Grati-Tuesday 7 April 2020

Written by AHQ

7 April 2020

Hi everyone, 

Grati-Tuesday time, again and it’s been such a moral booster reading all of these lovely thank you letters.

Not sure if you have pickup on the different “penwomanship” in today’s post… tricked you, it’s not the Captain at the helm, but the masters apprentice. 

Hi, my name is Kylie. I’ve been sewing for AHQ&LB for a bit now and put my hand up to help Jan-Maree each week with the Tuesday post. I look forward to sharing the thank you mail each week. 

 I don’t know about you, but reading how much our recipients love and appreciate the Quilts and Laundry Bags always makes me smile. I hope it brings a smile to you as well. 

Hope you are all staying safe, and in touch with friends and family.



The quilt arrived yesterday and it is amazing!! Thanks to Jan-Maree for the design and to you for your amazing work!!! I have been in the Army for over 27 years now and it has only been in the past decade or so that this brilliant initiative has been running. In my career, I have completed four deployments in total, being East Timor in 2003, Iraq in 2006, Afghanistan in 2013 and now the Middle East Region in 2019/20. I joined Army straight out of High School and attended the Australian Defence Force Academy. I studied Civil Engineering, and was allocated to the Corps of Royal Australian Engineers (hence my request to have a “lazy E”, the blue/red Corps colours and motto of “Ubique”.
My wife and I have three children, 19 and twin daughters 7. I am constantly thankful to them for allowing me to deploy and for how they hold it all together when I am absent for long periods. It never ceases to amaze me the sacrifices that they make for me. My son has endured through each of my deployments and is now in the middle of his second year at the Australian Defence Force Academy.  My girls were only 11 months old during the 2013 deployment and now they are 7 years old. They found this deployment particularly hard.
I actually had a quilt made during my time in Afghanistan in 2013, which had a special ANZAC theme to it. I always intended on giving the quilt to my daughters, and as such I wanted to get a second one made from my most recent deployment so my twin daughters each had something to remind them of their sacrifice (as well as mine). Here is a photo with them each with the quilts, the one on the left is the one from 2013, and you would recognise the other one.
I will always cherish the quilts that have been presented to me. What you (and many others) do to support Aussie Hero Quilts is outstanding. I know from experience that it is truly appreciated by all members of the ADF, and your efforts hold a special place in our hearts. Please know also, that the quilts that I have will also hold a special place in my family, and my kids families, long after I am gone.
Thank you again and take care.
Warmest regards,

Dear Bridget,
Thank you very much for sewing an amazing quilt and laundry bag which I received recently. You have an amazing skill, and I can tell you that my NATO colleagues were envious of the design and quality of work on my quilt and laundry bag.
We cannot thank yourself and Jan-Maree Ball, enough for the support that Aussie Quilts provides us on the OPS. Often it is the colourful and yet meaningful quilts/laundry bags – memento of our beautiful home and country that remind us of the family and community connections, and they have a deep and positive effect on the moral of the deployed troops.
You are our hero and I thank you again for the time and generosity!
Very respectfully,


Dear Bridget,
Firstly, I would like to thank you for the effort you placed into my laundry bag and I’m absolutely stoked with it. It has come at a very welcome time as we are unable to step ashore because of COVID-19, so it gives me a nice sense of home and enjoyment.
I have been on board Toowoomba now for nearly three years almost have of my enlisted service! Looking at heading to Uni and become a paramedic in the future but we will have to see our things go in this crazy world at the moment. I live with my partner and a 6-month-old exotic short hair who is an absolute terror but strangely likes water. Once I return and get to spend time at home, I’ll be getting an Australian Sheppard.
I hope you and your family are well and keeping in high spirits despite the situation we all find ourselves in.
Kind regards,

