Friday, 22 May 2020

What Can You Do?!

When you start the day with a weather update like this ...

And it's not even officially winter yet! 😱 What can you do. Since hibernating til spring is out (DARN IT!) the next best thing is ...

... Play with some pretty fabric & threads! I popped into The Quilters Angel this week ... So lovely to catch up with Marion & Steph after missing them through the zombie apocalypse! πŸ˜‰ ... And these pretty Tilda fabrics & Cottage Garden Threads followed me home. Well ... That's my story & I'm sticking to it! πŸ˜‚ I'm playing with a new design ... Yes ... It's the third one I currently have in progress! 😜 ... And I'm gonna snuggle down & stitch today, I think. 

What's your cold-icky-day pass time? Whatever you're up to today, I hope you get a chance to stop, take a breath ... & appreciate the many blessings in your life ... Like pretty fabric, lovely friends ... & warm blankies on a nasty cold day. 😜 Enjoy your weekend, stay safe, stay well ... Keep stitching & keep smiling! 😁 Til next time ...



Friday, 15 May 2020

OOPS! I Did It Again!

Actually ... There are a COUPLE of "OOPS!" that I've done again! 😝 "OOPS!" ... It's taken me a week to get back here with the OPAM prize draw. I'm pretty sure that time-thief has been here again, because although I'm GLAD it's Friday ... Day off ... Sleep in ... Wearing daggy-comfy houseclothes ... It's Friday & I'm not sure where this week went, because I sure didn't have time to cross things off my "To Do" list for the week! 😝

Oh well ... In the meantime, congrats to all of you creative dynamos out there who have been using this strange stay-at-home-whenever-possible, zombie apocalypse time to play in your creative space. For the month of April there were ...


WOW! Well done everyone! And that doesn't take into account the progress I know some of you have made on long term projects. While it's a strange & unsettling time in our world at the moment, I hope the time you're spending stitching, sewing, knitting, crocheting & creating in general is a soothing balm for you. And someone who I know loves their creative time is this month's random draw winner ...

Congrats Tone  Tone has been joining me for OPAM for nine years! Thanks for stitching along with me, lovely lady! 😘 Drop me an email, Tone, & I'll send you a PDF copy of one of my patterns.

Now ... The next "OOPS!" That I'm guilty of this week ... Well ... One that I'm admitting to! πŸ˜‚ ... is sidetracking my designing time. 😜 So now instead of working on TWO designs in various stages of the process, I'm working on THREE! πŸ˜‚ I can't show you anything yet, but here's a hint ...

That big THUD you just heard was my lovely Bloggy Buddy Kerryanne falling over in shock! πŸ˜‚ She is the Queen of Christmas & knows I'm usually in denial about the "C" word until late December! 😜 Stay tuned ... You won't have to wait too long to find out why I'm thinking about trees & twinkle lights. πŸ˜‰

But right now, I hear the seductive siren's call of the kettle, so shall sign off to make a cup of tea. I hope you're all staying safe, staying well & taking care of yourselves. Keep stitching & keep smiling! 😁 Til next time ...



PS Apologies to all who now have the Britney Spears song stuck in their heads because of my blog title! πŸ˜‚ K xx

Friday, 8 May 2020

A Friday Confession!

Hello everyone! It's Friday again (where did that week go??!) & I thought I'd better pop in to let you know I'm still here, it's just been a short week full of work, pattern design editing ... & a realisation. I have a confession to make about the realisation I came to this week. My name is Kris ... & I'm addicted to Cottage Garden Threads! πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ 

Have you 'discovered' the Cottage Garden Threads range of beautiful, hand-dyed embroidery threads? They have been gracing the best quilt stores for a few years now, but I had resisted using too many of them because I had a suspicion they'd be like kettle potato chips ... I wouldn't be able to stop at just one! πŸ˜‚ But last year after meeting the Mother/Daughter duo behind the pretty threads, I began to use the odd CG colour.

Pam & Katie, the team behind Cottage Garden Threads at last year's Stitchers' Dream Day Out. For the last little while, whenever I buy threads or fabric for new designs I'm working on (that's my story & I'm sticking to it! 😝), I'll add a CG thread ... Or two! 😜 ... to my purchase. Well, this morning when I was looking for something in my sewing pouch, I thought I'd lay out my collection so far ...

Uh oh! I think my addiction is growing! Tee! Hee! Hee! I love the range & vibrancy of the colours. My favourites are ...

I especially love the "Lyrebird Walk" & I can see I need to design a project especially to show it off! 😜 I find the CG threads especially nice to stitch single-colour projects, because you get more than one colour, in reality, but projects stitch up quickly when you don't have to swap threads as often ...

I used "Granny Bonnet" for my "Vintage Diva" backpack & 

... & I used "China Doll" for my "Vintage Market Bag". Kits & patterns for both of these projects are available from The Quilters Angel website, along with the full range of Cottage Garden Threads .. WOO! HOO! Online shopping is a great antidote for the zombie apocalypse! 😝 Oh ... I might add that this is in no way a paid endorsement for Cottage Garden Threads ... I just thought I'd share my addiction with you. 😜 Mind you ... If I WAS being paid ... I'd gratefully accept payment in CG threads! πŸ˜‚ Keep your chocolate, I'll have pretty threads ... & they're fat-free! Tee! Hee! Hee!

All right ... That's enough TALK about threads, I think it's time I shuffled off to actually STITCH with them ... After I make a cup of Mango Madness tea, of course! 😝 Oh ... OPAMERS ... If you haven't yet updated your sidebar lists & emailed me your tally for April, I'll be doing the final tallying over the weekend, so get hopping! 😜 And don't forget to pop over to the Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong page  on Facebook ... There are lots of lovely pics of blocks & quilt tops to inspire you & if you click on the "Announcements" button on the top line you'll find interesting (& in my case, slightly long-winded & chatty! 😝) biographies for the 17 designers who have designed blocks for this world-wide Stitchalong. It's interesting to see how similar so many of our stories, of how we came to design, really are. 😁 Make a cuppa & get comfy, though. 😜 Right ... The kettle is playing my song, so I'm signing off. Happy Mother's Day to all Mums (& I reckon to those of us who are aunties & fairy-godmothers, too! πŸ˜‰) for this Sunday. Stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😁 Til next time ...



