Grati-Tuesday 8 August 2017

Written by AHQ

8 August 2017

For some reason Blogger is playing funny games, as it does from time to time, and is changing the font colours…. all the text should be black…. just bear with it if it is not.  

That aside, some great messages coming through at the moment, enjoy!


Good afternoon Jan-Maree, 
I was extremely pleased to receive my Aussie Hero Quilt in the mail a short time ago.  Again, I have to say it is a beautiful piece of work and something I shall always appreciate long after I have left the Middle East and returned to Australia. 

My colleagues and family also loved the creativity and workmanship in the quilt and the laundry bag and I can confirm that both are now in use ! 

I did wish to send my thanks to Joy C and Bridget and of course yourself for attaching the Hang Glider to the quilt.   As a proud Aussie, I love the truly Australian theme over the entire quilt and as I have mentioned before, the hang glider which shows the long time passion I have had with the sport.   
While I appreciate immensely the quilt and laundry bag the great folks at Aussie Hero Quilts have made me, I do also want to acknowledge my wonderful wife and daughter in particular as having been great supports for me being able to serve in this capacity.  I know I have made their lives at home just that little more difficult by my being here.       
Thanks again for these great items (and the treats !) Jan-Maree, 
Keep up this great work !! 
Kind regards, 


Good Evening Jean,

I am writing this to thank you for the laundry bag you recently made for myself. 

I wanted to express my gratitude for the effort you have placed into this item and that it turned out better than I expected.

I enjoyed the creativity you placed into the Punisher skull and the colour scheme of the bag overall. It has a special place now within my wardrobe.

Items such as this do bring a smile to the face of myself and the other members of the Task Group. People such as yourself and the other volunteers who put their time and effort into these quality items are appreciated greatly. 

As for myself, I have a wife and two young boys back home. I’m sure I’ll lose this laundry bag to the boys when I get home, they always love getting hold of anything from dad’s work. I have already lost two bush hats and multiple shirts to them over the years.

I enjoyed reading the brief blurb about yourself and your love of travel, I hope you get to do more of that in the future. It is something, I myself, have not done enough of as yet, but will do in the years to come. 

Once again, thank you very much and I hope you continue to provide items to Aussie Heroes because I’m certain they’ll be as appreciated as mine was from you.

Dear Clarissa, 

Firstly, I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to write this email! I was hoping to send a photo of me with your lovely laundry bag but alas the wifi has not been kind at sending a photo to my email account! I’ll get there!!

Thank you so much for the laundry bag you have made, and the treats and toiletries you kindly sent as well as your letter! It was great to read a bit about yourself and your family, and learn about someone who spent their time creating such a wonderful gift. I can tell you that the quilts and laundry bags certainly make everyone quite happy and excited!!! We all quite proudly show ours to each other.

It was so thoughtful of you! I thought you might like to know that the chocolate honeycomb in particular cheered quite a few people up as we crushed it up and put it in icecream and had a family dessert in the wardroom! 

It’s certainly super hot over here now – often well above 40 degrees. It’s my first proper deployment so has certainly already been a massive learning curve for me, and quite challenging emotionally at times! I feel like I’m settling into a routine now though which is a relief. 

Again, thank you very much for your kind thoughts and parcel.


Dear Caroline,

I am writing to thank you for the wonderful laundry bag and quilt that you made.
They are truly magnificent and the thought and care put into them are very much appreciated,  not only by myself and Australian colleagues, but all the international members to whom I have shown them to working in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.  I have taken the opportunity to educate team members on some aspects of Australian Military History.  This has included the delights of ANZAC biscuits and quilts and laundry bags made by fellow Australians.  This historical legacy to which you have contributed also helps influence at the strategic level when working with people from other nations.  Personnel from other nations are in awe of the national approach taken by Australians, and I was very proud in being able to show the quilt and provide the historical background to it.  My American colleagues were very pleased to see their flag!

A little bit about myself:  This is my first deployment with the United Nations.  I am finding it both very rewarding and challenging.  I work as a Staff Officer within the Joint Operations Centre where a lot of reporting from around South Sudan arrives and immediate coordination occurs.  Although I have previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan, this is the first time I have been in a position to receive a quilt – and it was well worth the wait.  Once again, thank you for your kind gift.  It finds a thankful soldier, a new home and link
to a fellow Victorian.

Please thank your children for the thought that went into the treats.  They were very much appreciated and were also shared with my co-workers.

Kindest regards, many thanks and best wishes.

