Messages of thanks

Written by AHQ

21 January 2015

Hi All
Busy day here.  Several of the ladies have come to my home to work on the backing for our very special Centenary Quilt. 
Lots of great thank you messages have been received in the last week.  It is extra good to know that the patient crew on HMAS Success have finally received a good batch of quilts. A few of the messages are at the end of this post.

One last piece of business.  Last week I told you that my husband and I were taking a few days off to go on a cruise that we “bought” in the fund raising Blind Auction at the Soldier On Ball last year.  Well, as they say, best laid plans and all that.  It is not just the military that sometimes makes a mess of our domestic plans. Such is life.   We were supposed to depart tomorrow but unfortunately my husband is still in America and I have no idea when he will be coming home. I do know that he will not be home in time for us to embark on the cruise tomorrow. So, for us, it will be business as usual.  

Dear Su,

Just a short note to thank you for my laundry bag. 

Your bag looks great and is pretty handy, but more importantly I wanted to thank you for taking time to think about the deployed service personnel overseas.  I command approximately 80 Australians over here and I know that the efforts of people like yourself are much appreciated by all of the troops, especially at this time of the year.

Once again, thank you for thinking of us and I’ve attached a photo of your bag in action.



Thank you for your package of the quilt and laundry bag it is much appreciated and definitely brightened my day.
This is my 1st deployment and it is due to finish mid Feb 2015, so hopefully I will be home before my birthday.
Again thanks to yourself and all the members of the Aussie Hero quilts, your work is greatly appreciated.


Hi Su,

 I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the new year. First and foremost, I wish to thank you for the absolutely beautiful quilt that you sent me for my daughter, via the Aussie Heroes program. She loves it and since my return she has been wrapped in it despite the heat over here in WA.

I gather from your letter that you are familiar with family members being away on deployment, with your daughter doing a rotation in Afghanistan, so you are probably more aware than me of the actual hardship that the families of deployed servicemen and women go through. It makes my heart glad that there are people out there, such as yourself, that are willing to do things such as this quilt to make life more enjoyable for the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen and their families.

My daughter is standing next to me as I type this and she is busily thanking you whilst giving me a rendition of Green Alligator in her lovely singing voice.
Once again both my daughter and I thank you, and please rest assured her quilt takes pride of place on her bed (when she is not snuggled up in in front of the TV), and will be a treasured keepsake for years to come.
Wishing you all the best
Fondest Regards


Hi Pennie,

Firstly I would like to thank you very much for your time end energy spent making these wonderful gifts.

You were correct in the fire fighting theme for the laundry bag, I work as part of the Aviation Fire and Rescue team here with 9 other Aussies and 7 British guys.

The Laundry Bag looks great and the Quilt is fantastic.  I will use it here and I know when I get home my daughters will love it and I might not see it again.

Thankyou again for your fantastic work, I know it has been a boost for me when I am missing home and my family.



Hi Pennie,

I have just received your laundry bag with the fantastic Australian theme! Thank you for very generous offer it is greatly appreciated. 

The work you and your colleagues undertake on behalf of the troops here within the Middle East is exceptionally well received and also provides each person with a memory of their deployment when they return home. Your efforts make a difference to the people within the Middle East and the breadth of your work is evident each time I enter the laundry and see the huge amount of bags which you and yours produce!

One again thank you very much and I hope 2015 provides you with all you require and then some. 

Best wishes, 


Hi Debbie,

just got the quilt a couple of days ago- it’s great thank you so much!

it’s quite cold here right now so when I’m watching tv or working on the computer I often have it on my lap like a nanna blanket, this is much to the amusement of my mates who get a laugh every time they see it!

