Grati-Tuesday 29 August

Written by AHQ

29 August 2017

A huge day here in Aussie Hero Land…. 

Bev U, Bridget, Gail, Clarissa and Ann came to work today and work they did. I now have a stack of about 40 quilts sitting in boxes waiting to be taped up once I have written the covering letters to go with them.  I am on that now. 

Additionally, they layered quilts, finished a quilt top, made a very special mini quilt for a very special purpose, layered quilts, quilted quilts and so much more!

Now just to get the quilts that we boxes taped up….. anyone free on Monday night??  Your assistance would be much appreciated. 

For now on to some great thank you messages.

Hi Jan-Maree

So today, the quilt finally arrived! 
And I love it! It really is so great! The magnet idea is just awesome! So fitting! 
I really appreciate the effort that you and your team put into doing such a kind thing for us. Particularly Donna, in making this quilt! I will most definitely be writing to her to say thankyou! 

How have you been? 
I hope you like the photo!  🙂 



Thank you very much for the laundry bag. I love the design and it makes laundry much easier as I don’t have to go searching through bags anymore to find my washing. I applaud your dedication to us guys and girls over here. 300 is a lot of sewing.

I have driven through Coffs about a dozen times but have only stayed over night once. I would like to take a holiday there one day work depending.

I too like to travel, however most of my trips are work orientated and therefore don’t provide much time for sight seeing (there isn’t much to see anyway), but at least I get to experience some diverse cultures. The best work place I have been sent is Timor Leste. Great fishing, snorkeling and very rewarding work.

Once again, thanks for the laundry bag.

Dear Sue,
Firstly I want to thank you for the superb quilt you made for me. The thought and the craftsmanship that went into it was quite humbling and I was slightly taken aback. 

My son will be getting the quilt on my return and it will become a prized possession of his and he will look after it, you have my word.

Being away from family is always hard, but with support like yours, it makes it much easier.
The job you and fellow artists perform in crafting these pieces is outstanding and you should be applauded. This will be kept in my family and passed down as a legacy item.
Once again, Thank you and I hope you continue this outstanding work.
Yours Sincerely

Hi Bridget
Firstly I would just like to thank you for my laundry bag. You have done a fantastic job and it’s made all the Americans that I’m working with Jealous. On my first deployment the boys and I were sewn helmet beanies from a small knitting group in Kiama. It kept our heads warm through the winter and I never had the opportunity to say thank you so I wasn’t going to let it happen again. I really appreciate all the work that you have put into it and for the ongoing support to deployed soldiers from you and “Jan-Maree’s sewing ladies”.
I would just like to thank you for your 40 years of service as a nurse, I would try and sew you something in return but I don’t think it will turn out any good.
I’m 27 years old, I’ve been in the army for 8 years and this is my second deployment overseas. 
Thank you,

Kind Regards
Dear Cathie,

I wanted to write to you to express my thanks for the quilt you made sent out to me. It was more than I could have hoped for and is an amazing piece of work. It is perfect and now has pride of  place in my room. 
I’ve been over here for a few months now so still have quite abit to do, I have managed to get home for a couple of weeks though to see my family back in Oz. 

Thank you so much for my quilt and for everything you do for the guys and girls who are away from home. It really means a lot and is something which shows people are thinking of us.

With gratitude

Hi Sue!

Just wanted to send you my thanks for the quilt- it is just stunning! I have no idea how you interpreted my vague instructions so well. The mandalas in particular have impressed everyone who has seen it.

And for me certainly, seeing as this is my first deployment, this quilt will always have a very special meaning for me!

I have two months to go until I return home.

So thank you again for giving me something to smile about today.

Many thanks and kind regards


Hi Joan,

I just thought I’d drop you a line now that I have a few minutes breathing space between tasks. I received the laundry bag you made for me last week. The US guys in the office were suitably jealous as it was home made. I’m happy to go with the Indian motorbike as well. It’s a similar camaraderie between Harley riders and Indian riders.

I’ll try and get a photo, although it’s a little hard when I can’t have the camera in the office. It ends up staying in the room.

Thank you for the time and effort to make the bag. It is being used already.

Dear Kate, 

Thank-you for parcel. It arrived during our port visit. It coincided with a day I was feeling low, as a good friend was leaving the ship and returning to Australia.

To answer your question, the people who man a ship are collectively referred to as the Ship’s company, often reduced to crew. The crew comprises many teams that combine depending on the severity of the situation into a larger team. So each is really interchangeable.

This is my first deployment overseas with the Navy and by far the longest I have undertaken.