Hi Robyn,

Firstly, Thank you very much for the laundry bag and lovely card. I immediately recognised the strawberry thief staring up at me. The boys think I’m crazy for requesting something  classical. My wife  and I have a bed curtain in the exact same design. So the laundry bag in now a little something to remind me of home.

I have another few months of my tour, due to return home in November. It’ll be the wet season in Darwin when I return, and I look forward to walking my dog ‘Winston’ during the thunderstorms. He’s a British Bulldog – so will enjoy the cool weather the storms bring. He was a tiny puppy that comfortably fit in one arm when I left for Afghanistan.

Once again, thank you for support and the lovely package. I’ll be sure to forward a picture of me with the Laundry Bag to hero quilts.


OK so I did not understand the “strawberry thief’ reference above myself either.  This was a William Morris request and apparently “strawberry thief” refers to some of the fabric used. 🙂


Hi Darrel, 

Sorry it has taken me so long to thank you for the Venture Brothers laundry bag, it literally came the day before I left for my pre wedding honey moon. That was pretty lucky actually as I had forgotten to pack one and my fiancée and I were on a two week bus tour of Europe. Once I flew back in there were a few more issues as people had gotten sick and we ended up in transit for a few days before we were allowed back to the camp so my work was plenty piled up for me and just got on top of it a few days ago. We are starting to get ready to begin handing over to our replacements, so very much on the down hill slope now. 

I’m glad you enjoyed making it, I am absolutely thrilled with it especially as I have gotten a few of my mates into the show but after I sent the requests off. They were all pretty jealous when I showed them. I recognised the look of the fraying as I grew up with a mother who is a quilter / patch worker, she joined Aussie Hero Quilts a few years ago and occasionally gets me to explain terms to her so she can be as close to what people request. 
I have two dogs at home in Adelaide, a female English Staffy named Ruby and a Darwin special rescue dog named Wolfgang. He is definitely part Wolfhound and part Shar Pei but we are not sure what else, they are both around 5 years old but we are not too sure with him as he was mistreated before we adopted him. Not too long after getting home my fiancée and I will be getting married. We started planning years ago when we got engaged but as always defence has its own ideas on how our lives are going to play out. When we got to Adelaide we really started seriously planning, and as I found out a few days ago, the DJ we hired is actually the father of one of the guys that is over here with me. 
I will endeavour to send you a photo of me with the laundry bag soonish, but if I haven’t been able to I will definitely send one once I am home. 
And again thank you so much for the laundry bag even if it was a bit out of the normal. 


Hi Su,

Firstly, my apologies for taking so long to reply with a photo and my thanks!  Things got a wee bit hectic as we came to the end of deployment and I just plumb ran out of time!

The effort you have gone to on my quilt and laundry bag meant the absolute world to me.  There were many oohs and aahs at the detail and personalisation!

It means an awful lot to the guys and girls when quilts and goodies arrive, pretty much a major highlight of the deployment!

Again, my apologies and my thanks for the thoughts of yourself and all the quilters during our time away.  It means the world!

Kind regards

Dear Ruth

I received your laundry bag today during my training as a RAAF Chaplain.
It was very touching to receive your note and to see the love and skill you put into making the bag.
The colours are just right and the planes take me back to my childhood! 
It was pictures like that of planes that started a long journey that finds me here learning how to care for members of the Australian Defence Force.

I understand how your cousin’s daughter felt when she received hers.  I felt loved and appreciated.
It will always remind me of the great work Aussie Heroes does and I think one day I’ll have the joy of passing on bags to deployed members.

I’ll treasure my bag and it will always travel with me.  I’ve already sent a photo of it to my three teenage children (two girls, one boy) and they think it’s fantastic!
I’ve attached a photo for you.

Thanks again very much!


Hi Debbie,

I’m writing to say Thank You for the Hero Quilt and Laundry Bag. You did an amazing job and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
I’m blown away by the quality. You’re work is really good and I love the Kangaroo-Silver Fern crossover. It’s the perfect personalised touch for a Kiwi-Australian like me.

I’m glad that my request could have a greater significance to you considering your husband is also a New Zealander and thank you for choosing to do mine as your first Aussie Hero Quilt.

I apologise that I’m unable to send a photo. I received it yesterday and as I’m about to depart on some overseas leave in the morning, I didn’t get the chance to get a photo with it. However I wanted to get this email to you as before I left to thank you and to let you know that the work you do does make a difference and provides a huge morale boost to deployed Australians across the theatre of operations.

Even though the Quilt arrives towards the end of my deployment, it will be treasured for years to come and will be of much use during Canberra’s cold winters when I return.



