Grati-Tuesday 26 July 16

Written by AHQ

26 July 2016

Only a quick post tonight as I have work to finish and packing so that I can get away tomorrow morning as soon as I take the dogs to the kennel and check the post.

Will be on the road or meeting people a lot over the next few days so please bear with me if I am slow to answer emails. 


Good morning Bev and Geoff,

I received your quilt, Tim Tams and great card a few days ago.
I love the quilt and it has filled my bedspace with colour, which is greatly
appreciated. The Tim tams were shared around at work and brought a lot of
smiles to faces.
I know the service men and woman love the quilts and laundry bags you make
and send.
They are really appreciated and treasured.

It’s a beautiful part of the country you’re from, my brother lives in
XXXX but lived in Ballarat for a few years and I visited him there.

I live in XXXXX and my wife and kids look forward to me coming home. My son
is 14 in December and my daughter is 12 in September. Luckily I get to talk
to them every couple of days and I can email them at anytime. I have a
couple of months left over here and am really looking forward to being with
my family soon.

I have attached a picture of me with the quilt (52) you have sent. If I get
a chance I will get a better picture and send it through.

It’s very hot here this time of year and humid. It was over 50 degrees
Celsius yesterday. Luckily the tent I share with 5 other men is air

Again thank you for your support. 


Dear Rachel,

 A quick note to thank you for your beautiful gift from the heart.

I was the very fortunate recipient of one of the laundry bags that you have made.

I have served in the RAAF for 17 yrs.  The first 14 yrs as a permanent member and after a 10 yr break to raise my family I have been serving as an active reservist for the past 3 ½ yrs.
I work at Headquarters Air Command at Glenbrook.   I have four children aged 14, 13, 12 and 9 And a wonderful husband who I have been with for the past 24 yrs. 

I was awarded/rewarded with your beautiful bag by our Command Warrant Officer.  It was incredibly touching to be given such a lovely gift.  It is only the second time I have experienced such a warming touch of kindness and recognition as a serving member.  The first time was when I was out to lunch with my section and a stranger threw us $50 to buy a round of drinks.  It is awesome that there are people in the community such as yourself that value the contributions and sacrifices we make as serving members.

Thanks again for supporting us.  I love the bag you made and will treasure it for many years to come.

Kind regards,

Hi Jean,
Thank you so much for the Gladiator theme laundry bag, I love it! I was lucky enough to get a 2 week break in my deployment where I got to see the colosseum, it was amazing!
Thank you for the letter I also admire what the people at Aussie Quilt Heroes do, people in the defence are always talking about it especially when overseas.
Thank you again and take care.


Afternoon Jean,
I personally would like to thank you so much for the laundry bag that you had made up for myself! It really touched me in the efforts you went through to get the colours and medical symbol put on which I was very quite impressed!
Thank you for your beautiful letter too! Coffs Harbour must be such a nice place! I have heard so much about it, you must be so lucky to live there! Why travel? haha Although I too enjoy travelling! There are so many amazing places and so much more to see and do! It just blows my mind!
I hope you have been well and must be keeping so busy especially with all the orders that have been put through to you! You definitely make everyone happy whoever receives these gifts because you made my day today!
Again, I would like to thank you so much for the laundry bag!


Hi Jean 

Thank you so much for the laundry bag. I’m actually amazed at how good it is, the design is perfect and being a classic guy I only do the laundry in one hit and it’s managing to hold a lot of clothes which makes my life 10x easier. I along with my mates and others appreciate so gratuitously the effort and time all of you put in for Aussie Heroes
Again thank you so much for the laundry bag, appreciate it greatly 


Dear Joan & Robin,

 I am currently deployed overseas with the RAAF on Operation OKRA. I recently received a very nicely put together laundry bag from you guys and this is a letter to say a big thank you and tell you guys a little more about myself.

