Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Happy Mail 22nd October

Hello everyone hope you're all having a busy week. 

We have some great happy mail to show you today. If you don't see yours and you have sent them in, they could be inside the post office, when I got there yesterday to empty the PO box, I had two pick up notices, but they had closed already.  I will put them in next weeks post.
If you're worried about yours send us a quick email and I'll check when I collect them today.

C Le Maitre

Coral W

D Prime

Julie H

Susan W

Have a great week everyone!

Cheers Caroline

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Grati-Tuesday 21 October

Some great pics and just as great messages tonight.  



I did get my quilt. Thank you very much. I waited to get back to you as we were sorting out some photos of us with our quilts.    Enclosed is a photo of our group. 

Again, from me thank you and on behalf of the rest of the guys here, a big thank you too. It's a very positive impact that your quilts have over here. It's fantastic to know that the community supports us and goes to such an effort to show it. 

Dear Cindy, 

I am writing to thank you for the Aussie Hero Quilt and laundry bag you made and sent to me. 
I appreciate the time and effort you put in to make it.   I really like it, and am sure it will come pretty handy when winter comes. 
I must say I was excited to see the package and it definitely lifted my morale and certainly glad to see there are still people like yourself who care about the troops deployed on operations. 

Thank you again for the gift

And Cath received more photos!


Dear Michele and Chris,

 I just want to write and say thank you for the package and the gifts.

 I am from XXXXX, married and have 2 young sons.

 This time I am away from home for 5 months and miss them a lot,

therefore any support from home, and especially the Australian public, is greatly appreciated.

Thanks again, You are true Australians.

Dear Donna P

First of all let me say thank you. The quilt and laundry bag are amazing, I honestly couldn't have imagined anything better. I appreciate the time and effort that you have put into making them. I cannot thank you enough. Receiving gifts from home really means a lot, and they definitely brighten up the day. However receiving a gift from a stranger back home, with the amount of care and detail that was put into it, well words can't describe how grateful I am. So once again I must thank you. Also it couldn't have come at a better time. It's actually starting to get pretty cold over here, so this quilt is going to go a long way towards making life here more comfortable. Once again thanks a lot for your hard work. 


Good Evening Cath

Firstly a huge thank you for you thoughtful blanket design! I absolutely love it!
I am scared to use it on board though in case I spill anything on it -  I don't want to put it through the washing machines on the ship.   They have a tendency to turn things a greyish colour!   It is away for safe keeping until I get home at Christmas time then it will take pride of place on my sofa. 

The time and effort you have put into this blanket is greatly appreciated - I think it is a great idea and allows work to feel a little more "homely" for us all!   There are amazing blankets and laundry bags all around the ship. 
Seeing everyone's face when they opened their parcels was probably better than opening presents on Christmas day!
I am certainly looking forward to home and am on the countdown! 

Thank you so much for everything you do and the smiles you put onto serving troops faces

Good Morning Gale and Jenny,

        I would like to take the time to thank you very much for the beautiful quilt and laundry bag (which is almost too nice to put my dirty laundry in) I received, it has take its pride of place on my rack (bed) right next to the photos of my wife and children. It is a wonderful thought knowing that there are  people other than our families and friends that care about our safety and welfare. The packet of Tim Tams was one of the best items I have received and the other guys I live with really enjoyed a taste of home as well, its the small things we miss the most. So once again thank you for the wonderful gifts and it is an honour to serve my country knowing that there are people such as yourselves who give their time to make things for others they don't even know.

Dear Janice,
Sorry its taken me a couple of weeks to get back to you, its been busy over here.
Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to make such an amazing quilt. I couldn't have imagined it looking any better.
Once again thank you for your effort. you guys do a fantastic job to make our days here brighter with your quilts and laundry bags.
Kind Regards,


It takes a special person to send a gift to someone unknown and I believe you are just that, special.

I received your parcel, the laundry bag is just perfect, I'm already using it, and I loveTim-Tams and Columbines. Columbines just happen to be my favourites!! I shared the Tim-Tams around with my mess mates today and I tell you they didn't last long. I told them it was a gift from you and they all said to send their thanks when I emailed you.

