Written by AHQ

10 September 2013

Loads of special messages to read tonight.
Just a few other bits first.
Happy Mail
First up, I need to tell you there won’t be a happy mail post tomorrow night. 
I have something else planned that I felt compelled to write.  
Happy mail will be saved for another day.

Sewing Day
The next sewing day is at my home on Wednesday the 18th of September.  If you can make it can you please let me know so that I can make sure I have prepared enough to do.

Mystery Quilt Blocks
Next if anyone is going to make a block for either of our two mystery quilts (elephants and sharks) and you have not yet put it/them in the mail can you please contact me as I would like to start putting the quilts together pretty soon and want to make sure that I have all of those that are coming.

Silent Auction
Don’t forget you can win a voucher for two people (valid for twelve months) for a Square Rig Sailing Adventure and raise funds for AHQ by bidding in our SILENT AUCTION which closes at 1700 hours on Monday 23rd September 2013.
Place your bid at jo*********@ou*****.com 
Check it out here on the Sydney Heritage Fleet Website. 

And now to those messages.

Pam and the “Sit & Sew Group” made this fellow’s day when they sent him a quilt and laundry bag.


Hi Jan-Maree,

I received my quilt today. I absolutely love it. 
A big thank you to Jacqui for making it and an even bigger thank you to AHQ for the amazing work you all do for all the serving troops.
And thank you to Julia Ann for my laundry bag too.

G’day Stephanie D,

I am a Sergeant in the Australian Army currently serving my second tour of Afghanistan.

I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful laundry bag that you took the time to make. This is the first laundry bag that I have had that looks completely different from everyone else’s bag! Should make collecting my laundry a lot easier from now on…..
Thank you again I/we really appreciate your support and thoughts.
Kind regards


To Ann S,

I just wanted to personally give you my appreciation for the lovely packages that were sent to me during my deployment here in Afghanistan. It has really opened my eyes on how much the people of our nation appreciate our service, in representing our country. The goodies I’ve received have been very useful and delightful. I’m enjoying my time here in the middle east, I have kept busy so far in my deployment.

The experience here is a good way of challenging the skills that I have gained in my trade training and as a trained soldier. I’ve also worked with people here with a broad amount of experience and have come from different parts of the world. I’m privileged to be involved in this large mission.

Your letter was inspiring, demonstrates the commitment and love you have for your family.

So I just want to thank you again, for being thoughtful in the items you sent in these packages. Very useful toiletries and tasty goodies. The quilt you made was absolutely amazing, colours and patterns I’d personally choose for myself. I could definitely see your efforts in packing these packages.

May God bless you and your family.

Yours truly


Hi Peggy,

I’m writing to you to thank you for such a wonderful quilt, it looks like a lot of time & effort went into the making of it, its something that I will not only use while on deployment but I’ll use it after as well, as per your instructions.
It was interesting to find out that you made the quilt at the start of the year, I wasn’t even sure if I personally was going to be deployed at the start of the year.  
I’ve already made plans for your letter to be laminated so it won’t fade or deteriorate over time so it can be put with my other things from this deployment that I plan to make a scrapbook with.  In this day and age of e-mails, Facebook and “SKYPE” a hand written letter is something of not only a rarity but a lost art form.   I couldn’t wait to show my mates that a complete stranger had spent the time to sit down and write such a wonderful letter, They all said “wow… hand written hey”.

I’m a carpenter within the Royal Australian Engineer Corp, I’m based in XXXXX , where the units primary role is to provide support in horizontal (roads etc.) and vertical (buildings) construction, we usually show off our skills every second year in remote parts of Australia assisting Aboriginal communities by providing them with new housing and improving or even making new roads within their communities, as well as provide healthcare and training in skills such as welding and basic construction.  In 2009 I was up near your way helping a community in a town called “MAPOON” 100km north of Weipa, 
I haven’t had a better fishing experience since… ha ha.

My main role here in Afghanistan  is to dismantle and deconstruct the buildings and help pack up the Australian base.

I have attached a photo of myself with the quilt of course.

So lastly, I want to THANKYOU again for your support, your time and effort,  its people like you that make the soldiers over here so proud to serve and represent our country.



Julie Ann undertook to sew thirty or more laundry bags for a bunch of tradies deployed as a team. She has been sending them off in batches of 5 and ten.

