Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Grati-Tuesday 16 June

As a rule we hear back from less than 50% of the parcels that we send off and yes, that includes me.  Reading these messages each week, however is enough to remind me that even if we do not hear from everyone, that does not mean that what we are doing is not appreciated and valued.  There is far too much anecdotal evidence to the contrary. 
Grab a cuppa, sit back and have a good read of the great messages we have here.
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Lisa N got a lovely thank you for this quilt recently but I had to wait to be able to show you the photo she was sent. I think he likes it, don't you?


We also got a great photo of one of Sue G's recipients but had to wait for permission to publish!



Next up tonight a gorgeous online card that was sent to us by one of the lovely girls on HMAS Newcastle.  They are really starting to enjoy the parcels of textile goodness that we are sending them. 

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Dear Su, 


I can’t explain the amazement of my quilt and laundry bag, and such an incredible job you have done! When I opened my package, I just burst into happy tears. Every time I look at my quilt, I think of home, my beloved puppies and how I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done, as well as the effort that your team contributes to making deployed members these beautiful touches of home. My laundry bag is absolutely unbelievable!  I will definitely be hanging this up on my wall at home. 

My quilt and laundry bag are hanging up over my bunk (like a little cubby house) to show the girls every time they walk into my part of the tent. I like to show it off and talk about it over and over. The poppy is such an amazing touch! I am very interested in military history and this is definitely a one-in-a-million display of the important things in my life, combined with my respect and gratitude for our fallen. The poppy also creates memories of my time here over the centenary. I know my dad (who was also in the RAAF and unfortunately not here with us anymore) would have been proud. So I’d just like to thank you for creating a symbol of this memory for me. 

I’d also like to extend my appreciation and many thanks to the other quilters for their efforts also. Every time I see a deployed member receive their quilt, it raises the morale of everyone in the tent. 

Again, I can’t thank you enough for my quilt







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Jan-Maree,

My awesome quilt arrived today and it is perfect. Thank you so much for arranging the girls at MUC Pilgrim Patchworker's to make this  treasure.

Several quilts arrived this week and all the blokes are showing them off around the base.There will be a lot of kids back home waiting for Dad to get back so they can grab the quilt for the TV lounge or their bed. It is hard to think you are in winter back home when it is so hot here.

I will be sending Lynda A a thank you card tonight.

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For Deborah C

Just a short letter to say thank you very much for the quilt!

I'm a private soldier deployed to Afghanistan, and its absolutely awesome that you are taking the time to make me and other service men and women on operations  these wonderful quilts and laundry bags. Not only is it very thoughtful and kind on your part, but it also provides us with something that can remind us of our tour of duty here.

Everyone here is stoked that not just family members, but the community back in Australia are thinking of us. 

Thanks again and best wishes,

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To the ladies at 'Hero quilts' , thanks very much for taking the time to make us these quilts, they are great and is a good reminder of home. Thanks again and good luck in the future. 



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Dear Julie,

             Thank you very much for the quilt. The colour's perfect. I got it towards the end of winter as the snow was melting so needless to say it came in very handy. I apologise for the late reply but I really do appreciate the time, money and effort you put in. I got your letter too and hope your family is doing well. We are down to our last couple of months here now and looking forward to returning to Australia.
              Thanks again for the quilt and letter. Its a huge morale boost when it is needed.

Yours sincerely,
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Hi Sue

I'm a 28 year old father with a family of 2 young children 1 9 year old girl and a 11 month ago boy and a lovely wife of 8 years. 

What you and Aussie heroes do is really selfless and I appreciate it as do all of the guys here THANK YOU Sue for the gift take care and please say hi to your family for me 
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Dear Lyn,

I am sorry for the delay in a thank you email. At times they keep us pretty busy over here.

Thank you very much for the quilt. I can tell that it is something you enjoy doing in your spare time and that you have put a lot of effort into it. The quilt has come very much in handy during the colder months and when I have to go on QRF (quick reaction force). Hopefully it will also come in handy later on in life for my children to enjoy but lets hope that still a few years off. Everyone deployed with our group is very much appreciative of the time and effort everyone puts into the quilts.

Thank you so very much again for the quilt and the work you do with Aussie Hero Quilts, it doesn’t go unappreciated! I hope that you get more time to caravan around our great country! 