Dear Bridget,
Firstly, I would like to thank you for the effort you placed into my laundry bag and I’m absolutely stoked with it. It has come at a very welcome time as we are unable to step ashore because of COVID-19, so it gives me a nice sense of home and enjoyment.
I have been on board Toowoomba now for nearly three years almost have of my enlisted service! Looking at heading to Uni and become a paramedic in the future but we will have to see our things go in this crazy world at the moment. I live with my partner and a 6-month-old exotic short hair who is an absolute terror but strangely likes water. Once I return and get to spend time at home, I’ll be getting an Australian Sheppard.
I hope you and your family are well and keeping in high spirits despite the situation we all find ourselves in.
Kind regards,
Dear Bridget
Thank you so much for the Quilt you made me, I was over the moon when I received it, it looks bloody fantastic!
I asked my kids what they think I should get made for a quilt and they came up with Ninja Turtles and Toy Story, they will be excited to see it when I get home.
I’m also married with two children, boy and a girl. My eldest, is turning 5 this Saturday and my Daughter who is 2 turning 3 in June. They definitely keep me going when I’m back home.
My wife is a primary school teacher so she is kept super busy when I’m not home. She is a good egg this is our 3rd big deployment away (second with kids). My first deployment was in 2011 then again in 2016-17 and again now.
Oct will mark 13 years’ service for me in this uniform with many more ahead. I joined at the age of 17 in 2007 and have spent all my career in the West. I’m originally from QLD, my parents still live there along with my brother and his wife and my sister moved to QLD where she met her fiancée and they are due to get married next year.
Again, I can’t thank you enough for the effort you have put into making my quilt I really appreciate the work gone into it thank you so much.
Kind Regards

How are you? I hope you and your family are all well considering the uncertain times for all at the moment, thanks to the virus.

Firstly, I must apologies for the delayed response. I have been forward for a number of weeks and only just returned to my current location.

I just wanted to thank you for the EOD laundry bag and quilt that you made for me. I really appreciate what you guys do, considering everything going on both overseas and at home there is no better feeling then to receive something in the mail that takes your mind of certain things, all whilst putting a smile on your face.

The quilt is awesome! If I am going to be totally honest, upon my eventual return home to my family it will be going on my 2-year-old sons’ bed. However, until then I will get plenty of use out of it.

Again I can thank you enough. I hope your family husband, daughter and son are well during this time and I hope you all don’t go stir crazy under isolation especially with the two dogs. My guess now is that they are both use to each other so fingers crossed.


Dear Bridget
Sorry it has taken me so long to send you this email, my beyond beautiful quilt arrived last week, I feel so lucky that it made it through on our last mail delivery run.
I was so touched by your lovely work and appreciate every part of it especially the delicate work of placing my children names as requested, it was amazing.
My three children are aged 16, aged 15 and my youngest daughter is 6, I was supposed to head home on leave recently to see them however everything in the world took a turn for the worst and along with everyone else here my leave has been cancelled. We are lucky as Aussies here on deployment that we have an excellent WIFI system and I can chat and see my children on a regular basis. It also looks like my deployment will be extended due to the lack of flights right now, it would only mean going into quarantine once I got home anyway. I do miss them so much, however know this is not forever.
It was lovely to receive your letter and learn about your family, I hope you are all doing ok back home and I really hope everything gets back to normal soon for you all.
Enjoy your retirement and quilting and thank you once again..XOX

Dear Sue,

Thank you so much for the amazing quilt, care package and all the goodies. A special thank you for your craftmanship creating my quilt, it is exactly what I was hoping for and more. You nailed the Hockey club colours and imagery, as you noted; the club colours are pink & maroon, the club started off as a woman’s only club about 50 years ago, and we have only had a men’s team since 2017.
Just a little about myself.
My family and I currently reside in SEQLD, we live on a small property and enjoy the rural life over the city hustle and bustle. My daughter is experiencing the first time her Father is deployed overseas, and has shown excellent resilience for the last 6 months.
I have served for just over 25 years and have deployed several times to date, however; this is the first time I have received such a personalised gift.
I am currently employed in a Logistics Support Role within a Q-Store, I have enjoyed the experience to be deployed and carry out my role in an operational theatre.
Again, Thank you very much for the quilt, and your support,
Kind regards,


G’day Sue,

Thank you for the awesome quilt, I love it!
I’m originally from near Geelong, and my Grandparents lived nearby.
I can’t blame you hubby for being a Tigers Fan, there a great team and are my second favourite in AFL.
I received the box of goodies 2 weeks ago, and the quilt arrived today. I was getting worried it had been lost in the mail, but thankfully it’s here now.
The weather is starting to warm up! I’m glad its close to the end of my tour, even thought I have had a great experience.
The hockey team was an all ladies team until 2017, then they let men play in the A2 level. I have played two seasons with the club,
I love my job, and thank you for your support.
Kind regards

