Grati-Tuesday 9 June 2020

Written by AHQ

9 June 2020

Hi Everyone, 
Another batch of cracking letters this week!
First one off the bat this week is a recount of when one of our sewers got to meet the recipient of her Quilt, how exciting! 
Hope you enjoy them all. 
I first joined Aussie Hero Quilts 12 months ago and have made many Laundry bags & quilts for members on deployment and have been enjoying it immensely. I love hearing back from members when they receive their parcels especially when they tell you a bit about themselves, it makes it a bit more personal when you know more about the person your quilt/laundry bag has gone to but I had never met anyone personally.
I work in the clothing store at RAAF Base Richmond & know many members but have never had a recipient from Richmond.
I received an email from a recipient of a quilt that I had made who told me they are based at Defence Establishment Orchard Hills & would call in & see me when he got back which I was looking forward to.
Well last week he came in & as soon as I saw him I knew who he was as we often have members from Orchard Hills come to our clothing store. I thought it funny that I had made him a quilt, sent it to him & answered an email from him not knowing that I actually knew who he was! (We see so many members that it’s hard to remember names) But it was still exciting for me to ‘meet’ my first recipient of a quilt that I have made!
Jenny A
Hi Ellen, 
I am so very grateful for the beautiful you have created for me; I love all of the different fabrics 🙂
That is an incredible amount of family history in the Defence Force. For all I know, I am the first in my family to join. My hope is to inspire people from my little home town. But mostly my siblings and parents. And to make them as proud as I possibly can. They are my biggest support and motivation to be the best person I can be.
With all that travel, how do you fit in the sewing. It sounds like you still keep very busy. I hope to do some travel around Australia. We have a stunning country worth exploring! 
One of my sisters is studying to be a teacher, brother works away Tree lopping and the youngest is still in school where her and my brother got a scholarship to attend. We are all very close, so it can be extremely hard living so far away.
My partner just brought us a beautiful border collie. She was meant to be a surprise for me to come home to, but he couldn’t keep it from me. 
I hope that you and your family are safe during this crazy time,
Again, thank you so much.
Hi Kathy and Family,
Just a quick note to say that I received my quilt and I love it!! Thank you!
A little about me. I was born and raised in Western Australia and am the daughter of a professional Cray Fisherman (hence the Navy!). I have an older brother and older sister, and between them they have six kids so it’s always busy in our homes. There is no previous history of military service in my family. I joined the Navy in 2016 as a Officer. 
Anyway, again thank you for the time you take to make the quilts, I’m glad it gave you something to focus on when you were missing your Grandsons. I know everyone on board HMAS Toowoomba is excited when they know that the parcel they are opening is one from the great people at Aussie Hero Quilts!!!!
G’day Bridget,
I have received the amazing quilt that you made. Thank you very much, it looks fantastic. I love the two-sided pattern that you chose making it very versatile. The parrot side looks great on my rack, I have already received quite a few positive comments, it definitely brightens my cabin up significantly. The pink/purple colour scheme for the dance side is perfect too! You have absolutely fulfilled my request, and it surpassed my expectations by far!
It seems like COVID has had a big impact on your family as well, it has definitely made for a very whacky year so far. I hope your son and daughter are back at work now that restrictions seem to be easing around the country. We have been fairly lucky out here on deployment as we have missed out on all the crazy restrictions back home, though being confined to the Ship without port visits has definitely made it a lot less fun. Like your daughter, I love traveling and have been to Europe a few times. In fact, I was meant to be posting overseas on return to Australia but that move is now on hold until further notice (due to COVID), which is a bit of a shame. 
Once again I would like to thank the time and effort that has gone into the quilt, it is evident that you have an eye for detail and are very proud of your work, as it is indeed a very high quality product. I very much appreciate your well wishes and your gratitude for our service, it is not often that I have ‘a stranger’ perform such an act of kindness towards me.
Good morning Gayle,
I can’t thank you enough for this amazing quilt!! You have put so much time and effort into it that it’s too nice to use!! You made me laugh when you said you weren’t sure what the “etc” was in the brief for it! I love your interpretation including the trees and the buildings under the starry night sky!
