Friday, 14 August 2020

Missing In Action!

Hello everyone! Yes ... I'm still here ... Alive & kicking! 😁 Thank you to the lovelies who have messaged & emailed to check on me. 😘 It's been a busy, tough few weeks with my grown up job after my boss left very suddenly. As well as the extra responsibilities, there has been quite a bit of "calming the waters" to be done, so I've been a bit slack on the blogging front. And, I confess, on the stitching front. OOPS! 😜 I HAVE been making some solid progress with editing pattern templates for my "Vintage Market" BOM design-in-progress, though, & am REALLY hoping it will be ready to reveal in the next month or so ... Stay tuned! πŸ˜‰

I also managed to fit in a wonderful catchup with an old friend from my uni days last weekend. After a false start with a year of primary teacher training, I undertook a Bachelor Of Arts, majoring in Journalism at the USQ in Toowoomba. In my final year, I shared some classes with two fellow-crazies ... The three of us just 'clicked'. And though I kept in contact with Anthony & Kate for the first few years after uni, we all drifted along our different paths & lost touch ... Easier to do before emails, text messages & Facebook ... WOW! I'm older than Facebook! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Fast forward to about a year ago & it was FB that helped us reconnect & after 'chatting' back & forth for the last year, Kate & I got to catch up in real life last weekend when she & her Sweetie had a weekend at a local B&B. How wonderful to chat in person again ... & discover that not only did we have lots to chat about, but so did our Sweeties. 😁 NICE! And catching up with Kate & Mark gave us the perfect excuse (like we really needed one!) to visit our recently established local distillery ... Pechey Distilling Co ... Literally 'just down the road' ... Less than FIVE MINUTES! Ooh! This could be dangerous! Tee! Hee! Hee! The distillery has been established by one of the founding families of our little corner of the Great Dividing Range ... In fact, the area shares their surname. 😜 So as well as enjoying the tasting (VERY smooth gin & vodka!!) it was fun to see the old homestead & hear some of our local history.

Chief distiller, Ben Pechey, giving us the background on their enterprise. The rustic building you see behind him is the original cream house that has been moved & restored to house the stilling equipment.

Mmmmmmm ... A Moscow Mule to taste & enjoy the Pechey vodka.

A pretty vignette of lavender from the Pechey homestead garden, shiny copper distilling Doo-dad & a tempting gift pack of gin & vodka.

Yours truly in weekend dag mode & Uni partner-in-crime Kate.

The Pechey Distilling Co is open for tastings a few times a month, so check their FB page for dates & drop in ... It's well worth it if gin or vodka is your tipple of choice ... & they will be starting workshops later in the year to let you custom flavour your own tipple ... With whiskey distilling also soon to be added to their repertoire ... Did you just hear GB cheer, πŸ˜‚

Now ... As well as being a slacko blogger, I'm late to announce the July OPAM draw winner. There were ...


... for July! WOW! Well done, everyone! And if you were like me & plodding along slowly, but steadily, working on longer term projects & you made some progress ... Then well done to you, too. The winner of the random draw is ...

Congrats, Christine! Drop me an email & I'll send your PDF prize pattern. And ... That's it from me for now, though GB & I are VERY excited to be starting a two week break today ... WOO! HOO! So you'll probably hear a bit more from me in the next couple of weeks. We haven't had a break since Christmas, so this will be much appreciated. 😁 In the meantime, be kind to yourselves, take care, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling! ☺️ Til next time...



Monday, 27 July 2020

Mixed Bag Beginning!

Hello everyone out there in blogland! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start. I confess my Monday has been a bit of a mixed bag. I received some unsettling & stressful news about my grown up job ... But I also got to catch up with Stupendous Steph of The Quilters Angel to stock up my stitching supplies, including these pretties ...

Yep ... More Cottage Garden Threads for my collection. 😁 And with The Quilters Angel arranging order pick-up for customers in the Toowoomba/Highfields area, I got to enjoy a chat with Steph, too. Win-win! 😁 Along with my pretty new threads, I booked myself & my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette into this year's Stitchers Dream Day Out  ... YAY! Debbie McGee & Nikki Tervo will be the guest designers with two new patterns each ... Not to mention yummy food, teas, coffees, giveaways, chatting with other lovelies ... Oh ... And apparently some people actually STITCH at these days! Tee! Hee! Hee! Are you coming to play in September? Then make sure you book soon, cos seats are being filled fast! 

And that's about it from me today ... I hear the kettle playing my song, so I'm off to make a cuppa. OPAMers ... We've nearly run out of month again, so don't forget to update your sidebar lists & email me your finishes. Have a fantastic week ... I have hopes that mine will smooth out ... Fingers crossed. πŸ˜‰ Take care, stay safe, keep stitching & keep smiling. Til next time ...



The Quilters Angel

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Better Late Than Never!

