Grati-Tuesday 27 Mar 18

Written by AHQ

27 March 2018

Hi all

Well I am back from South Australia and I had a fabulous time. More info to follow.


Hi there, just letting you know I received the quilt in the mail! It’s beautiful!! Was so amazing to see what the results were! So grateful for what you and the ladies do for service members, such a beautiful thing! Thank you again!

Quilt by Di G 


Dear Mae,

Thank you for the beautiful laundry bag, you are very talented.  Please excuse my writing, I can’t remember the last time I actually wrote a letter.  I love writing, in fact anything to do with getting creative, and stationery, pens, pencils, paper and books.

I’m delighted to hear that you are Scottish, in fact I’m engaged to marry a Scott.  I’m really looking forward to going home and start planning.

Anyway, I will finish this up now.
Thanks again for your beautiful creation and generosity of the extra bits and pieces you thought to send.

Much love

Dear Gail,

Thank you dearly for being the creative genius behind my quilt!  I absolutely adore your quilt design, with your craftsmanship and attention to detail being second-to-none!  It is quite clear that you have invested a great deal of effort and passion into my quilt.

As you have probably guessed from my requested quilt design, I am a Dentist by trade, and in one of my many deployed roles here, I provide dental services to the Coalition forces here in theatre.  We are very privileged to have such a high standard of dental care in Australia, for the bulk of my time is spent treating our Coalition friends who do not share the same standard of care within their own countries.

Your cause in supporting Aussie Hero Quilts is very noble, and I wish to personally thank you for your dedication to this cause.  From abroad, it means a great deal to us serving members to receive a personalised memento representing our time here in theatre, especially when we’re away from our family, friends and Australia.  The quilts are a great symbol of your appreciation of our service.

Like you, I grew up in (Inner western) Sydney, where I also completed all my formal training.  I absolutely love Sydney and miss it every time I leave the country or whenever I’m posted to other parts of Australia.  I am also an avid traveller and love exploring the amazing world that surrounds us – getting away whenever my schedule (and budget!) permits.

I wish to also take this opportunity to wish you a safe and Merry Christmas surrounded by all your family.  I hope the New Year brings you continues good health, happiness and prosperity.

Yours sincerely,

Hello Jan-Maree, Sandy, Kay, Vicki, Mary and Lynne,
I am speechless. My quilt is so beautiful. Thank you very much.
The workmanship is wonderful and your choice of colours, and pictures is perfect, and the embroidery is flawless.
I’m not sure that I will use it as a bed cover, as my beautiful border collie sleeps on the bed, but more a piece of art work.  
When I get home and place it somewhere (yet to be decided) I will take a photo and show you.
So, thanks again, it really is just beautiful!


Thank you very much for your quilt. It arrived safe and sound along with all the other goodies. It is an exciting time when mail comes into the ship, it is almost like Christmas, and everybody is very keen to see how each other’s quilts have turned out. You will be happy to know that my new quilt sits in pride of place on my bunk and several comments have already been made (all good).

It’s been almost 5 months now since I’ve been away and I’m missing home terribly. I live in XXXXX and my wife and two young daughters are currently there continuing with life until I get home. It sounds like you enjoy the outdoors just as much as I do and when I’m not at sea I do enjoy mountain biking and camping. Two things I intend on doing a lot of when I return home.

This deployment is very long and so far has seen us travel most of the Middle East and the east coast of Africa. We have been quite successful in seizing a large amount of narcotics, which brings great pride. It is also very fulfilling receiving letters and support from people back home.

I do have an appreciation for how much space quilting can take up, as my mother in-law is a mad quilter and also has a whole room dedicated to her hobby.

Again thank you for your quilt, time and effort. Your support is appreciated and just remember your quilt brought a smile when it arrived.


Hi there Jean

Sorry for getting back to you so late, I wanted to thank you for the Laundry bag that you sent to me

As you already know, I’m currently Deployed on operations here in the Middle East. I am an Avionics Technician, working on the C-130 Hercules. I live with my Partner, who is just beginning the hobby of quilting. She is just as excited as I was to see the laundry bag that you made close up, and to learn as much as she can from the work that you’ve done. 

