Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Grati-Tuesday 7 June 16

How did everyone survive the storm on the weekend on the east coast of Australia. I hope that noone sustained too much damage.  I know some of you have been without power at least. Hope things are resolved soon.

For now, here are some great thank you messages to enjoy.


One for Nancy

To my Quilter,
        I've received your gift and I am stoked. It is so much more than I was hoping for. 

My team and I and everyone else onboard Darwin is in awe of the generosity of people like yourself at AHQ. The selfless effort you give brings an injection of happiness and pride to all the lucky recipients, often at times when it is difficult to see the big picture after a particularly hard patrol. Thank you for that gift. 

People spend days talking about their various designs and the thought and effort put into each quilt and bag. Believe me when I say that no one is ungrateful. 

The Dive silhouette on mine is spot on and the patterns are amazing. I am expecting my first child a few weeks after I get back and this gem is going to feature in so many baby photos Ill make sure it gets the press it deserves. 

Thank you again for this awesome quilt and all the best in your endeavours.
Yours Aye 



Good afternoon Su,

My quilt has arrived. What can I say? You have really done an outstanding job for me and I am the envy of all the other ex-Pommie soldiers around here. They have offered to buy it and threatened to steal it. Your idea of including the history of the Union Jack was particularly ingenious and sets it off nicely. 

We generally try to rotate through the quilts on the walls so that others can see what the quilters are able to do and mine has taken pride of place outside the cash office here so that it gets maximum exposure and I will retrieve it for myself in a few weeks.

One again, thanks for your efforts which are greatly appreciated and for the goodies which you enclosed ( I am afraid they did not last long!).

Fond regards

Dear Jan-Maree,

I would like to pass on my absolute gratitude for the lovely quilt you have sent me. I can tell by the quality that it has been made with love and dedication. This effort that you ladies have put in is not lost on me. I believe time is very precious as we all have very little of it in the long run, and for your ladies to give the gift of time to us is very much appreciated. Especially to produce such a fine quilt.

I don’t receive a lot of mail and I have to say that this was a most welcome surprise as was the laundry bag. The lollies didn't last long and neither did the tim tams. My waist line is furious. (jokes) The laundry bag is also a welcome addition, as I can now stop using my pillow case as a washing bag. I have sent a separate thanks to Bridget for my laundry bag.

So please pass on my thanks to Julie and Bob, Stephanie T who also did a terrific job and to Cindy for the badges which in truth mean a great deal to us, especially the boys from our Company. Cheri from Tasmania must also be thanked too for all the badges and her herculean effort, and of course yourself Jan-Maree for organising all of this. Like I said earlier, from my perspective and as someone who has been in over 11 years and only really gets cereal and magazines in the mail, this means an awful lot. I wish you all the best in making these quilts and know that you really are making a difference to soldiers lives.

Kindest regards to you, the ladies and your family,

Dear Jan-Maree,
Thank you to your organisation for your wonderful work. I received my quilt today.
Could you please also pass on my thanks to April W who made it for me. I did post a picture on facebook etc but was unable to tag her in it.
A big thank you to everyone involved.


Dear Joan & Robin

Thank you very much for my French bulldog laundry bag! I am absolutely in with with it.

I have my laundry bag hanging from the rails at the end of my bunk bed. It brightens my day when I wake up and see it.

I am a dog lover, I have a male American Staffy called Dante and he is my world. The laundry bag reminds me of him which brings a smile to my face!

I cannot thank you both enough for the kindness and generosity that you do for all of us deployed. It makes things a little bit easier knowing that we have support outside from our own families.