Regards,

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Dear Rita M,
I received my Aussie Hero Quilt this week, which you were kind enough to make for me. It is absolutely fantastic and an email seems a very inadequate way to thank you for all your hard work and effort, it must have taken you ages to complete. The detail is amazing and I think you just about covered every aspect of my history in the quilt. I take my hat off to you, I really do.
Thank you so much, it's an incredible gift and will become a family heirloom to be proudly passed down through the generations. I am absolutely amazed at the level of detail and craft work in the quilt, from the Regimental badges and cannons to the Lancashire Rose, Blackpool Tower, where I had many enjoyable outings as a child and the military figures, it's an incredible piece of work.
I am actually taking my mid-tour leave shortly and will be returning to England, while it's such a short flight from the Middle East, for the first time in a while, for a couple of weeks. I intend to take your quilt with me and to show it to my relatives and friends there.The weather is warming up here as we head into Summer, so I'll be glad of the break
Kind regards and thank you once again Rita, for all your hard work, efforts and kind thoughts.
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Dear Alicia

I’m just sending you a quick email to say a big thank you for my hero quilt. 

First of all I apologise for such a late reply. I received your parcel once I returned back from my leave half way through the trip. When we first deployed we all got a piece of paper to fill in with a theme and colour for a quilt, I never heard of hero quilts before so like most things in the army that sound good, I assumed we will never hear about it once we gave the piece of paper back, So me being the joker I am I tried to put something unrealistic down and that was an aggressive salmon coloured Lord of the Rings quilt, expecting to never  get a quilt during my time away.

Couple months had passed and everyone had received there quilts in the call sign. I was asked if I had received mine and I laughed and replied that I wouldn’t get one as I asked for a pink Lord of the rings blanket.

Upon returned from my leave in Europe I had a parcel labeled hero quilts and I actually put it aside for a bit as I assumed I got a random quilt and not what I actually asked for. I got the room mates together and they all watched me open the parcel all having a laugh and guessing what random quilt I got as they also knew my request was pretty far fetched. 

I pulled out the quilt and straight away the boys picked up on the professionalism in just the plastic wrapping around it  as they all just got their in random plastic bags. I took out the washing bag and we all had a laugh as the washing bag was actually pink. I opened out the blanket with the back of it facing the boys with the desert camo and Australian theme in the middle and we were all pretty surprised at the back of the quilt as the effort into it, and the general awesome theme of it was better then most of the themes the boys asked for and that was just the back. I was absolutely blown away by my quilt and the fact you nailed the theme and even looked up aggressive salmon. A lot of the boys here are Lord of the Rings fans and I ran into every room to show them the amount of effort that you put into my quilt. The attention put into it put a massive smile on my face and made my day as we were all a bit down we just returned to Afghanistan from leave. I really liked the fact you actually added the middle earth map. My quilt easily trumps everyone else’s which is very good for my ego haha. I’ve worn the beanie a fair bit here as we turn the air con to pretty much freezing at nights, I’ve never actually had a hand made beanie and I love it simply on the fact someone actually put some considerable amount of effort into it and it is extremely comfortable. Please tell your friend Sally thank you very very much. The beanie was the icing on the cake and all the boys were very jealous that I got spoiled.

I’ve been a massive fan of the Lord of the rings movies since they first came out. I’ve also been to Hobbiton on a LOTR movie tour in New Zealand back in 2010. I’m a little bit of a closet nerd and have a bobblehead Gandalf tattoo on my foot which people find surprising about me. 

I’ve been in the Army for 7 years in September, I joined a week after my 17th birthday and have been in Townsville ever since. I knew of your son when he first posted to Charlie Company and my platoon was attached to their company as a reserve platoon for their deployment. Being my first deployment I now know its harder on the families and loved ones back home in Australia who have loved ones deployed. I’m also here in the same location as your son just a year behind him, Kabul is ever so complex and I applaud the Afghan Soldiers who are willing to fight for what is right. I am also proud and very grateful to have this exposure and experience to be a part of helping build the future leadership of this country.

My deployment is coming to an end next month and my I just packed the quilt into the trunk ready to be returned to Australia. I want to hang the blanket up in my gaming room as I love it and it always makes me have a giggle when I look at it. 