Good morning Heather,
Hope you’re staying well amongst all this COVID chaos!
Just wanted to say a massive thank you for my Aussie Hero quilt and laundry bag that I received whilst on deployment in the Middle East. I love it!!
Kind regards,
Dear Wendy,

I hope this email finds you well. I received the Quilt today (02 APR 20) and am genuinely impressed. The theme of Australia and home is very close to me; therefore, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to send it to me. In this current COVID climate, it is amazing to have a daily reminder of my favourite place in the world. I found the anecdotes about the wedding to be quite amazing. It is awesome that your daughter and her husband will be coming home, always good to have family close by. The way you write about your family is heart-warming, it very much struck a chord with me.
A little bit of information about me:
I was born in Canberra; my father was a Sailor in the Navy and my Mother is a Nurse. I moved around a lot as a child, but did all of my high schooling in South Australia. Clearly my imagination for future employment wasn’t very broad and I applied to join the Navy or Study Nursing when I was in year 12. I joined the Navy in 2009 and undertook my Officer training at ADFA. From then I spent a number of years in the fleet in a variety of ships, with a highlight having been one of the first ‘ship drivers’ of HMAS Canberra. She’s our biggest ship and was quite a step up for a 25-year-old from Adelaide
I am now an Officer on Toowoomba, I lead a team of 12 on a day to day basis, but am also the Command representative in all things that happen within the ship when I am ‘on watch’. In the Middle East this is a high tempo and highly demanding, yet, highly rewarding job. I absolutely adore my ship and my ship mates; they make this whole job worthwhile. I have a fantastic group of young Australians who I am afforded the honour to lead. They really appreciated the Tim-Tams too.
We are in a period where COVID has affected all of us in a great many ways. I just want you to know how much I appreciated the thoughts in these uncertain times.
All the best,
Yours aye

Good Morning Toni,
Firstly, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the laundry bag. I, and all of the soldiers serving overseas appreciate what you are all doing for us.
The design I requested, musical in nature, is more that this will allow me to remain connected to my family whilst I am away. My wife is an early childhood music teacher, and therefore we have 3 very musical children. I, myself, cannot play anything, but I would like to learn how to play the guitar one day.
My mother also worked in Nursing. She was an EN at aged care and hospice facilities in the Newcastle and Bundaberg areas before she became ill and passed away
last year. I am very grateful for all that nurses do. Our local communities and country would not survive without them, especially right now!
A little about me. I joined the Army as a Communicator back in 1998. I have currently served in the full time Army for the last 22+ years. I am a Warrant Officer Class One
. The Task Group is responsible to provide all forms of communications in order to
achieve the Australian Defence Force mission.
I am married and we have three children. When in Australia, I am currently posted to NT, whilst my family reside in QLD.
At the end of this year, I am hoping to post back to QLD so I can live with my Family. I have no plans to leave the Army anytime soon and definitely have a long time before I can consider retirement.
Anyway, I just wanted to write quickly to say THANK YOU! Everything you and the Aussie Hero team do for all current serving members overseas is greatly appreciated.
Please continue with the great work that you do to deliver laundry bags and quilts to our soldiers, sailors and Airmen/women.
Kindest Regards
Hi Jenny,
just thought I would let you know I received my quilt.
I was stuck for words. Honestly it is fantastic. I have sent some pics to the Fijian boys that are still in Egypt and they think it’s great.
I enjoyed reading your letter and what you went through for your inspiration of the quilts shows how much hard work and thought you put into it. It made me laugh when you mentioned about dragging your other half into the quilt shop and him seeing the fabric that ended up suiting the design perfectly.
The self-isolation is no doubt difficult but would like to thank you for all the work you do and it is very much appreciated.
You have quite a history of sewing and it shows with the quality and care of the work you do. I am glad you enjoy the mug and coin and it is the least I could do as a small token to you.
Attached to this email is a couple of pics I have taken.
Once again, thank you very much.
Kind regards,

