Grati-Tuesday 25 August

Written by AHQ

25 August 2015

I am starting tonight’s post with a lovely story. It is not often that the quilters are able to meet their recipient and even less often when a quilter meets a recipient’s family member.

Recently Carol M wrote to me offering some fabric for donation out of gratitude for the quilt that her son received whilst on HMAS Newcastle.  She told me where she lived and, as I usually do, I looked for someone in her area.  As Carol L made the son’s quilt I started with her and lo and behold found that they both live in the same small town.

Not long after that a meeting was arranged.

Carol M was a very grateful mother who was delighted to meet the lady who had made a quilt for her son.  Carol L said later that it was wonderful to meet Carol, such a lovely lady who is so proud of her son. “Hearing his story was inspiring, to know your hearts desire at 15 and push to enlist, fantastic.” said Carol L.

Carol M also said 
“I’d like to give you all a big pat on the back for the wonderful gift you give our service personnel serving overseas”

Carol L and Carol M


Dear Su,
I want to say a massive THANK YOU for my quilt, it came in the mail and it is absolutely amazing!!!!!
When I unfolded it I saw the teddy bear side first and thought “awww this is so cute”. Then I turned it over and let out a SQUEAL when I saw Noodle’s face looking at me!!! I grabbed my roommate and we laid it flat and looked at every little detail. She was the one who noticed the Dog Tag with ‘N’ in it, that was so clever! I just love everything about it, especially how you have captured his personality in the little phrases sewn in.

My sister is into craft and she created a “Noo Two” which is the little toy you will see in the photo sitting on the quilt. She taught herself how to finger knit to create it. I told her about Aussie Hero Quilts and she said she wants to start and maybe even get her primary school class involved. I’ve given her Jan-Maree’s email address so she knows who to contact.

Thank you again so much Su, I really could not have imagined something so wonderful as this. I have to say I’m having a bit of a hard time on this deployment but now I can look forward to coming back to my room because my beautiful quilt brings a smile to my face.
Kind regards


Hey Stephanie,

I received your quilt and laundry bag this week and i just wanted to write you a MASSIVE THANKYOU for your amazing efforts! I love love love what you have made for me, it is uncanny how well you picked all of the things i like and combined them into such a unique quilt. I currently have the quilt lying on my bed here and it brightens my room so much. It always puts a smile on my face when i look at it knowing that it was made just for me.
I also LOVE the laundry bag, the colours and fabrics that you have used are gorgeous and sum up my personality pretty perfectly!

I cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work and kindness in sewing these items for me, you have done a wonderful job and your support to the Australian Troops is so greatly appreciated.

I cannot thank you enough for your beautiful gifts,I will treasure both of these things for years to come.

Kindest regards,

Hello Joan and Robin, 

Just a quick email from the Middle East to sa, on behalf of the very happy recipients of your beautiful laundry bags,  thank you very much. Your parcel arrived this morning and were snapped up within 3 minutes! I have given each person a copy of your note so I expect they will each contact you personally. 

The people that have received your laundry bag are part of the Air Task Group of Operation OKRA. Operation OKRA is the Australian’s contribution to the Coalition effort to destroy Da’esh. We are all safe and well in the Middle East Region and are working long days in what feels like short weeks – time is going quickly you could say! Whilst we are living in some austere conditions – extreme temperatures (47 degrees is average at the moment), and lots of aircraft noise, the morale of the Air Task Group is extremely good, people are pleased and wanting to be here and it is very warming to see that we are getting the support of the Australian public through kind gestures such as yours and others from Aussie Heroes Quilts. So thank you so much.

Kind regards


Hi Jean,

I hope this email finds you, Internet is a bit hit and miss here.

Just writing to say thank you for your wonderful gift….my blanket was exactly how I pictured it mentally, but only better. The Cowboys badge in the centre surrounded by fish and team colours. I will keep this blanket forever and when I get to go home it will take pride of place in my theatre room whereby on cold nights I will use it for warmth. Here it gives me warmth of another kind. Knowing that total strangers are spending countless hours of their own time to create these wonderful gifts for all my brothers and sisters serving on operations around the globe. I can not articulate well enough the joy these laundry bags and blankets bring to people serving, I know here in South Sudan, each and everyone of us absolutely love theirs.