I hope that since you wrote your letter to me you have had the chance to visit your granddaughter and twin siblings! It’s definitely a strange time at the moment and I hope everything returns to normal soon!
It would have been rewarding volunteering at the Wildlife Hospital! There would have been a lot of hard things to see as well. I like how you’ve been learning Mandarin! That’s something I want to do! I’m interested in studying Foreign Relations and will possibly learn a language alongside that. 
Thank you again for all of your effort that went into making this incredible quilt! I hope all is well!
Kind regards,
Hello Marilyn,
Thank you so much for the laundry bag, I absolutely love it!! The care bears remind me of my family and when I was a kid so it is good to think of those thinks whilst I have been serving overseas. It definitely made my day when I got it!
Your hometown is such a beautiful place, I am originally from the NSW South Coast and looking forward to seeing my mum and sisters when I return to Australia.
More grandchildren, I bet you must be proud! I bet you spoil them all rotten! 😊
And I agree the Corona virus is very bad, it is so sad to see the whole world changing and a bit daunting to knowing the country that I left will not be the same.
Once again thank you for the laundry bag and I wish you and your family all the best.
Warm Regards
Good morning Sheena,
I was fortunate enough to receive my quilt yesterday and it was perfect, it matched the brief exactly. The quilt is a great reminder of home and it will be a great memory of this trip!
Thank you very much again for the quilt, the snacks (these will be enjoyed!) and for reaching out with your lovely letter! Aussie Hero Quilts do some amazing work and we are all very grateful for the work that goes into the quilts and laundry bags.
From AHQ fb via message
Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the amazing team at Aussie Hero Quilts, particularly Keryn, Inge and Jenny D for their generosity in making my quilt, and no doubt so many others for the crew onboard HMAS Toowoomba. Top quality quilts made by complete strangers for complete strangers. Thank you so much Keryn, Inge and Jenny for my amazing quilt, but also to Jan-Maree Ball for creating such a great idea for us deployed troops. #aussieheroquilts #thankful
Hello Liahn,
I am writing to thank you for the amazing laundry bag and for the hard work that went into it.
I know it brings everyone who receives one a lot of happiness, I can’t thank you enough it has made my day.
Best wishes 
Good Morning Jenny,
I want to thank you so much for my amazing Disney Quilt and Laundry Bag. I absolutely love them. I know when I get home my daughter will be stealing the quilt off me so she can have it on her bed. So I’m enjoying it while I can. 
I wanted to also thank you for the time and amazing talent you put into these quilts. They are fantastic and are always put a smile on our faces. So thank you from the bottoms of my heart. 
I hope you and your family are safe and well.
Kind regards,
G’day Ladies,
Thank you so much for the time and effort you all put into making the laundry bag and quilt. Both are fantastic and I was humbled and moved that there are still people like you in the world. Unfortunately, in this job we tend to see the worse of mankind, although it is true that under duress sometimes people will surprise you with what they can rise to.
Anyway, we here on Op Mazurka do appreciate your combined efforts and I note I need to thank Sally, Kerry and Donna for my quilt and Rowena for my laundry bag and of course Jan-Maree.
I showed my wife and youngest daughter these via skype (my wife is a ‘spinner’ and into all sorts of crafts as well) and they were both very impressed. Indeed, I think my daughter already has her eye on the quilt for when watching TV on the couch. 
Now whilst you maybe already aware, to give you an idea of what our role is in this 
Operation please see:
Now I hope you and your families are all surviving the COVID-19 drama. In this location, due to this issue and various no fly’s, quarantines, etc. and the current ‘impossibility’ of getting replacements ‘into’ this specific location at present, my rotation has now been extended a few more months. I just hope the 14 days quarantine requirement back home will be lifted by then.
This additional time is good, but it has meant I have missed various things like my wife’s birthday and ‘now’ also my daughters 21st birthday. It’s true that both of them got to buy each other some presents on ‘my’ behalf, but it would have been nice to have been there for my daughter. Anyway, it is what it is and our plan is to have a big 22nd birthday next year instead.