Kind regards

Dear Diann N
I just received one of your laundry bags whilst on training deployment in Malaysia.
And I have to say I was so surprised that such an organization existed and absolutely delighted as to what you had all sent us.
When I got my hands on one I was much impressed, the quality of yours and the other laundry bags were fantastic, we could all not believe that someone put so much effort into something for us diggers. Everyone was so chuffed. and the letters really topped it all off.  I don't think I have ever had anyone say they appreciate my service and it was one of the nicest things, especially after working the last 29 days straight.   We rarely get praise.  Everything in our line of work is either the minimum standard or not good enough.  You can never seem to do really well in the eyes of our trainers hahaha.  I guess it keeps us on our toes to always strive to be better.
Anyway, your laundry bag is currently on my bunk bed filled with clean clothes acting as a pillow.
I will try and take photos of it and everyone else's bags in use.
Thankyou so much for your time and contribution, you made a sapper in a far away country very happy. I look forward to using and looking after you bag for years to come.

With great appreciation

Joan & Robin,

Thank you very much for my laundry bag. It is really nice to receive a gift that someone has spent so much time on. I like the fabric it reminds me of the books my Mum read to me as a child.
I am currently serving in the RAAF on my first deployment to the MER. I am an Air Combat Officer who flies on a large RAAF aircraft.

Thank you for your support

Good Morning/ Afternoon Jan-Maree
I'd like to thank you and your team for putting together the Hero Quilt for me.  Me and the boys had quite a  good laugh due to it being covered in pineapples.  Hopefully as you have served you know meaning of the "Pineapples" we receive at work. I didn't know we could have picked a theme, I blame XXXX haha. But now I have it, Funniest Blanket Ever!!
Can you please pass on my thanks to all the ladies who put it together.
Hopefully all the lads have sent an email back to you guys to thank you for your efforts.  Its all the little things like this that make our rotations that little bit easier.
Thanks again 

Good evening Jan-Maree

I had an absolutely wonderful day today, I received a laundry bag which was made by your group. I was really touched by the care and thought that went into it, seeing the use of roses blended with the military theme was just beautiful. And to also have my initials sewn in amongst the roses too, was just lovely. Thank you so much for turning a hard day for me, into a very happy one.

I hope you have a great night, thank you so much.

G'day Julie Ann,

I am writing to thank you for making the laundry bag that I now have in my possession. I am the Company Sergeant Major for Rifle Company Butterworth here in Malaysia, we arrived here one month ago and have been training out in the jungle for pretty much all of that time with the Malaysian Army.

Again thank you very much and to all others who take time to keep us in their thoughts.


Hi Jan-Maree, 

Just letting you know that the quilt and laundry bag arrived to me in  Afghanistan safely yesterday and it was a most welcome boost of morale!

Clare certainly did an amazing job, my theme was "Pokemon" and I was astounded at the amount of detail in the characters she chose. Especially considering each character was hand-stitched, I'm no quilting expert or anything but it definitely seemed like a lot of effort had gone into making it. For that I am extremely grateful, seeing it always brings a smile to my face, something which your organisation is quite effective at!

Thanks again,  

Dear Ann, 
        I am the Chaplain on board HMAS Darwin and yesterday I received a dozen of your wonderful hand crafted laundry bags. We are in the last couple of months of our deployment but a number of new young trainee sailors joined us at the half way mark. I will distribute these laundry bags to these trainees who will very much appreciate them. 
        I read your email with a big smile. I too asked about 9 months ago " who are AHQ". Like you I found out and so began my journey with many many caring individuals who take the time to bless our sailors and officers. When you are away for 7 months on a ship,  laundry is a hassle. We have about 7 machines and dryers for 230 people. Finding a spare time when is not in use is always a challenge. But to go down the laundry and see the array of colourful hand crafted bags - always lifts on's day.
        I am so pleased that your group enjoyed your day of sewing. The old idea that in the giving we receive is certainly true. So pleased you achieved your life goal of your very own " sweat shop" - and delighted that the event was filled with much laughter, love and food! 
You may have come across this news story in the press in the last few days. Please realise that your support Ann, and the support of your sweat shop does so much to support our mission. 

Warm Regards 


Hi Joan and Robin,

Wanted to thank you personally for the laundry bag you sent me. It looks fantastic and I absolutely love it. You guys and doing a magnificent job making these. Keep it going. They are greatly appreciated by all personnel who receive them. I have attached a photo. Thanks again 


Good afternoon Sandy and Trevor,

I am currently overseas and have received the laundry bag you sent.

