Grati-Tuesday 26 April

Written by AHQ

26 April 2016

First up today I have permission to share a quilt story with you from a serving member who has had her quilt and has been home for while.   

11 Aug 14 – I was deployed with the Heron detachment in Kandahar, Afghanistan. This wasn’t an ordinary day. This day was my son P’s 9thbirthday. I had been on skype overnight so I could talk to him early morning on his birthday. He cried that I was not with him for his birthday.
Feeling miserable, I went to work and this day I was to host the JTF636 J1 on her first liaison visit to the detachment. SQNLDR S arrived at Heron and very wonderfully presented me with the gift of this Hero Quilt.
Being gifted this quilt on 11th August was very significant for me and was not only a lovely surprise but was an immediate connect to home and my son.
On return home, I had the various patches I had collected in Afghanistansewn onto the quilt and I gifted it to my son as a keepsake.
My son loves this quilt and fully understands the significance of its journey and the hands it passed through to reach him.
Thank you so much wonderful Ladies, your quilts are very much alive in the ANZAC spirit.
WOFF Trish Firth

This is the photo that Trish sent us whilst deployed with the picture of her son on his birthday. 

The quilt, made by Louise T and the Dolphin Quilters, and its story were displayed for us to see when we visited Glenbrook

and here is a close up of the patches sewn onto it. 


and another little story to share….

The people you meet…. Lynne S 

I watched the ANZAC Day march in Sydney this morning. We were standing where the service men and women finished and decided to leave just after the Navy ships personnel arrived. However, I decided to look at the names on the personnel as they walked past.

I recognised one of the names ! Naturally I immediately approached him.

Me: B, did you receive an Aussie Hero Quilt.
B: Yes.
Me: Did you get one from Lynne S
B: Yes
Me: That’s me. (Shaking his hand)

B then thanked me and gave me a hug. He told me that the quilt was on his lounge and his wife likes it.


and now for our regular Gratitude messages….


Good Morning Jan

I received the Quilt (made by Diann) a few weeks ago. Thank you very much for everything you do to support us over here on deployment.  It definitely makes what we do over here worth while. And it is something that will always remind me of the time spend away from loved ones.

Once again thank you so very much for everything


Hello Sharon, 

Sorry for the late reply but we have been quite busy over but I thought I would take the time to reply back to you and thank you and your wonderful family for making me the absolutely amazing Quilt and Laundry I really do love them they are just perfect for me and suit me to a Tee. I am going to give them to my son (4)  when I get back to Australia as he is a really big Star Wars fan. I have picked up a few souvenirs for my daughter (2) so she wont feel left out haha. 

I must also thank your son and daugher for there letters – it was a very nice change of pace to be able to sit down and read them. I must admit I have read them a couple of times now as they make me smile. That was a very nice thing for them to do because they didn’t have to do it but they did which I am very grateful for so give a big thank you from me to them.   

Oh I appreciated the snacks that where there as well haha so thank you again. It has been quite busy and stressful over here but I am very much looking forward to getting back to Sydney.  I am at the burn out stage as well, actually I think I have passed it I am just missing home and wanting to get home now. I am the first member of my family to join the Navy but my great grandfather was in the Army in WW2 in the Syrian campaign which he received the Victoria Cross for. My family and I only moved to Sydney last year from Brisbane so we don’t really have a holiday destination as of yet but we get out and go adventuring alot around the national parks and reserves as my son really likes being out in nature. I really enjoy the UNO cards that you have packed me as well and I can also play a fairly mean game and I have yet to be beaten in the office haha which is good for me. 

Thank you again so much to you and your family for sending me this quilt, letters, snacks and the UNO cards it was a cherished gift and I will keep the letters and the photos as a momento to remember my time over here and the wonderful and kind hearted family who went out of there way to send me this gift. So thank you once again so very much It was a much needed pick me up to receive this. 

Kind Regards 


Was just presented a Laundry Bag sewn by yourself by the Padre at HMAS CAIRNS. Just wanted to drop you a line to thank you personally.

As an Emergency Room nurse I can’t imagine someone with less time on their hands than yourself so am quite honestly amazed, and more than a little humbled, that you’ve taken what little time you have to do something so selfless for us. Please be under no doubt that when we talk about “those in uniform it includes all Emergency Services personnel, nurses most definitely included in that!!

