Grati-Tuesday 5 Feb 19

Written by AHQ

5 February 2019

Hey all
Some great messages this week but I love this photo which I received from one of our recipients in Townsville.  As you know, Townsville is doing it tough up there and this recipient has now moved to a stretcher on base as she has no power at home.  I am glad she is able to have her quilt with her. She said a number of people have commented on it and have loved hearing about what we do.  🙂 

Stay safe everyone in Townsville, huge thanks to all those in uniform who are out and about doing what they can to help people out. 

Hi Tracie,
Thank so much for the incredible quilt! The colours, design – everything is 100 % me! Despite wearing green for this deployment I remain Navy through and through. For the past two years I have been on HMAS Choules, based in Sydney but with trips O.S + especially to North QLD.
                This trip is quite different but working with great people every day.

Thanks for all you do as a nurse  and as a quilter with Aussie Hero Quilts.

                All the best for 2019


Dear Pennie

I was very pleased to receive your package in the mail I was looking forward to see what my quilt would look like having seen some of the other great work that others in my unit had received. To my delight and surprise my quilt far exceeded my expectations! Then I noticed the player’s jersey and was beside myself I cannot thank you enough for your generosity (the jersey will be framed and hung on a wall in my house when I return home).

A little about me, I am currently serving on OPERATION ACCORDION in the Middle East North Africa Region as an Operations Warrant Officer. The organisation I work within, Force Support Element, it is an organisation that delivers theatre logistics support to Australian deployed forces.

I grew up in Canberra and joined the Army in 1998. I am part of the Royal Australian Transport Corps and have specialised on the ARMY Landing craft. I have been posted to Townsville and Sydney. I have deployed four times to Bougainville (1999) East Timor (2000) Iraq 2003 and finally on this deployment to the UAE. I love football, camping, 4WD, trailbike riding and fishing in my spare time, I am married  to my lovely wife and have 3  children 18yrs,7yrs and 6yrs who keep me and my wife very busy.

One of the members I am deployed with is a reservist and normally works as a nurse, since learning of your profession from your letter I have been quizzing him on what he does and his day to day tasks. I would also like to thank you for the work you do as a nurse I now know of the long hours and sometimes thankless work of you and others like you.

I sincerely thank you for your gift and your commitment to supporting deployed Australian Forces. I very much appreciate the effort, time and thought you put into this Quilt and the jersey hung on my wall will be a constant reminder, additionally all my mates enjoyed the minties.

It is very humbling to know that people are thinking of us during these long periods away from our loved ones, you have greatly improved the moral of this old digger and made my father very envious (he is a bigger bulldogs fan than me ;))

I wish you and your family a happy new year! Yours Sincerely
Dear Jo,

Firstly, let me apologise for the tardiness of my response. As you can imagine, we have some very busy periods and then the occasional lull. I am going to do my best to use this lull to express my gratitude.

So without any further ado, thank you so much for the glorious quilt that Kay W, Mary M and you have put together for me! It is truly wonderful. The way you have taken the time to personalise it for me is just amazing. The weather is starting to cool down a fair bit now and the nights are getting nippy, so my quilt is definitely getting used a lot now! I come from Sale in Victoria and as such seem to have an allergy to being cold!

I showed my 12 year old son (will turn 13 whilst I’m here), my quilt on a Skype call. He has now asked me for one! I’ve tried to explain to him that whilst I can knit, crochet, basic sew, weld horseshoes and other hobbies, I most certainly cannot make a quilt. This is now on my ‘please learn to do mum’ list apparently. Hopefully I will be able to find the time one day to learn this skill. Between this job and being a sole parent (I have a 24 year old daughter and an 18 month grandson as well) I have very limited ‘me time’. So in the meantime, I thank God that there are wonderful people such as yourself out there with these skills who can bring so much pleasure to others with them.

The Australian Defence Force members do a fabulous job over here. We are all a long way from home and the people we love. We are all united in effort to try and help stabilize this area so that the people who live here can one day enjoy the freedom that we do. It is rugged yet beautiful in its own way place. None of us could do what we do without the support of the people back home. Whether they’re from our own circles or are people such as yourself and your group who go out of your way to do something nice for us that helps remind us of where we’re from, why we’re here and that people care about us and what we’re trying to achieve.

I hope that this new year brings many more friends across your path and wonderful new storage places for your material!