I would like to express my gratitude for the bag and goodies you have sent. It is an item which I often overlook so I am appreciative of the fact that I now have a place for my dirty clothes, as opposed to being placed in a pile on the floor or in a locker. I particularly like the illustrations on the bag (very indicative of Australia).

I see that you live in the wine and fine food region of SA? I have never been to the Barossa valley myself but imagine it to be populated by vineyards, farms and restaurants.

Once again I would like to say thank you and hope that you are both in as good health as possible.


Hi Jan-Maree,

I just received my quilt to go with my laundry bag made by Beverly U. Thank you so much to the ladies at Penrith and to Tess who did the final quilting. I understand that whilst the ladies out at Penrith may not be Parramatta supporters they still did an amazing job and I couldn't be happier with the colours.

Thank you for the service provided by all the ladies, (especially the Penrith team, Tess and Beverly in my case) you have no idea how much it lifts the spirits of the deployed men and women over here when we receive something from your team (PS- thanks for the chocolates as well).

Keep up the amazing work that you are doing and rest assured that it is having a direct impact on our wellbeing whilst we are deployed. It's great to know that people back in Aus have our backs. 

Kind regards

Hi Kaylee,

I'd like to thank you for making the laundry bag that I have received, mine is one with tools over it and it says "fix it", I grabbed that one due to my technical rate/qualification within the Navy. I've been in the Navy for a little over 4 years, in which I spent a year in category training and recruit school and for approximately 2.75 years I have been a 'sea-going sailor'. A bit over two years of that has been onboard ACPB's and some time also on HMAS Perth.
Your laundry bag ended up on the Armidale Class Patrol Boat (ACPB)- HMAS Bathurst. The ACPB's are working horse of the fleet, we have been for many years-often going un-recognised and un-noticed. To put it into perspective. When we arrived back in Australia last fortnight (Saturday 21st May), the boat had spent approximetly 10 days (not consecutive) in our home port (Darwin) for the year!!! With the program offering some respite towards the end of the year, its still going to be a full on year with approximately 9 or so months away from home port for the year. A large portion of this being on Deployment/Exercises

Your small gesture of thanks is greatly appreciated and will be forever remembered, I'm sure I'll have the laundry bag for years to come.

It's a good feeling to have an everyday Australian, whom I do not know, put in the time and effort to create such a thing.

Keep on crafting and sewing

With much thanks,

Dear Becca and Mark,

Thank you so much for the laundry bag! I was completely amazed when I opened the box and pulled out the laundry bag, the quality is fantastic and I absolutely love the design, I'm hesitant to actually use it as a laundry bag now because I feel it is too precious to get dirty! 

Thanks again for the package, Aussie Heroes Quilts is an amazing organisation and definitely lifts the spirits of everyone over here,  I have shared your Tim Tams with my colleagues as they are always a favourite for everyone when someone receives them in a package. 

Kind Regards,

Hello Robyn,

I would like to start by saying thank you for the lovely gifts that you took out of your time to make for me it is very much appreciated, 
I am currently posted to the 9th Force Support Battalion located in Ipswich QLD, I reside there with my current partner and our two little boys aged 3,2. After four months of being deployed I am about to proceed on ROCL, which we all look forward to as it allows us to see and spend time with loved ones for a short time prior to redeploying for a while. Over all, the time away can be hard for us, however I feel that the families have it the hardest, not knowing as there is really no information that we are able to share with them. But overall they are working all the time with kids, maintaining houses and so on, without the work that our partners put in I don't believe that the men and women that are deployed could achieve the things they do.
Wish you and your family all the best for the future.


Dear Jenny,

Thank you for my wash bag, I love it.  I’m recently 30, I had my 30th over here in Afghanistan, so as you can imagine it was not that exciting.  Ha ha – 10 days ago.

Well thanks again Jenny, I hope all is well.