Anyway, again thank you all for your brilliant efforts, they are very much appreciated. 
Sent to Judith C
The carebear hero quilt is absolutely amazing and has made me the envy of all my friends. I appreciate all the effort that you put into it and it made my day when I opened the parcel. And I didn’t know their moto of ‘when in doubt smile’ and ‘it’s cool to care’ . Such good words of advice and I will definitely remember during my days here.
The Coronavirus has changed the world quite a bit.
I think it will be hard going back home to a country that has changed from the one which I left.
Once again thank you for your lovely quilt and it has definitely improved my morale here. 
Warm regards.
Hi Bridget.
I was not having a great day – and the last training session of the day was pretty heavy going But receiving mail – your beautiful quilt – honestly was such a wonderful and well-timed surprise! The snakes were also very welcome at the end of a long day.
You probably don’t know much about the person you are making a quilt for but I’m currently work in the health centre and I love the fact you are a nurse! How amazing to be able to say you had a 40 year career in nursing! Congratulations on your retirement and thank you for your work caring for others.
I’m sorry to hear how coronavirus has disrupted the jobs of your children. It has completely changed how we do healthcare too. Many areas in the Middle East are still experiencing increasing infection rates and so we are having to be extra cautious.
I love my quilt so much – it is exactly me 🙂 I know many people like to have military symbols but when I return to my room after a long day at work, I would prefer to be reminded of my sweet little munchkins. I actually imagined there would be a little embroidered name on the edge of the quilt but what you have made has surpassed my expectations, it is gorgeous! My laundry bag is so good, I love how you lined it with pink on the inside so it’s just that little bit feminine 🙂 How long did this take you? I think quilts are a lot of work! Especially such neatly made ones!
my daughter is 8yo and my son is 5yo my heart just swells with pride. And of course, I couldn’t be here doing this job without the best husband! He is doing amazing taking care of house and kids and appointments as well as doing his own job. I think the partners who stay home have the harder job and deserve all the praise.
The pictures are of me being all excited after opening my parcel in the health center and the quilt now proudly on my bed brightening what is a very boring room. And since you are also poodle lovers, a picture of my babies with my parents’ gorgeous girl.
Thank you sincerely for your hard work, I could not be happier with my quilt and laundry bag.
Hi Bridget,
I’m emailing to say thank you for my beautiful laundry bag I received whilst on deployment in the MER. It was lovely to read all about you and your family in the letter and that packet of snakes was a nice surprise! 😊
Thank you again for all the kind, hard work you put in to making the quilts and laundry bags.
Take care ❤
Dear Pennie,
What an amazing experience, surprise and honour this is to be here, receiving two gifts from you and having works of art I can keep forever, created by the true Australian hero that is you. Before I came here, my greatest fear was bombs, rockets and bullets. Within months of arrival, however, the fear for most of us moved to COVID-19.
Things are escalating very quickly here as the virus spreads globally. I love how you captured this so perfectly on the blanket as it’s actually been the primary focus of my entire deployment; more so than anything I’ve had to deal with on this or other operations. The other part I particularly love on the blanket (besides everything) is the Australian coat of arms. The attention to detail on this is absolutely amazing! This blanket is something I’ll keep forever ensuring it’s passed down through the generations for years and years to come. The fact that it has been made for me by a health care professional makes it even more special and valuable to me.
I really admire the work you do for our community on multiple fronts. Firstly, your work in the hospital, particularly within ED is just amazing. They talk about ADF being on the front line but we typically go offshore to face our dangers for a given time in a given space before heading home – you however do it every day! Then when we face something like COVID-19, you step up and go even further! Then you do something extraordinary by creating these beautiful works of art – irreplaceable art – for your fellow Australians so far away from home. Thank you.
I have a good friend back at home who is a nurse. She’s always working long hours at all different times and often with difficult patients – I’ll bet you can relate. I worry about her and all our HCPs as I feel they are over-worked and under-appreciated. In my opinion, we should be marching for you.
I keep the laundry bag you made me on my desk. It brings colour and warmth to my very frigid and mission-focused office. 