Great to hear from you and I received the quilt today. WOW fantastic.
You have made a beautiful quilt that I will treasure and I have to say what a great organisation they are. Everyone I see here has nothing but praise and love for their laundry bags and quilts.
This is my 6th time deploying to the Middle East area of operations since 2003 and each time is so very different, I am here as an Aircraft Technician and although I don’t go into country with this aircraft it is still all very different and exciting.
I know that business well, as I have lived in the area and been there on many occasions with my daughter.
To tell you about me. I am 50 in Oct this year and live on 4 acres we own just out of Newcastle. I have been in the Air Force since 93 and wouldn’t trade my life for anything. A good portion of my family has made it into the defence family. Both grandparents were army, my brother was Air Force, my wife and I, my niece and nephew are Air Force and I have my youngest daughter joining Air Force this year in June.
I’m Married (ex-defence. Go figure) with 3 daughters and a son, one granddaughter whose 1st birthday I will miss this month and the new arrival since being here of the first grandson.
Thanks again Donna and please stay safe in Australia too, ATM I think you guys are doing it harder than us here.
I will organise a photo of the quilt and myself and forward it on to you soon.
Many thanks and regards

Hi Pennie,
I just got my quilt and laundry bag and want to say thank you so very much, they are amazing.  I appreciate the time and effort you have made into making my day brighter using them. It is remarkably humbling to receive something that has been made especially for me with so much care and attention. As a nurse (and especially in this current health crisis) I am amazed at your generosity, donating your precious time to volunteer to make quilts and bags for serving personnel.
Thank you again for the quilt, laundry bag and goodies, receiving a piece of something from home is the most rewarding and heartfelt feeling. What you do is so well received and just as important as those of us serving in the Defence both here and in the Middle East Region and throughout the world.
So again, thank you very much.
Kind Regards,
Thank you very much for the quilt that you and you team created for me.
It is absolutely amazing the job that you have all done and I could not have asked for anything else. It made my day when I received it. Not only on my behalf, but I have seen the smiles on the faces of my troops and fellow ships company when they have received either their laundry or quilt.
I have been keeping an eye on the Aussie quilts Facebook page and the fact that you can produce these quality quilts, especially in these times is amazing. I can assure you that everyone on board really appreciates their quilts.
Again, thanks to you and your team, Di, Judith and Jenny for your efforts, I can assure you I will cherish my quilt for many years to come.

Hello Heather,
I received your package yesterday and am very impressed with the laundry bag. Thank you very much for making it and for the snack that came with it. Definitely made my day!
I hope through all of this COVID-19 stuff you’re still well. We are hearing a lot of stories about people fighting over toilet paper of all things. My family has told me stories about the things they’ve seen and it sounds like there is a lot of unrest at home about this whole situation. Hopefully your swimming club isn’t affected too badly and if it is, I hope you’re able to find a way around the rules to continue doing something you love. They sometimes stop the ship in the middle of the ocean to allow us to go swimming over the side of the ship. I’ve swam across the equator and the Mariana’s trench. The later was definitely the coolest. To think there were thousands of meters of open water below me was really cool.
I just heard that they are closing the borders between states in Aus. I hope you’ve got some back-pocket trips planned for around Queensland to ride this epidemic out. Apparently, WA is closing down regions within WA as well to stop the spread. Big travel restrictions now. Hopefully it doesn’t last too long.
It sounds like you have a good connection to the services. I was the first in my family to join up. I really enjoy what I do. I work as a marine electrical technician which is basically just a sparky on a ship. Keeping safe out here no matter what we’re doing.
I wish times were better back home but I’m sure you’ll be keeping safe and again thank you very much for the custom laundry bag. I love it!
Best regards,

Dear Donna,
I was lucky enough to receive my Dobey (laundry) bag today and I would like say a huge and heartfelt thank you. It is so uplifting to receive this gift from you and I will honestly treasure it forever.
With all of the uncertainty in the world, be it CORVID19 or politics, and being away from friends and family in their times of need, this gift is a great reminder of why we do it. Why all ADF personnel leave their loved ones in sometimes their greatest time of need. We all do it because we are protecting our way of life and its people like you who let me know I made the right decision to be away from my wife and children for such a long time.
So once again thank you from the bottom of my heart for your gift, it’s amazing and as a big Dragonball Z fan I could not have hoped for anything better.
P.S. Thanks for sneaking in the Mentos they are actually my favorite.
Kind Regards

Keep calm and sew on. 

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1 Comment

  1. Sue Niven

    Great Job Kylie. A lovely read thanks for putting your hand up for the job.


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