Once again thank you for your gift, it is truly appreciate.
Bless you and your family and the work you do.
All my best 


Hi there Heather

Just wanted to say that I was surprised yesterday when I received a package with my name on it. I wasn’t expecting any packages from back home and even told my family that I will survive with what I have brought and what we have here in Afghanistan to keep us going. Just being able to Skype and call once in a while was all I needed.

Anyways I was really surprised to receive the package which had the quilt and laundry bag that you had made up. For that I would like to thank you. Thank you very much for your time and effort in organizing the 2 items. I know that it is not an easy task as I remember my mother used to make quilts as well for us when we were young.

Also thank the lady that had sewn the 1 RAR Skippy Badge. It was done up really well, so once again a big thank you to her as well.

I thank the both of you for your time and effort. Also to all the other ladies who volunteer their time as well to make the Aussie Hero quilts. It does make a big difference out here and some of the other countries that I serve with also wish they could get the same.

Honestly speaking the quilt has made a big difference as previously I just had a sleeping bag and just a plain cover. Now with the quilt laid out, it definitely gives color and also for me a sense of pride as well as I represent my organization the 1st Battalion and the Australian Army working with many different countries that are part of NATO, serving here in Afghanistan and trying to make a difference. I will definitely cherish both items that you have sent me and when I return home at the end of my tour that will be something that I will have as a reminder of my tour.

Thank you once again.

Dear Pennie,

Thank you so  much for making me such a beautiful quilt. I was trying to visualise what it might look like and it’s perfect. 

I’ve been in the navy for 15 years now and I have a love for the ocean. I find that the sound and sight of waves while at sea relaxing and calming.

I have been deployed to the middle East for four months now, with no ocean to look at just sand dunes. Now everyday once I’ve completed a long day at work I can return to my room and admire my colourful and soothing quilt. I really appreciate the time and effort you have put into such a special gift.

Thank you

All the best


Dear Janis

Thank you so much for my Bunnies quilt, it is quite possibly the best one on the ship and I am so so happy with it.

I only recently joined the RAN as I transferred from the Royal Navy in the UK, I grew up in Leeds so I am a big Leeds fan. My family and I have really made Australia our home.

Please keep up the good work with these quilts as its something I have never had in the UK and I wish it had been. You are doing a fantastic job and us service men and women really appreciate it

Again I can’t thank you enough, stay well and take care


Hi Kay,

I would like to thank you immensely for the quilt that you made me.

It is exactly what i wanted and the green and gold on it is a nice touch. I have been watching the Matildas and it was good to see them do so well in the women’s world cup. The quilt has also been very useful. We are up here in the middle east during their summer and as you can imagine it has been getting very hot!  Silly me only brought a thick doona for my bed so the quilt you made for me has been good as its not as hot.

I also really like the post card that you sent me as i am from Sydney and it was nice to see what i am going to be coming home to.

Thanks again,


A big thanks to you and the volunteers who send your gifts from home. It has been a pleasure to see what your gestures mean to our people – from tears of joy to cheers of delight – followed by many proud sharings.

Unfortunately my bags are packed and my laundry bag is safely put away for the journey home.

Dear Sophie,

        I have gratefully received one of your laundry bags as I work through my six month deployment in Afghanistan.  Thank you so much!  Any and all support from home is amazing and the time taken by you and the rest of your Aussie Hero Quilters is very much appreciated.  I am now two months into my deployment and am one of the lucky ones as I will be home on Christmas Eve!!


Hello Jean,

                Firstly thank you very much for the laundry bag. I wasn’t sure what to write on the request about myself. You have got it spot on!!  

                It’s a fantastic feeling when you receive a package in the mail especially something that someone else who you don’t even know, has taken their time and effort to make a gift for you. Jean I thank you very much and I appreciate that you have done this for me. I will treasure it for a long time. It is too good to use it for my dirty laundry!

Please take care to you and your family


Hi there Jean!,

Firstly thank you so much for the washing bag its amazing. Its much better then just plain black im over the moon with how it turned out and cant thank you enough for putting in your time to make it for me.