So I would like to thank you very very much for the amount of time and effort you put in my quilt and I truly am blessed to have families like yours that are very mindful of Australian service men and woman serving overseas.
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Dear Sue N 
  Tonight I was so lucky! Tonight I was able to turn my grey, boring bedroom into something I can't wait for people to see! Thank you so much for your beautiful quilt! I love all the bright colours and I was smiling from ear to ear when I walked back into my room later and saw it again!
  It is the small things here that mean the most. I don't expect to be reunited with my husband and spoilt rotten italian greyhounds until Christmas. So thank you for making this journey a little easier for me! (I hope to make it home for my 1st wedding anniversary). I am a nurse serving with the army and always try to spread smiles!
  I think your amazing for giving up something you have clearly spent so much time and love on!
  I cannot sew to save myself which makes something home sewn even more special.
  Please keep doing what you are doing I know everyone here is amazed and awed every time someone receives a quilt and bag!
  I wish you smiles, love, peace and happiness!
  Take care always
Lisa xx
PS THANK-YOU
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Good morning

I would like to thank you for your kind gift I have received whilst deployed in Afghanistan.
The work you have done is a very kind gesture for all of our deployed troops, my wife tells me the quilt has already been put to good use as our 1 year old loves to play on it. It is also a very nice keep sake for me.
Thank you again for your efforts.
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Hi Jan-Maree


I would like to say a huge thank to yourself, your fellow ladies and Julie H for the lovely laundry bag that I received.  I am in the process of drafting a thank you note to Julie.

Once again a huge thank you to you all 

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Dear Debbie,


I will be writing you a special thank you and sending it in the post, however in the interim, I wanted to say a big thank you for the beautiful and amazing quilt and laundry bag you so very kindly stitched for me.

Jan-Maree said that she thought that I would love it and she was absolutely correct.  Both the quilt and laundry bag are just perfect and I'm extremely touched by your kindness and generosity.  The stitching of the words Paris and the Eiffel Tower are such a lovely finishing touch.

Thank you so very much.  I'd also like to thank you for the lovely letter you wrote to me.  I very much valued learning more about you and Alan's life and your family and work life.  You certainly sound very busy and I'm impressed you were able to make the time to make such beautiful stitch work with so much work to do on your farm.

I will sign off here and start my letter to you.  I apologise that you may not receive it for 4 - 6 weeks because of our port schedule and ability to off-load our mail, but please be assured a letter is in the mail for you.

Warmest regards,
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Dear Jan-Maree,

Apologies for the delay in sending this e-mail. It has been a hectic afternoon and I wanted some space to compose my words.

I am rather speechless (a rare occurrence for me!) and lost for words to adequately express my thanks to you for your thoughtfulness and impeccable timing which has seen me receive your marvelous laundry bag just a few days short of my birthday. I really was not expecting it - and it has just "hit-the-mark" spot on!

I love the colours and think they complement the images very well. The green works delightfully with the brown/cream lower portion. Even the blue (which I would never have thought to put with green! But then, I am a male. LOL) works well with the green. I think it is the clock images which, when I saw them, reminded me of the clock on the old trainboard that used to be at Central Station on the country platforms when I was a kid. And, of course, having a steam/rail theme makes it extra special.

I have also had the reaction of quite a few on this ship - and that is that my laundry bag is FAR, FAR, FAR TOO SPECIAL to be taken anywhere near the ship's laundry!!! So, what I'm thinking is that it will find its use in my bedroom back at home. Only 105 days to go.
Once again, I am profoundly grateful.

Anytime you need an ambassador for all you are trying to achieve, just let me know. If I can, I'll be there!

And thanks for all the munchies and chocs. More time at PT! Hah!

It is very nice to feel "special" - every once and a while :)
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A couple of Julie Ann's recipient's put up posts on Facebook..... 



A huge thank you to all the amazing ladies at Aussie Hero Quilts. My beautiful laundry bag arrived yesterday in our mail drop - absolutely love it!! Keep up the great work - everybody onboard NEWCASTLE is so very appreciative of your love and support. Anita (the XO)


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Thanks so much this is the most amazing laundry bag ever it made my day thanks again


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Hi Jan-Maree,


Please accept my sincere thanks for the amazing Quilt that arrived for me the other day. It is a truly sensational and humbling gift that I will cherish.

The Quilt was made by Mrs Sue N in Victoria and I have drafted a letter of thanks for her with a few images of our aircraft here.