I too am married. 30 years in September and also have two daughters in their 20’s. I miss the kids terribly, even the little things that go on in their lives. And of course I miss my dog…

Thank you for your efforts, it is really appreciated.

kind regards

Hi April,

I just wanted to send my thanks for your care package you sent over to me in the Middle East. In particular, I appreciate the laundry bag you made for me. The black and gold is my Squadron’s colours and it looks fantastic. I’ve attached a photo for you. 
It was nice to hear from someone out in the country as I grew up on a farm in too. I didn’t think it was possible to be hotter then a Mildura summer but some days it’s well over 50 degrees here! 
Like your family who has served previously, it is an honor to be here flying for Australia and helping protect our freedoms.

Kind regards,


Hello from Malaysia!

Thank you kindly for your laundry bag through Aussie Hero Quilts.
I really hope that you can appreciate how much your generous gift means to my soldiers and I.  As soldiers, it is the practical things we love the most, and a sturdy laundry bag is certainly a welcomed gift and a warm reminder of the support of the people back home.

Again, thank you very much for your generosity and your support.

Platoon Commander
Rifle Company Butterworth


Dear Fran
Thank you very much for the special laundry bag you have made me and which has been given to me.  I do sincerely appreciate this.  I am training as a Reserve Chaplain with the RAAF 27 Squadron in Townsville and teach part time at XXXXX. 

Thank you again for the laundry bag.  I love the colours – green is and has been my favourite colour from childhood – how fitting now!  This certainly is a heart warming ministry that you have in this way.”


Good Afternoon Sandy,

My quilt arrived today – thank you so much (and all those who were involved), for lovingly crafting such a beautiful quilt.  My daughter is 11 and missing her is definitely the hardest thing about deployment, so having her name on the quilt is very special.  The logo (cockerel)  is from the English soccer team I have supported all my life – Tottenham Hotspur.  My daughter’s middle name is Tottenham!  So when I look at the quilt there is a lot of meaning for me. 

Please thank Ros, Chris, and Nola for me.  And thank you all for your dedication and support. 



Hello Joan & Robin,

Thank you so much for the lovely laundry bag that you made for me. It will be cherished and well used. We are only a small contingent here in XXXXX and anything from home brings joy to all of us and we don’t have many opportunities for interaction with others. You are both doing a wonderful job as do all of those who volunteer with the Aussie Hero Quilts!

I was able to have a quick look on the blog when we were first told about it and it is amazing, the work you all do. I will be giving the laundry bag to my young granddaughter when I am finally home next month so she is able to use and enjoy it for many years to come.

Thank you again
Hi Jan-Myaree,

I have been holidaying in the North West of Western Australia, specifically in Broome and whilst there met a lady whose daughter was in the Army and was a recipient of an Aussie Hero Quilt.   She said her daughter was absolutely blown away with her quilt and now since retired she has started to quilt herself.

Keep up the good work everyone.

Hello Lisa,

I have only recently received your fantastic quilt as I believe there was a mix up with the mail service which saw my parcel complete couple of laps of the MER. That being said, it has arrived safe and sound and I am most impressed with your work!

Whilst it is currently averaging 46-50 degrees Celsius during the day, my room has a very effective (albeit noisy) air conditioner and the quilt certainly won’t go astray! I have also used my new laundry bag twice and I must say it’s doing a stand up job too.

It’s great to read about your students and how proactive they are within the community at such a young age. As you mentioned, if given the opportunity young minds can achieve wonderful things with the right influences.

It’s also great to see that your school has embraced significant events such at ANZAC Day and been afforded the opportunity to have current and ex-serving members of Defence speak to the children about what it means to be an ANZAC.
Veterans are no longer all elderly men and women and I think it’s good that our youth be exposed to the fact that we have a generation of soldiers who have been on operations longer than ever before. This has undoubtedly taken its toll on some and I believe that education early will be the key to long term assistance for our sick, wounded and ill veterans no matter their age.
I have been fortunate enough to deploy to the MER twice in my 13 years service, with my first tour in Afghanistanin 2012 as well as my current deployment to Iraq. I absolutely love my job, and would be more than happy to stay here indefinitely if it weren’t for missing my wife and daughters (7&2). I can assure you that no matter how tough it gets here, it’s much tougher on my wife who is essentially a single mum who has to work, wrangle the children and run the house! I am lucky to have such a strong partner and supportive family to allow me the opportunity to do what I love.
Well that’s probably enough waffling from me; I would like to say a big thank you for the time, effort and skill that you put into my quilt and laundry bag. I would’ve never guessed that it’s your third quilt given the quality of your work! I know all of us who receive quilts from AHQ appreciate them, but more importantly we appreciate the fact that there are good people at home thinking about us here.
I hope for the sake of future serving Defence Force personnel you continue to give up your time to contribute to what is a fantastic organisation as it will certainly be appreciated.
Thanks again and take care,


Dear Gail,

I recently received a lovely laundry bag from you with a racing car pattern and a gorgeous embroidered Miniature Schnauzer on it. Thank you very much for this. It is simply brilliant and brought a huge smile to my face as I opened the package.