When I requested my bag I asked for baby cows and pigs on it, which is exactly what I got and I was so happy with it. The reason I asked for pigs and cows is because it reminds me of home. I am originally from North West NSW. Growing up in a rural area I had lots of farm animals as pets.

I currently live in the Northern Territory which is a fair distance from home, yet I really do enjoy the lifestyle as there are a lot of similarities between the two places.

In my spare time I enjoy racing motorbikes, it is something I am extremely passionate about. When I’m not doing that I am driving my 4 x 4 or camping.

I have two dogs that are staying with my parents whilst I am away. Lacey, who is a 4 your old black Labrador and is the nicest dog I’ve ever met. And Milli who is a 3 year old Wolfhound and absolutely loves her food. They are the best of friends and they are my best friends also. I miss them a lot.
Always, a big thanks again to you guys, your laundry bag certainly did brighten my living space, brought a smile to my face and came in extremely handy as it is a fair walk between my room and where I do my washing.

Dear Hellen,
                     I just wanted to write to you to give you my sincere thank you for the beautiful quilt that you sent me.  I received it yesterday which was a particularly hard day for us all in the Middle East.  We had to say goodbye to the sailor who passed away from the HMAS Darwin.  It was a solemn ramp ceremony which was proceeded by a service and some words by his best friend and ship mate.  Your quilt and the work that you put into it to make to make it is something special just for me serves a great reminder of the selfless love that you and so many people in the community have for our armed forces personnel.
The quilts that you and your fellow quilters make a big difference to our lives over here.   We show them off to each other with pride and admire the creativity that goes into each and every quilt and laundry bag.
My quilt will serve as a treasured reminder of my time spent on operations over the years, I have already planned where it will live in my apartment so that I can snuggle up under it on chilly nights, safe in the knowledge that there are so many beautiful souls in this world like yourself.
I hope this letter finds you well and I want you to know that you do your family’s military history proud with the contribution that you make to our lives every day.
Thank You

Dear Jean,
Firstly I would like to thank you for creating such a wonderful laundry bag for me. I love it. You are all very talented and do a wonderful job. Each one of us deployed over here are very thankful for all the work and effort that ladies from AHQ like yourself put in to create such beautiful laundry bags. I use mine all the time and it makes it a lot easier doing my laundry now. I really love all the Aussie pics on the front of the bag. They’re my favourite. Being a mad QLD supporter I just needed a bit of maroon somewhere on it, and it works perfectly.
It has been very hot over here at the moment. We reached around 56 degrees last week and it was almost unbearable with most days now being around the high 40s to low 50s. The days are very humid which makes it worse. Fortunately though I get to spend a fair bit of time inside with aircon. I have been in the RAAF for almost 22 years now and have enjoyed each moment of it. I am an Avionics Technician and have worked on many of the different aircraft that the RAAF has. I spent time on C130 Hercules, DC4 Caribou, F111s, F/18-F Super Hornet and enjoyed all of them. I would recommend a career in the ADF to anyone and as such two of my own boys are joining the Army (don’t know why they wanted Army and not Airforce???) this year. 
I am proud to do my part for this great country.
Thank you once again Jean, we respect each and every one of you wonderful ladies at AHQ.

Dear Joan & Robin,

I am writing to express my thanks and gratitude for the laundry bag that you both so lovingly made and sent to me. It has brought me such happiness and serves as a convivial reminder to me of the selfless acts that you and many others perform for us every day. I use my laundry bag with pride and take any opportunity to show it off to my friends and colleagues here and at home with photos.