Hi Julie Ann

We started receiving the first of the laundry bags today. . As you stated in your letter XXXX was made by someone other than you, so if we can get thanks to them it would be appreciated. (that is for you Sue N for the Spongebob Laundry bag)
I can assure you that people here receive these gifts with a lot of excitement. Whilst I explained the significance of the bags and the quilts, that many of them may not appreciate them now, but in years to come or for members of their families and for themselves. I have three children, 3 boys, and a beautiful daughter (boys are like their Dad), so I will likely present it to her when I get home, because I know she will cherish it and will understand the significance, I’ll get the boys something as well – probably a clip behind the ear. 
It is genuinely families back home who do the hard yards, and we are just passengers along the trip. This is my second time to Afghanistan and this trip is much easier. We are lucky as Engineers because we have something genuine to do every day. Also none of boys are going outside the wire on missions and I feel much more comfortable about that. I reminded our people the other day, not just about ringing their Father’s, but ringing other members of their families to reassure them, because they would be worried sick.
Again, thank you very much for your efforts and kindness. It does mean a lot to us.


Dear Stephanie,

                                I was very humbled to receive your hand made quilt in the mail today. It was an unexpected gift and will be a great addition to brighten up my room. The beach scene featuring the Brighton beach houses is very fitting as I’m from Victoria and grew up not far from Torquay Beach near Geelong. Thank you for bringing a little piece home to a distant land and I most certainly will keep this as a memento of my deployment to Afghanistan.  With the colder months looming, this quilt will also serve me well during the cold nights.
Keep up the great work, your efforts are very well received.


Dear Mrs N, (Sue N)

I would like to thank you for the kind donation of your time, effort and generosity on behalf of all the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Australian Defence Force currently serving overseas.

Fortunately for me I was a lucky recipient of your Spiderman2/Robots laundry bag and gift pack. I loved the personal touches and crossword attached to the card. It’s almost as if the whole thing was tailor designed for me so thank you.
It may only seem like a small token when you’re putting the package together back home in Australia but I can tell you as a veteran of multiple deployments that it’s the little things that make a big difference. A simple letter from home or a gift from a stranger has an amazing effect on your morale and can brighten an otherwise dark day.
Thank you once again and please keep up your involvement with Aussie Hero Quilts as we really do appreciate the brilliant and generous work that you do.
Yours sincerely
Hello Sue,
I am currently deployed in the Middle East and I was lucky enough to be given your laundry bag that you so kindly made and sent over.
I would just like to say thank you so much. The laundry bag is fantastic and so well made! It makes it extremely easy to find my own laundry now among all the other bags.
The fact that you made the bag is one thing but I think that people like you even think to do that for the guys and girls over here, it is very much appreciated and makes everyone feel like they are appreciated.
I am currently on an 8 month tour and am 3 months into it. I will be home in February some time.
This is my 4th deployment. I have previously been deployed to Bougainville (5 months), East Timor (6 months), and Iraq (8 months). 
We all miss home and everything that goes with it while we are away. It is a long time to be away from all that is dear to you & you can’t have a beer which sucks big time!! Very Un-Australian!
Very hot where I am at the moment. The temperature is anywhere between 45 – 55C during the day. It’s like walking around inside a pizza oven!
Thanks again for the bag.

Good morning Jan-Maree,

I have just received my Aussie Hero Quilt, Laundry Bag and other assorted lovely gifts, thank you so much, they are wonderful, I especially love the Westie on the Laundry Bag. I have attached a photo of the quilt and the small bear that arrived with the care package, I have named him Stitches and he is currently touring the Base.
Again, thank you very much, I really appreciate the service that your foundation provides.
Kind regards, 


And for Noeleen.

Thank you so much for my quilt and laundry bag they are both fantastic and have made life that little bit nicer each night when I get into bed.  Much nicer than my itchy blanket

Once again thank you for all your support it means so much to not only myself but to all the guys and girls over here.

G-day, I recently received a quilt from your organisation, I am just writing to say thank you for the quilt was a pleasant surprise to receive that in the mail. As it is slowly cooling down here In the Middle East I’m sure it will come in very handy when the temperature drops. If you could please also thank the lady who made this for me, Cheryl D, I would really appreciate that. I think your organisation is a great idea and I know the guys here who have received quilts and Laundry bags really do appreciate the work you guys do. I am hoping to get together a few of the guys from my unit who have received quilts and we will post a photo on your Facebook page.
Thanks again 

Hi Rita,

Just a short email to thank you for the absolutely amazing quilt that you made for me. It has certainly brightened up my room over here, and it could certainly do with it considering that I still have 5 months to go. I used to live in Melbourne for 14 years and worked about a 10 minute walk to Albert Park. So I managed to see my fair share of F1 races.

I have a boy and girl. My little princess has no interest in F1 racing and is into princesses and fairies as most girls her age are. My son however looks forward to sitting with me to watch the races from around the world. He gets exited when he see the promotions on TV but is very disappointed when he realises that he will be asleep when the race is on. We have a deal now that I will tape it and if he behaves we would sit down on the weekend and watch it together. So I think you can guess that once I get home I will give the quilt to my son. I can just imagine how jealous his sister will be.

Once again Thank you and all the other ladies who take the time to brighten the lives of deployed soldiers.    