Good Morning Anna,

I am writing you to let you know that I received the outstanding quilt that you made for me.  I can't wait to utilise it when I'm watching the footy at home on a cold winters day.   It is great to get surprises in the mail when you aren't expecting anything.   I truly want to thank you for all the hard work you must put in just to put a smile on the faces of those who are deployed.

Once again Thank you.


Hi Lynn,
I'd like to personally thank you for taking the time to make my quilt. I received it and it's perfect! Thank you very, very much. Your work is really appreciated.
It is kind hearted people such as yourself that really make our time over here in the Middle East a lot more bearable.

I love that saying "Every Day Is A Classroom". That is excellent. I will have to remember that.  I laughed at your comment regarding the Kawasaki logo, and I really have to tell you - you got it perfect ! I love it !!

Anyway again your work is honestly so appreciated and I can say that a group of us have now received our laundry bags and quilts and we are amazed at the level of detail and care you guys put into them.

I sincerely wish to thank you again, and please pass on my extended thanks to Tess in Victoria for the finishing touches. Amazing work.
Kindest regards,

Good Morning Jan-Maree, 

        I would like to thank you and your team of lovely ladies for all the work you do for our deployed Sailors, Solders and Airman. 

A bit about my self, I am a forth generation Sailor. My father served for over 20 years until he passed in 2009, During his career he served in the UN, in peace missions that is supported by your cause. My brother, served and deployed receiving one of your quilts. My wife is currently serving and deployed only 2 years ago receiving one of your quilts. My sister in law will be on the ship that relieve us up here, and she will no doubt love the quilt she receives. 

You and the ladies that work with you have reached though my family, the quilts we receive warm our hearts and remind us that the sacrifices made are not only appreciated by our loved ones but by the greater Australian community. That is a feeling that will never leave me. 

Thank you again, 

Dear Su,

I don’t consider myself a word-smith, but can usually hold my own in most situations.
I guess it’s taken me a little while longer than I planned to respond to you because I have been quite literally lost for words.
So if I repeat myself or my thoughts are a little jumbled, it’s because I’m looking for the best way to convey my deepest gratitude and my sincerest thanks for a truly remarkable gift.

I have many fond memories looking back over my career and many dust collections on my shelves back home, but rest assured, this is by far my favourite and will take pride of place in my home AND on my story list. Already I’ve spoken to a number of people here showing off your beautiful work and telling all and sundry about how (and where) I met your daughter.  It really is a small world!

As soon as I started reading your letter, I saw your surname and thought, I’ve only met 1 or 2 people with that surname.  As I read your first 2 sentences and saw your daughter's name, I knew straight away who she was and by proxy you were her Mum.

She probably won’t remember me but please pass on my warmest regards and thanks for her thoughtful collaboration.  Rest assured I am using this quilt.  

I love it and also show it off, but I’ll always use it as well.   I thought this design would be difficult and rest assured, your skill and passion far exceeded my thoughts when I first wrote to Aussie Heroes.

When my parcel arrived I was very busy and I waited until I had a break before opening the box.  The anticipation was excruciating, the results AMAZING!  I think everyone else was as excited as me.

Thank you SO much!  Words cannot express what I feel.
One day I hope to thank you in person.

My best wishes to you and your family

Dear Aussie Quilts,


1.  On behalf of the Officers and Ships Company of Hydrographic Survey (HS) Red Crew,
I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the laundry bags, commonly known
as dobby bags in Navy lingo, your team thoughtfully and selflessly created for our
Crew and those who are deployed throughout the world.

2.  HS Red Crew has recently been embarked on Her Majesty Australian Ship
(HMAS) Melville which is one of two Leeuwin Class Hydrographic Survey Ships
based out of Cairns.  The two ships are rotationally manned by three crews,
HS Red, HS White and HS Blue Crew.  The Ship has a crew of 65 personnel on average,
however this can surge up to 76 personnel when personnel under training are embarked to
undertake on the job training and gain further experience.  Through having the Ship manned
by the three rotation Crew, this enables the Ships to carry out its core function of collecting
Hydrographic data essential to enabling safe navigation in Australian Waters.