Friday, 1 May 2020

Chilly Check In!

BRRRRRRRR! Hello lovely Bloggy peeps! I'm doing a chilly check in today after Autumn fastforwarded through May & winter arrived early ... EEP! 😱 You know how much I hate the cold, right?! Well ... We had been enjoying lovely autumn weather & temperatures of 15-27 degrees Celsius over the past few weeks when yesterday, a nasty cold front blew north from Antarctica to drop our day time max of 28 degrees to an overnight of 8 degrees!! It was a double doona night! And although the thermometer crept up to 14 today, the icy gale force winds created a 'feels like' temperature of 7 degrees. SIGH! I think it's time for this little teddy bear to go into hibernation. 😝

On the up side, the icky weather made it perfect to stay inside to do some design sketching, some social media catching up & some reading. Over on the Love & Hugs From Australia FB page you'll find that I'm the focus of today's "Meet The Designers" series, so if you haven't caught up with it yet, make yourself a cuppa (or an adult beverage since the sun is over the yardarm! 😜) & pop over for a read. You might learn something new about me. 😜 There are also photos starting to appear over there of finished LAHFA quilt tops that are well worth a peek. And if you're late to the Stitchalong party tap the files button at the top of the page & you should find the 17 blocks that have been gifted to the worldwide stitching community by our clever clogs group of designers.

Of course ... Most of us already have lots of projects on the go ... And it's that time of month when the lovely OPAMers need to update sidebar lists & email me tallies. With so many people self isolating, there should be a record number of finishes, shouldn't there?! 😜 How many finishes have you added to your list during lockdown? I've still been working at my grown up job as usual, but was happy to have a couple of finishes ...

Yep ... My Tilda versions of my "Feelin' Groovy" bags. There are still a couple of kits available for these at The Quilters Angel if you want to make your own. Steph & Marion have added HEAPS of patterns, fabrics, pre-cuts, kits & sewing supplies to their website  so make sure you check it out to keep stitching through the zombie apocalypse. 😜

And speaking of Steph & Marion, tomorrow (Saturday May 2) they have something exciting happening through their Quilters Angel Tribe, so hop across to their FB page HERE to join the tribe & join the fun.

But right now, I think it's time for me to play Polly & put the kettle on for a warming cuppa before I light the first fire for the year. Whatever you're up to this weekend, please stay safe, follow the government guidelines so we can end the zombie apocalypse sooner rather than later, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😁 Til next time ...



Thursday, 23 April 2020

Throwback Thursday!

Hello everyone! How has your Thursday been? I always enjoy Thursday because I get to take off my "grown up job" hat & put on my "stitcher/designer" hat. 😁 I'm busily writing pattern instructions at the moment, but took a little stroll back through some of my other patterns this week, revisiting old friends & favourites. 😜 Since some of you have only recently started to pop in for visits, I thought I might share a pattern or two in each post for a while, along with news of what I'm up to.

Whilst scrolling through files, I found this pic ...

The pattern us called "Girl Stuff" & was designed for the first ever Girls Stitch In hosted by the Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph of The Quilters Angel. Can you tell I LOVE a handy & pretty bag ... Or two ... Or three hundred?! πŸ˜‚ The stitchery pockets show a girly bear surrounded by some of her girly stuff ... Tea, shopping, chocolate, pretty things ... & I bet there's fabric in one of those shopping bags! Tee! Hee! Hee! The larger bag is a great size for stitching stuff & you can pop your keys, sunnies or phone in the front pocket for easy access, while the smaller bag is just right to protect your favourite tea cup/coffee mug & the pocket is perfect to store a teabag or two, or a spoon. I've made up this pattern several times & it's so quick & fun. Along with many other of my patterns, "Girl Stuff" is available online at the Quilters Angel website  so pop over for a look. But be warned ... There are lots & lots of stitchy, quilty, fabricky goodies over there to tempt you. πŸ˜‚

And speaking of revisiting past ... Karen from Somerset Patchwork is today's spotlighted designer over on the Love & Hugs From Australia page   has shared some of her quilting journey. It's fun getting to know a bit more about these gorgeous, talented ladies, so hop over & 'meet' Karen today. Leesa Chandler & Marg Low have also introduced themselves a bit more this week ... & the rest of the LAHFA designers will be sharing over the next couple of weeks ... Including yours truly, so stay tuned! 😁 

But right now, I think it's time to keep an appointment with my pillow, so I'll sign off. Have a great weekend - stay safe, stay well & keep on stitching & smiling! 😁 Til next time ...



Sunday, 19 April 2020

Boredom Buster!

Hello everyone! How are you all doing? Well, I hope. Are you surviving our current "stay at home" situation, or starting to go a little stir crazy? While I suspect that most of you are like me & have enough fabric/craft supplies to last out a ten year siege by the Roman army, I think we're all missing the freedom to "just pop down" to our fave coffee shop, massage therapist ... Fabric shop!! 😜

Well ... I've been missing all of those things (especially visiting my home-away-from-home the Quilters Angel!! ) but I've got a couple of boredom busters for you. Firstly ... The lovely Helen Stubbings shared her sweet block over on the Love & Hugs From Australia page today (oops! Yesterday! Just realised its after midnight ... AGAIN!! 😝) so hop across to check it out.

And secondly ... OPAM gals ... Have you noticed there's a new list in my left hand sidebar? It looks like ...

... This. Yes ... I've FINALLY managed to organise myself to put up the list of OPAM participants. YAY! 😜 So when you start to feel a bit twitchy, follow a link or two to visit some fellow OPAMers to see what they're creating & maybe leave an encouraging comment. It's a special thing to be part of a worldwide stitching family, isn't it?! 😁

But right now it's time I hit the pillow, cos I've been hard at work in the garden & have quite a few protesting muscles. And they try to tell me gardening is good for me! πŸ˜‚ Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Stay well, stay safe, stay home & keep stitching & smiling. 😁 Til next to me ...



