Grati-Tuesday 22 March 16

Written by AHQ

22 March 2016

Today i travelled down Wollongong way to meet the lovely ladies from the Keiraville Branch of CWA.   Recently they had had a sewing day and made a batch of laundry bags so they invited me down there to tell them about Aussie Heroes and to collect the bags. After a bit f a show and tell from me and a question and answer session there was just time for a yummy CWA lunch.

Thank you very much for having me ladies, thank you for lunch and thank you for the great assortment of laundry bags you made for us.

And now for this week’s messages from recipients.


Hello Jan, Lynn and Wendy!
Many many apologies for the delayed reply, it has been very hectic since I returned home from deployment, as my Husband and I are in the process right now of relocating from NSW to the NT.

I would like to thank all the lovely ladies who contributed to the making of my amazing quilt and laundry bag, especially the amount of intricate and very unique details which were the most amazing representation of our Wedding. I gave the quilt to my Husband as a gift when I returned home and he thinks it is an amazing piece of artwork! We are both eternally grateful for this amazing service you all selflessly provide to serving members. Words cannot convey the joy, happiness and comfort the quilts and laundry bags provide whilst we are away from our loved ones back home. The quilts and laundry bags brighten any room space and are definitely a statement piece that lay proudly across our beds. I only used my laundry bag to collect collect washing, as I felt it was an insult to place dirty washing into them! They hold an amazing amount of washing and make a laborious task much more enjoyable.

Michael and I wanted to meet you before we left NSW, however time crept away from us once we found out we were moving North and unfortunately it was not achieved. Please let me know if you ever visit up North, as we would love to personally thank you.
Please find attached two pictures of me in front of the tent I lived in.  The colour contrast in those two pictures alone show how much your quilts and laundry bags certainly do brighten our rooms and lives whilst deployed!

Please pass this email onto both Wendy and Lynn F and the quilter
I look forward to meeting you one day in the future.
Kind Regards,


Hi Jenny,
        . Your letter has found me in good spirits as the time for me and my work mates to return home is close. We return on the 31 March. Thank you very much for the laundry bag that I received today, it is GREAT

 I am also 50 years young 🙂 but I have a wife and 2 grown  boys at home. Our sons are 27 and 25.  
I  wanted to reply to your letter and your kind gift of the laundry bag with heart felt feelings as it reminds all of the people away that we are in the hearts and minds of not only our loved ones but  other people who we don’t even know.

Please thank your husband and sons for giving you permission to make my bag and know that it will be  proudly showed off every time I use it over here and also on other deployments.

Once again thanks and I hope that you and yours are and will always be happy and healthy.

Any time you are travelling north please drop in and say hello.

Hi Monique,

This is just a quick note to let you know I received the Crows quilt you made for me and am very happy with it. It looks great on my bed. Thanks for taking the time and going to the effort for me I appreciate it.

Hi Tracey
Thank you so much for the quilt! It’s fantastic and I love it.
I can’t wait to get back into the surf! I find myself thinking about it a lot. It’s strange that the things you miss the most over here are not the things you expected (except for family of course).
I would have hand written a response but I figured you’ve waited long enough for a reply. I really appreciate the effort that went into the quilt. And who doesn’t love getting mail?

Hope all is well back home.

Kind regards,

Hi Joan and Robin,

I would like to say a very big thank you for the laundry bag. I do apologise for taking a while to respond as I did receive it a few weeks ago.

I have provided a photo for you. Let me know if you would like another.

I am very pleased with and appreciate the personal touch by including my initials. I showed my daughters on skype and they thought it was fantastic.

I have seen many people receive quilts and laundry bags during my time here and the smiles and pleasure it brings is truly uplifting for all.

Thank you for your continued support to an organisation that delivers a real value to ADF members. 


Dear Lynn,

Thank you sooo much for the wonderful quilt, which I received last week. What a beautiful morale booster you have sent me. Thank you so much for sharing your gifts and creativity with me here in the Middle East.
The colours are beautiful and the anchor is a beautiful reminder that even during this deployment ashore I belong to Navy.

I heard from my Navy colleague currently at sea, how much of a morale booster all the quilts and laundry bags are to our sailors who often spend many days at sea until they stop in the next port.

I hope you receive much reward from sharing your hobby so generously.

With every blessing on you and your family,

Dear Sue;

Thankyou heaps and heaps for the fantastic quilt you have made for me.
I can only imagine how hard it was to make/source all the flags and material designs to match my wishes.
It is a fantastic the support that you and all your co-helpers do for us and words can’t express enough our appreciation of your efforts but  thank you very much for the very kind gesture that you have made.  
 To receive packages from Australia is very comforting; knowing that you are being thought of and supported. I really enjoyed reading your card so I thought I would tell you a little bit about what we are doing. 

Whilst it is hard being away from family and friends, especially at Christmas, we have very good support here and activities planned that allow us to look after each other and keep morale high.