Also, thank you for the range of goodies in the package. I could tell that you had put a lot of thought into the selection of Tim Tams, Vegemite and other lollies that we all miss when away from home.

I was also touched to receive your letter. Please do not understate your family links with the military. Your father’s service in World War II, and especially in New Guinea, was a considerable sacrifice that many young men and women have made over the years to preserve the lifestyle that we all enjoy in Australia.

On behalf of all the Australian military in Iraq I would like to thank you, and all of the others involved in the Aussie Hero Quilts organisation, for the fantastic work you do in making the quilts and laundry bags. They are treasured by deployed members as a link with home, and the fact that you incorporate ideas and images that have a personal meaning to the recipient makes them even more special.

Once again, many thanks for the lovely laundry bag and the package of goodies, and enjoy the forthcoming Spring weather and exploring the wonders of Australia.

Kind regards,
Dear Su,
I cannot thank you enough for the fantastic job you did on the “Aussie Hero Quilt” and the laundry bag you made for me. The black and white pattern materiel is great and it will help to hide the dog hair that gets over all my clothes back home. Having one black dog and one white I can’t win either way. But maybe now I have a solution.

Also thank you for the Tim Tams and the chocolate-coated fruit. They are a valued item over here; they made for a very pleasant morning tea and were well received by all of the people I work with. I have never had that flavour before but will have to try it some more when I get home.

 So that you know a little bit about me I am in the Army although I am working with both RAAF and RAN personnel. Together we manage the logistic for all the ADF troops operating in the Middle East. My specialty in ammunition and yes I was one of those kids that was fascinated with things all things Army and things that went bang growing up so my parents knew it was inevitable where I would end up. My job is very interesting and I travel around to all the areas our troops are working ensuring they are getting what they need and looking after their ammunition safely.

 I was glad to hear your daughter enjoyed her time in Afghanistan.  I have been there a few times and I find the landscape very beautiful in a harsh way, bit like the Australian outback.  Most of the Afghans I met there were also very nice people too.

 I hope this email finds you and your family well. We are all keeping ourselves safe over here and have been trained well to do what is asked of us.



                 Thankyou for the Beautiful Laundry Bag I really appreciate it, as well as the goodies you sent me which won’t help my fitness or waist line but will help with morale.  I hope your son has a safe deployment and I have no doubt his deployment will be a lot harder than mine.  I’m married with two young daughters who have birthdays while I’m deployed and are 3 and 7 this year – time flies as no doubt you know having now grandchildren to baby sit.  

I grew up on a Dairy Farm which is located an hour and half inland from Cairns and have been in the Navy coming up to 23 years, Thank your Father in-law for his service as if it wasn’t for brave men like him we would not be here today.

Again thank you so much for the care package and laundry bag it was very appreciated.

Yours Aye


Dear Steve & Jenny

First of all thankyou so much for making my quilt. It looks amazing! Quite a few people have said its one of the best they have seen. When I put my wish list in for the quilt I never expected anyone to have  found any old Bears stuff but you did. The chances of someone selling North Sydney stuff is rare as some asking for a quilt. Don`t worry I wont be going looking for any defects with quilt. I still impressed that you got made.  

A little about myself. I`m 32 years old and have been in the Navy for 8 years come October. I grew up in Victoria. I was a Butcher before I joined the Navy. I have a partner, and a son  who will turn one year old on the 16th of December. Just in time for when we get home.

I hope you enjoyed you tour on HMAS Darwin – it is one of Newcastle`s sister ships. So what you saw Darwin is exactly like ours. I am in charge of the Engine Room so The main propulsion Gas Turbines and all the associated systems that go along with it.

Once again thank you so much. 

Hi Jan-Maree,
I recently received a safari themed blanket from you whilst on deployment on HMAS Newcastle in the Middle East Region.
I’d just like to say a huge thank you to all that were involved in putting it together. It looks absolutely incredible, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I am so grateful.
We are just checking out the sites in XXXX for a few days before we head back out to sea.

Hope you are well, and again, thank you very much for everything you and your team do. It’s brilliant. 

Back to work for me, more covering letters to write!

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

Jan-Maree xx

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  1. Unknown

    Great messages – what lovely sentiment


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