Friday, 17 April 2020

Slacko Is Back!

Hello to all of you lovelies out there in blogland! How are you doing in our topsy-turvy zombie apocalypse days? I hope you're all travelling along OK ... But staying at home whenever possible, of course! 😜 I thought it was time I popped back in here to chat with you all ... I've mostly been hanging out on what my Bloggy buddy Chookyblue calls "The Dark Side" (AKA Facebook 😜) thanks to being part of the Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong  over there. By the way ... Make sure you catch up with the latest blocks from Lynette Anderson, Karen from Somerset Patchwork & Kathy from Material Obsessions ... Their blocks are as gorgeous as the ones I've already told you about ... I find myself amongst an incredibly talented group of ladies for this virtual Stitchalong. 😁

So ... Sorry to have neglected you a bit ... Especially the VERY patient OPAM gals! I am so slack with the March random draw ... Sorry! 😁 So, the total number of projects for March was ...


WOW! Well done everyone! Aren't we fortunate in these days when we're encouraged to stay home as much as possible that we have something fun, creative & soothing to occupy our hands & minds. Not to mention that we are able to justify our fabric/craft supplies stash to the husbands at last ... "See! THIS is why we stash fabric/wool/craft supplies! So we're ready to ride out the zombie apocalypse with needle & thread in hand!" πŸ˜‚ And the winner of the random draw, who will receive a PDF copy of one of my Tag Along Teddies patterns to continue to keep them stitching, is ...

Congrats to you Jeanette. 😁 Send me an email so I can send your prize pattern to you. Well done to all of you who have finished projects & to those of you who have been working away at some long term projects, too. I do hope your creative outlets, whether they involve needle & thread, wool, fabric or a combination of them all, are soothing your heart during this crazy time. While my weekly schedule hasn't really changed ... In fact it's been BUSIER as I've crammed in more designing & stitching time than usual. 😜 ... I have been finding it relaxing to sit at night in front of a movie or catching up on eps of Gardening Australia & stitching my Groovy blocks ...

I think this one is my favourite because the rainbow colours are so cheery ... & also satisfy my colour-freak hippie soul! πŸ˜‚ ...

... But I also LOVE how these Tilda fabrics gave the stitchery a different look. Don't forget, if you'd like to make this set of handy drawstring bags, the pattern is now available from the Quilters Angel  Marion & Steph also have a limited number of kits if you'd like to make the tote bag in these fun & funky Tilda fabrics. In fact, even though the doors of the bricks-&-mortar shop are shut, I know Marion & Steph have been hard at work behind the scenes to provide even MORE kits, BOMs & pre-cuts to keep everyone stocked up & stitching our way through the zombie apocalypse. 😜 I've already taken advantage of their phone order service & they're happy to do email & postal orders to anywhere in Australia. So do a virtual "pop in" & say g'day to them. 😁

And now, I think it's time I popped the kettle on & made myself get back to writing instructions for my own BOM design-in-progress. SIGH! At least it will keep me at home, right?! πŸ˜† While we may be a little limited in our weekend activities choices, it's only for a while & so worth the small sacrifice of staying home to get this virus under control for everyone's sake. So, stay safe, stay well, stay home & keep smiling & stitching. 😘 And if you're really struggling with feeling anxious or overwhelmed, please, PLEASE talk to someone ... And though I'm not a counsellor or professional, if it would help you, I'm more than happy to answer emails if you need to chat & need a splash of silliness in your "IN" box. 😁 Til next time ...



Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Feel in' Groovy! LAHFA Block!

EDIT: There have been a few technical glitches with various platforms, apps & devices not talking to each other, so please be patient. For those looking for the pattern download on your phone, scroll to the bottom of this page & click on View Web Version under the Home button.Then click on the Love & Hugs logo on the left of the page, this should take you straight to the pattern. KRIS

Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend & I hope you’re ready to do some stitchin’, cos it’s my turn to share a block for the Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong … WOO! HOO!! I’m pretty excited about that & feel so blessed to be part of this wonderful initiative which is connecting stitchers worldwide during a time when we all need to be reminded that we’re not alone. A HUGE thanks to Natalie Bird of The Birdhouse Designs for gathering us together & big thanks to Nat & her merry band of admins who have been working hard to keep things running as smoothly as possible … which is NOT always an easy thing to do.

When Natalie invited me to be part of LAHFA, I was keen to be part of something spreading joy, fun & colour during a difficult time. I wanted my block to be fun & make people smile … which led to a couple of my favourite cute Combi vans & their link to the free-wheeling, peace, love & rock ‘N’ roll 60’s … my brother is always telling me I’m a leftover hippie! Tee! Hee! Hee! And as I started to sketch, the words of a Simon & Garfunkel song seemed like a timely reminder … “Slow down, you’re moving too fast … you’ve got to make this moment last … Feelin’ Groovy!” 


So as you stitch this block & the other GORGEOUS designs by the equally gorgeous & talented Aussie designers in this group, I hope it is a reminder to you to slow down & enjoy life’s journey wherever it takes you & I hope it leaves you … Feelin’ Groovy! πŸ˜Š


To download my block you can click on the Love & Hugs logo on my sidebar … or pop over to the LAHFA Facebook page to follow the link & see what everyone else is up to with their stitching


After finishing my Groovy stitchery, I decided to take it a step further & design a project to showcase it … for those who don’t want to make their blocks into a quilt & … like me …LOOOOOVE a nice roomy bag to stash their stitching in. πŸ˜‰ So, after scratching through my stash I made my stitchery into …


A Groovy rainbow Tote Bag! πŸ˜Š Obviously my heart needed a rainbow. πŸ˜‰ But WAIT …there’s MORE!! I decided to make a second version of my Groovy Tote Bag, this time featuring some GORGEOUS Tilda fabrics. And since the only thing better than one handy drawstring bag is TWO handy drawstring bags, I designed a simple drawstring bag with a slightly different Groovy Combi stitchery to store your stitching necessities in. 