On behalf of the Airmen and women deployed with the Air Task Group and Combat Support Unit, thank you for your continued support.


Hi Leah,
I recently received an Aussie hero quilt from you. The North Queensland Cowboys one. You did a great job by the way. When I first opened it I originally though it was a moustache but then I realised exactly what it was. Well done.
It was actually really nice to receive something like that. The Tim Tams are being put to very good use and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your letter. It added quite a personal touch to the gift.

So you’ve made 14 quilts now? That’s quite a lot. I’m surprised you can find the time with your little one at home and the dog running amuck.

I’ve been away for quite a while now, since mid December actually so I’m definitely looking forward to going home in the coming weeks.

I hope your keeping well to.

Thank you so much for the quilt.

Dear Ron and Cathie,
                          I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to you (and all those of the Aussie Hero Quilts members) for making both the financial and physical effort of hand crafting, packaging and sending me the extremely thoughtful and humbling parcel of the AUS themed Quilt, laundry bag and treats.  I was thrilled to receive this personal parcel, and I am deeply appreciative of your support. This kind action once again reminds me that there are still members of our nation whom are willing to do that little bit more for those around them. It’s this dedication, patriotism and commitment to our nations serving members, that makes being a serving member away from my family and friends just that little bit easier to manage. Your gift and effort is one of those selfless actions that will not go unnoticed or unrewarded in some way, shape or form. So THANK-YOU. 

                           Ron and Cathie, I thank you for your generosity and support. Whilst deployed here, I will take every opportunity to give something back to others as you have done for me, both as a Soldier and as a proud recipient of a wonderful and original Aussie hero Quilt and laundry bag. 

The following letter is from the Commanding Officer of HMAS Wollongong who recently received a batch of laundry bags made by Su J.

Dear Jan-Maree,

I wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank you for the wonderful laundry bags that were delivered to HMAS Wollongongin early March this year.
Your colourful and creative designs were a real surprise and accepted with a warm heart by the crew.
I can confirm that the dhobey bags are now being put to good use and have brightened up the messes with a little bit of colour.

HMAS Wollongong (III) is an Armidale Class Patrol Boat that entered service in the Royal Australian Navy in 2007.
She is the third vessel to carry the proud name Wollongong.  HMAS Wollongong (I) survived numerous battles against in some instances superior enemy forces during
the Second World War and earned a reputation for being the lucky ship. 
HMAS Wollongong (II) was a Freemantle Class Patrol Boat which saw commissioned service with the Royal Australian Navy in Australia’s northern tropical waters between 1981 and 2006.

Operationally, HMAS Woollongong (III) has spent the majority of her career in Australia’s north contributing to Australia’s Civil Surveillance Program.
The impact of this is that every time Woollongong saily, she is in effect on operations and is often called upon to react to short notice taskings.
It means that our people spend in excess of seven months away from home annually in a vessel that has few creature comforts.
In short, our people often have to do a challenging job in very tough conditions.

The practical gifts provided by the wonderful volunteers of your organisation are something that the crew are thankful for.
These bags break the monotony of the job and remind them of all the good things about Australia, its people, and why it is special to serve.

Lastly, on an historical note; traditionally sailors have called laundry bas ‘Dhobey bags’.
The word dhobey is Navy slang for clean laundry, and comes from the days of British colonised India where the Hindu word dhob means ‘washing’.

Once again, thank you for the wonderful gift.  It will remain with the crew and I for a long time to come.

Please find enclosed some photos of the ships crew with their new dhobey bags.


Hi Raeleen,

I’d just like to start by saying thank you so much for my quilt. It certainly means a lot and I was pretty exited opening your package. Perfect colours and I certainly have / will put it to good use.

Again, thank you so much for your support of our troops and please know that your efforts certainly make a difference to their morale and wellbeing.

I can vouch for that!

I really do appreciate it. Thank you!!!!!!!

 Hello Kaye,
I rec’d your beautiful laundry bag yesterday – along with some lovely goodies! Thank you SO VERY MUCH. It is fabulous – and is so special to receive such a beautiful handmade gift from Aus!

I hope you like the photos.

Thanks again for your support.

Kind regards,

I think she likes it! Love that smile!

These two gorgeous girls combined their efforts and had photos taken together.
Julie Ann made one quilt (Roosters) and laundry bag (Warratahs) , Steph D made the other bag and Pam M made the other quilt (Four leaf Clover)

Dear Julie-Ann, 

I would like to thank you for my gorgeous Roosters quilt and Waratahs laundry bag. XXXXX (who I didn’t know before this deployment but has now become one of my best mates) and I found out about Aussie Hero Quilts and the great work that you do just before Christmas. Our quilts arrived the other day and to say we were excited is an understatement! They absolutely made our day (and trip).

Our tour is 5 months and while it’s not the longest deployment we could do with the ADF it is a long time to be away from loved ones so homely gifts like these amazing quilts make it that bit easier! We’re part of Combined Task Force 150 or Operation Manitou which focuses on combating terrorism and illicit cargo transfers in the maritime domain. 