We have had a busy time up here and have a busy time yet to come before we are back in Australia. Just knowing that people like yourself and your family appreciate what we do and are supportive of us makes the job a lot more fulfilling and keeps up our motivation.

So far we have had one big drug bust, 5 tons worth approximately $280 million dollars, which has been reported in the media; we are hoping to get a few more. The weather up here is very good and the crew of HMAS Toowoomba is fit and healthy; we a raring to make a big difference while we are up here.

I wish all the best to yourself and your family. 


Hi Irene,

I'd like to say thankyou very much for my laundry bag! It is more than I could've hoped for!
I received a very nice quilt also which I loved.
All of you are so nice for sewing and quilting for us. It's something I have to remember this deployment by for years to come.

Thankyou so much and an extra thankyou for the box of goodies you included with it.

Keep up the awesome work

Kind regards


Dear Pam,

Thank-you so much for the beautiful laundry bag. I've been missing home a lot and your parcel arrived and made my day.
I really do thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do with Aussie Hero Quilts. It is so nice to have something made just for me.

Thank-you from everyone here.

G'day Rita,

I received your fantastic quilt last week and have been looking for an opportunity to e-mail and say thank you for producing such a work of art. I have to say just going into my room and seeing that quilt puts a smile on my face. It will be treasured as long as I am around and then passed on to one of my two daughters.

I am serving as an embedded officer in the US headquarters here in Kandahar.   I am on the right four rows back! The Tim Tams are going down very well with my US colleagues!  That was an added bonus to the quilt thanks and a nice touch.

Thanks again for working to produce such an outstanding and personal quilt, it means so much to me and your support means so much to us all out here in Afghanistan.

Regards to Bob and all the best to you Rita,


G’Day Debbie,

I have received your laundry bag and letter not too long ago, I apologise for not being able to send this letter sooner, however work has been keeping me busy. I wish to deeply thank you for your efforts and kindness in making this wonderful laundry bag (I love the little mo’s). I really appreciate it and trust me it gets used every week. 
Anyways thank you again for your kindness.


Dear Irene

Apologies for the late reply but i would like to pass on my sincerest thanks for the time and effort that you have put towards my quilt and laundry bag
I was a bit hesitant when  our chaplain asked who wanted quilts as I didn't know to much about it and was unsure how to describe  on my hobbies and interests.
Once the quilts started to arrived everyone on board started to get excited to see the different designs , and once I received the quilt that you made
I, as well as everyone on board, was impressed  by your design , and the amount of time and effort you had put towards it was evident
 I would like again to say thanks for the quilts and lollies they have been a big highlight of this deployment and made it a bit more enjoyable.

Thank you


Hi Debbie,

Thank you so much for the laundry bag, I must say it also doubles for a decent pillow case. 

I really appreciate it.

Well thanks again for the laundry bag, I hope you and your family are safe and healthy.

Kind regards,

Hi Jan-Maree and Wendy!

Yes it has arrived as has the laundry bag!

What a wonderful and beautiful quilt and laundry bag. Just fantastic and a real highlight for me in terms of the legacy of my deployment.

I really like the combination of the themes of the USA, basketball, Australia and Latvia; it really is very special. Please also pass on my thanks to Tamsin, Lynn and Lisa for the USA flag panel and for making the top and sewing the quilt and to everyone else involved in the making of the quilt and bag. :-)

I hope you are very proud of yourself for the great work you are doing for so many service people. It is very humbling for me. I can really relate to your sense of satisfaction and accomplishment with your work.  

Thanks again so very much and perhaps we will all meet face to face sometime as I'd love to say thanks in person.

Kind regards


Hello Wendy,
Thankyou so much for the box of goodies and the laundry bag.
I LOVE IT...... I'm sure my liitle boy (who has just turned 5) will love it when I get home.


Dear Kerrie and Gordon,

It was such a delight this morning to see the two packages on my little workstation! I was quite overwhelmed with both of your generosity and the love and care that you have put into bring some joy to a perfect stranger. 

