Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Grati-Tuesday and Happy Mail

Hi all.  Tonight's post is a bit of a mixed bag.  


Some great news! at least for those living in Brisbane.

East Coast Fabrics in Brisbane have created a special offer just for Aussie Hero Friends.  If you go into any of their three stores and tell them you are purchasing fabric to make an Aussie Hero Quilt they will give you two free fat quarters.  How awesome is that?  I went there last weekend when I was in Brisbane and I wish there was a similar shop down here!  You Brisbane girls don't know how good you have it!

There are three stores and the locations can be found here 

Thanks so much East Coast Fabrics!

Edit -Angela made one of her rare (as if!!!) visits to East Coast Fabrics today and sent me a picture of the fat quarters she collected - as she said, perfect for HMAS Newcastle's replacement.

Here is another good deal of a different sort.

Look what I collected from Stephanie this morning.  A big bunch of quilts ready for binding.  There are twelve quilts in this pile but there were fourteen.  I have already dropped two off for binding.  And I dropped another ten quilts off for Stephanie to quilt for us!   Thanks so much Stephanie.



There is not much in the way of Happy Mail today so it is probably not a problem that we are combining the posts tonight.  First up these laundry bags were delivered by Dasha last week but I forgot to photograph them for last week's happy mail so you get to see them tonight.  The fabric was donated by Dasha's friend Joyce.  



I particularly like the one with the rick rack on it.


And finally, how about these awesome blocks of the month.  These ones were made by Karen B.


I am trying to resist the temptation to put lots of these together into the one quilt.  I think they should be peppered throughout other quilts.  We will see.  They are the same size as the wonky log cabins from last month and the BOM block planned for this month so we should be able to combine them.

Just a note on format.

Blogger seems to be a little unreliable when it comes to font style, size and colour.  I used to publish all the posts in ARIAL font as I thought it was the clearest to read and I would change the colour for each different thank you message or topic so that it was easy to tell where one finished and one began but I am finding that no matter how many times I change the details and save Blogger does its own thing anyway, randomly!  Grrr.  So bear with me if the presentation is not what it should be.  Did I tell you I was once a military Staff  Officer to a two star general!  Let me tell you, sloppy presentation is not good!  Please let me know if this font is too small to read.

For the last bit of business before we move on to the thank you messages, how about some dates for your calendar.

August 11 - Sewing Day at Penrith Patchwork.  
BYO sewing machine and lunch.  All materials will be provided.

August 19 - Laundry Bag Making at Hobbysew Kings Park
BYO Lunch and sewing machine.
IMPORTANT places are limited to around 20 and are filling up.  You need to register as if it were a class.  Also e - SOME materials will be provided but if you have fabric that is suitable for a laundry bag please bring it along.  If you are a not sure what you need to bring then please check the Laundry Bag Tutorial here

August 22 - Sewing Day at My Home
BYO Lunch and sewing machine.  All materials provided and if you need to know where to come please email me or PM me on Facebook.  I can't manage a sewing day for a couple of weeks as my son is doing his Year 12 Trial Exams.  Don't want to poke the bear!

There are lots of lovely messages to read tonight that demonstrate that what we are doing is making a difference.  Often I can share the messages without needing to go to the author for permission but sometimes I think I need to and the following message was one of those times.  This is the response I received.

I do not mind at all if you share my email on your web site. The individuals that support us need to know how special we feel to have this support. 

My father served in Borneo in 67' & 68', he told me along time ago that when they came back to Townsville they marched down the Main Street while people hurled abuse and through pigs blood on them. A lot of the Soldiers took it personally and openly wept as they marched down the street. I feel so embarrassed that fellow Australians could act in such a manner. 

It's so refreshing to see now that as a country we can stand behind those that have put the political interests of our government first in their lives - whether it's wrong or right. 




Good afternoon Granny Smith (that would be Rita M), 
First off I would like to say a big thank you for making my quilt. It arrived yesterday in the mail along with some packages from my wife and was a big morale booster. When you are on a trip like this its the little things that keep you going and receiving mail is one of them. I have seen some of the other quilts the guys have received and everyone is loving them. I had mine made for my son, so I will be sending it home shortly as I won't need it at the moment. Its a steamy 35 degrees at least up here and my family back in NSW is probably freezing. 