The pattern & kits in these fun & funky Tilda fabrics are available NOW From The Quilters Angel. The doors to the bricks & mortar shop may be shut, but the Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph are working hard to provide online, email & phone orders for stitchers, so if you’re looking for more stitching supplies … or a kit for my “Feelin’ Groovy! Drawstring Bag set” πŸ˜‰ … Pop over HERE to get shopping, then get stitching! πŸ˜Š


And since I now have to toodle off to my grown up job to impersonate a responsible adult, I’ll sign off for now. I hope you all have a fantastic day. Stay well, stay safe, stay home, stay stitching … & stay GROOVY! πŸ˜‰ Til next time …







Monday, 13 April 2020

Late Easter Greetings!

Once again, today has clicked over to tomorrow too quickly for me & I'm just getting around to wishing you all a Happy Easter. 😁 Some people have an Easter Bunny, some people have an Easter Bilby ... But we just had to be different ...

We had an Easter koala! 😁 Keith, our resident koala cutie, had been fairly vocal throughout the afternoon, but we hadn't seen him, until at about 4pm GB spotted Keith heading up one of the big gum trees at the back of our block. He was not overly impressed with the hoomans disturbing his efforts to attract a lady koala, but we always enjoy a sighting. 😁 We feel pretty blessed to have our very own neighbourhood koala. 

In between koala-spotting, I spent the day madly writing instructions for the project pattern that features my soon-to-be-shared Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong  block. I'm on the home stretch ... Which is just as well, since I will share my block on Tuesday. 😜 Sunday was Leesa from Chandler's Cottage 's turn to share a stitchery block, so make sure you hop over to check it out.

But right now I really need to turn the light off & get some sleep, so I'll sign off. I hope you're all staying safe, staying well, staying home & still smiling & stitching. 😁 Til next time ...



Saturday, 11 April 2020

Easy-going Easter!

Hello all! Hope you're all keeping well & looking at the time at home as a stitching staycation. With my Beloved  Geek Boy & I both still working our grown up jobs, the four days at home over this Easter weekend are extremely welcome. We've already spent some time in the garden, I've repotted some herbs & we started the long process of ...

... Marinating some olives. My Dad's cousin & his wife have a loaded olive tree in their garden ... But they don't eat olives. 😜 So they offered us a few ... 3.5kg in fact. 😜 YUMMO! The process will take a few months, so its a good thing we're not hungry. 😝

And of course I popped into the Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong Facebook page to enjoy the latest block ... This one is designed by Robyn of Country Hart & it's very "Tweet". 😜 Make sure you hop across to check it out & say g'day to Robyn.

And now I'm off to find a hot pack for my gardening-induced aches & a cup of mango madness tea to enjoy in front of a movie. 😜 Have you seen "Jumunji -Welcome To The Jungle" & "Jumunji - Next Level"?? Definitely fun movies that the whole family will enjoy. Take care, stay safe, stay home & keep smiling & stitching. 😁 Til next time ...



OOPS! Running Late!

Well ... Here I am, early for today, but really late for yesterday! 😜 I posted on FB & got sidetracked before I got over here to tell you that the latest Love And Hugs From Australia Stitchalong block was designed by Jenelle Kent & is pretty darn cute. 😍 So if you haven't found it yet, you can now. 😜 It sure has been an education to be part of this event! Big thanks to Natalie Bird for inviting me to play along. I hope you're enjoying playing along, too. πŸ˜‰

The other thing I'm running late with is the OPAM draw ... Sorry about that! I promise to pop back in the next couple of days to let you know the random prize winner.

Take care everyone ... & don't eat too much chocolate! 😜 Til next to me ...



Thursday, 9 April 2020

Another Wascilly Wabbit!

Yep ... Easter must almost be here because there's another wascilly wabbit on the loose over on the latest block of the Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong FB page. 😁 Marg Low is today's design contributor & if you visit her blog, you'll find out about the real life wascilly wabbit that inspired Marg's stitched bunny on her gorgeous block. Have you joined the LAHFA Stitchalong fun? I'd love to hear if you're stitching along. Just a few more days until my block is featured ... I'm a little bit nervous & a lot excited. 😁 Remember the sneaky-peeky?

Stay tuned. 😜

But now, I'm off to finish my before-bed-time Moroccan Mint tea before I hit my pillow. While this may not be the Easter break we all planned, we have so very much to be thankful for, so stay well, stay safe, stay kind, stay connected, stay home ... & keep stitching. 😘 Til next time ...



Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Somebunny Sending Love & Hugs From Australia!

'Allo, 'allo! 😁 How are we all today? Well & taking time to enjoy some of life's simple joys, I hope. By the way ... Who remembers the TV show of the same name as my greeting today? I found it clever & funny ... & haven't yet managed to find a digital download platform that offers it ... Still looking! πŸ˜‰

The weather here on top of our 'hill' has started taking on a chillier feel as our Autumn weather kicks in. It's that lovely in-between weather where you want to wear long sleeves, but leave the doors open in the evening to enjoy the fresh, crisp air. Its when trees start to change colour ...

And Autumn means Easter is almost here ... Our calendar pages are flicking over quickly, aren't they, as we all hope people do the right thing so life can return to 'normal' soon. It's also the time of year when every form of media us full of cheerful bunnies & chocolate ... Though here in Australia we also have Easter Bilbies popping up. 😜 If you're looking for a bunny that's not illegal (rabbits are a pest species in QLD) or fattening chocolate, then make sure you HOP across to the Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong page to catch up with today's stitchery block. Today's special designer is the lovely Leeanne Nell  who I got to meet when she visited for Stitchers Dream Day last year (the year before?!? Hmmm!??) Leeane's block features a cute widdle wabbit & will undoubtedly take you to your happy place as you stitch it. πŸ˜‰ Don't forget to scroll through the FB page to see the work of others from around the world who are stitching along. Make sure you leave some complimentary & encouraging comments, as this is the first stitching project for some ... & we all need a bit of extra encouragement at the moment, don't we? πŸ˜‰

As for me ... I'm back to my Secret Squirrel project. 😜 After I make a cup of tea, of course! 😝 Enjoy your day, stay safe, stay well, stay home & keep stitching. 😘 Til next time ...



Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Challenges & Anni's Stitchalong Block!

Hello to everyone out there in blogland! Are you keeping well, keeping occupied & keeping sane?! 😜 That last one's a little questionable here in the Meares' Madhouse at the best of times! 😝 And even though it's only Tuesday, it feels like it's been a long, tough week. Both my Beloved Geek Boy & I are still working our grown up jobs, though GB's staff has divided into two teams that alternate working in the office or job sites & working from home. I'm still going to my job, but I'm now dealing more with phone calls than in-person visits ... Which still leaves plenty of scope for headaches, believe me! 😝

In the afternoon, though, I put on my designer's hat & have started this week to play with some fabric colours that are a little outside my comfort zone & a bit of a challenge ...

I don't usually work with orange OR purple, so it will be interesting to see how I go with this ... You guessed it! ... Secret Squirrel project. 😝 You'll have to stay tuned. 😜

And speaking of staying tuned, have you popped over HERE to the Love And Hugs From Australia Facebook page to download today's block? The amazing Anni Downs has designed today's block & I LOVE IT! 😍 Mind you ... I love ALL of the blocks so far! 😜 There are so many clever Aussie designers around ... There must be something in the water. πŸ˜‰ I hope you're enjoying the LAHFA Stitchalong & that it's a comforting bright spot to help you escape the zombie apocalypse for a while. 😁

Well ... I'd better get back to my challenging colours ... Right after I make a cup of tea. 😜 I hope you're having a great week whatever you're up to & staying safe. Til next time ...



Hi everyone
Today is my day to share with you my stitchery block.
I included a rainbow in mine, as they always make me smile, and I believe they are a symbol of hope. Here’s hoping we all get through this unscathed… least we can all enjoy our isolation time – I, for one, have been enjoying a little more time stitching than what I usually have time for.
As well as my stitchery design, I have included some ideas on how you could put these blocks together……a diagram to create a simple wall-hanging, or a larger quilt (with instructions to use just nine of the blocks, but of course, you could go crazy and just keep on adding heheh).
The stitchery block (as well as some layout ideas) can be found on my website
Just click on the Love and Hugs button on the right hand side column. 
I would also like to say a big thank you to Natalie Bird, who orchestrated this group, and without whom, we wouldn’t all be connected at this crazy time. Thank Nat – you’re a star!
Have fun stitching!
#loveandhugsfromaustralia #annidowns #annidownsdesigns #alittlebitquirky @_natalie_bird_ @lynetteandersondesigns @matobsgirl @helen_stubbings @libbyrichardson111 @gailpandesigns @deirdreabel3 @petalsandpatchesau @marglowdesigns @piecestotreasure @countryharts @leesachandlerdesigns @patternpoole @

Monday, 6 April 2020

Next Block Ready For LAHFA!

Hello lovelies! I hope your Monday is off to a great start. My grown up job is considered an essential service, so I'm  still impersonating a responsible adult four half-days a week. 😜 But afternoons are for STITCHING! YAY! 😁

And to help you all keep busy with needle & thread, Deirdre Bind-Abel of Hat Creek Quilts has designed today's Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong block, so if you haven't already, hop over to the LAHFA Facebook page for the link. And why not pop across to Deirdre's web site to see what else she has designed.

Right now, I'm off to make a cup of Mango Madness tea, pop on a good action movie & do some afternoon stitching. Whatever you're up to, don't forget to wash your hands, follow the lockdown guidelines, stay safe, stay well, stay home ... & keep smiling & stitching! πŸ˜‰ Til next time ...



Sunday, 5 April 2020

Gail's Got Ya Covered!

Good morning (my time! 😜) to all my Bloggy Buddies out there. I hope you're doing well, wherever you may be. Are you coping with lockdown alright? If you're struggling & need to chat, please feel free to email me. I may not be able to give you a big Squooshy Bear Hug in person, but I sure can send you a slightly silly email to make you smile & remember you're not alone. 😁

And if you're struggling to find projects to stitch to stay occupied ... Wait! What sort of stitcher/quilter/crafts woman DOESN'T have enough projects/fabric stashed to keep occupied until the sun burns out?! Tee! Hee! Hee! However, if you NEED another project, the gorgeous Gail Pan has got ya covered. Gail has posted the link to her block this morning so pop over to the Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong Facebook page to find her link HERE  It really is a privilege to be involved in this fun project with so many of Australia's clever clogs designers. πŸ˜„

Right now, though, I'm off in search of breakfast & coffee ... Yes ... Sunday is a sleep in day at the Meares' Madhouse. πŸ˜‰ Stay safe, stay well, stay home & keep stitching. 😜 Til next time ...



Saturday, 4 April 2020

LAHFA Block Two!

Good morning everyone! Now THAT'S a greeting not often read here, since I'm definitely a Night Owl rather than a Morning Fowl! 😜 However, the Lovely Libby Richardson obviously IS an early bird & has already uploaded her block as part of our Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong for you all to keep stitching your way through the zombie apocalypse. πŸ˜‰ Libby has two versions of her block, one appliquΓ©d & one stitched & it features one of her signature cute teddies. Pop over to the Stitchalong page to find the link to download.

I hope you all have a great weekend ... There's pattern writing in my near future ... Surprise, surprise! πŸ™„πŸ˜œ Take care. Til next time ...



Friday, 3 April 2020

WOO! HOO! It's Time To Stitch!

Are you ready to ... GET STITCHING!! 😁 The lovely Natalie Bird, our fearless ringleader for the Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong has posted the very first block ... WOO ! HOO! To get started, Click on this link to Nat's website to download the block HERE.

Check out our free event on Facebook and join our group Love & Hugs from Australia Stitchalong.



Thursday, 2 April 2020

One More Sleep!

Yep ... Just one more sleep before the stitching fun gets under way with the Love And Hugs From Australia Stitchalong  ... WOO! HOO! 😁
So what's the Go Daddio?! 😜 Well ... The lovely Natalie Bird has rounded up a group of Aussie designers (including yours truly! 😁) & invited us to design a 6" block to share with our fellow Stitchers around the globe to cheer them up in our current gloomy world. Starting tomorrow (Friday April 3 - Aussie time) each designer will take a turn at sharing their block for you to stitch or appliquΓ©. Are you excited now?! 😁 You can use the blocks however you like, in small projects (some designers will show suggested ways to use the blocks) or you can collect all of the blocks to create a quilt ... You're limited only by your imagination. 😁

Starting tomorrow, there will be a block released each day, all you have to do is visit the designer-of-the-day's Facebook page, blog, web site or Instagram page. Natalie is getting us started tomorrow & the full schedule is ...

So many of my favourite Aussie designers are on that list & I'm honoured to have met a number of them in person, too. 😁 You can see my block is scheduled for release on Tuesday April 14. 😁

To add to the fun & help us all stay connected during this unsettling time, a Stitchalong group page has been set up HERE  Members are welcome to share photos of their blocks & how they're using them, as well as projects they've made from patterns by any of our group's designers ... But please stick to posting pics & projects that meet these guidelines, not just general projects ... There are other forums more suitable for that. I can't wait to see everyone's blocks! 😁

With our TVs & social media so full of negativity at the moment, won't it be great to see happy blocks starting to appear?! 😁 A huge shout out to Natalie for organising this fun Stitchalong. 😁 So get connected, round up your stitching supplies, tell all your friends & prepare to stitch your way through the zombie apocalypse! πŸ˜‚

But right now, I can hear my pillow calling, so I'll sign off. Stay safe & stay well. Til next time ...



Wednesday, 1 April 2020

It's Almost Time!

WOO! HOO! I'm finally allowed to tell you some exciting news! 😁 Remember the sneaky-peeky I showed you the other day?

Well ... I still can't show it to you ... Sorry to be a tease. πŸ˜‚ But ... I CAN tell you what it's for. I'm so excited to have been invited to be part of a fun stitching event that launches of FRIDAY ...

Are you excited now, too??! 😁 I'll be back with more deets as we get closer & will also have updates on my Facebook page, so stay tuned! There is also a special FB page HERE that you can pop into to interact with others who are playing along. Trust me ... You don't want to miss this! 😁

I'll keep you in suspenders for now ... But just a couple of days to go! 😁 Take care, stay safe, stay well & keep stitchin' ! 😁 Til next time ...



Sunday, 29 March 2020

Brightening The Zombie Apocalypse!

Hello to all of my blogland buddies! I hope you're safely tucked up at home to ride out the zombie apocalypse. 😁 Apart from a quick trip into our nearby town (thankfully a small country town, so not many people) to vote in our local government elections, I've been enjoying a quiet weekend at home. That doesn't mean I haven't been busy, though! 😜

I'm knee-deep once again in some Secret Squirrel stitching on a fun project  ... Want a sneaky-peeky???

 Cheerful coloured threads brightening my weekend. I'm excited to be part of something special that will be happening very soon, so stay tuned for something fun coming to brighten the zombie apocalypse. 😜 I can't tell you more yet, but if you're on social media, this is the hashtag to watch for ...


Trust me ... You'll want to keep an eye out! 😜 But right now, it's back to the sewing machine for me. Take care of yourselves & stay home & stitch. πŸ˜‰ Til next to me ...



PS OPAMers ... Time to update your sidebar lists & email your finishes through to me. 😁

Friday, 27 March 2020

Significant Silliness!

Well ... Aren't we living in topsy-turvy times? I hope you're all staying safe & well ... And positive! The power of positivity cant be forgotten. And to help with that, I thought I'd share a bit of fun, silliness & positivity with you all. Not sewing related, but does involve some of my stitching sistas. 😜 There're also quite a few pics so get a cuppa & make yourself comfy. 😝

You see, in the midst of all this craziness, I celebrated a 'significant' birthday last weekend ... Yep ... I joined the Nifty Fifty Club. πŸ˜‰ And although I didn't want a big fuss (just as well, in the circumstances!) I DID want to mark the milestone with a small celebration. So ... I invited a handful of my 'tribe' to a '20's themed high tea at Edwa d House. (AKA the Meares' Madhouse! 😜) And it wouldn't have been a milestone without my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette ... Especially since she toodled up the 'hill' from Brisbane a day early to help with the cooking/baking. I say 'help', but in reality she was the chief cook! 😜

Ta Da! Fairy cakes. YUMMO!

And she even made the birthday cake ... Here she is, deep in concentration. 😜 And since it was a 20's theme (I was turning fifty in the 20's, after all. 😜) there had to be costumes ...

Ta Da! As close to 'properly ladylike' as we ever get! πŸ˜‚ You should have seen us the night before as we had a 'dress dress-rehearsal'! There was a LOT of giggling & clip-clopping up & down the hallway ... I'm sure GB thought he had a couple of 10 year old school girls in the house! πŸ˜‚ And then there were more lovely friends to help celebrate ...

Aren't we a glamorous lot?! 😜 Time for tea! 😁 Lynette & I had fun pulling some of my pretty china trios, cake plates & sandwich plates out of their display cabinets ...

Here's everyone ready for tea ... Nice & spaced out. πŸ˜‰ With some savoury nibblies added to Lynette's & my sweetie-treaties, we had no excuse to walk away hungry. 😜

And pretty as a picture. 😁 Not to mention Lynette's birthday cake creation ...

WOW! Better than a bought one! πŸ˜‰ Lime & coconut cake with buttercream frosting & decorated with shards of freeze-dried strawberries, pistachios & coconut brittle ... & macarons. 😍 Add incendiary devices ...

... And you've got a birthday cake worth celebrating. 😁 For a couple of hours, we sat, chatted, munched & giggled ... A lovely respite from the serious situation & negative news bombarding us at the moment & a chance for me to be exceedingly grateful for the wonderful, loving, supportive, encouraging tribe I'm privileged to be a member of. A huge thank you to my friends for making my milestone birthday special. Special thanks to Mum & Lynette for their kitchen magic ... & to Lynette for the decades of friendship, fun & love ... She's the sister of my heart who has seen the good, the bad & the ugly & continues to love me anyway! 😍😘 And a big thank you to my Sweeie for putting up with the invasion of my tribe ... First time a husband has retreated to the sewing room! πŸ˜‚

So ... That was a bright spot in the recent gloom, though a few girls who couldn't be with us have said they want an extension to my birthday celebrations once life settles down so they don't miss all the fun ... So does that mean I'm not actually 50 until after the last party?! πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

In the meantime, my grown up job is continuing, as I work in the aged care sector. There is little face-to-face contact right now (& my office has never been so clean & sanitised) but I'm still a contact point for our retirement village residents to report any maintenance issues to or to contact just for a chat in these uncertain times.  GB will be working predominantly from home as of next week & has been working hard to help other of his workmates get set up to work from home. And proving that there is indeed no rest for the wicked (& even less for the saints! 😝) my design table has several new projects on it, as well as working my way through the instructions for my BOM. Strange & busy times. 😳 

Whatever you're up to, please stay safe, well & positive. If you're struggling with anxiety or just need to receive a silly email to distract you for a while, please reach out to me ... I excel at silly emails. 😝 And wherever possible ... Stay home. I know that apart from work, that's what both of us are doing, as well as checking in regularly with other members of our tribe. Til next time ...



Friday, 20 March 2020

Belated Girls' Stitch In Check In!

OK ... I haven't just LOST this week, I'm pretty sure I go RUN OVER by it! 😝 I've been busy getting ready for a special event THIS Weekend , whilst still recovering from LAST weekend. As those of you who visit regularly know, I was chuffed to be invited by the Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph of The Quilters Angel  to join Natalie Bird as a guest designer for this fantastic weekend of stitching. And what a weekend it was! If ever I'm hosting a social event for the Queen, or invading a small country, I'm putting Marion & Steph in charge because they think of EVERYTHING! 😜 

I confess to forgetting to take many pics (I was kept pretty busy! 😜) but I'll share a bit of a roundup for you ...

... The tables were decorated with mini chandeliers, the chairs were covered & tied up with bows ...

... The shop was set up, tempting everyone with pretty sewing 'necessities' ...

... I set up a display of some of my design projects ...

... & so did the lovely Natalie. It was then time to unveil our project designs, the patterns of which participants received in their giftie bags, along with a pre-transferred stitchery & fabric pack for one project. Natalie' projects ...

... A cute drawstring dilly bag featuring some stitchery, as well as some boro boro stitching, a thread wallet & mini pin cushion. And FINALLY I can show you MY projects ...

...a large tote bag featuring a pretty stitchery ... AND ...

... A pretty tablet pouch featuring some watercolour pencil highlighting in the stitchery. I had such pretty Tilda fabrics to play with. 😁😍 I didn't get to catch up with Natalie very much ... We were both kept hopping with mini demonstrations & tutorials ... But I did get to catch up with some familiar faces, as well as meet many new ones ... & put a face to a name when OPAMer June joined the fun. 😁

A HUGE THANK YOU to Marion & Steph for once again organising a fabulous sewing weekend where we were all spoilt rotten. It was particularly timely for us to take some creative time to unwind, amidst the disruptions, concerns & stress facing the world at the moment. This is my favourite photo of Girls' Stitch In 2020 ...

... Marion, yours truly, Natalie & Steph. And it's appropriate that the sign in the background says "Family", because I think of these lovely ladies as part of the extended family I've chosen for myself ... They're part of my tribe. 😁 

If you couldn't make it to Girls' Stitch In, you might like to join us for Stitchers Dream Day Out in September for more fun & stitching. Check out the Quilters Angel website for deets.

PHEW! No wonder I'm still recovering! πŸ˜‚ I'm not as young & resilient as I used to be ... As of an hour ago! 😝 And on that note, I'm off to keep an overdue appointment with my pillow to rest up for THIS weekend. 😜 Stay well, be wise, be kind & keep your tribe close ... Even if it's virtually. Til next time ...



Friday, 13 March 2020

Lost In Space!

Although, I think the space may be between my ears! 😝 Somehow the days have gone zooming past me & I've been slack in popping in here to say g'day. My grown up job continues to be busy, I've been scrambling to finalise everything I needed to have ready for this weekend's Girl's Stitch In event, starting preparations for a special event next weekend & making a quick trip to Kingaroy for GB's uncle's funeral. Suddenly I'm seeing how my days have slipped by. 😜

I'll have lots to share with you after the weekend, but I thought I'd better let you all know who the February OPAM random draw winner is. There were ...


WOW! Well done everyone! I was especially pleased to contribute three finishes to the tally ... & I'll be able to show you two of them after this weekend. 😁 Well done to everyone who added finishes to their tally or made some good progress on longer term projects. The draw winner was ...

Congrats Bev! Drop me an email & I'll send you a copy of the PDFprize pattern to play with.

But right now I need to head off to bed so I'm ready & rested to share lots of stitchy fun with the gals tomorrow at Girls' Stitch In ...can't wait! 😁 And just because a post is boring without a pic, here's a sneaky-peeky of one of the projects the GSI gals will receive the pattern for ...

Full reveal next week. πŸ˜‰ In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe, stay well & stay kind. Til next time ...



Friday, 6 March 2020

Fab Friday!

Hello to all you lovely Bloggy Buddies! I hope your week has been wonderful. 😁 It's been another busy one for me, at my grown up job as well as at home. When I'm finished my grown up job each day, I've been spending many hours here ...

Yep ... I'm doing my absolute FAVOURITE thing (NOT!!) ... Writing instructions ... SIGH! My BOM design-in-progress quilt is FINISHED! YAY! 😁 But ... As my first BOM, I'm finding it a little challenging to wrap my head around the best way to put the instructions together. There are a LOT of elements to each block (almost as many elements as a whole quilt!) & working out how to put the instructions on paper is definitely a challenge for this logic-impaired gal. 😝 But I'll just keep muddling along. πŸ˜‰

Since my neck & shoulders start to cramp up after an hour or so hunched over the computer (I really need to work on my posture! 😝) I try to remember to get up & stretch out with some of my Gumby yoga exercises (that's yoga for Gumbies, in case you're wondering! πŸ˜‚) or go for a stroll around the garden. And I just had to share a pic of some of our crepe myrtle trees. These trees are supposed to flower in November/December ... In fact, growing up in North Queensland my Mum called them Christmas Trees, as they flowered around Christmas time. Due to the extended drought in our area, our crepe myrtles didn't flower last year, but with rain falling in the last month, they've decided to put on a show ...

I'm certain the photo doesn't do them justice, but it gives you a glimpse of their show. The one on the right is so heavy with flowers that the top branches have started to bend. 😜 These two are outside our kitchen door along our side verandah, but there are half a dozen or so more smaller trees in the front garden, all putting on a show ... & do you see that strange green stuff on the ground??! 😝 It's the first time in almost a year that we've had a "lawn" rather than a "yard". 😜 The magic of nature! 😍

And speaking of colourful magic ... OPAMers ... Have you updated your sidebar list of finishes for February & emailed your tally to me? Better get in quick, as I'll do the spreadsheet update & random prize draw on the weekend. But for now, I'm gonna play Polly & then get back to my instruction writing with a cup of tea to soothe my boggling brain. 😝 I've got an uplifting essential oil blend in the diffuser & the calming music of Enya playing in the background to help get my head in the game ... What do YOU do to help you relax & focus? I'd be interested to know. Til next time ...



Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Quilt Bondage!

Do you ever wonder what non-quilting people imagine when we tell them we've spent the afternoon binding a quilt? It occurred to me this afternoon as I was, indeed, binding a quilt that they possibly think we've been bound up in some strange, possibly kinky fashion! Or perhaps that's just my wayward & wacky overactive imagination! πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚ My mind wanders onto some strange & winding paths when I'm sewing on binding ... You may have already gathered! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Strange & slightly twisted imagination aside, I've turned into the home straight on my BOM design-in-progress ...

It was pretty exciting to get it back from my Quilting Fairy, the Fabulous Fiona  yesterday. As usual, she has done a MAGNIFICENT job of turning my flimsy into a quilt. Now it's time to stitch the binding down & ET VOILA! It will be FINISHED! 😍 Well ... Apart from the instruction writing, of course ... GROAN! Stay tuned for the next instalment. πŸ˜‰

So ... With cup of tea beside me & a fave movie playing, I'm off to indulge in a little quilt bondage! πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ Til next time ...



Sunday, 23 February 2020

Preparations & Play Dates!

Hello to all my Bloggy Buddies out there in blogland! I hope you're having a great weekend. I have to confess to having a bit of a "Sunday Slug" day today ... It's overcast, cool & showery, so after an in-laws drop-in visit my Beloved Geek Boy & I are curled up with books ... Well ... iPad kindles. 😜 It's a nice balance to the busyness & deadlines we've had over the past couple of weeks.

Part of my busyness & deadlines has been preparation for the upcoming Girls' Stitch In hosted by Marion & Steph of The Quilters Angel on March 14 & 15. I've now handed over my project to these lovely ladies, along with the pattern instructions ... YAY! I can't wait to share my projects with everyone who comes to play in a few weeks' time! There are a few little preparations yet to finish for some mini demonstrations, but I'm giving myself today to be a slug before tackling the new week. πŸ˜‰

I've also managed to fit in a play date this week with my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette. I toodled down the 'hill' so we could go hunting for pretty collectibles & enjoy a tasty lunch ...

Lynette had Vietnamese pork lettuce cup thingies that I can't remember the name of 😜 ...

... & I had koftas & a berry frappe ... YUMMO! And the best part about lunch was that it was tasty but light ... Which meant we had room for ...

CUPCAKES! We discovered Sweethearts Cupcakes at Paddington, handily situated between the antique shop we were visiting & where we parked the car. We figured walking up the STEEP Paddo hill meant we'd earned a sweetie-treatie! 😜

MMMMMMMMMMM! Butterscotch White choc macadamia cupcake with a mug of French Earl Grey tea. Lynette had a gluten free passion fruit custard cupcake ... But she ate it before I could take a pic! Tee! Hee! Hee! I'd recommend a visit to this pretty shabby chic sweetie shop if you're in Brisbane. I reckon it would be dangerous to live/work too close, though ... Too tempting! 😝

So what have you been up to? Whatever you've been doing, I hope you're enjoying it. Just a few days to go before we run out of month again, OPAMers. I'll actually have some finishes to record this month ... WOO! HOO! In the meantime, I think the kettle is playing my song, so I'm diving back into my book ... "The Collector" by Nora Roberts, my fave author. What a shame we have to go back to being grown ups tomorrow! 😝 Til next time ...



Friday, 14 February 2020

A Special Treat & Looming Deadlines!


Although maybe we should go with the "Galantine's Day" option ... Wishing all our gal-pals hugs & mooshy stuff. 😜 My Beloved Geek Boy & I don't go overboard for Valentine's, but usually arrange a little treat for each other. This year ... Proving that (despite a plethora of evidence to the contrary! 😝) he DOES in fact listen to me occasionally, GB treated me to some choc-coated freeze-dried strawberries & raspberries from The Source shop that I had seen on FB ...

They are YUMMO! And I could trust Mabon Bear not to snaffle them ... Even though it is well known that bears have a sweet tooth! 😁 So I've just enjoyed a couple of these sweetie treaties with a cuppa during a break from some deadline stitching. Yes ... I'm the Queen of Procrastination & my deadline to finish my Girls' Stitch In project snuck up on me amidst the rush & flurry of this year's first two months. EEP! The machine sewing is in progress, but the hand stitching is all finished ... Would you like a sneaky peeky??

Cheerful flowers ... I can't give away TOO, much about the design, you know. 😜 If you want to see more ... You still have time to book your seat for Girl's Stitch In! 😝 Give Marion & Steph a call at the Quilters Angel to come along & be spoilt on March 14 & 15. Natalie Bird is the other guest designer & I know she's been stitching up a storm, too, so ... Come & play! 😁

But that's my tea break over, so I'd better get back to the sewing machine to have any hope of meeting my looming deadline. Well ... Maybe just ONE more White choc-coated raspberry to help my creative juices flow. 😜 Til next time ...



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