Having just returned from a sea posting and, unfortunately for my family, more than likely soon to post back to a ship, I was only last week talking to my wife about how easy it is to feel unappreciated in the service but I’ll be taking your Laundry Bag home tonight and it’ll be a completely different talk. I’ll just have to keep it away from my four year old daughter who’ll love the sail boats and will try to claim it for herself.

Again, thank you very much and have a great day knowing you’ve put a smile on someones face today.


Hi Norma and Nancy,

Thank you both soo much for the quilt. It looks great. Previously when I have done operational deployments we were not given any considerations from back home (apart from family). So when I gave my preference to the Chaplain  I was very unsure what I was looking for, basically something from home to remind me where we are from and why we are doing the patrols we are. Having now received your quilt it has driven home to me the importance of what we are doing, and that it is appreciated by all back home, not just my family.

As you can see I have already placed the quilt on my rack and enjoying the warmth it provides me each night. My intention it to pass it to my son on my return home so that he too can continue to enjoy it. I am posting ashore not long after Darwin’s return as I will have server over 2 years at sea this posting, so I will not require it’s warmth as I have needed within the confines of a warship.

My mother has recently retired herself and has just discovered the joys of cruising. Little different to what I do and she and her friends are planning their next trip in just a few months time. Thank you again for everything you have done and I pray that you both enjoy your time of early retirement and keep safe.



        Thank you and Amy very much for the Laundry Bag, I must have hit the Jackpot because I actually got two, both pretty cool and different from each other (and both are well utilised).  From your letter it appears to have taken some time for the Bag to get here, unfortunately we cannot get all of our mail at once and I don’t think our mail office ashore keeps track of which bags have been there longest and prioritises them.

 Again thank you both very much for the effort you have undertaken on my behalf.


Dear Stephanie,

Thanks for the great quilt and laundry bag you sent over. I had been waiting for a card my better half sent over to respond to you with, and when I sat down to write in it this morning I realised I didn’t have your full return address but fortunately I clearly have your email. I’m glad you have a significantly better eye for colour than I do.  I’m not sure I could have done much better than 3 coloured stripes if I tried my hardest.  I’m fortunate enough to walk past the work of your fellow Aussie Hero quilters on a daily basis.  They provide a great bit of a colour and pop to an otherwise very bland coloured backdrop in the hospital wards.

At times its difficult to describe the emotions kind gestures from people, like yourself, who I have never met mean when you are overseas away from family and friends. I hope it’s enough to say it just feels good, and serves as a reminder of who we are overseas representing.  I hope your husband continues to embrace your passion for fabric for years to come. 

With thanks,


Hi Sandy, 

I just wanted to let you know that the beautiful quilt has arrived safe and sound! Thank you so much! It looks like you have put a lot of time and effort into making it and i very much appreciate it. It will be well used.

I am just over half way through a seven month deployment to the Middle East, and currently having some respite in Dubai. I am very much looking forward to getting home. 

Thanks again and take care!


Dear Janis,

I have just received your  wonderful Tottenham Hotpurs quilt and letter and I would like to say a very big thank you for everything. It was a wonderful surprise when I opened my parcel from you and I cannot begin to tell you how happy it has made me. Thank you so much for your support!!  

We have been away since  December last year and will be returning home in mid year so we are starting to get through it all now. We have visited some fantastic ports along the way and got to experience some interesting things. The weather is starting to warm up in this part of the world so it will be nice to head home prior to it really getting hot.  

I am the Logistics Officer onboard and I have a department of 35 sailors and two junior officers who work really hard and are all doing very well.  I joined the navy as a young sailor over 25 years ago and I really still enjoy myself,  the years have gone really quickly.

Again, I would like to thank you so much for your wonderful gift and support. 

Best wishes


Dear Bennie, 

Today the quilt you made for me arrived, I love it!. We have been at sea for two months and not received mail until today, we got 93 bags (1050kg) of mail which was exciting.

I have to say Bennie that the quilt you made is absolutely outstanding and I am thrilled with it. To be honest I was lost for words when I opened it up. There were some fantastic quilts arrived in our mail from Aussie Hero Quilts, I am most impressed with the one you made for me, I will treasure it always. I have written you a letter and sent a memento of HMAS Darwin, mail takes a while from here so could be a few weeks before it arrives.

At home in Sydney with my wife I have a daughter (4) and son who is 1.5.  I miss them all dearly and although my son knows I am away he doesn,t really understand, so I look forward to telling him the story behind my quilt in years to come.  I am sure my daughter will claim it when I get home, but undoubtedly the quilt is something we will treasure forever.

