serving our great Country.

Whilst I am a helicopter pilot when at home, I have 2 different roles I am filling on this deployment.  I am working within the Divisional staff as a Future Operations Planner, and I am also working to advise the local Security Forces on how to integrate women into their Forces. I enjoy my gender advisor role immensely, and hope that the work I am doing will make it easier for the women of this country to enjoy the same liberties we have in Australia.

Once again, I thank you for your efforts and for supporting myself and others on their deployments.

Warm regards,


Before I say thank you I will introduce myself.  I currently hold the rank of Petty Officer in the Navy.
I have been in the Navy 13 years and deploying for 10 of them.  In all my time in the Navy I have never received anything like this.
I wish I could show you how grateful I am for the quilt that you and Glenice made for me. 

When I initially opened the package and I saw that there was a Melbourne Guernsey sewn into the front of it, I was pretty excited.
Then on closer inspection I saw that Paul Roos had signed it, I was overcome. 
For a one-eyed Melbourne supporter that has shed more than a few tears over the years this was like Christmas to me.

Saying thank you cannot express how appreciative and grateful I am. 
Being a one-eyed Melbourne supporter, this quilt will take pride of place in a frame mounted to a wall when I get home.

Thank you again,

Dear Jeanne,

Firstly I cannot say enough how grateful I am for the quilt you made me.  If I could please ask that you forward on my thanks to your friend Pam as well.

As we continue to patrol around this incredibly vast ocean, it is reassuring to know people are thinking about us back home.
My role involves the two big morale issues onboard – food and mail!!
I can honestly say that Aussie Heroes Quilts has been incredibly well received onboard. 
There are members who receive little or nothing from home, and to have received a lovely gift in the mail from a stranger that appreciates their commitment to Australia, words cannot express sufficiently their gratitude.
In saying that, thank you and Pam for your time, effort and appreciation.

Having been in the Navy for ten years now, I often forget that this is an unusual job to some people.
Please know that I use the quilt every night due to the very efficient air conditioning onboard HMAS Newcastle.

Thank you again, and as I am your first Aussie Heroes Quilt, I am very honoured.

Kindest regards,

Dear Carmel,

Thank you so much for the laundry bag and the ‘goodies’ you and your lovely ladies have sent me.  Please note that your efforts here are greatly appreciated and that you have all touched our hearts over here.

To learn that your Son is in the Australian Army makes me realise how much you are a part of the Defence family as well as the rest of the ladies of Aussie Hero Quilts.

Again thank you,
Your friend

Dear Mae,

You must have a kind and generous heart to send me one package, and it is unquestionably generous for a second package to be sent.
Thank you dear lady.
Every day I see your quilt and laundry bag, so delightful to look at it cheers me.
I am using the laundry bag as a pillowcase and it looks amazing!
There are days when it’s tough and I walk in and I immediately smile.
I must admit I am curious to hear, if I may ask, what makes a person so kind and generous?

Your sweets are a joy to all the people I work with.  As you have shared with me, so I share with them.
Thank you again for your kind investment into my welfare.

G’day Robyn,

Thank you very much for the laundry bag and goodies you sent.  I shared the tim tams with my shipmates and they really enjoyed them.
I received the package just before we departed Australia and it will come in very handy during the deployment.

I am 32 years old and have been in the Navy for 10 years.
This being my first deployment, I am not quite sure what to expect, but we have a really good crew which makes being away a lot easier.

Thanks again,

Dear Jan M,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I would like to sincerely thank you for devoting your time and effort into making these quilts, especially mine, I will treasure it for years to come.
This is my seventh overseas deployment and the first time I have ever received such a gift from our community back home in Australia.
Although we do not serve for the plaudits of those back home, it is very inspiring to know that people do care.
I know I speak for all of my Soldiers here when I say that we were humbled by such a wonderful and practical gift, particularly knowing it was made by hand and with loving care.

I have served in the Australian Army for 26 years and hope to continue to do so until the body can’t take it anymore.

The weather here at the moment is quite pleasant compared with a month ago and will continue to cool through December and into the New Year.
The weather when we arrived in Egypt was rather warm, around 40 degrees, which made it a little difficult at first but we quickly adapted and got on with our jobs.
I must say though, I much prefer the cooler weather we are experiencing now, it is very similar to Brisbane.  I am not a big fan of the cold, but at least now I will have a quilt to warm me at night!
I want to thank you again for the wonderful work you do for our Troops serving overseas. 
To listen to the Soldiers speak with awe and pride at the quality and care put into these quilts and laundry bags is heartening to me and an old Soldier who has experienced a very different attitude to our Soldiers in the past.

Please know that you and your circle of colleagues have touched the lives of serving men and women, for that, I solemnly thank you and hope that we are able to live up to the expectations of the people back home.