Hope you guy’s had a great xmas/nye it was pretty quiet here, though the mess here put on a decent spread

thanks again for the quilt and laundry bag- great keep-sakes and I treasure them both

Stay safe

Hi Sue N

I have just received a laundry bag made by you. Love your work and generosity in thinking of us as we get the job done so far from our family and friends.
This is my first deployment and I have a hubby looking after our 11 year old, cat, household chores and bills while I get this job done. I’m almost at the half way point and will be starting my countdown to getting home.
It is a bit like ground hog day, one day to the next can be repetitive, so receiving packages from home is a very welcome change to the standard routine.
Give your cat’s an extra pat from me.
Kindest regards


Hello Julie-Ann, 

Thank you so much for your wonderful laundry bag and bag of lollies. I received your package yesterday and it brought a huge smile to my face. I must admit that I may struggle putting dirty washing in the bag because it looks soo good.  You and the other ladies do make a difference to the people you send your quilts and bags. Several of the others here have received your gifts and all absolutely love them. I showed my wife your bag and it left her a little teary for your kindness. 
I truly appreciate the time you have put aside in your day to support our troops. You have a full time carers job with your husband and I think that you deserve recognition for what you do. Again thank you for your support. 
Very Respectfully, 


Hello Norma and Nancy, hello Jan-Maree,
I received your beautiful quilt today and have just opened the package after getting back to my room. It is a fine quilt. It actually bought unexpected tears to my eyes when I opened it up, with it’s colourful prints and patterns as they reminded me of my family and of home.
I can see it has taken much time and skill to create, right down to the Australiana animal shaped stitching. I love the picture prints, they’re just perfect and suit me down to a tee.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time and effort and wish you all the best in all you do.
I am married to my beautiful wife; we have 3 girls and a boy (all grown up now with the youngest girl just turned 21).

I will treasure this gift now, and once I’m finally back home with my wife and family. It will be lovingly used for many, many years to come.

Once again, thank you so very much.

Yours sincerely


Gday Jan-Maree,

I would just like to thank you and Sally G for the quilt that was sent across to me here in the Middle East. It has found a good home in my room and certainly adds some much needed character. The work of AHQ and the quilt makers is well received and appreciated by many here. Thanks again. 



Dear Bev and Geoff,

I received my lovely quilt today. Thank you. It is very bright and I love it.  Even just receiving mail today put a smile on my face and brings joy to my day. It is the small things over here that keep you going especially with time away from friends and family at Christmas. 

The laundry bag came in the mail last week, but I have not had a chance to get in contact until now. I will at least not lose my laundry now with my own personalised bag. Thank you.

Both will be items I can keep long after I return home.

I have shared the treats with others that I work with. Sugar is always sure to increase our moral.

We very much appreciate the time, effort and love that the Aussie Hero Quilters put into our personalised quilts and laundry bags. It is nice to feel like what we do is recognised by those back home.

I have seen the large scale bushfires in SA and Vic on the News and hope you, your friends and family are all safe.


Dear Julie-ann, 


Thank you so much for the very patriotic laundry bag that you made for me. It fills my heart with pride to know that there are people back home, like you, that use their time to make our lives just that little more comfortable. 


I have been here in Afghanistan for a year now and will return to Australia in a little over a months time. All up I will have spent over two years in this country and I cant help but feel an affinity for the place. Our lives here are fairly rudimentary, but we really cant complain. Our camp is very small, but we have all the basics to keep us going. We work as a part of a larger organisation training Afghan officers and soldiers to take the fight to the Taliban. I hope that we are making a difference and that after we have left they will succeed in achieving peace and prosperity. 
By the time I get home I would have been through two Afghan winters, which get down to around -20 Degrees, so a bit of warm weather will do just the trick. 
I am also looking forward to wearing some shorts and to have my feet bootless for a while. I wear uniform and boots every day for up to 16 hours and when in the field, 24 hours a day. It will be a nice change to wear civilian clothing for a while. 
Anyway, thank you again for your kind gift. Please know that it has brought me a great deal of joy, not just the bag itself, but the sentiment behind it. I hope that you and your family are well and that you enjoy many more Christmases with your grandson and family in the future. 
Warmest regards


And HMAS Success has received more mail AT LAST!