Thankyou again - I will be tucking up under my quilt which will make a colourful change to my very plain and boring bed space! Whilst a short note - I hope that you both understand how greatful I and others who have received Aussie Hero Packages are. We spend alot of time away from our families and it's nice to think that we have the home grown support of others.

Kind Regards,

Hi Debbie,

I apologise for the late reply. Thank you so much for the laundry bag, I must say it also doubles for a decent pillow case. I really appreciate it.

The days here are long, ranging from 10 - 12 hours a day. If something goes wrong it can easily blow out to 15 - 20 hours and more. During my spare time I will hit the gym, run laps around the base and obviously hit the gym again. Working out is the best downtime, it relieves the stress from the day and as soon as my head hits the pillow I am asleep. 

Well thanks again for the laundry bag, I hope you and your family are safe and healthy.


Dear Norma and Nancy,

Just a quick note to pass on my gratitude and thanks for the amazing quilt and laundry bag you made for me over here in Afghanistan. My wife has dabbled in quilting so I really can appreciated the effort and time you have both spent creating this for me. It was a wonderful surprise to see the "Australiana" theme applied to the quilt and the thoughtfulness and effort gone into making the quilt is really appreciated. It really is a morale boost to receive such lovely gifts from supporters like yourselves back home.

Although I do miss my family, deployments certainly do make you appreciate what you have. I have pictures of my three kids on my desk and although I miss them terribly, I am grateful to God for enabling my wife and I to raise them up in a place like Australia.

Thank-you so much Norma and Nancy, your kind gift will always be a reminder of the good things - Australia, family and community spirit.


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

Monday, 20 October 2014

Introducing HMAS Success

G'day all.  As the last quilts and laundry bags have been sent on their way to HMAS Toowoomba it is time for me to introduce you to our next crew, 

HMAS Success.

Side number OR 304


This time I have some help. I asked the Ship's Warrant Officer if she could describe the task that HMAS Success will be carrying out as this time it is a different task from that carried out by our previous ships, HMAS ANZAC, Toowoomba, Newcastle, Melbourne and Darwin. 

This is what she was kind enough to write for us.

"HMAS Success is an Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment currently in service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). With a Ships Company of 235 Officers and Sailors, her primary purpose is the underway replenishment of combat units with fuel, ammunition and food.

HMAS Success (II) based on the French 'Durance' Class Ship was built in Australia by Cockatoo Dockyard Pty Ltd at Sydney, New South Wales. She was launched from their slipway on 03 March 1984 by her launching Lady, Her Excellency Lady Stephen, wife of the then Governor General of Australia and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy on 23 April 1986. She is the largest ship built in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and also the largest ever built in the port of Sydney.

Success is affectionately referred to as a “tanker”. She is 18,000 tonne fully loaded and just short of 160 metres in length. Contemporary maritime operations demand that naval combat units be supplied with fuel, ammunition, food and stores whilst underway at sea. This is Success’s role. Success conducts day and night Replenishment at Sea (RAS) to ships alongside her and concurrently by her embarked helicopter to other ships in company via Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP).

 Four main RAS stations are fitted, two of which have dual functions and can be used to transfer either fuel or solid cargo, such as food and stores. RAS operations are controlled from the Cargo Control Room amidships. During solid cargo transfer a traveller riding on a tension highline between Success and a fixed point in the receiving ship supports the load.

A RAS with HMAS Choules.

During fuel transfers, the highline is used to support a hose which hangs from several travelling saddles and which has a quick connecting probe to mate with the fuel receiving point in the ship being fuelled. The solid cargo transfer stations are designed to handle sizeable loads of up to nearly 2 tonnes. Success enables other units to operate with a greater degree of flexibility and independence from shore support to allow them to stay on station and continue with their mission. To complement our logistic capability Success has a medical centre that includes an operating theatre, infirmary and dental surgery.

The Ship's Company of 235 is required to operate and maintain the propulsion, replenishment, auxiliary machinery and support systems in Success. Providing underway replenishment support to the fleet is a challenging and continuing task requiring technical proficiency and high seamanship standards."