I was so glad to receive your letter. It sounds like you lead a busy life between quilting and looking after your husband and grandkids! I hope your Husband enjoyed his 60th birthday and ate lots of cake to celebrate. The memory frame sound like a wonderful gift. I recently got my grandfathers medals mounted and now they take pride of place on our bookshelves. 

I joined the Navy 10 years ago, I just knew I wanted to be near the water with whatever I did. I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great adventures and make some of the best friends I’ll ever have. It’s an exciting career but it is hard to go away so often sometimes. I’ve left behind my boyfriend and our cat. I miss them both, but we’re coming up to the end of our deployment now and so I’ll be back with them soon.

I’ve attached some pictures of us with our quilts and laundry bags for you. I hope you like them.

Thank you once again for the work that you and Aussie Hero Quilts do. It really does make a huge difference to us and is much appreciated.


And for the four leaf clover quilt (by Pam M) and bag (by Stephanie D)….

The wait is over and I am over the moon, haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face! Even took the quilt into my office so I could proudly show it off!

I have sent emails to both the beautiful ladies who made my quilt and laundry bag but I wanted to say a massive thankyou to you as well for all the work you do. You have probably heard this many times before, but the positive difference you, your team and your creations have on deployed personnel is immeasurable.

A quote I included in my email to Pam M (the lady who made my quilt) was “Time is the most precious gift you can give to someone, because if you give someone your time it’s a part of your life that you will never get back.” And in this situation it fits perfectly. The amount of time and love that goes into the quilts and laundry bags is evident from the minute you pull them out of the packaging. I was showing the quilt off to my mum on Skype today and when I looked closely as it I realised the bias binding had been sewn on by hand. Mum was equally in as much awe as me.

We have just under 1 month left on our deployment and then it is time to return to Australia. When I get home, I will touch base with you an offer to contribute to the sewing workload. I think I will start off with making a few laundry bags and eventually work up to a quilt. It’s only a small contribution but I would like to give back in some way.

Hope all is well with you. I have attached some photos of my roommate and I with our prized new possessions.

Love and best wishes,


Good Morning Pam H,

I received my quilt the other day and I would like to let you know how much I love it and appreciate the time and effort that went in to making this for me.

The design is amazing and a great reflection of the growth that myself and my family have achieved through my deployment. The roots are representation for me of my family’s support and my favourite part is the love heart at the base of the tree.

I will cherish this always and it is such a special memento of my time spent over the last 7 months.
Kind Regards,

Dear Melina, Gemma and Phoebe,
Thank you so much for the laundry bag, picture and package of goodies.
We have been away from home (Sydney) since 30 Dec, so Phoebe’s picture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks was great to show me what I missed.
It sometimes takes a while for mail to reach us, so apologies if you may have been thinking your kind gesture had been forgotten, it certainly had not.
The bag is lovely, too good to be used as a laundry bag, I might use it as a cushion cover or a pillow case!
We have spent a lot of time at sea, I managed to have 3 days off recently in XXXXX, which was nice to have a break, as I often work between 13 and 16 hours per day 7 days per week when we are on these sorts of operations.
Once again, thanks very much for the effort, time and thought that you put in. It is very much appreciated.
Kind Regards,

The following laundry bag was made by Joan and she received a lovely letter (already published) and this photo.  I contacted the recipient to request permission to publish the photo and this was her response…

I am more than happy to have my photo published on the blog, what you all do is amazing and the gratitude I have can not be said in one letter. Thank-you so much for my beautiful quilt and laundry bag. They will both hold a special place in my heart forever 🙂 


Hi Michelle McK

I’m an avionics technician in the Middle East with 77
SQN. I work on the electronic systems of the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.

I just received your AMAZING quilt! It is better than what I could have
ever imagined, you may have guessed pigs are my favourite animal haha.
Thank you so much, everyone loves mail day and we all take interest in
each other’s quilts and patterns, you all do a fantastic job.

I wish you and your family a Happy Easter.


Hello Lynn S and Don,

Just wanted to let you know I have received the quilt and laundry bag you have made for me.
I am yet to take photos to forward on. The ship has a designated photo day where everyone gets a photo with their quilt to pass on to the quilters.

I also wanted to say how thankful and impressed I am with the ironman quilt.
After I had requested for an ironman theme I had no idea how it would turn out.
I love how it looks like an old school arcade character. It really makes it unique.

Thank you again for the support you give through Aussie Hero Quilts.

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

Jan-Maree xx

Follow Us…

You May Also Like…


  1. Sue Niven

    Wow! What a lovely response! and picture as well. Awesome!

  2. Jacqui D

    Fantastic thankyou's once again. Isn't it wonderful to hear from the troops and the photo's are always a bonus :o)

  3. Sandra Askill

    Fantastic feedback – and the photos clearly show the appreciation of the recipients.
    Sandy A.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *