Tuesday 27 February 2018

A Bit Of A Catchup!

Here I am again, wondering where the days are going in this year. I'm sure we just had Christmas & now it's almost Easter! YIKES! At this rate, maybe I should just put my Christmas tree back up & be done with it! :0)

To be fair, this last week has been a wee bit busy (which seems to be the norm around the Meares' Madhouse!) with my Beloved Geek Boy away for work for a few days, which then ran into the weekend when I disappeared for a day to play with the Friday Night Sit N Sew gals for a mini retreat. I only went for the Saturday, but managed to pack in a lot of fun & laughs ... If not very much sewing! Tee! Hee! Hee! 

However, others did have their machines humming ...

... Linda finished this cute little bag ... Perfect as a gift for a little girl. Linda also finished a gorgeous quilt top ... But I forgot to take a photo. :0)

Julie finished the this quilt top ... Though she DID have a bit of a head start. One of her workmates decided she no longer had time to sew/quilt, so had a huge clean out, bundled all her sewing projects into a big bag & sold them to Julie. It was just like a stitcher's Christmas wish come true! There were lots of complete quilt kits, some just needing borders, some needing quilting & some like this one had some stitcheries to finish off. We're all always very interested to see what project Julie has found next to work on. :0)

And of course we all know you sew better after a drinkie or two. This was Julie's balanced quilting sustenance ... Balanced, as in ... One glass for each hand! Tee! Hee! Hee! As always, a HUGE thank you to the Marvellous Marion for organising our retreat. We're always completely spoilt with yummy food & treats.

I started working on some of the embroidery elements of my Butterfly Garden blocks, but really didn't make much headway, so no finishes for me to show off ... I'd better get busy tomorrow, hadn't I or that will be two months with no finishes for my OPAM list. Speaking of which ... Have you signed up with me or my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg to play along? There's still room for more people to join us. And those who HAVE signed up ... Have you added your list of finishes under the OPAM badge on your blog & emailed your tally to Sweet Peg or me?? Well ... Get hopping, cos tomorrow we run out of February & we'll be doing our January/February prize draw ... & will reveal a little surprise we've been keeping up our sleeves. :0)

But right now, I think the kettle is calling my name, so I'm off to make a cuppa. Before I do, I've got a question for you ... How many stitchers does it take to wind a skein of thread onto a bobbin card??

Three ... Apparently!! :0) two to hold the thread & keep it from getting tangled & one to wind it on. This was some of our entertainment at our last Friday Night stitching session. Three of my crazy tribe ... Love 'em! :0) Til next time ...







Friday 16 February 2018

A Week Of Madness & Mayhem!!

That's what it's been here this week, with the Meares' Madhouse living up to its moniker! :0) I have to say, "boredom" doesn't ever poke its nose in around here! Tee! Hee! Hee! 

The madness & mayhem started with some wild storms earlier in the week. I have to say, we've been fortunate enough to be bypassed by other REALLY nasty storms, but felt this one. After very strong winds & hail had finished their work ...

... One of our lovely big gum trees was missing a good sized limb. Can you see where the bottom left branch has been truncated ... Get it?! TRUNK-ated ... Tree ... Never mind!!! :0P Now, thanks to gravity, that branch went down ...

And although we weren't home at the time, I imagine it made a pretty big noise as it ...

... Landed on our temporary shade shed where GB stores the trailer, ride-on mower & wheelbarrow. And do you know, despite the poor shade shelter being toast ... Nothing else was damaged! WHEW! A small garden shed that was in the process of being relocated also met its demise when the storm folded it like origami & landed it against the back fence. No damage to the house, though, so our guardian angels were clearly working overtime ... Especially when you consider that I should have been driving home at the time the storm hit, but I'd popped into Mum & Dad's to pick up some bottles to make jam. A second storm that had hail in it followed me home & hit ... Just as I walked in the back door!  BLESSED!!

So then move forward in our week (through the usual mayhem of two unqualified adults masquerading as grown ups! :0) ) today is my day off. A day to sleep in, relax & sew ... HA! It was all systems go from 7am! Firstly ...

... We had two new rainwater tanks arrive from Bushman Tanks in Dalby ... Where the Fabulous Fiona's Sweetie works. He gave great advice on size etc. & we were very happy with the price after comparing with other companies, so would recommend them if you're tank shopping.

 We were fortunate that both Dads were on hand to help with the unloading & positioning ... My Dad in the red shirt at the back & GB's Dad at the front. Tanks were rolled off the truck ...

... And carefully manoeuvred down the side of the shed to their new home behind the shed. Blessed again to have both Dads living close & being willing to lend a hand. Hopefully the new tanks will help keep our garden alive through future dry spells ... As long as we get the rain to fill them. Might be time to drag out the feathered headdress & tomahawk to perform a rain dance ... Don't try to picture that or you'll never sleep again!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And while the manly men were wrestling large tanks, I was inside instructing two lovely young blokes ...

... As to where we wanted our new ceiling fans installed in our open plan living space. 

It's a bit hard to get a good pic with the light, but you can see they're a heritage style fan with timber blades. The timber look is a bit darker than I was looking for, but the lighter colour has been discontinued ... & these not only look good, they are making a HUGE difference to the temperature in this room. They were installed by Active8 Electrical & the guys were some of the friendliest & neatest tradies I've come across ... Highly recommend them. :0)

And since the flurry of activity is now over, I think I'm going to sit under my new fans & enjoy a cup of tea before I spend some time with my re-discovered quilt friend I introduced you to last week. What are you up to this fine Friday? Whatever you're doing, I wish you all a restful & enjoyable weekend. Til next time ...










Wednesday 14 February 2018


Look what was delivered to me today at my grown up job ... A gorgeous bunch of fabulous red roses. AAAAAAAAWWWWWW!! I think I'll keep him! :0)

Happy St Valentine's Day to you all.

Til next time ...




Sunday 11 February 2018

Reconnecting With An Old Friend!

Have you ever clapped eyes on someone & from that first moment there's a connection? There's an instant bond, something drawing you to each other. You introduce yourselves, get to know each other & the connection strengthens. Suddenly, you're glued to each other's side, you miss them & think about them when you're apart. You can't wait to set eyes on them again. You spend all your free time together. You're inseparable.

Then ... Things change. Suddenly you're not quite as in tune with each other, you start to frustrate each other. You no longer want to spend all your time with them. Your attention is diverted, you find new friends to spend your spare time with. You never talk about it, but you drift apart & you tuck them into a corner of your memory.

Then years later, something will remind you of that special friend ... A comment in passing, a photo ... & you realise how much you miss that friend & decide you want them back in your life. You nervously make contact, tentatively reach out. You agree to get together over a cuppa & see where you're both at. You discover the special things about them that drew you in the first place are still there ... & the friendship is renewed ... You've reconnected with an old friend.

This has been my experience recently. Let me introduce you to my reconnected friend ...

It's a quilt designed by Leeanne Beasley called "Butterfly Garden" & I started it about five or six years ago ... I think. :0) Insert sheepish grin, as I can't actually remember. I absolutely LOVE this quilt with its combination of simple patchwork piecing, embroidery & appliqué. I was also drawn to the lovely soft shabby chic/cottage colours. So ... I decided to tackle it. I made the first two blocks ...

And as my narrative said ... My attention strayed to other 'friends' ... New design ideas to work on, mostly. Then recently I was chatting to the Fabulous Fiona & somehow this quilt was mentioned & she encouraged me to drag it out of its confinement in my sewing cupboard & start working on it again. So ... I decided to make it my Friday Night Sit N Sew project. And since we have one of our mini retreats coming up soon, I decided to prep a couple of blocks so I can work on the hand stitching at the retreat. And ... I remembered why I had put it aside ... It's a LOT of prep work!! There are nine blocks in the quilt & each block is made up of nine mini blocks. That's a LOT of cutting, measuring, matching & rearranging for each block.

Step one ... Drag out all suitable fabrics ...

Here's the audition ... I've actually dragged out more fabric since taking this pic. I'm doing this in a scrappy style from my stash & I've decided I'm slightly OCD about colours & placement. :0) However, after quite some to-ing & fro-ing, I managed to make a start ...

During the process of making mini blocks. I don't know if you can read the selvage there, but it's showing the basis of my fabric choices ... The Aviary range by 3 Sisters for Moda from quite a few years ago.

... And here are my three blocks so far. The first two are my starting point & the one on the right is the one ready to stitch at our sewing retreat. Now are you seeing the SLIGHT problem I discovered? HINT: check out the bottom edges. Ah ... Yes ... Something just isn't quite matching up. Uh! Oh! I know what the problem is ... The first two blocks were made before I discovered that my quarter inch guide I was using on my machine was a bit BIGGER than a quarter inch, which meant that the original two blocks were an inch too small  up & down as well as sideways. HMMMMMMMM .... 

AAAAAAAHHH!! Problem solved. I added extra borders to the side & bottom of both blocks & they now measure up. Maybe my old 'friend' & I can work out our differences after all. :0)

Do you have any old 'friends' lurking in your sewing cupboard you need to reconnect with? I'd love to see/hear about them.

Right now, though, I'm off to find some more ice for my drink ... It's a wee bit warm here today ... 38 degrees. Even us hot weather chickens are seeking shade & cool drinks in front of the fan today. :0) Hope you're having a fantastic weekend & that your week follows suit. Til next time ...



P.S. Don't forget to sign up to be part of OPAM 2018. Lots of fun & encouragement to be creative ... & some surprises to be revealed along the way. :0D







Thursday 8 February 2018

Catching Up With Bloggy Buddies!

This week has been a bit of a blur ... Not much sewing & my grown up job has been busy, which usually leaves me a bit brain-drained by the time I get home & I veg on the couch to recover. :0) I'm hoping the weekend will bring out my sewing diva. :0)

This week did include some fun Bloggy buddy catch ups, too, which are always enjoyable. First was a lovely relaxing dinner out  ...

Janice & her Sweetie Mick were passing through the area & sprang Chookyblue's daughter Fairy Girl for the evening. Add in the Fabulous Fiona & her Sweetie Dave & my cheeky Beloved Geek Boy & we had a party ... A very low-key one! Tee! Hee! Hee!

My yummy surf n turf dinner ... That I felt a bit ripped off about having to cook myself! :0P It was my first experience with a hot rock meal ... I somehow managed to miss that trend up til now. :0) It was lovely to chat with Janice & Mick ... Who I would never have met without blogging. Thanks for organising us, Janice! (After chatting on blogs for a while, we eventually worked out that Janice's Uncle & Aunt live in the retirement village where I work for my grown up job ... Small world!!)

And although I don't have pictures, I met up again today with the Fabulous Fiona for a relaxing stitching afternoon. Fiona doesn't live far from my grown up job so I toodled over for a catch up. Lots of stitching & chatting ... & some giggling when our FitBits told us it was time we moved ... Which saw us marching up & down Fiona's nice long hallway to do enough steps to satisfy the gadgets. Meanwhile, Fiona's sweet doggy Tarka trotted along at our feet wondering what the crazy humans were up to! :0) How wonderful to have friends who share not only your love of all things fabricky, but who also share your warped sense of humour! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks for a fun arvo Fiona!

I began blogging as a way to promote my pattern design business & get my Tag Along Teddies name out in the wider crafting world, but I have gained so much more than that, getting to know clever crafters & stitchers from all corners of the world & even getting to meet some of them in 'real life'. Thank you to all of my lovely Bloggy Buddies for the joy & richness you add to my life. :0)

And on that slightly philosophical note, I think it's time I signed off & went to keep an overdue date with my pillow. I hope you're all having a fantastic week & that your weekend includes lots of fun stuff. Til next time ...





Saturday 3 February 2018

How Do You Spend A Rainy Day?

It's grey, cool & rainy here on top of our 'hill' today for the second day in a row ... & I'm just fine with that! :0) I'm very much a hot-&-sunny weather kinda gal, but it's been so dry here that even with the cooler temperatures (currently 16 degrees) we're happy to stay snuggled inside watching the rain.

So ... How do you spend a rainy Saturday?

Why ... Snuggled under a flannel blankie with some hand stitching & a favourite movie, of course. Do you recognise the movie? It's "The Day After Tomorrow". Funnily enough (or maybe ironically) my two favourite rainy day movies are TDAT & "Twister". I love a good disaster movie. :0) And Maybe it puts a rainy day into perspective. :0P 

How do you spend a rainy day? What's your rainy day go-to movie? If the rain keeps up, I'll need more suggestions. Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...




Thursday 1 February 2018

OPAM 2018 Sign Up Is On!!

WOO! HOO! Here we go again, gals! Are you ready for the fun & craziness of OPAM 2018?! :0) Get those sign up emails flowing, pop the badge on your sidebar, add that finishes list to your sidebar & GET CREATING!! :0)



The One Project A Month (OPAM) Challenge Guidelines 2018

The idea of the “One Project A Month Challenge is pretty simple ... To try to finish at least ONE craft project by the end of each month. This can be something you’ve had partly done for a while (a Work In Slow Progress WISP), a pattern you bought ages ago that you finally get around to making up, or a completely new project. This is meant to be a low-stress challenge  - if you don’t finish a project every month  - that’s fine! We understand sometimes life interferes with our plans. We also realise some projects are meant to be long-term and have a LOT of work involved, like a quilt or a cross-stitch. The main aim of the OPAM Challenge is to give us all a bit of a motivational boost and to give us all a big cheer squad to encourage and inspire us.

Please read through all  guidelines before you sign up.

1. Participants must have an ACTIVE BLOG. If you change your blog address, drop us an email telling us your old address and what you’ve changed it to.
2. Numbers won’t be limited for the sign up for OPAM 2018, BUT ... it WILL close on February 28.
3. Participants can sign up via email to Kris or Peg, or via a comment on EITHER blog AS LONG AS it includes all asked for information.
4. Please provide all info asked for. * Name (first and initial of surname in case of double up names); * Email; * Blog address.
5. Please add the OPAM Challenge badge on your blog sidebar and link it to either Kris’s or Peg’s blog.
6. Please keep a list of each month’s finishes on your blog sidebar and update it BEFORE the last day of each month. (This is easiest if you add each project as you finish it.) If you can put this directly under the OPAM badge on your sidebar it will be easier for Peg and Kris to find it. You may also choose to have a separate OPAM 2018 page on your blog.  That’s fine too as long as it’s clearly labelled.
7. Only ‘soft’ crafts are included in the OPAM Challenge, ie. Projects made from fabric, thread or wool. Some examples are: embroidery, patchwork, quilting, cross-stitch, knitting, crochet, practical sewing (curtains, clothes etc), long stitch, appliqué.
8. QUILTS: A quilt will only be counted as a finish if it is COMPLETELY finished ... Quilted and bound. Flimsies/tops won’t count as finishes.
9. BOM’s:  Individual BOM blocks DO NOT count as a finish.
10. If you can email Peg or Kris your list of finishes each month BEFORE the end of the month, this would be appreciated, as it cuts down the amount of time it takes to check finishes for the month. (and save Peg and Kris from getting square eyes!)

11.  Lastly, participants MUST ... Have fun! After all, the reason we craft and create is to relax, have fun and take some time away from the “Have to” tasks to do the “Like to do” ones! :0)
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