Its always nice to get a package from Australia can be months at a time between them sometimes so its really nice to have something to open. 🙂

Again thank you! people like you are amazing and all of us really appreciate what you do for us. Taking time out of your own life to help us out with these amazing gifts is a wonderfull thing and your all amazing for doing it :).


 Dear Irene,

I’m writing to thank you so very very much for my Aussie Hero Quilt which I received this morning. I’m not sure what I was expecting but what I have received has amazed me, and has far exceeded what I imagined it would be. From looking at the quilt and from reading your letter, I could tell right away that so much more has gone into the making of it than just time and materials. I feel so privileged and honoured to have received it and it has already become a reminder to me to strive to be worthy of what it represents.

You mentioned in your letter that you hoped to not upset me and I assume that you meant by the content of the quilt – poppies, remembrance, a soldier kneeling for a fallen comrade etc..and receiving it while deployed in a volatile location. On the contrary, I am all for remembering and honouring the sacrifices of those who have served before me and I wasn’t upset by it at all. But, I was however very glad to be the duty storeman for this week and also that I waited till everyone else had left my workplace to go to lunch before I opened your package, so I didn’t have to explain to anyone that my perspiring eyes were a result of the heat here, and not my emotional state, which had settled by the time my team-mates returned.

Dear Janine,

I received a wonderful gift this morning from you. The attention to detail, time and effort that I could see that went into the making of the laundry bag leaves me to think it will never be utilised as one.

For your lovely words and beautiful gift I am truly grateful, and I commented to another member at how choked I was.

What does amaze me is the sincerity that many at home feel, something that I never thought about when I joined the military a number of years ago. Military life has certainly improved in that time and for some, it is a way of life.
Once again Janine, I cannot convey enough how appreciative I am of your time and effort and thank you sincerely for your wonderful gift.
Kind Regards and best wishes,



Thank you for the laundry bag that you have sewn for me. It has made a lot easier to carry my washing to and from the laundry, and find my washing while there.  I work within communications providing IT support to all members deployed here.  

My deployment has been enjoyable and very rewarding, while at the same time difficult to be away from my wife and two very young children.

Once again, thank you for taking the time and putting in the effort to sew my laundry bag.


Good Afternoon Anna,

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for my beautiful quilt which arrived in our mail delivery on Friday morning.  I know I have only been gone from home for just on 2 weeks, but such a personalised and lovely gift was just beautiful!  Every time I pick it up it puts a smile on my face 🙂 

Once again, I thank you for all the time and effort you have devoted to my special gift, and thank you on behalf of many other service men and women who might be just as lucky as me to receive one of your handmade quilts.


Hi Carmel,

Thank you so very much for the lovely laundry bag & goodies.  The laundry bag is absolutely perfect & now means that I can find my washing easily if a friendly colleague moves it from the washing machine to the dryer (which happens all the time unless you are on the ball & go back to the washing machine just as your load finishes).  Your work is beautiful.  I wish I was able to sew but unfortunately don’t have an artistic or domesticated bone in my body.

Thank you for giving up your time to make life over here a little nicer.  It is much appreciated.  I hope you consider continuing your great work because receiving your package really did make my day.

Thank you again

Kind regards,

Hi Sue,
Thank you for the brilliant laundry bag. Just to give you some background on me, I am a Chief Petty Officer Boatswain completing my 31st year of service. I am married and have 2 adult girls, one of which has followed me into the Navy. I enjoy teaching my younger sailors both male and female my knowledge and experience to enable them to achieve to be better sailors. It has been a long and hot deployment and I am looking forward to getting home.

 Once again Thank you very much for the laundry bag and well wishes and kind regards.

Hi Jean,
I am writing from Iraq and thanking you for the clothes bag you made for me. It has already been used and is a creature comfort I appreciate. So THANKYOU! I will use it even when back in Australia and will make sure my son uses it and learns to love rugby.
I am 27 years old, have been married for 5 years and have a six month old son. I appreciate your pride from Australia and am honoured to serve all Australians. I admit it is a life with sacrifices, my son was five days old when I was told I was going to Iraq and my planned month off turned into busy preparations. Missing my son’s first year has been the hardest for my family. 
Thankyou for the gift, it will remind for years to come of your generosity.