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for these truly amazing works of art. I will keep them for eternity, with all the respect they deserve and love I can feel they contain.
With best wishes, the utmost gratitude and in loyal service always,
Good afternoon Val,
I hope this finds you well. I am an Officer onboard HMAS Toowoomba, which is currently deployed to the middle east region under Operation MANITOU.
Firstly, thank you and little Gypsy so very much for the amazing quilt you made me. To receive one of these quilts is truly humbling and the amount of time and effort you have put into it makes me immensely thankful. The colour I love, it very much represents the varying colours of the ocean and sky we see at sea. Please give Gypsy a big pat from me, I imagine she keeps you quiet busy and a lot of company, I have two rescue kittens (not so little anymore) back home,both of which I miss immensely and can appreciate the company Gypsy would provide (and the trouble).
I grew up in QLD prior to joining the navy, and have been in for over 12 years. My grandfather was in the army for 25 years as a Warrant Officer and served in Vietnam, Malaya and Korea. I often would spend ANZAC Day with him after our march through Sydney. ANZAC day is a day for reflection for all the sacrifices that have been made both home and abroad. I did see that ANZAC day in Australia was done mainly from driveways. I’m glad it was televised and that it was still commemorated, we onboard did a service at sea, watching the sunrise and remembering those that went before us.
Please show your mother the photos that are attached, one is of me with the quilt and the other is of me on ANZAC day at sea. My mother also sends her thanks for the support sent from you and your family, she like many others, want us back safe ASAP, and she loved seeing the photos of us receiving these quilts and warm letters of support. Your mother is a grand 97!! Please give her my warm regards! Mothers are so precious, I call mine as often as I can, they are our biggest champions and supporters, so please thank your mum as well.
With COVID happening I am truly thankful to receive the quilt especially with all the restrictions in place. You are the true heroes back in Australia supporting us while we are away.
Please keep up your support and effort it is greatly received and very much appreciated, seeing a lot of people with big smiles when they received these after a tough deployment makes all the difference.
Again, thank you so much Val and I hope COVID hasn’t caused you too much trouble.
Please keep in touch.
Yours aye
Dear Jenni,
Thank you so much for my Aussie Hero Quilt.
It is absolutely amazing and , makes me smile every time I look at it.
The work all of you do really makes a difference to us whilst away on deployment, it is very much appreciated.
Many thanks
Good Afternoon Bridget,
Today I received the quilt that you sent, I would like to thank you and all your fellow co works that make these beautiful quilts(and laundry bags) and the smiles it brings to everyone when they open their box.
I love the detail of my quilt and how it brightens up a sometimes very dull room that we stay in why deployed and I sure my kids will love it when I take it home
I hope your family is doing we in these tuff time, it looks like Australia( and the rest of the world) is a very different place to what it was when I left, but I still can’t wait to come home.
Once again thank you very much for your work
Hey Donna!
Firstly, thankyou so much for your kindness in your letter and the amazing quilt that you and Shirley helped put together! 
I’ll start with a bit about me as well. I’m a Captain within the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. We deployed late last year and missed Christmas, but we’re all looking forward to coming home very soon. After a compulsory two weeks of quarantine we’ll get to see our loved ones again, which at this point in the trip will be a welcome change. I’m currently deployed on Operation Okra – ultimately, our role is to help countries in the Middle East Region defeat Da’esh and prevent their resurgence. We do this by helping host nations improve their own capacity in their fight against terrorism, and it honestly has been a deeply rewarding experience. Seeing all the support from Australians is heartwarming as well – there’s just so much love and support for what we’re doing over here, which is an amazing thought.
It was indeed fitting that you finished it on ANZAC Day – we had a small COVID-conscious ceremony within our compound which was nice, and one of our soldiers was an ex-chef so she made some amazing ANZAC cookies. Felt just like being at home, if only for a little while. It sounds like your mother is a bit of a trooper herself! She’d fit in over here! It’s pretty crazy – I deployed before COVID and the bushfires, and for all that to happen whilst we’ve been so far away was not what we expected when we left. For a bit there, it sounded a little more dangerous at home! I hope that Shirley is able to get out and about a bit more soon and you’re able to get around to give her that hug you owe her!