I started following the Seahawks quite a few years ago after traveling to America with my family. I watched a game with some friends (which the Seahawks won) and instantly found an interest in the game and the team. Some of my workmates also follows NFL and we often talk about the game and compare teams over lunch.

Thankyou so much for taking the time to make this for me, I really appreciate the work you’ve done and I can’t wait to show it off to my friends and family.

Thanks again,

Dear Michelle and Sharon F,

I just want to say thank you for the laundry bags.  I’m in the Air Force and have completed over 6 months so far. I am nearly due home, and have missed my husband and two daughters very much.

Sharon N mentioned how you recruited some sewers out of the Tuggerah Lakes Senior College.  Could you please pass on my gratitude to those students.
All the bags will be distributed to incoming members based here.  It’s a small contingent of Aussies, mainly Air Force members and a few Army personnel.

It’s always lovely receiving gifts, but especially handmade ones.  Please pass onto the students that these bags will always be kept as keepsakes and that their service is equally important.

For you two lovely ladies thank you for all that you do, it’s so wonderful to know that strangers like yourselves so willingly give up your time, talent and resources so generously.

God bless you in all that you do.

Kind regards,

Dear Sharon,

Thank you for the Aussie Hero laundry bags.  Looking at the date of your letter they arrived within a very quick turnaround.  Usually mail can take up to around 6 – 8 weeks.

I am at the end of my deployment.  I’ve been here just over 6 months now and I am really looking forward to going home to see my husband and two daughters.  We have all missed each other very much.

I had a chuckle when your letter started how you recruited your friend (teacher) and her class.  Funny story is, I used to be a Home Economics teacher in Qld before joining the Air Force.  I used to teach senior sewing classes.  Please pass on my thanks and appreciation to them.

I think what you ladies do at Aussie Hero Quilts is amazing.  You also sacrifice your time, energy, resources and talent to bring a personal gift and touch to so many who join and serve overseas.
These items become treasured keepsakes that will be passed down to the children of those who serve.

Thank you once again, your contribution although small is still very powerful; what you do really does make a difference.

Kind regards

Thanks so much for your quilt
It looks great, I can only imagine how long it took you.

Thanks so much for your support.

I have currently been in the Navy for 24 years and this is my last deployment for a while as I have been away a lot over the last 10 years.
This is the sixth time I have deployed to the middle east, including time in Iraq and the persion gulf.

Thanks again.

G’Day Tamsin,

Thank you very much for the laundry bag, it is very much appreciated. I received it yesterday (22 Mar). I also appreciated the goodies as well. A few extra snacks for the evening whilst I am in my room.

So, our tour is now two thirds complete. The weather is starting to heat up now so I am sure that it will get lots of use over the coming months.

Once again thank you for the time and effort spent on such a wonderful bag.


G’day Hilary,
Thank you for your kind package – the laundry bag was a lovely surprise!  Thank you for the blank card as well.   My daughter has surgery tomorrow to have her tonsils removed and I am very disappointed to not be able to be there for her, so it is nice to be able to send her the card. As a military family, I have no doubt you’re well acquainted with time apart from loved ones.

I must away, still at work. Thanks again for the very thoughtful parcel.

kind regards, 

P.S. I shared the Tim Tams with my colleagues, and they were demolished in seconds 🙂

Dear Bridget,

I’m the very fortunate soldier who received your wonderful quilt.  I find it difficult to express how much this means to me, but I will try.

This is my second time to the Middle East.  This first was in 2013/14.  At the time I did not know about the wonderful group of generous people who make up Aussie Hero Quilts!  I was disappointed that I didn’t know earlier.  Well, here I am again for my second tour and now extremely privileged to have an amazing quilt made by yourself.