Please know the you efforts are appreciated by all who serve,

With gratitude

Dear Sue,
     Thank you so much for the quilt, I have just returned from leave, hence the reason I haven’t sent you a thank you note.
      I have been here 4 months now & you certainly learn a lot about yourself & people around you, some good & not so good times.
 I am 47 with 2 kids and a husband.
   My husband has been deployed twice and has received a bag and quilt. It would be nice to put them together.
    Thank you so much

Hello Agnes,
                         I would like to extend my gratitude for the quilt you made for me. It has very much come in handy during the hot weather we have had, I cuddle up to it every night. I love the patterns you chose and I am honoured to receive one of your master pieces. The quilts in general brought so much joy throughout the ship.
I loved reading your letter and learning about how you and your family became Aussies.I Thought I’d give you a bit of info about myself.
I grew up in Tamworth Country NSW , I joined the Navy at the age of 17 in Jan 2006 as an Electronics Technician, I have served on various platforms throughout my career including HMA Ships Norman (Minehunter), Parramatta ( FFH class frigate), Success ( Auxiliary Oiler), Kanimbla ( Amphibious Support ), Melbourne ( FFG class Frigate) last but certainly not least HMAS Darwin ( FFG class Frigate). 
I have been honoured to have been given the opportunity to do 3 rotations in the Middle East Region to represent Australia on a global scale. 
Thank you again for your quilt, words can not express the joy and gratitude that they bring to sailors on deployment. 

Kind regards,


Dear Julie Ann,
Thankyou so very much for the beautiful quilt and laundry bag that you have so expertly crafted. Also thanks for the lollies the were very well received by everyone in the team. I am really blown away with the quilt and know my daughter is just going to love it to bits. I think you can be safe in assuming that the quilt will become an instant favourite and probably be passed between both my daughters as they grow up. This is just a quick email to say thankyou so much for all the time and effort that you have undoubtedly put into these quilts over the years. I am sure you have brought smiles to the faces of many a young family with your work and kind thoughts, a trait that is both special and admirable in the world today. I will look forward to getting home and taking a photo of my little girl with her quilt so we can send it to you to show how appreciative we are. Thank you so much again for everything.  

Congratulations and thank you for making a great quilt. I received the quilt roughly 2 weeks ago. Im sorry it’s taken me so long to thank you. My tour is just about over and things have finally slowed down so I have some free time to write to you.  

All of us in defence really appreciate the effort and time everyone at Aussie hero quilts puts in. My wife started quilting before my sons where born so I appreciate how much work hard work goes into making them. 

Space, pizza and kittens are my sons  favourite things. One is 4 and the other is 2. They’ll both get a buzz out of the quilt when I take it home. 

I hope you enjoy your last 2 years of school. I’m sure you’ll succeed and do well in your exams. A year in Sweden would of been awesome!! Lucky you. I’m jealous. 

I’ll definitely keep smiling. You should be very proud. Not many teenagers your age would sacrifice their time the way you have. 

Thanks again Caitlin, 
I wish you and your family  all the best for your future. 


Dear Jenny, Steve and Family
Well where can I start ? Jenny the laundry bag and quilt was truly amazing, it was exactly what i wanted and your craftsmanship was outstanding. I am so happy that you personally chose to do my quilt and that you actually knew what “Sailor Jerry” was. As your son does I also have a few Sailor Jerry inspired tattoos. Your Quilt and laundry bag is definitely the crowd favourite everyone loved it just as much as I did. I hope you have seen the HMAS Darwin Quilt photo if not I will forward it to you. I do not know how to thank you enough for all your kindness, support and hard work that you chose to do in your own time, I will be forever grateful. 
A little about myself, I have been in the Navy for 8 Years this is my third Gulf operational deployment but is my first Aussie quilt. I was born in Tamworth but moved to Camden NSW when I was very young and grew up in Camden and Picton. I joined the Navy when I was 20 years old. 

Hello Lynn and Arthur,

thank you so much for creating a very unique quilt for me. From your letter it sounds like it was a real team effort with some military type logistics involved getting people all over Australia to do their part. Not only that, there is also the artistic aspect of designing the quilt and I think you have done a fantastic job with the information I passed onto Jan-Maree. I thought it was great that you went to all the effort of making a one off panel with the electronic symbols to include on the quilt, much appreciated. 