Words really cannot explain my gratitude for the quilt you have made for someone you don’t even know, thank you so much. Thank you also to Sue D who did the quilting bit.

Warm Regards, 


Hi Pam, just wanted to let you know that I received my quilt and laundry bag and absolutely love it! Really appreciate the thought and it’s made my room over here feel a lot more homely. Thanks for taking time out of your day to make me these, keeps me warm on the chilly days!

Good Morning!!

        I am writing to say how much I appreciate my AUSSIE HERO QUILT.  It turned out so awesome and better then I ever imagined. It works great for a cheeky five minute nap after lunch!

Kind Regards, 


Rhonelle photo 


Hi Jenny & Steve

How are you? Thank you very much for the laundry bag, it was a surprise when it turned up in the mail. The big hand & lollies were a very pleasant addition too.

Sorry this has taken a while to get to you, things have been surprisingly busy here for the last couple of months.This is actually a really good thing as the days go very quickly, its just very tiring.

It turns out laundry bags are pretty important here,  which might seem like a silly thing to say but it’s not really top of the list to take when getting ready to come over. It will be even more important over the next couple of months as this place begins to heat up. 

Thankyou again for going to all the effort of making the laundry bag. Things like that do make a difference. This is not the hardest place to live in that the army have taken me to but it’s still a long way from home & anything to make life a bit more colorful is always appreciated. 



A heartfelt thanks to you, Robin and all the team at Aussie Hero Quilts. I received a laundry bag which was a lovely surprise, but then I noticed my initials embroidered as well which is a very nice and personalised touch.
I write this only a few days before ANZAC Day. As we all gather together to pay our solemn respects to those lost, I will be thinking of those Aussies and our Kiwi partners serving alongside me in the MER. I will also be thinking of all Australians, such as you and your organisation, who serve in other ways. Forever supporting our men and women of the ADF through your generosity in providing a most welcome gesture to raise spirits.
I think it is time to retire my tired old mesh laundry bag. It has seen a few deployments around the world. Your laundry bag will soon be earning its keep and adding a little bit of colour to an otherwise dusty and monotone environment.
Warm regards,


Hi Bev,

what a privilege it is to receive such a wonderful letter telling me about you and your family . I can not express my gratitude enough to for taking the time to make such wonderful and unique quilts and laundry bags especially for us…I am completely blown away to receive my laundry bag this close to ANZAC Day which makes it even more special.  I have to say I am in awe of the your family’s contribution over many years in the protection of our great country.  From me and the Boys thank you..  In closing thank you again for generosity and support,  you will never know how much it means…
Best wishes 

Hi Jan-Maree,

Apologies for my tardy response.

I received my quilt late in the day on the 30th March, and left my location the next day for a trip which was followed immediately by ROCL (returning to Australia for two weeks leave), with which I only returned to the MER two days ago.

I am slowly making my way through emails….

I love my quilt! It is absolutely beautiful and I must write to the dear lady (who’s name escapes me at this point in time (Su)) and thank her for her creativity and beautiful work.

With the weather starting to warm up considerably, I took my old doona home with me and left my beautiful quilt on my bed so that the first night I came back ‘home’ (to the MER), I’d snuggle under my quilt thinking about my three baby girls.

Thank you again.

You and your team are angels.

It means a great deal to serving members to have personnel from organisations such as yours, take time out of your busy schedules, to do such kind things for us.

It’s nice to be thought of, whilst so far from home.

Kind regards, 


Morning Su,

I am writing to say thank you for my quilt. Apologies for the late reply but I received it on Friday as I have been away up country.

The quilt was awesome and you have captured personally my intent. Polo looks fantastic and you have done an amazing job. He is definitely the boss of our house and rules the roost.

Dante looks very cute and a handful. I don’now if I am going to use it, my first intention was to frame it and put it on the wall. I posted a picture on Facebook yesterday and everyone so far has been so impressed. It is the best one I have seen (but I am bias).

Thank you again for your amazing gift and all your hard work.



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

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  1. Jacqui D

    What wonderful thanks again this week. Don't we all love reading these heartfelt words from our 'guys' They mean such a lot to us all don't they? Great stuff!!

  2. Sandra Askill

    Wonderful meaningful letters of thanks
    So nice to be part of Aussie Heroes which clearly means so much to recipients
    Sandy A.


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