Once again, thank you very very much for my gorgeous quilt! I love it and sleep under it every night.
Kindest regards

Good Morning Jenny,

I would like to express my gratitude for the laundry bag I received from Aussie Hero Quilts that you had kindly made for me (Jan-Maree gave me your email address). I am currently on HMAS Albany and we were sailing the day we received a package of laundry bags, I am currently away from home and your gift made my Christmas a little extra special this year.
Thank you again

Kind regards,

Dear Jenny N and family,

I would like to thank you and your family for taking the time in making me a wonderful laundry bag. I was a big fan of Toy story as a child and it definitely lifted my spirits throughout the trip when I missed my family. Thank you again for your kind words and the fantastic gift. I wish you and your family a happy Christmas and wonderful new year. 


Good morning Su,

I wanted to contact you and make sure you knew how much I appreciated your work on my quilt. Receiving such a detailed and well-crafted quilt of my favourite hobby was a huge morale booster while I was deployed. I can tell you a lot of my colleagues couldn’t believe the workmanship, given how unique the request was. I fully expected it to not be possible, so I hope you could imagine my surprise and excitement to see what you were able to come up with for me. The addition of the Brisbane Lions colours around the border was a great touch as well.

Your work, along with the other quilters, really makes a difference to the people on operations. I can tell you from first-hand experience, my staff were all extremely pleased with the efforts of those generous enough to donate their time and hard work. Whether the quilts were for themselves, or a design they could hand down to their kids, there was always a lot of anticipation when a quilt turned up.

I cannot thank you enough for what you were able to do. The fact you went above and beyond, in my eyes, was truly heart-warming. I hope you and your family had a lovely end to 2018 and that 2019 treats you all kindly.


Hi Sheena,
Thank you so very much for the quilt. I love it!!! It is an awesome keepsake that I will treasure for the rest of my lifetime and will talk about with my family for years to come.
These quilts are a great idea and they are really appreciated by everyone who receives one.
This last deployment was my third one for me, I first deployed in 2005, then 2008 and lastly 2018. Each one has been really interesting and I enjoyed them as best as possible.
About me. I am about to turn 51 and will tick over 30 years in the Air Force in May. The time has flown! When I joined I though 10 years was going to be a stretch and 20 years was just not going to happen but here I am! 

I love gardening however I am only going to have a pot one in this new house so lots of herbs and smaller stuff for the next few years. I grew corn, pak choy, carrots, spinach and capsicum at my last house in raised beds. As I write this I think I may actually grow carrots, spinach and pac choy in my large pots. My green thumb is twitching.

Sheena, thank you again for the quilt, the design is fantastic!

Kind regards,

Dear Lynn,
Thank you for your recent parcel.  The quilt is wonderful and I am humbled by your work.

I find it hard to fathom that you have Completed 750 quilts in seven years. This is an amazing achievement. That people like you work so hard to give those of us deployed a special gift is truly inspirational. Thank you again.

I wish you and your family the very best.I must also thank thank you for the Tim Tams and  coffee satchel. They were gratefully received as well.

Kind regards, 


Hi Jan,

Thank you so much for organise to send out so many laundry

I found a very lovely purple one (my favourite colour) made by Jenny N

I have been in the Navy for 17  years, 6 of those posted to ships and deployed overseas. This has been the first time I have received a  gift like this, and it is very much appreciated. I was always jealous of my friends who received them in the post. Seeing and hearing about how many bags, you and your band of quilters have made reminded me of something my Nana did back in 2003, I was on my way back from a middle east deployment, to be home in time for Christmas, my Nana knitted 200 + small Christmas stocking, just big enough for a packet of life savers,  and sent them to the ship that replaced us, as they were going to be away from their families at Christmas. Nana wanted to make sure that everyone on the ship received at least one thing on Christmas day, even if it was just a small token of thanks. I am sure if my Nana was still alive she would be part of your group
 producing bags and quilts. 

Thank you once again for Organising the laundry bags for HMAS ADELAIDE”S APEC 18 ASSIST Deployment.


G’day Beverley,

Firstly, I should apologise for the extremely belated reply to thank you for the awesome quilt that you sent me last year, whilst I was deployed as part of OP ACCORDION.

I returned to Australia in May 18 having completed my deployment where I was based predominantly in the UAE at Al Minhad Air Base (AMAB).  Fortunately,  the role I was undertaking (Works Manager for the Engineer Support Element) enabled me to travel into Afghanistan, Iraq and XXXX so I was kept well entertained for just over seven months.  Of the five deployments I have had, this was by far the most enjoyable, most comfortable in terms of accommodation, food and location and certainly the most personally rewarding deployment I have had.  It was also the first time that I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a handmade quilt.  You’ll be pleased to know that it adorned my bed for the duration of the deployment and has now been placed over my lounge in my apartment back in Sydney.