Thank you for the joy that Aussie Hero Quilts' bring to so many deployed Australian Service personnel!! The underlying support of the Australian public is the cornerstone of our being here and these gifts make a significant contribution the morale and well being of our dedicated personnel.

All the very best,

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A very good morning to you Jan, 

Just letting you know that I have received the most amazing quilt and bag. I can not express enough how happy and pleased with you all for the magnificent time and effort that went into it. 

Thank you soo very much!!  
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Fran T received this photo from her very happy recipient.




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Good Morning Robyn B.

I am writing as l received my parcel from you yesterday afternoon, Thank you so very much, l absolutely love the laundry bag and quilt and of course all the little lollies.
I appreciate all your hard work and time that you have put in, it is greatly appreciated. Things are going well and we are all in good spirits over here. I am missing my family very much, however will see them in August for my two week break which will be great. Thank you once again, l am greatly touched.


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G’day Jan-Maree

I am currently serving in the Middle East. I was very touched to receive a package the other day from one of my soldiers that has been in correspondence with you to arrange laundry bags and blankets. I did enjoy reading your letter and having a better understanding of how this has all come about. I would like to say a very heart felt thank you to you and all of the people associated with you to make this all happen. Please pass on a very special thanks to Helen C for taking the time to cut out the caduceus for the laundry bag for me. The design your chose for me with the Australian flag edging and the kangaroos was a perfect choice.  I absolutely love it, and my team is envious.

Knowing that there are people at home like you and everyone involved with this initiative really does make me feel proud to be an Australian Serviceman. In my 20 years of service so far - there has definitely been a change in public perception towards the Australian Military and I fully believe this is in no small part due to organisations like yours that continue to support us.

Words cannot convey the thanks and gratitude for everything you have and are doing back home. I fully intend on popping out to Penrith at some point when I return home at a time that I know that you and your team will be there to pass on a personal thanks. Email doesn't really do it justice, hahaha. I will say again - please pass on my many thanks to everyone, and thank you very much Jan-Maree for everything you are doing.

Many thanks

Sincerely


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Hi Julie H

I would like to pass on my most sincere thanks for the beautifully crafted laundry bag I have just received. 
Thank you for your effort, it is very much appreciated. 

This would be my third MEAO deployment (2001,2003 ,& 2015), but this is the first time I have received a token of appreciation from Aussie Hero Quilts.  Thank you to all the sewers of Aussie Hero Quilts. Your efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. 

Once again

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For Julie H,


Thank you so much for the Laundry bag that you have made for me. Far better than I could of ever imagined! (and if you are a better ADMINO than seamstress you must be a seriously capable ADMINO!)

Hope the weather is not too bad back in Canberra. My family have been complaining about the cold whilst I am chasing the endless summer!

Once again - many thanks for the time and effort that you have given me (and the chocolate!)..

Regards,


For those that do not know "ADMINO" are administrative officers (the best of the best but I might be a bit biased!!!LOL).  Julie is actually a serving member.
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Hi Graeme and Cheri,

Than you very much for the Laundry bag, I love it :-) will try to name each deer on it haha!

You did a wonderful job and keep charging forward :-)
Hope your enjoying your retired life from nursing, have a few friends who are nurses and my mum is a respite care worker so can understand the stresses in the industry, but it's a very rewarding career at that.  Tell Graeme Thank you for his service!

You seem like a wonderful couple, hope your enjoying Tasmania. Have always wanted to go there, heard it's chilly but I need some cold weather rather than the heat here lol, it's averaging 50deg during the day and 35deg with humidity at night!

Thank you both once again for the laundry bag and wish you all the best for the future too :-)


Kind Regards


Also forgot to mention, thank you for the biscuits :-) they went down a treat!!


Kind Regards


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Dear Cheri, 


I just wanted to email and personally thank you for the amazing quilt that you have made - I love everything about it, the embroidered aircraft, the colours, the kangaroos, it's perfect! And in such a short time,  I can see hours of time and effort in what you have created and I truly appreciate it. 

I also appreciate your letter and knowing who you are and a little about your family. You understand the challenges faced by those deployed (and family at home) more than most and I hope you know how much it means to me that you have made this effort - it is encouraging to know that people back home (other than my immediate family) care for us and what we are doing. 

Thanks again Cheri, I will keep in touch and if you ever find yourself in the South Coast of NSW please give me a buzz - I would love to meet and thank you personally. 

Best wishes to you and your family, 
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Morning Julie-Ann 


I just wanted to send you a quick note and will follow up with a letter to you to thank you so much for the laundry bag. 
I received it when we came alongside the Seychelles so it certainly has done some travelling to get here. 

The laundry bag is terrific and so different from the others I have seen onboard. 
Thank you so much for the trouble you have gone to especially with your ultra busy life, to make time for me makes this laundry bag really special. 

Thank you again. 

Take care of you. 

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Dear Lisa B



Thank you very much for the excellent Quilt, it has my  two favourite colours. 

Great to receive your letter and to hear you and your husband are avid followers of Collingwood. We only get to see a few games over here but I have to excuse myself from work to go and watch them. It has been a great few years for the Pies and hopefully can keep up the momentum for a few more. 

The quilt will come in handy at the moment as we are getting hotter and the need for the air-conditioner on all the time, so to snuggle up in my new quilt will be extremely pleasurable. 

At home we also have a campervan, so guess where my quilt will be on our next holiday!! That being said my wife is also a Collingwood supporter, so it won't be a problem with taking it. 

Thanks again and a big thank you to Aussie Quilts for organising the quilts for all those who deploy. It is great to see the big smiles on everyone's face who receives their quilt. 

Regards 

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And now something a little different.   To understand the recipient's letter you really need some background so here is what Jenny S wrote to me.

Hi JM,

I just thought I’d send through my email from the recipient of my laundry bags.  I made two laundry bags for him as the requested version had many ‘patches’ on it and I was concerned it wouldn’t hold up to harsh use. He indicated on his request that he wanted to use it on his return for his bike rides.  So, I added a Vespa vintage print to either use or give to someone else who may need one.  Seems that hit the mark too with his first ride being on a Vespa.

I took the ‘Vintage’ theme a step further and made them on my Vintage 201 Singer from 1939 and refused to use its more modern 1950s model as Singer retooled and formed new casting and by the early 1950s produced the first 201s in aluminium instead of cast iron.  Legend tells that more than one Singer today may be made of recycled Spitfires, Lancasters and Hurricanes!  I couldn’t make something for someone in the Air Force that may be made from recycled legends!  



Don't you love the effort she want to....  and so now for her recipient's letter...

Jenny,

Your package arrived in the mail this morning.  Wow.  I feel really humbled that someone would go to so much trouble.  I love both the laundry bags and both will be used with joy.  I have already looked through the magazines - I love them!  If I was being really critical I'd say the Triumph/Douglas bag is a wee bit big for use on the bikes... but I love it just as it is and will use it for the intended purpose.

What you possibly didn't know because I don't recall telling you is that the first powered two wheeler I ever rode was a mate's Vespa 150 Sport, way back in about 1971.  I still have a scar on the back of my right calf from going over the handlebars and catching the leg on a torn bit of the leg shield.  Some lessons are taught in a manner that you remember - in this case do not suddenly and roughly jam on the front brakes on a bumpy and rocky surface when heading downhill!

Interesting you should love Singer sewing machines.  There's a really nice 1927 machine in my house that apart from needing a belt works well.  It's one of the ones that folds away into the top of the table.  I've always loved them, and I have every intention of getting the machine back to full working order once I get home.  I expect it is one of the cast iron ones - it weights enough!  I even have a drawer full of different sewing feet I'd love to experiment with.

I'm glad you enjoyed the hunt for the Douglas bits.  The make went out of business about the year I was born but were highly regarded in the preceding years.  Unfortunately they went the same way as many British makers with poor management and out of date designs that could not compete with newer ones.  The last was the 350cc Dragonfly which was well built, but heavy and slow.  I still want one if I can find one... they are like hens' teeth, but I have a few contacts to follow up when I get home in July.

What you all from Aussie Hero Quilts do is very much appreciated here.  Lots of the members have queued up to have quilts and bags made, and I don't know of any that are anything but thrilled with the products they get.  It's not just the gifts themselves, it is what goes into the making of each and every one that makes them special.  You guys are collectively The Best, and that's official.

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And a short but really sweet one to finish on....

This message was posted on Facebook last night. How lovely. This quilt was put together from Block of the Month blocks by Naomi. It was quilted by Stephanie T and bound by Angela.   Here it is months later.... love this sort of feed back.



My quilt getting some use after Kandahar. Thank you


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

Jan-Maree xx

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