Once again a very big thank you for making my quilt and I'm sure you will get a lot more thanks from everyone else receiving theirs.
Best Wishes and kind regards,


Dear Melissa,
Thank you very much for the Laundry Bag, the people in Australia who go out of their way to send handmade gifts to soldiers serving oversees amazes me.
To take time out of your busy lives to give a soldier a little taste of home is fantastic.
You are the heroes.
Once again thank you.


Hello Rita M, 
I am responding to your letter and to thank you for your kind gesture of making a quilt for me. I must say I am most impressed and a number of the boys are envious. The work that is being done by yourself and from the AUSSIE HERO QUILTS is fantastic. It is really pleasing to see that so many people are giving up their time  to support what we are doing over here.

I have, as of today, three weeks remaining and then I will be returning home to XXXXX after a 7 month stint. This is my second stint here in under a year, so I am not real keen on coming back any time soon.
I am looking forward to getting home and chilling out and relaxing for a while.

Once again thank you very much.

All the best, God Bless



Hi Jan-Maree, I have received my laundry bag and I love it! Thank you very much for organising them, it is greatly appreciated. I will use mine all the time. It makes it much easier to find my washing!

Thanks and Regards,



Hi Rita M,
Thank you so much for the quilt you have made and sent me.  It is magnificent and a perfect size. I can see me using it for many years.
You are right it is hot here but not as hot as we expect later on in our deployment when we venture further north, expecting temps of about 55 degrees C.

Anyway thank you very much once again for the quilt, I can assure you it will get a lot of use.

Kind regards


Dear Su,

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for the quilt!! It's made such a happy difference to my little space here in Kandahar. I hope the attached photo works. The Aussie Hero quilts and laundry bags are very well received around here. What a great idea!

Haven't had a day cooler than 43 degrees for the last 2 months, so it's exhausting working in the sun and dust all day. Having a nice, fresh bright space to come back to rest makes such a difference. Thank you again!!


Kind regards,



Good Morning Jan-Maree,

        Thank you so kindly for the Quilt and Laundry Bag. It is much appreciated and brightens up my room and day.   Please pass on a big Thank You too all members that send us lovely gifts, it is always a good feeling receiving mail.

Kind Regards 


You need a little background for this one.  Sue received an email from his fellow and this is part of what he wrote 

"I have seen some of the laundry bags  that you have made for the troops. Unfortunately I seem to be in the wrong place when your parcels arrive. I would like to let you know that  the laundry bags that you have sent over have certainly put some colour into a sometimes drab place. Also the individuals are very keen to show off their bags to the others, all proudly commenting that the design they have is the best.

The purpose of this email is twofold. Firstly, to thank you for all the time and effort that you and other ladies like yourself put into these bags and your efforts are appreciated. Secondly, I was hoping that you might be able to indulge a special request for me.

 As you can see by my name I am male, however, I was wondering if I could place an order for a special laundry bag. If possible could you make a laundry bag that is 'girlie', with princesses or fairies in the design. In the end I would give the bag to my 8 year old daughter. I know the purpose of your work is to brighten our time here and I would be happy to cop all the ridicule, knowing the smile it will put on her face when I give it to her on my return home."


Well, Sue had the right fabric on hand so a suitably pink fairy  laundry bag was dispatched in Sue's normal expedient time.





Hi Sue and Jan-Maree

Just a short note to let you know that your parcel of laundry bags arrived in tact. Thank you very much for the 'special' laundry bag you made for me (my daughter) with the fairies design. She will absolutely love it. Impressed that the other focus is on cupcakes and tea parties. She regularly has secret tea parties with her fairies.


I opened it up in front of all my staff but did not tell them the story behind it. and . When I proudly  showed them the laundry bag and they realised it was pink and had fairies, they seriously  thought I had received the wrong one and but when I told them I had actually ordered it they were in fits of laughter.  So this laundry bag has brought a little cheer to my staff as well.  

You will be pleased to know  the other laundry bags have already found good homes.
Thank you once again and to all the other ladies that give up their time to brighten our lives just a little.   