I sent a photo of your quilt through to my wife and my Mum who also appreciate the work that has gone into making it. My mum also makes quilts (along with lots of other crafty stuff) and she reckons it looks “marvellous” and that I have a wonderful keepsake and memory of my time over here in the Middle East to bring home. Having seen Mum making quilts over the years I think I have a better understanding of the hours of work involved than some people. For your time and effort spent making quilts for us military people I am very grateful.  

It was good to hear about your family and I increasingly realise after half a year over here that this is the most important thing in life. I had two weeks holiday a few months ago and managed to meet up with my wife in Italy for a great time together. We have been married for nearly 25 years and we treated this time as the honeymoon that we didn’t quite get back then and it also coincided with her birthday. I chat to her most days (thanks to modern technology – Skype) but it will be great to get home and catch up in person and to see my two darling Beagles (I really smiled when I saw the Beagle pup on  the quilt).  

Could you also please pass on my thanks to your sister-in-law Wendy for her part in the overall creation of the quilt.

I will also be sending a letter through to Lorraine to thank her, 

Thanks again and the quilt has instantly cheered the place up with all the colours and patterns helping take the blandness out of my room over here. I’m sure that the quilt will also evoke good memories well into the future whenever I see it back at home.    
Regards to you both and your efforts are really appreciated


Dear Suzannah,

Wow and thank you.  Feeling very blessed.

Thank you so much for the beautiful quilt that arrived for me yesterday.  It means so very much. Thank you also for the treats and the kind words.

A little bit about me. I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1989 and  I am a Clearance Diver.  This is my 2nd operational tour in Afghanistan and my fourth in the Middle East (Iraq / Arabian Gulf).  My last tour here was in 2009.  I have been fortunate enough to have Commanded a Mine Hunter and the Australian Clearance Diving Task Group.

I can let you know that the amazing quilt will make its first appearance at Kona this year.  My amazing wife qualified in the Military division at IRONMAN Cairns and we will be heading to the big island in October, just after I return.  I am so very proud of her.  She is not fast (she does not mind me saying this), but she is determined and has trained very hard while juggling a high tempo position and playing single mum for so many years.  She is amazing.  She has already told Jan-Maree that your quilt will be at the big dance to add that extra bit of love and support

But, thank you so very much.  Words are simply not enough.

Kind Regards,

Good morning Jean,
I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that I recently received the wonderful laundry bag you made for me – I love it 🙂 I particularly requested DC Comic Heroes as they are my son’s favourites and I know how much he will appreciate inheriting his Dad’s laundry bag on my return to Australia. I am married to my wonderful wife and we have four children – 15, 13, 11, and 9.   We currently live in Brisbane and have loved the city, climate and countryside. It is a most wonderful part of the world!!  
Thank you for taking the time to make me a laundry bag – it is very touching to have someone take the time to make something for you to remind you of home, when you are away from family and friends for such an extended period of time. 
God’s blessings to you and your family.
Kind regards, 

Hi Su,

Just wanted to write a quick thank you so much for the quilt you stitched, I have used it the whole time on deployment it has kept me warm in the 52 degrees heat… wait what. Yes its very hot here but our bedrooms are air-conditioned so its great, i love all the skydiving on it it is very fitting for me, i can’t wait to get home and get back in the sky, one of my goals is to become a civilian skydive instructor by the end of this year, if i didn’t come on deployment i would have done it already.

We only have a few weeks left before the end of our time here so it will be a huge shock to come back to the cooler temps, anyway on behalf of my entire team here thank you so much for the work you guys do, all my guys ended up with a quilt that suits their personalities and they all have them on their beds, please take care and send your daughter a big thank you for her service too, us RAAFies have to stick together haha.

Thanks again


That is it for tonight.

Don’t forget I am on the road for the rest of the week and will have limited email time. I will do my best to keep up and get back to you as soon as I can.

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

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  1. Jacqui D

    Love the thankyou's they always make me smile….


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