Jan-Maree sure is incredible. She runs a great charity, and to see the joy and excitement on many of my soldiers faces when they received their quilts was nice. Probably the same look on my face when I received mine – thank-you very much for all the hard work you and Shirley put in. I absolutely love it – the design is really cool and I really like the double-sided feature of it! It allows me to change it up every couple of days for something a bit different. I really like the stormy colours you used!
Thanks again for the letter, quilt, laundry bag and the sweets you snuck in! I hope you all stay safe back home too, and given that you asked – yes, I am safe and well! I can’t add my face into the photo but here’s one I took of it on my bed when it arrived the other day. Looks brilliant and made it in one piece without any damage at all!
All the best!
G’day Jenni
I just wanted to thank you for the quilt and dopey bag that has been sent to me. How did ya know I love dragons?
I have only been in the Navy for little over a year now with this being my first ever big deployment so the last few months have been filled with new experiences for me.
It’s a first for me receiving things like this and I’m gonna be holding onto these for the years to come so once again, thank you.
I hope the pandemic hasn’t been too hectic on you or your family and you’re all staying healthy.
Kind regards
Good afternoon Courtney,
Thank you for taking the time and effort to hand craft this amazing quilt cover. It’s things like this that make our long time at sea and away from home that much better, helping us feel connected with Australia.
Glad to hear the ANZAC solidarity even with all the COVID restrictions. I was lucky enough to be part of the guard party during our dawn service on the flight deck of Toowoomba, it was very moving.
Thanks again for the quilt cover and your lovely letter too.
Very Many Thanks and Kind Regards,
Dear Jo,
I hope this email finds you well. Thank you very much for this wonderful surprise and all your thoughts and wishes. The quilt that you made is a wonderful gesture, surprise and it provides a homely feel while away from home. I really love the quilt and am very very thankful.
At times it feels that we are operating out here in the shadows of Australian day to day life’s without purpose, the work that you do supporting us out here has incredible weight and makes all of us feel remembered and important.
I live in NSW with my beautiful fiance who is also a Navy member, I told her about the quilt and how lucky I felt receiving something this beautiful and personalised. I am an Officer on-board HMAS Toowoomba. 
It is unfortunate to hear that your travel plans did not eventuate this year, however I am sure you will make it up next year and go on many more adventures. I have been to Coffs Harbour on a number of occasions and visited the Jetty a couple of times, it is a beautiful city.
Please extend my gratitude and thoughts to Kay as well. 
Thank you very much again for your lovely surprise and thoughts. 
Kind Regards
Hi Jenny and Pam,
I have just received the beautiful quilt you hand made for me.
I’m extremely humbled and great full , thank you so much for your time in making it, I absolutely love it! 
It looks great in my room alongside my NRL blues shirt!! 
I just read that you and your husband retired 6 years ago, what a beautiful spot to retire!! I’m a long way from retiring but along the coast line will certainly be the spot.
I’ll tell you a little about myself,
I’m 29 years old and I’ve spent a total of 7 years in the Army, this is my first deployment and due to COVID 19 I’m stuck and unable to push to my end location, but that’s okay i work with a great bunch of people. =] 
I previously was a truckie from 2010 to the end of 2014 before discharging from the ADF,
I spent a little over 2 years at a FIFO job in Nauru, before wanting to relax a little bit so I moved it Hamilton Island to work and what an experience that was, it’s a beautiful spot in the world!. I still felt a little torn from being away from the ADF so I re enlisted. I was debating on what service to go to, it was either the RAAF or the Army. 
In the end I chose to re join the Army and so far so good. 
I hope you managed to find some birthday presents for your loved ones, and secondly happy birthday to them!! COVID definitely has taken its toll but I hope it hasn’t taken a toll on your spirits. I know the bunch of people I have deployed with are very excited to receive their Aussie hero quilt! It certainly brings a massive smile to our face!! 
Again I’m extremely thank full for the quilt and I can’t wait to add little Patches to it with the more I do in defence!! 
Have a great week, 

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