Good Morning Ladies, 

Thanks you for the time and effort you put in to create the beautiful quilt that I have laying on my bed today. 

I appreciate everything you do to support our soldiers within the deployed environment to keep the morale high and add a splash of home to our living spaces. 

The Quilt that I received from you both has brought me a copious amounts of joy and appreciation, also to know that there is support not only within our immediate families but beyond the bond of blood. It is satisfying to know that we are in the thoughts of all Australian citizens. 

Once again Thank you for your hard work and dedication to all of us over here and I hope you continue to create such beautiful master pieces and receive thanks from all the soldiers you have touched. 

Hello Ruth 

Thank you for the Laundry Bag you made. My son will appreciate it when he is a bit older. He is  7 months old. I`m a Carlton supporter in the AFL so I haven`t had much to cheer about for a while. 

A little bit about myself. I will have been in the Navy now for 8 years come October. I hold the rank of Leading Seaman and I`m a Marine Technician. So basically a mechanic on the ship.This is my third trip up to the Middle East.
Once again thank you very much for the laundry bag. 


Good evening Ruth, 
I am a Reserve Chaplain withe the RAAF. I come from Victoria and have a wife and three kids (the youngest is in her late teens).
Earlier today , I was given a wonderful present which was a beautifully made laundry bag which you made. 

I just wanted to say a sincere thank you to you for this gift. 

I am presently in the middle of a course and was missing my wife and kids desperately but getting this gift today provided that wonderful positive end to the day which I needed so much. 

Thanks again for your kindness, your gift of sewing and your willingness to encourage others. 

God Bless

Dear Fran,

Thank you so much for my gorgeous laundry bag. 

Your handiwork is incredible!

As I embark on this new journey as a chaplain it’s a great encouragement to know that I am joining a long tradition of serving chaplains and also joining a new family who show others the love of Jesus in such special and concrete ways. 

Thank you so much! 

With love in Christ. 

Dear Jan-Maree,

What can I say…’s a masterpiece! 

Both the quilt and the ANZAC Biscuits arrived during the week. When I opened the box and saw the quilt I was amazed. So much detail and so many personal memories contained within it. 

Can I pass on my appreciation and admiration to yourself and the team. The quilt is something that will not only serve me well in Iraq, but which I will cherish for years to come.

Hi Georgina,
I received your quilt in the post today and wanted to say a very grateful thank you. It’s absolutely brilliant! I can’t believe how well you nailed my idea!

I really like to watch jellyfish swim about and just find it really relaxing and the quilt really captures that so thanks! It’ll help me relax and wind down here.

I’m a bit afraid to use it and the laundry bag actually, I can see they’re well sewn and hardy and it’s not that I just don’t want anyone to nick it from the laundry!  I might just hang it up so it looks nice on my wall!

I think these quilts and laundry bags for us as we deploy is absolutely wonderful, It’s an honour to serve our country and do these jobs, and it’s a reward in itself to be chosen to deploy. But to know that people back home, people who don’t even know us except for our names on a bit of paper respect what we do so that they are willing to use their spare time to make us such wonderful gifts, to make our deployment just that little bit better is fantastic, and i can’t thank you enough.
This quilt will be kept for many many years as a fond reminder of my deployment and your kindness
Once again thank you

Thanks heaps! I so happy with the quilt and bag!

Hello Sue,

You cannot imagine how thrilled I was to see your quilt arrive last weekend. I was even more thrilled when I opened the box. It is amazing – and so is the Laundry bag. It could not have been more perfect. Your card and treats were also very welcome – thank you.I have attached a photo of the quilt on my bed here on deployment. You may be able to tell that on my walls I have some seaside photos. I am a keen photographer and before I left home I chose a couple of my favourite shots, enlarged them, laminated them and placed them on my walls here. So the quilt adds beautifully to the theme.

Thank you so much for your contribution to the Australian mission – it certainly means the world to me and I know the latest Aus medical team to arrive here are currently placing their orders now – most enthusiastically after seeing my quilt!

Kindest Regards,


Hi Robyn,

I received the laundry bag last week, Thanks heaps! I really like it. I wasn’t too sure about the design when I put my request in, as long as it had the red kangaroo I would have been happy, but am glad you mixed it up with the main bag material.

I am deployed until the end of the year, missing my daughter and wife heaps, my daughter still gets excited to see me on skype and calls out for me sometimes which is nice.

I really appreciate your efforts and time that you put in to make these for us.
All the best,

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

Jan-Maree  xx

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