3.  The members of HS Red Crew recently conducted an 11 week survey deployment to the
North West Shelf of Western Australia to carry out Hydrographic Instruction 585 in vicinity of
Camden Sound, WA.  The area in which we were operating proved a very challenging environment due to the extreme tidal range, at times in excess of 10 meters which is one of the largest in the world.

4.  Throughout the deployment personnel conducted a variety of activities in the remote area along the pristine Kimberly coastline including undertaking a Boat Camp where the Ship deployed two Survey Motor Boats (SMB) and their Crews for extended periods of time where the SMB would survey the sea floor and gather up to date information to assist with maintaining the currency of commercial charts.  In addition, a Tide Camp was deployed for a six day period where the members were required to camp on an isolated beach with minimal comforts usually afforded onboard the Ship to erect tidal infrastructure and monitor the movement of the tide to assist with improving the accuracy of commercial charts.

5.  While deployed we were lucky enough to also conduct a port visit to Singapore where
HS Red Crew were involved in the Anzac Day commemorations at Kranji War Cemetery in support of the Australian High Commission in Singapore.  The Ship’s Company thoroughly enjoyed their time in Singapore and enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a Dawn Service in an international port.

6.  Some members of the Crew have received laundry bags from your organisation in previous deployments and they use them regularly while at sea.  Your generous gifts were gratefully received by all members of the Crew on return from the Survey Deployment.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to embracing our dobby bag on
our next deployment towards the end of 2016.

Yours sincerely,

Commanding Officer HS Red Crew

Dear Irene,

I was lucky enough to receive one of your quilts.
I absolutely LOVE it.  I would like to say a massive Thank You!
It is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.
We all appreciate the work that everyone does at Aussie Hero Quilts, and wait eagerly to see each other’s quilts.
It definitely makes a big difference.

Well thank you again for the hard work you put into my quilt.
It is so special to me and has not come off my bed since receiving it.

Hi Catherine,

I received your beautiful work on my Family Tree Quilt. I absolutely love my quilt. Jan-Maree has given me some ideas on how to mount the quilt for my bedroom. If it's ok, I would love to send you a photo once I have the quilt mounted.

I cannot thank you enough on the wonderful work that you do to make and send such beautiful laundry bags and quilts. The smiles I have seen when the members of the TG (Task Group) received them just makes my day.

I have really enjoyed my time in TAJI providing administration support to the members of the TG and a little sad to say goodbye to over 400 pers. It has been a wonderful experience to work alongside our NZ Defence Force personnel and being part of the ANZAC spirit.

I wish you all the best, and again, thank you for your thoughts and the gorgeous quilt that I will always cherish.

All the best.

Jan Maree, 

I received the quilt and laundry bag that you guys sent me. They are awesome. I really love them. I am going to give the quilt to my son who is nearly 10 months old and the bag to my daughter who is a little over two because the bag is too nice to put my dirty clothes in. Once again Thank you guys  for what you do for us. It brightens the day when we get mail and especially for the guys that don't have family to send them things. 

Hi Jan 

Thank you very much for my quilt I love it. 
As you know this is my second time around on Darwin and I could not say how much your and the other  volunteers support means too us from the care package's i have received from one lady to the surprise quilt i received putting a big smile on my face. I know that myself and all the girls in my mess look forward to the mail coming to see what you and your volunteers have sent it makes those days so special with everyone showing off their quilts.

Thank you so much


Good Morning Jan, 

Thank you very much for my Quilt and Laundry bag, I received it in our last port. I showed my son over skype and he was more than excited to see "His" gifts. 
Please know that your quilt will be cherished by my son for years to come, and surely his little brother as well for the Cars side. 
I hope you continue to do the great work that you do, as it really does brighten our days to receive such heartfelt quilts. Once I return to Australia i will send you a Photo of the quilt, my son has already told me how he plans to show you all of his trains with the quilt. 

Again thank you so much, 


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


  1. Beautiful stuff, really special.

  2. Love to read these, sure gives a glimps into the lives of the lucky guys and gals who recieve one of AHQs pieces.. Thanks for sharing these each week!