Kind Regards

Hello Rita M,

I received the quilt you made for me! It is awesome! I was really happy when I received it brightened up my day 

It is warm over here during the day time but it starting to become quite fresh in the mornings and in the evenings now.  The quilt will be great.  My roommates seem to like living in an igloo so it is absolutely freezing in here hahah.. 

Well I hope this email finds you and that I haven’t bored you to much Rita. 

Once again thank you for the quilt! It is amazing 


Hi Michele

I was lucky enough to be one of the engineers from FEU to receive a quilt that you made, I would like to thank you for the time and effort you put in to making it.  It means a lot to me to see that there are people back home thinking of us while we are on our deployment.  I am not sure how you found out that I was interested in traveling, sponge bob and classic cars but it shows the amount of effort you went through and I would like to say I am very grateful for the time and effort you put into the quilt.
Dear Fay 

Thank you very much for your quilt and letter. 
It’s very nice to know we are thought about back home and are very appreciative of the support and care packages we receive. You did a wonderful job with that quilt, thank you
very much. 
In the following email, the quilt is from Millie and the laundry bag from Julie.

Hello Jan-Maree,

I hope all is well back in Oz. My quilt has arrived and is so gorgeous. I’ve had it wall mounted! I understand I will probably rethink that decision when winter hits us! For now it is altogether better than staring at a muted yellowish brownish beige-y sand coloured wall (which is pretty much the colour of everything around here). Thank you so much to you and your team for bringing me this joy every day. It is a genuine reminder that we are well thought of over here, and haven’t been forgotten by so many Australians. I’ve also received a personalized laundry bag, which I love to use. It is a dusty pink, with my initials stitched into it, so not much chance of someone pinching it! When I find a quiet moment some thank you cards are owed to your team! My only regret is that I have absolutely no skill-set to return to you, although you might be just a little proud – I was forced into replacing a button on my uniform the other day, needle, cotton and me all together to ensure said button does not come off again. The guilty party is now secure, but let me tell you, it ain’t pretty work. I tell people I’m more about function….

XXX is doing wonders over here on your behalf, she is constantly generating and encouraging soldiers to contact your team, and the quilts are one of the enduring memories people will take away with them.  

My girls have seen the quilt via Skype, and are intrigued at the secret club in Australia that sends quilts to soldiers. The mystery! I haven’t got the heart to tell them you have a website! We’ll get on it when I go home for some leave, so they can see all the others you’ve sent to people over here.

Anyway, I have yet another problem to solve, and should get back to the grindstone. Many thanks again for staying at yours, and thanks for checking in…… 


I am one of the medical personnel looking after our troops in the Middle east. I was fortunate enough to be delivered a package from you.
I would like to thank you very much for your thoughts and your gifts from home; all were extremely appreciated and will be put to good use.
The fact that so many Australians, like yourself, give your time to send gifts, cards and a few words of comfort and encouragement means a lot. Not just to myself but to my fellow soldiers, sailors and airmen and women, who are currently serving at home and abroad. It is also these random acts of generosity and true Australian spirit of mateship, which fortitudes our resolve to see this task complete, whilst giving strength to our friends, family and loved ones that we have left back at home.

Your simple gesture has been greatly appreciated.

Hi Su,

I received the beautiful quilt you made me yesterday! Thank you so much, the colours and the detail are amazing, I’m guessing it took a while to make! It definitely has brightened up my room and brought plenty of morale
Kind regards,

Dear Julie Ann,
                I absolutely love my new laundry bag!
                Thank you so very much to give your time in making it.
                The fabric is wonderful and looks great hanging in my room.
                It certainly fits the Middle Eastern theme. The sweets got demolished quickly,
                As I shared them around my office.
                Thanks again to you and your husband. Your work is very appreciated by us all.

This following quilt was made by Ida and was sent to a female.  I assume it arrived on Fathers Day and she declared to her partner that this was the “Best Father’s Day Gift ever!”  LOL  

Dear Madeline, (Maddy to us)
I’m writing to you to say a huge thank you for the lovely quilt, laundry bag and treats you sent over to me.
As soon as I saw my mate walk up with an overexpanded post mailing box I knew something special had arrived for me.  Yes Maddy!  It did bring a big smile to my face when I unfolded the quilt you made.  I love the Aussie designed theme and praise your craft.  The detail is just fantastic!  As soon as I returned to my room at the end of my shift I spread my new quilt on my bed.  My room now feels that bit more homely and  comfortable.
I have been deployed to the Middle East for four months now and have roughly another four months to complete before returning home.  My wife and i are building a new house which should be completed by the end of August.  It’s funny to say when I think of home, its not the home I will be returning to.  I do look forward to the day though.
You and the team of quilters from Aussie Hero Quilts are doing a wonderful talented job providing us Aussie soldiers with your gifts.
Thank you again

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

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1 Comment

  1. Janine C

    Heart warming letters and photos.


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