To give you a bit of a background on the person that you made the quilt for, I grew up in country Victoria and joined the Army in 1995, in some sense, following in my Dads footsteps. Like your father, he also served in the Middle East and PNG as part of the 2/6th Infantry Bn.  He was only two years away from retirement when I was born.   I have been wearing the same uniform to work (all be it with a few different shades and designs of camouflage) ever since.  I proudly wear the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) hat badge on my slouch hat and have no intention of leaving the ADF in the near future. Over the past 23 years (almost 24 years) I have been posted to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra and Sydney. 

My daughter is 16 and my son is 8.  My daughter has grand plans of attending ADFA when she completes Year 12 and I am more than happy for her to pursue such a career and am doing my utmost to keep that fire well and truly lit with her.  My son has not shown any interest in joining the military at this stage and would rather be a famous soccer player! My family live in Canberra and I travel back to visit them every weekend when I am not away for work. I’ve been posted unaccompanied for two years now and although I’m not a huge fan of it all, at least I’m close enough to travel back to the family on weekends.  

 Thank you again for the great quilt.  It really was and still is greatly appreciated and I sincerely apologise for such a lengthy delay in replying to you to say thanks!


Hi Ruth,
I was very fortunate enough to receive the laundry bag you made for me this week. Thank you for making the effort to do so; I was impressed by the design as it has a number of my favourite things on it. Especially my girls names Heidi and Bridget! Not to mention the Qld theme! The hat and stubby cooler you also gave me have already been used! I just wanted to say thank you! It has really made my week, as it is nice to know that people at home are thinking of us and going to the effort of making us such lovely gifts. Also, thank you for recognising our service, it means a lot to us. One of the hardest parts of being deployed is being away from family and loved ones and gifts such as yours do make a difference!

Once again, thank you very much!

Yours sincerely


Dear Lyn,

I just received your Aussie Hero quilt and laundry bag upon my return from mid-deployment leave. Wow – what can I say?  It’s an amazing and beautiful quilt and bag. I was really touched that you had incorporated the Australian birds, flowers and even cricket! I was showing all my friends here from the US and Canada who were very jealous indeed. We were all so impressed with the creativity and detail. I attach a photo of the quilt on my bed – it will come in handy now as the weather is cool overnight (by local standards – not Canberra or Waikerie standards!). Thankfully my deployment will end before the height of summer here, which I am very glad about… 50 degree heat  is simply unpleasant – especially when wearing body armour and carrying weapons! That said, I am tracking the heat wave currently in Australia and also the Townsville floods. Climate change is well and truly upon us!

Most importantly though, the quilt brightens up my dreary room and reminds me of home. I have a tea towel that I brought with me with a print of the Green Wattle on it. I have it hanging in my room. The wattle is my favourite of the native flowers because it is so vibrant and I love the way it signals that spring is coming. It always makes me happy and I love the brilliant yellow colour burst. I was so touched to see how you had included it in the quilt. What a fantastic talent you have for quilting! The detail was lovely. I wonder how you came to know about the Aussie Quilt project. I think it is such a wonderful initiative and I can tell you that the men and women here (and elsewhere) are truly appreciative. The quilts are a much treasured memento of our deployments long after we return home. I can’t wait to show my two sons – 10 and 5 – I know they will love them too as we love watching the native birds in our backyard at home.

I really appreciated your letter and postcard describing your town. I had not heard of your town before (of course I know of the River Murray!) and was interested to hear about its activities. I’m interested in the grapes you grow. While I am no connoisseur, I do love red wine – especially those coming from the Barrossa Valley. I have very fond memories of a tour there with my family (30 years ago now!) and loving the countryside. We stayed in various vineyards. Sadly, I was too young to drink at the time….

Thank you so much for taking the time to make my quilt and bag. It will be one of my most treasured items long after this deployment ends.

I wish you and your family all the best, kind regards

Have a great week all and spare a thought for those doing it tough around the country… everyone in Townsville, and those being affected by the fires is Tasmania and Victoria.

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

Jan-Maree xx

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1 Comment

  1. Sue Niven

    Beautiful messages indeed. Keep safe Townsville.


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