Please know that I’ll treasure it always and that it means a great deal to me.  Thank you so much for your time, generosity and appreciation for what we do so proudly for our country.
A little bit about myself.  I am a Warrant Officer Class Two and have served now for 17 years including two years of reserve service for the first part, prior to transferring to the full time Army.
I am working with communications specialists upgrading our systems.  My part is the logistics to ensure they have all the equipment they need to complete their tasks and in the right place at the right time.  Our team is wonderful and we are enjoying our time together serving our country, doing our part.  A fair few of the team are on their first deployment and are doing a wonderful job.

Look forward to hearing from you and take care.

All the best,

(The pink rising sun is my absolute favourite!  It was definitely perfect and suited to me.)

Dear Kaye,

Firstly thank you so much for my beautiful bag, you honestly made me so happy.

A little bit about myself.  I am a Brisbane girl, who grew up in the inner city suburbs.
I’m currently posted to Amberly, so back in Queensland after spending 6 years in Newcastle.
I am single, but have a large close family.

Once again, thank you.
You ladies are amazing.
Thank you,

Dear Chris,

Thank you for your lovely laundry bag and kind letter.  As you may have guessed, I’m a big Star Wars fan.  The new film just came out and we were lucky enough to able to see it over here.

I really appreciate all the effort you went to making me a laundry bag.  It is a great feeling knowing that someone back home is thinking of me.

I’m a 32 year old doctor.  I work with a health team and our main job is looking after the health of all the soldiers.  I work with a great team and we work hard, but also have a good time.  I’m currently living in XXXXX and I have two beautiful daughters aged 8 and 5.  When I’m not at work or looking after my girls I like swimming and doing yoga.  My parents live in Canberra and that’s where I grew up.  I’m away from my girls for 6 months in total, but I get a two week holiday and I’m planning on taking them overseas somewhere.
I’m also an AFL fan and I love Victoria.  Melbourne is my favourite city and when I visit in footy season I go and watch  any game at the MCG.  Back home I take my girls to the games and we all love it.

I thought you may be interested in life over here.  We man our health centre 24/7 but normal work days are everyday with Friday morning off.  On Fridays we sleep in, exercise and then go and have brunch.  Besides work, everyone does sport or exercise each day.  I’m also learning salsa dancing which is fun and a bit of a change from a normal day.  I’m also close to finishing my GP training so I do quite a bit of study each day.

Thanks again for your lovely gift.  It comes in handy over here and will be cherished.



Hi Sandy A

I have received your lovely laundry bag I really appreciate all the effort you and your son have gone too to make our lives a little bit easier and more enjoyable. Thank you so much.

Kind Regards,

Dear Lyn,

Firstly, thank you so much for my quilt and laundry bag.  I was so excited to receive them and happy with how they turned out from my brief description of what I would like.  I love them!

A bit about myself.  I am one of 4 in my family, I have 1 older brother and 2 younger sisters.  I grew up with my parents and siblings.  My grandparents were always close by watching us grow up.  I joined the Airforce when I was 17, I was a cook for nearly 5 years before I changed job roles in 2016.  I am now in supply and was lucky to deploy just after 12 months of being in the job.  I have been in the Airforce for 7 years in April.  My first posting was to Tindal in the NT.  That was a great first posting for me, I made a lot of friends and memories and was lucky enough to meet my fiancé while I was there.  Once I remustered, I was posted to Amberley in QLD.  I am enjoying my time there and have continued to make lifelong friends there.  In my free time I love to play sports, particularly soccer and touch football.  I love getting back home whenever I can for a game of cards and coffee catch ups with my family.  We are all still very close, we love getting out on the boat and fishing or going to the beach.

My fiancés and I have been together for 5 years now.  He is a fun, kind and loving man and we have been fortunate enough to travel a lot.  We have been to New Zealand, Bali, Vanuatu, Fiji, we did a Contiki through Europe, travelled all over America, most recently we went to Kenya, Botswana and South Africa for a Safari.  We love to explore and see and do new things, we are both very adventurous and excited to see what the rest of our lives bring.  I can’t wait to get back home to him so we can start planning our wedding.