Both of these photos were taken off Hawaii in July/August this year.  HMAS Success is in the middle completing a RAS on both sides of the ship. 

In this picture the other vessels are 
Port (left) - USS Lake Champlain
Stbd (right) - HMCS Calgary 
And  in this photo the foreign vessels are 
Port (left) - USS Port Royal
Stbd (right) - USS Samson
Lifeguard station (astern) - HMCS Calgary

 As you know, Caroline and I were lucky enough to be invited to have morning tea with the Captain on HMAS Success a few weeks ago.  As of this week there is a new Captain on board who I hope to meet as I have been invited to farewell HMAS Success when they deploy later this year.  

I have already been working with the chaplain of HMAS Success, who I have also met in the past, to gather the requests from the crew.  As HMAS Success will be away for around 6 months or so we have a comfortable amount of time to get quilts and laundry bags to them.  We still have requests for people who will  be home from deployment well before the crew of Success makes it back to Aussie soil so I will wait another week or so before circulating HMAS Success Request List.  

There is already a buzz on board about Aussie Heroes and a lot of enthusiasm from the crew about receiving one of our quilts and/or laundry bags. 

The chaplain asked me to pass on his thanks so I thought I would give him a chance to sedn you a message himself. 

From Bish - the Chaplain

"I can't begin to tell you how much our people appreciate the thought behind Aussie Hero Quilts, and the sense that 'someone out there' is interested and cares. Perhaps the best thing I can do is to give you a few quotes from emails I have received - bearing in mind that all I asked for was colour, theme, rank, name PMKeyS and email:

Just got back off leave and saw your email about the quilts. I visited a friend who has just returned in HMAS Darwin, and saw her quilt. They are lovely and now I want one.

I knit scarfs to unwind and can appreciate the significant amount of effort that goes into producing a quilt. Thank you for providing us with this unique opportunity.

This sounds great! My mother is an avid quilter and I'm sure she'd love to see what the ladies can come up with! I understand and appreciate the amount of  work that goes into making quilts. (very detailed and labor intensive).
Please pass on my thanks.

Thankyou for the offer of providing a memento of a deployment trip. This will hold a treasured memory that will be sustained throughout my lifetime.

This is fantastic!! I would love to get on the list if able...

As you can see, our people jumped at the opportunity and will be very grateful and encouraged when they receive the quilts or laundry bags.

So thanks again, Jan-Maree and please pass on our gratitude to your wonderful team."

As usually we will be receiving the Newsletters from the ship as she progresses through her deployment and additionally there is a Facebook page that you can follow.  This link will take you to the correct page.

I am sure we will learn a lot more about HMAS Success once she deploys.  If you have any questions you would like to ask feel free to email and and I will do my best to have them answered.

Til next time....keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree  xx

We are in the News.....The RAAF News!

Here is a quick little extra for you.  

Thanks to the eagle eyes of Pennie's husband Grant I can share with you an article in the RAAF News about our visit to RAAF Base Richmond. 

You can check it out for yourself here and if you click on the arrow at the right of the page and go to the next page you can read about one of our recipients from Operation Aslan as well. 

Our normal post will be up later today.

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

Friday, 17 October 2014

Weekly Dispatches 17 October

G'day all.

Another week's worth of gorgeous quilts headed off this week so grab a cuppa and enjoy the show.

932 quilts and 1153 laundry bags for 2014.  

3294 quilts and  5055 laundry bags in total.




Berrima Patchwork by Mo

Berrima Patchwork by Lyn

Berrima Patchwork by Jenny 

Berrima Patchwork by Jan 

 Berrima Patchwork by Jenny 

 Berrima Patchwork by Lyn

Candice and Debbie2




This one was a joint effort - I created the base for the top and Debbie added the applique and finished the quilt. 

This top was made by me and quilted and bound by Robin 


Judy B




 Linda H

Meg made this quilt top and Debbie added the applique to personalise it and then quilted and bound it.


Pam Y



Robin  - front 

And back!

Stephanie T


With a close up of the badge

Sue N

Wendy F

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

Jan-Maree  xx