Dear Pennie,

Many thanks indeed for the laundry bags – plus treats – you posted some time before Christmas! They were finally delivered to the ship today in a place called Fujairah after a scenic tour of the Middle East. I can promise you they will go to good homes with members of HMAS Success’ ship’s company.

I particularly appreciated your thoughts about providing pastoral care – I’m sure, given your own vocation, that you realise the positive impact it has on our people just knowing you are interested and engaged in what we’re doing. So thank you for making my job easier!

I shall pass on your name and email address to the crew members who receive the laundry bags, and I am sure you will hear from them in due course.

All the very best,


Hi Evelyn,

Well, where do I start. Thank you so much for the quilt and laundry bag they are fantastic. It is very evident that you have put in a lot of love and effort into this quilt and I was so amazed to see the photo of the kids and I. It really is something that I will treasure for a very long time. It will be well looked after.  Thank you 🙂

It is a shame we didn’t get to meet at our departure in Sydney but maybe we will catch up on my return home in May. Thank you for your kind words, it was lovely to also get a letter from you. 

We have taken a number of photos with all the quilts today so hopefully we get them downloaded soon.  I will send one your way. I will also send you a photo of the quilt’s resting place when I get home. It is currently on my rack (bed) where it will remain until our return to Aus.

I hope you had a wonderful Xmas with your family (even though your daughter was away) and I hope that 2015 is an enjoyable year for you. 

Once again, thankyou 🙂

Take care.


Dear Su,

Many thanks indeed for the laundry bags – plus other inclusions –  you posted some time before Christmas! They were finally delivered to the ship today in a place called Fujairah after a scenic tour of the Middle East. I can promise you they will go to good homes with members of HMAS Success’ ship’s company. I’d not heard of Fru-Chocs before, but am very willing to be converted!

I was particularly interested to hear the story behind the tea towels. One or two of the other laundry bags (or at least, the ones I have seen) had one as a panel, but you have developed the idea into an art form! I loved the little white pooch – it reminds me of my step-daughter’s two dogs. Probably not as expensive in the Vet department, though! Re your comments about being out at sea – if you ever visit Sydney, we’ll be happy to show you what it’s really like! We walk around the deck – each circuit is about 200 metres, and most of us go for a walk or run every day, usually between 6 & 7 am and 3 & 5 pm.

I shall pass on your name and email address to the crew members who receive the laundry bags, and I am sure you will hear from them in due course.

All the very best,

‘Bish’ (my Navy nickname)


Dear Margaret, 

Hope hope you are well. I would like to say a very big thank you for my quilt and my laundry bag they are amazing and they have given me so much comfort. I will e-mail some photos as soon as they come on line. 

I have said more in the letter because we can only say so much on e-mail. 


Dear Joan and Robin, 

Hope hope you are well.   I would like to say a very big thank you for my laundry bag it is amazing and it does brighten my living space. I will e-mail some photos as soon as they come on line. 

I have said more in the letter because we can only say so much on e-mail. 



Thank you so much for my quilt. The detail you have put in is amazing and I am in awe of the skill that goes into it. I am trying to think where in my house to put the quilt on display. I have another couple of months to think about that but will keep it in my cabin safe until we get home. The laundry bag is going to get used right now instead of the boring net ones we get issued.

You are a very talented lady and I salute you for the effort you have gone to in making me a keepsake and something of comfort while we are on deployment. It’s really amazing.

Best wishes


Hi Lynne,

I received your quilt, washing bag and pillow case today. Thank you very much.    I was very impressed with them and all are being used right now.  The ship sailed from Sydney on the 23rd of November last year and this was the first real mail that we have received onboard since then.  We were supposed to receive mail on Christmas Eve when we pulled in for a few hours but our mail was bumped for priority stores so for majority of us we received nothing from home for Christmas until yesterday.

A little about me, this July will 23 years in the Navy for me.  I have been posted to Success for the last three years.  When I get back to Sydney in late May this year I will be taking a shore posting.  I have been at sea on various ships for over a decade now and am really looking forward to having a somewhat normal life again.

We have not had much time at home lately.  Last February we sailed North for border patrols and ended up down in the Southern Ocean searching for MH370.  We were the first ship down there  and spent fifty days at sea searching in some pretty ordinary conditions and without any luck.  We arrived back in Sydney in May and were back in Sydney for about six weeks before we sailed again for Hawaii for a large multinational exercise for three months.  The ship then was back in Sydney in September for mission preparations and running off the East Coast before deploying to Middle East in November for six months.

Thanks again for gifts they were all appreciated and the laundry bag is not too bright, it’s hanging up on the outside of my locker and brightens up my sleeping space. I share a small mess with six other guys and all comments have been positive so far.

My favourite lollies are Chico’s but I have a real problem them, once the packet is opened I have to eat them all.

I have attached a photo of the ship.  Success is the one in middle (304) doing what we do best supplying fuel.


Good Morning Julie P,

Thank you very much for a masterfully-crafted quilt! When we finally got our Christmas mail a few days ago I was as proud as punch to see that you had sent me my quilt. I was also very humbled and honored that after reading your letter to discover I received your first ever quilt made for AHQ.

I now have it proudly on my rack, which because I live on the bridge, is seen by the majority of the warfare department every day. I am getting regular “that’s cool!” or “what an interesting pattern” comments regularly, and I have been telling them the story of your son, so you’re growing into somewhat of a celebrity onboard. It definitely gives my cabin a more “homely” and welcoming feel to it, which I anticipate to be calming during the more emotionally challenging days. I have been debating with whoever walks by on where I think each piece of fabric comes from and what the original piece might have been made into, such as some curtains, a dress or aprons. It gives a break from the usual discussion onboard that’s for sure!

I have taken a few photos as well but I believe our trained photographer has been collecting photos of all the quilts and I have made sure I have been out and about in them. Hopefully you will see them soon and get some satisfaction from a job well done!

Take care.


Good afternoon Deb,

I have only just received my quilt and I’m so in love with it.  It really was what I was chasing and me to a tee.

I really appreciate the work your group does and everyone here is always hovering over the boxes when they arrive to see what outstanding work has been done.

I was deployed with 3 days notice and was told that I would be back in 6 months or so…….(I love the “or so” bit) my job is looking after all the accom here which is a staging area for the remainder of the Middle East area. In all fairness, I could run a hotel of over 1000 people when I get home!!!! I thought the job would be easy and I could train for a body sculpting competition in May, but lets face it, I am working up to 17-18 hrs per day so its only basic fitness at the moment!!!!

I had my 3rd day off yesterday (and that was only because we had no electricity to the building I work at) in 3 mths 3 weeks. I will never take for granted my weekends when I get home. You really don’t realise how much freedom we have at home and the simple things we take for granted.  This is my second deployment and my husband has had 2 as well. 

thank you and your team again for me, it really has made my day. (its currently sitting under me as its too wet to take it back to my room so I am using it as my chair cover)


Good Morning Louise, 

        I have received the Quilt that you made for me. I can only describe it in one word – Awesome. I will be using it during this Deployment and then I will hand it to my son as he is a keen Hawthorn Fan as well. Thank you very much.


Good evening Kaylee,

I am just writing to say how much I appreciate the quilt and laundry bag that you spent your valuable time making. Can I just say that it brought a tear to my eye when I opened it because my mum is also an avid quilter and she is very dear to my heart. They brought welcomed happiness to the crew after such a long stint at sea, knowing someone is thinking of us and went out of their way for such a beautiful gesture.

Again thank you so much for both the quilt and laundry bag, they have already had their work cut out for them hehehe. Can you please pass on my thanks and praise to yourself and fellow quilters and let them know that their hard work brought a lot of ‘home-li-ness’ to the crew



Till next time……………..keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree  xx

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