Written by AHQ

28 May 2013

Happy Birthday Louise

Hope you have had a good one!

Greetings all. Just a quick reminder for those that are in Sydney – there is a Sewing Day at my home tomorrow from ten till 2 ish and another sewing day next week, Tuesday 4th of June, same time.  If you wish to come along and don’t have the address just email me.  BYO lunch and sewing machine.  I will provide the materials.

Today I had a rare treat today.  I was able to give one of my quilts to someone in person.   After sending so many off as we all do, and never being there to see the box being opened, today was a treat indeed.


The following relates to a lovely quilt that I sent of which was made by Kim, one of our wonderful volunteer quilters.

Dear Jan-Maree

Your wonderful package arrived yesterday, I was so pleased to have received a beautiful quilt, and laundry bag that has my initials on it, fantastic!! I also appreciate the coffee and lollies, thank you kindly.  It’s quite hard here at the moment, for many reasons, and it was such a treat to have received this fabulous maritime inspired quilt and laundry bag, thank you to you and Kim for making this a special day for me.  Kim did an excellent job, and I love the design.  I also enjoyed reading your letter.

My warmest regards to you and and Kim and I will always cherish these gifts, receiving them whilst on deployment,  for many years to come.

Kind regards

Dear Joan,

I would like to thank you so very much for the Laundry Bags that you have sent to us. It has been such a morale booster for myself and my team. It is so lovely to be able to receive gifts of such kindness whilst we are away from our families. It gives us a little taste of home and something to definitely brighten up our living space and day. 

We will be here for some time still, however, on behalf on the current FSU and the oncoming, we thank you for all your efforts. Even a world apart, it means the world to us. 

I have attached a picture of our Unit, we are safe, well and in high spirits. 

Again, thank you so much for your kindness, generosity and support.

Kind Regards

One of the last from HMAS Toowoomba.
Dear Jan, 

I am sorry for my late response in thanking yourself, Lynn and Stephanie very much for the quilt that I received. I love it and the washing bag. I found the Pavlova on it, it’s awesome. 

I think what you are doing is a wonderful thing and it has definitely brought smiles to the faces of everyone that has received one. We even had a photo taken of everyone with their quilts.

I am writing to personally thank the members of the Kalgoorlie -Bouder Branch of Aussie Hero Quilts organisation and if possible pass on my thanks to whoever created my beautiful “Navy/Sea” themed quilt that I have enjoyed on my bunk for the last few months.

I am a Navy boy and pretty far from my beloved sea and to have a lovely “Seatime” quilt to snuggle under every night is very comforting.  All I need now is a rolling ocean and a background hum of the engines and I would be in heaven!  Oh and would some lapping waves be too much to ask for?

This place does not have many creature comforts and not only being far from the sea, we are also far from home and the support you have given me and so many of my fellow “green Shipmates” (Army) is truly appreciated.  I am getting close to the end of my deployment and it has certainly been challenging on so many levels but I will look back on my time here and know it has been very rewarding and the little things, such as your generous gift, have added to the whole experience.

It is a special honour and a privilege for me personally to deploy overseas “on the ground”, especially for someone from the Navy.  it is reassuring to know that like to many other Australian Servicemen, we have helped Afghanistan to become a safer place, and also to have aided in the maintenance of security for Australia.  However, it is particularly encouraging to know that the work we are doing is recognized by fellow Australians like yourself.

All the best for the rest of 2013, and again, Thank you and your organisation for their generous gifts and words of support.  
Dear Sue N,
Thank you for the delightful hand-sewn laundry bag you have sent to us here in Afghanistan.  I was lucky enough to receive one of them and the beach-side scene depicted in it evicted lovely memories of holidays with my wife at the beaches of the Mornington Peninsular.  Such thoughtful gifts as yours help to remind us that our families and friends, and the thoughts of all those back home, are with us on our mission here.  Thank you again for your gift and please accept my best wishes for you and your family.
Dear Rita M,
Thank you so much for your handiwork and kind letter.  The quilt turned out fantastic!  it also arrived just in time as the weather here has been getting warmer and the woollen doona that kept me warm over winter is now a little extreme!

I read with interest your story behind the quilt.  it seems my nickname preceeds me!   
Hee hee, I can’t share the rest for fear of identifying this fellow but suffice to say that I was given a significant amount of inside information about him which, of course, I passed on to Rita, and she, having a sense of humour not unlike my own (some might call it wicked :-D), put it to good use!  Hee Hee!!!

Anyway, thanks again for the quilt and all that you, and the other AHQ ladies do.  There are more than a few quilts and laundry bags around the lines and smiles to match!  All the best health to you, your husband and family.

Hello Rita C,
i have just opened the package you so kindly sent me.   I am lost for words, really, and that is not like me.  To think you made this for e, someone you don’t know or have not met brings tears to my eyes.  I am so grateful and will cherish the quilt always.  Yes, it does bring a smile to my face and have already laid it out on my bunk.  I feel very proud to serve our country for he beautiful people who live within it.  It is an honour to receive this gift and I thank you with all my heart.

There was so much more to this letter.  it is a particularly heartfelt letter and I am so glad that Rita shared it with me.  I would love to include more of it, as I would love to do with many of the letters we receive but sometimes they are just too personal.  Lets just say, it continues to be evident, that even if we do not always hear back from those who receive our quilts or our laundry bags, we know we are making a difference every day.

Well, there is a sewing day tomorrow and so I need to get to work to prepare.

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

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  1. Carole

    Hi Jan-Maree and Everyone, I would like to say thank you for continuing to share the mail from 'over there' and the pics of people with their quilts. In particular,the lovely story whereby you handed a quilt to someone personally.
    My fiance (who once served) was very impressed with the coat of arms,The Rising Sun, and exclaimed "HOW did they get that!!" I wouldn't mind knowing too!!. He loves my interest in quilts,and keeps up with the goings on with Aussie Hero Quilts. Impressed also, in what we do,and totally understands how much these quilts and laundry bags mean to our defence personell. I look forward to every single message too!

  2. Janine C

    Yes, how did you do the rising sun thing? A close up of the work would be great. Is it printed on fabric, embroidered or just applique and stitching? Great quilt.
    And the blue quilt with the ships on the bunk is fantastic – we didn't see that quilt before, did we? Does it go with the writing above?
    There is always something new happening at AHQs.

  3. Sue Niven

    Happy Birthday Louise, A great post as always, lovely to see the recipient of one of the quilts, quite delightful all round!


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