Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Grati-Tuesday 4 February

G'day all.   What a great response we had to the request list last night.  

 I have spent a lot of time in the last week emailing as many quilt recipients as I can to confirm that they have received their quilts, particularly those on HMAS Melbourne.  Often what happens is that the mail is delivered whilst the crew is in port for a few days.  The routine is usually different and people get to have a bit of time off.  Once they get back to their normal routine and are back at sea the pace picks up and, however well intentioned they are, some of them forget to let us know they have received their parcels.  Those who are on duty in Dubai, Kabul, Kandahar and elsewhere often work very long hours.   Money Honey (one of my past contacts in Kandahar) had an office job (most of the time) and so had regular access to a computer but he recently told me that much of his correspondence with me was in his down time, often quite late at night.  Many of them do not have desk jobs so getting in touch with us is often not so easy. 

So, what I am trying to say is please do not be discouraged if you do not receive a personal thank you message or if the message you receive is one passed on from me. Sometimes my email to check and see if a quilt has arrived makes it easier for a recipient to pass back his thanks.  They just have to reply to my email, no searching for contact details (which are probably back in their accommodation) or trying to remember names.

Can I please just remind everyone, especially those who are new to sewing for Aussie Heroes, to let me know if you hear from your recipient.  That will save me from having to chase up your quilt to see if it has arrived.  Anything that reduces the number of emails I have to do is a bonus for me.

Also, it is great if you can share your thank you messages with me.  For one thing it is really encouraging for me to read the end result of what has started with me receiving a request for a quilt.  Also, as you will see below. I share as many thank you messages on the blog as I can, but only after removing all personal, identifying information. 

By the way, with all the chase up emails I have been sending we have received quite a few replies.  I hope I have forwarded all the thank you messages on to those involved - for example Lynn and Belinda as mentioned in the first message, but if you read one that I should have passed to you and I haven't please let me know.  Yesterday was really busy, much more so than normal, and only made even busier by the fact that my son started his first ever job today!

Everyone loves to read the thank you messages and tonight you have a pretty good batch to enjoy.
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This quilt top was made by Louise and quilted by Belinda who also sent it off.   

Hi Jan-Maree,

I received my quilt the day before yesterday and wanted to thank you so much!  It is better than I could have ever imagined, it's perfect and happy and colourful!  It made me so happy! 
Thank you so much! I LOVE it!
Here is a photo of me with it.  I'm a little (a LOT) sunburnt from a sunny port visit to the Seychelles, so won't be using it until I've cooled down a bit haha, but it's going to look fantastic at home in the not too distant future as well!

Thanks again, 


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The following email is from a sailor on HMAS Melbourne who requested a quilt for her daughter instead of herself.   You might remember that it was one of the Mystery quilts we did with pink and pale purple four patches which were sent to Debbie to turn into a quilt.  Debbie also made the recipient a laundry bag and sent it to her separately a little later.

Dear Debbie,

Thank you so much for not only making my daughter feel very special, but also for surprising me with the most humbling gift of thoughtfulness. XXXXX absolutely adores her quilt and is very impressed that so many people in Australia recognise how brave she is supporting me as a very special little trooper back home.

I was so surprised to receive my laundry bag and to have it made from the same material as XXXXX's quilt is amazing - your letter moved me to tears. I feel very blessed every day for my family and for my job and what that allows me to provide them. All of us out here do what we do daily for the greater good and thanks is not something we expect, but being thanked, not only as a sailor, but as a mum doing the hardest thing a mother can do was a very generous act. I walked with my head held a little higher after receiving your gift so thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Thank you again for your well wishes and generosity
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For Judy C

The effort, love and sheer brilliance in your work is appreciated.  I received a quilt and two laundry bag.  I can honestly say it brought a tear to my eye to know  a total stranger out there took time out of their day for me and my fellow ship mates who all received quilts and laundry bag.  A very big thank you to you all.  Xox
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Dear Julie Ann,
                               I am writing a brief email to thank you and let you know that my laundry bag arrived in the mail yesterday. It truly is a work of art, and I appreciate your effort in making it for me - to think that a complete stranger has gone to great effort to make a personalised item like this is very touching - particularly for a rugby tragic like me!  We have been deployed to the Middle East since August 2013, and with a month and a half left until we return home to our families, the morale boost from organisations such as AHQ is extremely helpful to all of us - please know that your efforts to support us up here really do make a difference. 
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Hello Lisa,
 
Happy Australia Day, I hope  you had a great day. We were lucky enough to be in the Seychelles for Australia Day.  We had a great day with a BBQ, couple of beers and some beach cricket to make it really Australian.  We got some of the locals involved as well.  They love cricket now lol

I also received your quilt which is amazing !!! I can't thank you enough.   I'm really happy with the finished product.  I used it last night and it was really comfy :))) All the boys in the mess are all talking about it they think its the best and I agree with them. Thanks so much for all the TimTams as well.  You didn't have to do that.  Its really thoughtful and we will be enjoying them in the next few days.

Thanks again Lisa,

Take care talk soon.
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Hey Chelly,
I just wanted to send an email to say.... "OH MY GOD, THANK-YOU SO MUCH"
I absolutely love my quilt, it is better than I could have ever expected. I cannot thank-you enough. You made my day :) And as for the laundry bag, it is absolutely perfect. Today I did my washing and I could see my bag among all the other laundry bags from a mile away! The colours are so convenient as everyone on board has the same laundry bag. I normally spend a lot of time digging through other sailors' laundry before I can find my own... NOT ANYMORE :)

I have carried your card around in my pocket for a few days as I have not had a moment to sit down and write you a "Thank-you" email. By the way your card was very entertaining. It is really nice that you are involved in this organisation and we all appreciate it very much.

Anyway I better get back to work,

Thanks again!
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G’day Janine,
 I would like to thank you very much for the incredible laundry bag. You are certainly correct, there will not be another like it in the entire theatre. You have captured the essence of Australia, and ultimately home, using the two animals featured on the Australian Coat of Arms.

I have recently deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Slipper, and your laundry bag is a welcome gift and reminder or home. I would imagine it took a great deal of planning, care and dedication to complete it. Aussie Hero Quilts have an outstanding reputation among the troops in theatre and all those back home who I have spoken to who have been the recipients of your quilts and laundry bags.

My great grandfather and grandfather both served during World War II as well, with my other grandfather completing national service training.  I have a number of family friends in Victoria who are keen quilters, and I will be sure to mention your talents and the good work of the entire quilting community supporting Aussie Hero Quilts.

This is my second deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations, with previous service in Kuwait in 2007/2008. While it is tough to be away from loved ones for long periods, it is gestures such as Aussie Hero Quilts that renew my faith that the Australian public supports all our troops and their efforts overseas and domestically.

I would like to thank you again for your generous gift, support and well wishes. I wish you, your husband and Rufous all the very best for 2014 and a prosperous organic ginger harvest. I will treasure the laundry bag, and the care it was made with.

Warmest regards
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Well that is all from me for now - I am heading back to work

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


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