Grati-Tuesday 6 August

Written by AHQ

6 August 2019

Greetings all from a beautiful sunny Sydney. I am lapping up this gorgeous weather because next week I will be down in Canberra and I just know it is going to be chillier down there.  Still I love the place so no real complaints. 

Here are the messages for this week… grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy the read… 
Hi Sandy,
I am currently deployed to the Middle East Region.
I would like to thank all the ladies from the Aussie Hero’s Sewing Team in Coffs Harbour; I absolutely love my hero quilt and could not even come close to asking for anything different.
I have been so impressed that I have gloated to some extent on Facebook.
This morning I have received a message from another defence member who has asked myself to ask yourself if the blanket could be replicated at all for himself?
All the members from Aussie Hero Quilts do a fantastic job, and all the work that is put into these items are greatly appreciated.


Dear Diane,

I am writing to thank you for my lovely quilt. It arrived a couple of days ago and I have just collected it from our post master. I see your letter is marked 3 July so just under a month is pretty good for South Sudan mail delivery. Normally it takes about six weeks to get here.

I really appreciate the effort you put into researching the quilt and making it meaningful. I know you said you were new to quilting but I couldn’t have told you that. The quilt looks marvellous and it is nice and thick which I imagine makes it pretty warm. The weather over here is pretty hot at the moment so I only sleep with a sheet but I’ll be sure to give it a run when I get to cooler days. I’ve attached a photo of myself with the quilt for you.

Thank you once again for the very thoughtful quilt and lovely letter.

Kind regards,



I just wanted to write to you and thank you for all the work you have done to create such a masterpiece. The quilt and laundry bag is more than what I was expecting and captures the essence of what my team is doing here.  We are a very tight team who are also supported by security detachments who are trained to protect us during our missions outside the protection of our base, and they are aptly named Guardian Angels.

I have been lucky enough to deploy many times throughout my career, both with the RAAF and whilst on exchange with the Royal Air Force with this being my ninth time in Afghanistan, having first deployed here in 2001-02, with this tour being more than 12 months in length.

Once again, thank you for your quilt and laundry bag, it means a lot to all of us over here and know that you did brighten up the spirits of the team.



Dear Clarissa,

Thank You

I was delighted when asked to choose a lovely laundry bag…. I chose Poppies!!!!
My beautiful, first grandchild (a girl) was born last September and my son and daughter-in-law called her Poppie. Hence my choice…I also love the road signs on the fabric as it reminds me of all the road trips I have done over the years. My husband and I spent 5 years in Townsville. Crocodile signs near creeks and rivers are common.

Thank you for telling me a bit about your family…I’m married with 4 adult children.
My husband and I have been married for 36 years. For the last 16 years we have followed God’s calling on our lives and serve Him as Salvation Army Officers. For the last 9 years we have served as Red Shield Defence Service representatives…”The sallyman” or “Sallyma’am” as we are fondly called by the ADF.

It means instead of leading a corps (church) or homeless shelter, or overseeing a drug or alcohol program etc. I have a battalion/regiment to care for. I’m not a Chaplain or Padre but my role covers the morale and well-being of those in my care.

Owning a Labrador is so lovely…We owned our faithful Lab for 14 years, her name was “Sao”. We called her that because her colouring was like a Sao biscuit…And also because the word SAO stamped on the biscuit stands for “Salvation Army order”.
William Arnott’s Brother was a Salvation Army Officer. The Salvos commissioned Arnott’s biscuits to make them a biscuit that could be used for savoury or sweet toppings!!

Thank you again …. blessings

Hi Noelene,

Thank you for the laundry bag! It is beautifully made and looks great. It is genuinely appreciated…

I have just ticked over 16 weeks here and am due home in late January next year. It has been a bit of a slog to date and I was only telling my son a couple of days ago that so far I am at about 112 days without a day off! I am lucky to receive a break in a couple of weeks where I will be able to catch up with my wife for a cruise around the Greek Islands. So no-one should feel too sorry for me….

I have a couple of young adult children. My daughter is following in her father’s footsteps, joined the Army and is studying at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She goes to the Royal Military College – Duntroon next year. My son is also in the process of applying to the Army and hoping to go to ADFA as well. As we currently live in Canberra it would be nice to be ‘empty nesters’ but to have them close by.

Again, thank you for your efforts and consideration.

Best wishes,


I must first give you my apologies for responding by email. I had every intention to write a personal letter in response to the absolutely magnificent job you have done on my quilt. Unfortunately time is getting away from me and I have realised that if don’t respond to your magnificent work some way I may fail to do it at all. So I have to use email to express my gratitude to yourself for your efforts. I am overwhelmed with  your kindness and generosity in doing this as part of the Aussie Hero Quilts. I was stunned with the design and it’s not too bright at all. It actually brightens up what is in fact rather dull rooms that we have to stay in.