I am more than halfway through my deployment now and I can’t wait to be going home.  I have learned a lot and feel proud that I have been over here serving my country.  Deployment life can be hard work and busy, however if you’re willing to get out there, meet new people and get involved in social activities outside of work it can be quite a fun experience.  I have managed to get into a good routine with work, exercising and socialising with newly made friends.  Time has flown by so fast already.

Again, thank you for my quilt, I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to do this great thing for us over here.  We all talk about our quilts and what we wanted and how we can’t wait for them to arrive, and once they do arrive we all comment on how awesome each others are!

Kind regards,

Dear Ruth,

I write to thank you for the beautiful laundry bag you sent me.  I received your gift two weeks ago and this is the first opportunity I have to write to express my gratitude.  I do apologise for the delay in doing so.

There had been a considerable delay in receiving mail from Australia, eight weeks to be precise.  I do hope that you didn’t think your efforts were lost or not appreciated.  I can assure you that the laundry bag has certainly been put to good use.
It is amazing how little things such as your gift are so much appreciated when you are away from home, despite the opportunity to connect regularly through the internet with family, it is a personal effect that you remember the most, my wife, who is holding the fort back home was also touched once I told her.

I also received a quilt from Aussie Quilts (assuming you are one and the same organisation) which was similarly themed with my favourite actress of all time, Audrey Hepburn, adorning the cover.  Please pass on my gratitude to whoever else contributed accordingly.

I thank you once again, and wish you and your family all the best for the future.


Dear Ruth,

I am currently serving with the Australian Army in the Middle East.

I have just received the laundry bag you have so kindly made for me.  I wasn’t expecting any mail, so it came as a bit of a surprise.  I had seen other people using handmade quilted laundry bags and thought they looked great and would go with the quilt I had recently received.  As you may have been aware, I was given a quilt with a rising sun on it from another lady at AHQ (Di G), so the bag you have made for me matches perfectly.

Thank you also for the lollies, the lollies over here just aren’t the same as in Australia.  They were a nice surprise along with the laundry bag.  I have eaten all the lollies already, and they were very nice.

It means a lot to know that people in Australia are thinking of us and taking the time to produce personal handmade gifts such as you have.

Thank you again.

Dear Clarissa,

Firstly I’d like to say apologies for the delay, but I wanted to write rather than email in the first instance.  The art of letter writing is slowly being lost and I know I am one of those who doesn’t get around to it these days.  More importantly, I cannot thank you enough for one of the most amazing gifts I have ever received.  The laundry bag you so kindly made is absolutely beautiful and I can’t tell you how much it actually means to me.  I will be forever grateful.
I appreciate what you, Jan-Maree, and all the other inspiring volunteers have done for so many of us, and continue to do.  I don’t think we could ever fully express our gratitude enough.

I grew up in Sydney and am living back there also.  I live with my partner,  who is in the Navy, and our daughter.  We live in the Eastern Suburbs, so near your rugby team.  My friend also used to play for them.

Lastly, thank you again so much for the laundry bag.  I will forever treasure it and appreciate what you and other do for us to make out time here memorable.

All the best and many thanks

Dear Ally,
A short note to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation for the fantastic laundry bag! It is wonderful and I am very grateful for your kindness. It is impressive in both quality and presentation – my laundry has never been better catered for!
Mia is a beauty, and so are the granddaughters, thank you for sharing some of your story. It makes the gift much more meaningful to me.
You are right that these boost morale. You should be very proud of this contribution. We are fortunate to serve such supportive and generous people at home in Australia.

Safe travels in the MINI!

Hi Noelene,

I just wanted to write and thank you for your kind donation and let you know that PACMAN has safely arrived in Malaysia.

While our conditions are very good over here, any reminder of Australia is a good one and I appreciate the effort you have made, especially the personal letter enclosed.

All the best for your future and once again, thank you.

Kind regards,

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

Jan-Maree  xx

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