All the best

To Caroline

Thank u very much for my laundry bag I LOVE IT My parents are looking after my three cats and two dogs, Im lucky they love animals too lol. Having the pictures of the cats on the bag it such a beautiful idea reminding me of home because my home has always had cats and dogs. 

Everyone on my ship is loving their quilts and laundry bags we are so grateful they are from the country we represent

thank u again and ill keep you updated on my travels


Hi Lynn and Arthur

Firstly thank you very much guys for the great work.   I’m absolutely ecstatic with the quilt 

I have been deployed over here since the end of  April.   This is my third deployment to the middle east region, first as a firefighter, and first as a father, so its been bit hard being away.

My daughter was born on 25 Dec 2014, yes Xmas day.

So I have missed out a lot of her growing, I am soooooooo looking forward to go home and holding my daughter in my arms, and definately cant wait to give her and wrap her up in the Quilt.
On saying that, I have enjoyed my time over here. Met some great people from all over Australia and other services.
Once again I’m very greatly appreciative for fantastic work Aussie quilts and laundry bags and all the helpers like yourself and rest of the group are doing. Everyone over in MER are ecstatic  with them 
Thank you very much 
Kind Regards

Dear Mae.

Thank you so much for the gift and card you sent me. It is something I truly appreciate. Trust me though, I certainly don’t feel as if I drew a short straw. Your sewing is beautiful.

Kindest regards


Hello Rita M,

I just wanted to thankyou SO much for my wonderful quilt!! ( I received it on Friday) I cant imagine how much time and effort you put into making it, but I cant thankyou enough!! ITS GREAT!!

To reply to your letter, I thought it would be a bit quicker to send it via e-mail!!
It is very warm over here 50 plus, mmmmm just to feel cold water out of a tap would be nice!! hahaha but we get treated very well.

We are on the down hill slope to heading home 6-8 weeks, I cant wait to see my lovely family that’s for sure! But I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the wonderful quilt you made for me and the great work that you do and to all the other hard working people at Aussie Hero Quilts.


Hi Janine,

Thank you for the laundry bag – it is perfect! It was a nice surprise when I received the package today, and it certainly made my day all the better. I am quite partial to bright clothes/items, so the laundry bag will complement my cabin. I would like to thank you for taking the time to make the bag and write to me; it is greatly appreciated and it makes the distance from home seem not so far.

I am the senior Officer of the Watch onboard HMAS Melbourne, responsible for the navigation and operation of the ship whilst at sea. Although the ship will be deployed for seven months and the hours can be long, I can assure you that that crew of Melbourne are motivated and committed to achieving our mission.

Thanks again for your kind gift – it has made my week!

Yours Aye,

Dear Debbie,
Thank you so much for the fantastic quilt! I love it. It has a great mix of me and Australia. I haven’t put it on my bed as its too nice for this place. I can’t wait to get home and put it where people will see it. Haha. I really appreciate the kindness, means the world to me and those of us out here that people would be willing to do that for us.
I’m in the American Air Force. On exchange with the Aussies. You’re welcome, but I’m just doing my job.
Well anyway Debbie I just wanted to say thank you so much for the quilt.

Yours truly,

Dear Fran

You are a star, my quilt arrived today and it has made my tour, the effort and attention to detail is outstanding, the Welsh Dragon is perfect made me very home sick, even though I live in Australia..

This is a lovely thing that you do and you can be assured it is well received by everyone involved, the quilt will take pride and place where ever we are,,

You ladies are an absolute credit to all..

Warmest regards

I shared this on the Facebook page but for the non-Facebookers…

A message from the Chaplain on HMAS Melbourne

Thanks to you we are fast becoming a ship of smiles. There is real joy when they receive their quilts. Thanks so much for this wonderfully supportive ministry. 
Blessings to you and all the team.

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

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  1. Sue Niven

    Beautiful stuff. Love it all.

  2. Jacqui D

    Perspiring eyes eh? doesn't that say it all….mine too were a bit leaky when I read these heartfelt thankyou's …….


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