Yours in gratitude,

Dear  Steve and Jenny W

I am currently serving on HMAS Melbourne and would like to thank you for my laundry bag and the gifts, it was quite a joyful surprise as I wasn’t expecting such gifts.
I am 21 years and I have served 2 and a half years in the navy. I joined the navy pretty much straight after I finished school as I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew I didn’t want to go to university.
This is my first overseas trip with the navy and also the first time I haven’t spent Christmas with my family. It was definitely hard at times but having the support from my family and people like yourself, the trip has become a lot easier.
The ports we visit are mostly really beautiful, the scenery, the people everything, but some are like third world countries with lots of poverty and drug addicts which is really heart breaking, makes you really appreciate home  and how good we have it back in Australia

I really am thankful for the the gifts and the letter, it really does help knowing that we have support back home
thank you very much 


I apologise for the delay in sending this to you. I received your quilt on Christmas Eve and opened on Christmas Day. I was not able to respond sooner as I flew out to another area of the Middle East on Boxing Day and have not had the opportunity to contact you. I understand that I did not make the task all that easy and the quilt that you made for me is beautiful.

I have been in the Middle East for the last 5 months and will be returning home in Feb It is hard to be away from family over the Christmas period, we do try to make these events as enjoyable for the all the deployed Service personnel.

I thank you for all your hard work that goes into the making one of the Aussie Quilts, they are greatly appreciated and when one of us receives ours, we proudly show them to all and sundry. The quilts are treasured and become a large part of memories and keepsakes from our deployment.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Hi Sue N,

I just opened your parcel and I have to say, I absolutely love the quilt and the laundry bag. They’re both amazing. I was going to write back but decided it’d take too long for mail to get to you and I could’t wait to let you know how happy I am with them so I opted for email. Thank you so much, it’s the best delivery I’ve had to date!


Dear Marianne,

Thank you so much for the lovely Quilt Laundry Bag. It came as a bit of a surprise as I had received mail from my family the day before only to have one of my friends in the other mess say that they had a package for me by mistake. I absolutely love it. You’ve done a great job and it’ll be something I hold onto to remember this trip.

For Christmas we had a lunch that was served to us by the officers on board. I was able to give my partner and my family a call which was nice. I had some packages from home that had very clear instructions printed on them: “Do not open until Christmas.”

I joined up about four years ago. I’ve been really enjoying it as I’ve made a lot of really good friends and I’ve been able to do some pretty interesting work while in the military. My hobbies are reading and playing my guitar (either by myself or with friends). I’m a bit of a music nerd, I like going to see bands perform live and I love everything from the Beatles and David Bowie to Frank Sinatra and Charles Mingus.

I think it is wonderful what you do. And I’m sure you brighten up peoples day when they see the love and care you’ve put into your work, trust me, I know because I was smiling all day when I saw the Laundry Quilt and the letter you wrote to me.

I should get back now and try to look busy before I get into trouble (joke).
Thank again so much for that. I hope this email gets to you and I hope to hear from you again.


For a quilt made by Pam H

I received my quilt over a month ago. It truly touched my heart the thought and detail that has gone into it. I have used it every night since and have loved it.

What you and your crew are doing with AHQ is absolutely amazing! I could not be more grateful and it has reminded of why it is I am doing what I do over here.

I extend my deepest and warmest thanks to everyone at AHQ and wish you all the best year ahead!
Kind regards,

Hello Jan-Maree,

I am writing to let you know that I have already been in touch with Ann and Murray W  who made my wonderful Dobey Bag for my washing and Kim and John N who made a very Aussie quilt for me which is folded on the foot of my rack as we speak, with the cooler weather and the very efficient airconditioning within the ship it is making all the difference for a comfortable night’s sleep.

Having been on previous deployments to the middle east I chose to request a quilt later to let the younger persons on the ship get a taste of the hospitality that is shared by your many quilters across Australia. It certainly wasn’t around when I was doing deployments back in 2002-2004, but I can assure you it is very well received and much appreciated also.

I thanknyou from the bottom of my heart for this initiative from you and the team and will find a special place for it when I return home in a few weeks time.

Kind Regards

Hi Jo,

A huge ‘thank you’ for the quilt that you sent out for me. It was a total surprise; so much so that I was a little bemused when it arrived. My wife revealed that she had ordered it, and it really is brilliant, thank you. I must admit that I feel very humbled that you took the time and effort to make both the quilt and the bag. My laptop is resting on the quilt on my bed as I type, and the bag is already put to good use, so thank you! 

I have been deployed for a bit over four months now with the Australian Air Task Group in the middle east, working with our F/A-18 Hornet fighters, our KC-30 tankers and E-7A Wedgetail surveillance aircraft. In case you missed it, 60 minutes did a good run down on us at the end of last year: you can view it here 

I was in the middle east for Christmas, but we made a pretty good go of it. We had a carol service and Santa came to visit on Christmas Eve in a sleigh that looked suspiciously like an armoured vehicle covered in Christmas lights and tinsel! We also had a good Aussie BBQ on Christmas Day, which even included a Pavlova acquired especially for the occasion! I was lucky enough to be home on leave for New Year and my daughter’s sixth birthday, so I really enjoyed that snapshot of the WA summer. We too were a little close to bush fires for comfort, but the weather calmed enough after about five days for the brave fire teams to bring it under control. Your package was waiting for me when I got back a couple of days ago, and really helped to dispel the ‘post leave blues’.

I’ll be home soon, so not long now, and luckily I have my wonderful new quilt to get me through the winter desert nights!

Thank you again, it really is incredibly kind of you.


G’day Jean,

Thanks so much for the laundry bag that I received today in the mail;
gratefully appreciated.  It is fantastic. It will certainly stand out as an Aussie Laundry Bag. I
can’t thank you enough.

I am counting the days to end my tour and head home. I miss my wife and kids heaps and can’t wait to get some time at home with them. The weather here is reasonably fresh at the moment,
but not that cold really. I do miss the Aussie summer though, or what summer

you guys are getting.


Dear Joy,

I am a member of Task Group Taji Head Quarters currently posted to Iraq. I have been here since early December. My home unit location is Darwin where I am a member of the Brigade Headquarters Staff.

The weather within Iraq has been quite the shock even compared to Darwin!

Please let me say thank you for the laundry bag you made and once again for your kind words. It means the world to us to know we have the support of people like yourself back at home which allows us to carry on with the task at hand without worry.

I admire your generosity and implore you to continue your support to the men and women currently deployed on operations.

Kindest regards,

For a quilt made my Bev C 

Hello Jan-Maree!

I would just like to say many thank yous for the quilt and laundry bag I received from you all! Having something custom and original onboard where we all wear the same thing day in and day out, it is always nice to walk past a doby bag that is unique. So I would just like to say thank you once again!!!! 

Hi Joan and Robin Carter,
        I have received a laundry bag from you and It is a wonderful gift. Thankyou so much and we really appreciate the work that you guys do for us over here. I am currently deployed in Kabul, Afghanistan and about to head home after a 6 month tour.
Once again, really appreciate the bag, can see alot of work has gone into it.


Hi Jan-Maree,

I wanted to let you know I received my quilt and laundry bag today.

You are so right it is cute. I am completely in love with them both. They are absolutely perfect 🙂

I just want to say thankyou so much to all you ladies for the hard work you all do.

You bring such joy to us all when we receive these and get to show them off to everybody. 


This one for our Sydney Swans themed Mystery quilt that a number of you were involved in.

Good Afternoon Lynn!

Sorry it’s taken me awhile to get back to you, however I’ve been on leave ever since returning in early December and have finally returned home.

Anyways – thank you so much to you and all of the others who helped with the creation of my wonderful Swans quilt! Was really excited to open it up and see how well it turned out – I can’t express how thankful I am of you and all of the others to get these items over to us whilst serving abroad.

Thank you once again for your time making this quilt and I assure you it will get plenty of use in Brisbane during the winter!



Hi Debbie and Alan

My quilt arrived the other day and when I opened it was the best thing to happen all week. It is absolutely perfect and even better than I imagined,  you got exactly right and I really enjoyed your letter too. So thank you very much.

I have been a Kenworth truck enthusiast for must of my life and after my last deployment 5 years ago my wife finally relented and let my buy one.  It is in poor condition and I am slowly undertaking a complete rebuild on it. When it is finished I will take it to historic truck shows and my quilt will be on the bed in the bunk. So I have rambled on about my truck more than I intended.

Anyway I have rambled on enough and there are lots of things to do so I had better get on with it. I have attached a photo of my quilt on my bed and a photo of me and my truck for you. So thank you very much again for my quilt and wonderful letter I really appreciate it. Keep up the great work and I wish you and Alan the best of seasons and make sure Alan does not work too hard with the mustering.
Best wishes


This is not a thank you message on receipt of a quilt… this is an example (in part) of the sort of responses I receive when I email people to let them know that their quilt or laundry bag is on the way.

Hello Jan-Maree,

I just wanted to say thank you to you and all those that are involved in Aussie Hero Quilts, it really does make a difference.

I have not received my quilt yet but will let you know as soon as it arrives.

and then there is this one which is a lovely way to finish tonight.


Certainly your work is one of the hidden treasures of going on deployment and I can say honestly that evryone I have spoken to about their quilts has treasured them. 

Till next time………………..keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree xx

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  1. Jo

    I love the photos being added

  2. Jacqui D

    I enjoy the comments but to see the photo's of 'our' quilts in situ is wonderful :o)


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