Gratitude Post 16 January 2019

Written by AHQ

16 January 2019

G’day all, 

I am now back in Sydney after my trip to Brisbane and back. What a fabulous time I had, staying with, meeting and catching up with quilters and recipients every day. 

I couldn’t believe it when I bumped into the lovely Nikki, co-Captain of the Aussie Invictus Games Team last year, at the first rest stop I made. 

Everywhere I went I was made so welcome – it was just wonderful.

I am sorry that I did not remember to take photos of everyone I met and stayed with, including the lovely Linda and Jamie from WoundedWarriors4WoundedWarriors but here are some of the people I caught up with along the way.  

Leigh and his gorgeous family were my hosts in Brisbane for two nights, including the Saturday when my husband joined me. The last time I saw them little Joshua (the youngest) was just months old and when Leigh first contacted me in 2012 his little Bella was also just months old.  I feel like I have watched the children grow up. 

On the Saturday night in Brisbane, mother of one of our Fallen Warriors, Susie Chuck and her partner, David, hosted a dinner for recipients and quilters. It was a beautiful night, great food and of course, great company. 

Debra S has been sewing for us since 2012 but this was the first time she has been able to get along to one of our functions as she is a busy mum from regional Queensland. 

Many of you will recognise the legendary Peter Rudland, Co-Captain of our 2017 Invictus Games Team and competitor in the 2018 Team.  With us is Jorja who I have also known since 2012 but never had the chance to meet. Jorja was kind enough to put me up on the Sunday night and it was great to actually be able to share time together. 

Janelle received a quilt in South Sudan in 2015 (I think) and again, we have been in touch ever since but never had the chance to meet. 

 This is Sharon, ex-Air Traffic Controller from my era and also a recipient, Michelle who is one of our RAAF Chaplains and of course, Janelle again. 

Paul on the right is Debra S’s husband.  Shane, on the left, returned early from deployment in AMAB to go straight into hospital for chemo.  His wife Bec, contacted me and Donna J made him a quilt that went with him to and from hospital and kept him warm at home.  These days Shane is thankfully in remission and getting on with his life!

Bec, Shane’s wife, is on the left, Heather in the middle is a quilter and that is Debra S again. 

Kate was there with her partner.   Cathie J and Norma are both quilters, both of whom were delighted to be able to make it to an Aussie Heroes function. 

This is a special family group. Mum, Tanya, is with (from the left) Mitch, Fionn and Baily. Some of you might remember that Baily was one of our speakers on the Friday night in Canberra last November.  Dad, Ben, could not be there was he works in Sydney courtesy of military postings but then he has Christmas lunch at my table so did not miss out entirely.  Both Tanya and Ben are recipients. 

The lovely Andrew has been really keen to get to one of our functions but has been posted to the North West of WA… a posting to Brisbane finally made it possible… YAY!

Unfortunately this is the only photo I have of Peter and I with the gorgeous Susie, our hostess for the night. 

And last but not least, I spent my final night in Coffs Harbour with Joanne H and her husband Kim.  I arrived in the afternoon just in time to enjoy some afternoon tea with some of the Coffs Harbour ladies and one HMAS Ballarat mum!  

I hope you don’t mind me hijacking the Gratitude Post to share some of the pics from my trip but I thought you would like to put some faces to some names. I am just sorry that none of us thought to take pictures of the Coffs Harbour Group! 

Now on with the normal messages… 

Good Evening Ellen,

Many thanks for you excellent work with the laundry bag, it really is appreciated. It is quite humbling to receive your generosity, it is evident that a considerable amount of work went into making the bag.
I really believe that Aussie hero quilts is a great initiative and I applaud you for your efforts.
I did enjoy reading about your families long history with the ADF and the service that they provided to the Australian public.
I’m currently in the middle of my deployment, which I have enjoyed, however it can be difficult on a personal note.
I will endeavour to forward a picture shortly.

My very best wishes for the rest of the festive season.  

Dear Ashleigh and Bridget,

My name is Tylar, I was very lucky to have received a quilt (pineapples and palm tree) and laundry bag (flamingo’s) from you both. It was honestly the best Christmas present (sorry mum)! I truly appreciate the effort you put into making them and I will cherish them both. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Ashleigh, I can’t believe how young you are to be so talented and doing such a beautiful thing for Australia Defence Members. I’m 23 and inspired by your ability to create a quilt – slightly jealous too! 

Bridget, my mother-in-law is very much like yourself. She retired a few years now and besides travelling around Australia, she loves making quilts for family and friends. She recently entered a competition in Bunbury WA and came 1st place for her quilt and 2nd place for her Teddy bear. She absolutely loves the quilt and laundry bag too! I’ve told her about Aussie Quilt Hero’s so I think she may be in contact to assist in future as two of her children are in the Navy.

I can’t convey in words just how appreciative and happy I am. I’ve never owned a quilt before and I honestly didn’t think much of them before now! When I received my quilt I was so excited, like a kid who received her favourite toy. They were honestly my favourite Christmas present! I took photos and sent them to my family and friends back home and I was showing both the quilt and laundry bag off to all of my ship mates. All of the girls in my sleeping quarters absolutely loved them too! I am so chuffed with how amazing they look and I plan on passing my quilt down to my children one day.

I hope you both had a lovely Christmas and a smashing New Year.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Hello Shirley! 

I hope this email finds you well 😊
I’d like to send a huge ‘thank you’ to you for the excellent quilt and laundry bag, i am very pleased with them and i greatly appreciate your efforts! The photo’s turned out better then expected and your creative design is eye catching! My partner is very pleased as well, the challenge will be keeping the fur-babies off the quilt now..
I too have been bitten by the white xmas bug! Unfortunately we didn’t get any snow in Dec, but we’ve got a nice drop now and thanks to our boss here we still managed to have a very nice and enjoyable xmas period considering where we are. 
I do miss my little fambam over here, it has been different this time being away for the whole xmas period and missing all the family catchups and events etc but i’m almost done and on the home run now and thanks to you i have an excellent memento of this particular deployment.
The quilt has brightened my day, as they do for every deployed person who is fortunate enough to receive one. I/we appreciate the work you and the Aussie Hero team does for us, thank you again! 
Kind Regards,


Dear Gail,

I am a Logistics Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and the lucky recipient of the beautiful quilt you created.

Your design is so much more incredible than I could have envisioned. I think you nailed the mountains and I love how you incorporated the geometric patterns. It is something that is going to take pride of place on my couch when I get home and it will be an incredible memento from my first deployment.

Thank you for the work you do with Aussie Hero Quilts. It may seem like a small thing but it is a little piece of home that provides a lot of comfort. There is always a lot of excitement when people receive the care packages with their custom made quilts.

Hopefully we can catch up someday over a coffee/tea.

Thank you once again for the time and effort you put into making my quilt.

Also Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope you have a fantastic end to 2018 and a great start to 2019.
All the best,


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

Jan-Maree xx

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