Does that not just make your day?
Hi Joan and Robin,
I am sorry for not emailing you sooner, I received your laundry bag and it is so beautiful! 
Thank you for the time and effort you put into it. 
Kind Regards,


One for Margaret R


Jan-Maree, I'm just writing an email to let you know that my quilt has arrived. It is so beautiful and I am very happy with it. I would also like to add a very big thanks to the people who made them for us, their time effort is appreciated.  I hope to see more people in the future volunteering as it really makes our trip worth while when we see great gratitude from people like you.

Once again, very many thanks


Dear Jan
Thank you very much for the bags, my fellow platoon members and I are very grateful for your generosity........................................................................... Thank you again for the bags Jan and its always a pleasure serving our country.
Your sincerely


Hello Kaye, 
received the quilt you made for me, many many thanks! I love it. It's nice to know there are other people back home thinking of us and doing such nice things for us too. 
It has been amazingly hot up here some days getting over 50 degrees, so I'm biding my time until the weather changes to rug myself up in the quilt! 
We are just over half way of our deployment so thoughts of home start to creep into the mind more than they used to but still a long way to go.
I can't thank you enough for your generosity with the quilt, and the biscuits you sent - the boys and I engulfed them at first chance! Much appreciated. 
Hope all is well at home for you, and the Australian winter isn't getting to you to much. 
Regards 



Hi Stephanie,

Thanks so much for making me the quilt. I received it today and it's fantastic! I am an avid surfer and have been missing it a lot lately, so it's going to remind me of being home and catching some waves. The muesli bars were also well appreciated as I am running low! You must have read my mind.

I am a helicopter pilot on board Newcastle flying the S70B2 Seahawk. We've had a lot of hot flying days up here, with the average temperature being in the high 30's with above 90% humidity. Thankfully we have great air-conditioning in the helicopter, which makes life a little more bearable.    I've managed to get in some pretty good flying since we arrived in the Middle East, including landing on a US aircraft carrier which was probably the highlight of the trip for me so far.   We've now been away for 3 months, which means we've finally passed the half way mark. I imagine that the second half of the trip will go a lot faster than the first! The ship has visited some exciting places since we arrived.  We have a few port visits to go, so we're all getting to see a bit of the world that we otherwise probably wouldn't get the chance to visit.

Thankyou again for the lovely quilt. It's greatly appreciated!



Hello Evelyn,

I have just received the quilt #274 "Hulk" you made for me. I must say I was very pleasantly surprised on how good it is. Thank you very much.
This is currently my 4th deployment to the Middle East,  being positioned in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the support from people such as yourself that make me feel proud to be over here supporting our mission.  My eldest son has followed in my fondness for comic hero "The Hulk" so I have no doubt that I will have to share your quilt with him. Thank you again for the wonderful quilt it is much appreciated and has a great home now.

Regards, 


And you probably all know by now that I am a hopeless softie so it will come as no surprise that this is one of my favourites for tonight.  It relates to one of Nancy's quilts.  Nancy never puts her name to her work and sends them out under a cover letter I have written which is why people always respond to me for them.  Of course all messages are passed back to Nancy to enjoy and share with her co-workers.


Good evening Jan-Maree,

I have just received one of your fantastic quilts. Thank you very much for your gift and your well wishes. I must say that I got a little teary when I read the note inside. It is always like that for me when someone comes up to me out of the blue and says thank you for no other reason than they are proud of the men and women who serve our great nation, especially when it is the little ones. As much as we do, it is our families that do it a great deal harder than us due to our absence. They are the true unsung hero's in our lives and the ones that get the least recognition. I will be holding my quilt in its original packaging with your note and giving it to my daughter for being such a strong and good girl for her mother while I am away. I hope you don't mind.
Once again thank you for your lovely gift. I am sure that it will be in our family for years to come.

And finally another one for one of Nancy's quilts.


Hi Ladies

I received your quilt in the mail today and was very excited.  We work with a lot of soldiers from other nations and they were very impressed.  The first thing we did was have a show and tell about all the different animals on it.  We were all acting like a bunch of 4 year olds, very funny. (Nancy's quilts are quilted in Aussie Animal designs!)  I just love the bright colours.

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

1 comment:

  1. This is just the best. I love reading the letters. I really drives me to do better.

    ReplyDelete