I currently live in QLD, along with my wife and 3 children. I grew up in the outer western suburbs of Sydney and learning to drive was a necessity to getting around and my family was a Holden family and the tradition carries on to this day with my eldest son driving a Commodore. Joining the Defence force, I became a motor mechanic to continue my love of cars and have served for just over 30 years now. Having lived all over Australia and a with 3 year stint in Malaysia, I hear you with “the public” and thoroughly enjoyed my time living in the country and wish to retire in a small country town.

This is my first deployment and having now been over here for nearly 3 months I have been dumbfounded by the outpouring of gratitude and  generosity of Australians involved with the Aussie Quilts. I have spent 2 months working in the United States and the gratitude shown by Americans for the military, and not just their own, is heartfelt and amazing. Something you do not hear or see very much in Australia, in fact there are parts of Australia we are not allowed to wear our uniforms in public and being spit upon is a thing, not a common thing but still. To hear “thanks for your service” gets you right in the heart and makes it all worthwhile. It sounds like you have had a most interesting life and your comment about the Taxi’s being automatic is funny as all military vehicles were manual when I joined up and nowadays every one of them is Automatic because no one knows how to drive a manual vehicle.

Again, Thank you very much.

Hi Bridget!

Apologies it has taken me so long to get back to you! Thank you so much for the quilt, it is absolutely perfect and I love it. To be honest I didn’t know what to expect but there’s so much mastery in it, I was surprised!

I am 24 years old and much unlike you have no kids or wife at this stage. Plenty of time for that! 

And finally thank you for your kindness and generosity not only to myself but to everyone you have created quilts/bags for in Defence. I can tell you that everyone over here loves it and it adds brightness to everyone’s long deployment!

All the best

Good Afternoon Marilyn,
Thank you kindly for the effort you put into making my laundry bag. It is great to know we have so much support from members of the public in Australia as it does get hard being away from our families. (I think the laundry bad might have got a little lost in the mail but it did arrive last week).
I was in the Army for 6 years as a pay clerk and have recently transferred to the Air Force to be a loadmaster. Whilst I was in the Army I didn’t get to see my family that often but I was able to deploy overseas twice and now being in my current role I am in which is only 2 hours from my home town.
I also have a partner who is in the Army, he is currently posted to Brisbane and recently returned from a deployment as well. We currently only get to see each other a few times a year but hoping we can live together again in the new year.
Again I am very grateful for the Laundy bag as I will be travelling a lot with my new career so it is going to get a lot of use.
I hope you and your family are doing well and that the grandkids are not growing up to quickly.

Kind Regards,


Hi Fran,

I received such a lovely surprise package today containing an amazing State of Origin Quilt and wanted to drop you a line to say thank you so much. I love the colours and the gold bands made it especially perfect. The problem I have is whether to hang it in my tent or put it on my bed. Either way, it will be such a great feature in my room. I’m Queensland born and raised, though I haven’t lived there since 1997.

I too am married to my wife for 32 years and we also have three ‘children’ in their 20s; though they are all boys (and no twins). My wife is also a keen Quilter, so I should convince her to join Aussie Hero Quilts. She has made some amazing pieces and I am so proud of her for her talent and skill in this area; as well as the time she has spent looking after the boys in my 31 years in Air Force.

I will be returning home in less than two months. I am ready to go home; as enjoyable as my time here has been, I’ve really missed my family. Though I am sure that you are very proud of your husband being a chaplain.  I have so much admiration for the work that the Chaplains do, and having numerous Chaplain friends, I understand that the work that they do also comes at personal cost to them. My best friend is my home Base Chaplain, and despite the fact that he barrackes for the wrong AFL team, he’s truly an amazing guy who has the biggest heart I have ever seen. What’s funny is that back at my Home Base, my Commanding Officer and I fight over who is looking after him the best. We both agree that the Chaplains look after everyone, so we are going to look after the Chaplain.
Well that’s it from me. Thanks again, so much for the lovely quilt.

Much thanks and warmest regards to you and your husband


Thank you and your volunteers very much for both my quilt and laundry bag. They’re perfect and so detailed, you can imagine my shock to find out that the quilt also glows in the dark!
I’m a carpenter with the 6th Engineer Support Regiment based in QLD.
I’m currently serving in badhdad Iraq, with 6 weeks to go untill i’m back home with my wife and kids.
Either way you guys have done a killer job, now i just need to decide if i’ll share it with my kids or not 🙂

Keep up the fantastic work 

For those of you who did not see it on Facebook…..

How do you like our stylish new logo? Courtesy of the talented Susan from  SMACK Design …. I am in the process of changing over to this lovely new logo… you don’t realise how many things it is featured on till you have to change them all! But I am loving this new look… Thank you so very much Susan!


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

Jan-Maree xx

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