Hello everyone! Greetings to you all from the top of our VERY cold & blustery 'hill' today. We've hit the half way point of winter & I think winter is showing us it's just getting its groove on ... SIGH! Roll on Spring!! πŸ™„

I meant to be back here sooner than this to do our OPAM update, but somehow it's Wednesday already. OOPS! 😜 I think the zombie apocalypse & winter's chills (here in the Southern Hemisphere) have joined forces to encourage us all to get creating, because June was our second largest tally for the year, with ...


... Added to our year's tally so far. WOW! Well done to everyone who added to their tally. And as I've hopped around blogs, I've seen many of you working on longer term projects & making steady progress, so well done to you, too. And with a drumroll, the winner of the random prize draw is ...

Congrats, Karen! Drop me an email & I'll send your prize PDF Tag Along Teddies pattern to you to play with. 😁

 I managed a few finishes to include in that June tally that have to stay Secret Squirrel for now, but I CAN show you my first finish for July ...

It's a simple drawstring book bag for our youngest nephew's birthday gift ... He's hooked on the Disney movie "Frozen". There are a couple of books inside the bag ... He's already a keen book collector ... Both sides of the family are bookworms, so it's being passed on to the next generation. πŸ˜‰πŸ€“ 

Well, that's about it from me for today, but before I sign off, I do have an exciting snippet of news for you ... My Beloved Geek Boy has been hard at work behind the scenes & has put together a new Tag Along Teddies web site for me ... YAY! The old one was sucked into the black hole vortex when we changed hosting servers ... Or some such technical jargon. 😜 It BROKE! πŸ˜‚ And with the craziness that is our life, it's taken GB a while to get it sorted. We haven't had a chance to load ALL of my patterns but there's a nice selection for you to peek at if you pop over to We'll continue to gradually add more of my patterns to the site as we go along but right now, I'm off to pop the kettle on for my arvo cuppa. 😁 Enjoy the tail end of your week. Stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next to me ...



Saturday, 11 July 2020

Saturday Stitching Tips!

G'day from the top of the Great Dividing Range in south-east Queensland where it is a funny old  day weather-wise ... Perfect for stitching! πŸ˜‰ Which I'm really hoping to do tonight after I finish my grown up chores & spend some time chained to the computer editing pattern templates. I think stitching & a good disaster movie will be my self-reward. 😝

And speaking of stitching ... Some of you will have caught up with posts I shared on the Love & Hugs From Australia & Tag Along Teddies Facebook pages yesterday where I shared a few of my fave stitching tips. Well ... It occurred to me that not all of you have crossed over to the "dark side" ( as my Bloggy Buddy Chookyblue refers to FB! 😜) so I thought I'd share my top tips here, too. I'll start with the disclaimer that I in no way consider myself to be an expert ... These are just a few things I've personally found to be helpful along my stitching journey. Those of you who have come to play at stitching days hosted by The Quilters Angel will have heard most of these, but grab a cuppa & read on. πŸ˜‰

So my first rule of stitching is ... THERE ARE NO RULES!! 😜 There are just a whole lot of ways to do things & some give better results than others. You'll also find that one way of doing things won't be as easy/comfortable/achievable for everyone, so don't let "rules" stop you from getting started. Find a project you love (because you're more likely to finish it! 😜) & get stitching. With stitcheries, there are a few things I've learned that work for me. The first is choose your background fabric carefully. If it's too dark or a busy print, your stitching will get lost. The second (which can save significant swearing later on! 😝) is to cut your background fabric at least an inch bigger than you want it to be when finished - 1/4" for your seam & 3/4" to allow for shrinkage as your stitches pull in a little, trimming fraying & gives more options for using your stitchery.

I use a light pad to trace, but taping your design to a window that the sun is shining through works fine ... Your arms just get a little tired. 😜 You can see in the pic above that my fabric is bigger than the finished block size. If your pattern doesn't have the finished size marked, you could do so yourself ... & marking your quarter points as shown helps centre it, too. I use a light tan, fine pigment pen to trace my designs. After disasters with disappearing lines, smudged lines, thick lines & reappearing lines, I find the pigment pens my go-to, but, horses for courses. If you're thinking of colouring your stitchery remember it will need to have both liquid & heat applied to set it, so pens that disappear with either won't be helpful.

When tracing lazy-daisy stitches, I don't draw the loop ... I mark the centre point of each flower & the outer point of each petal. This way it doesn't matter if your loop is a bit tight or loose, you don't have to cover a drawn line.

The next helpful thing I've learned is to attach fusible stabiliser/interfacing on the back of a stitchery. There are all sorts of stabilisers, so choose one that suits your project. 

These are the two that I have used most & my fave is the Shape To Create on the left. It's a light muslin type stabiliser & I find it really nice to work with ... I get mine from The Quilters Angel HERE  Stabiliser helps minimise stretching & fraying as well as hiding those longer "I'll just hop over there" threads we all end up with from time to time. 😜

My next tip is about needles. I know we're all on budgets & would rather spend our play money on fabric, but trust me ... Investing in some good quality needles will make stitching more enjoyable. I know some people like (need??! 😜) a bigger eye to thread, but thick shanked needles will make bigger holes in your fabric & can drag your stitching out of shape. 

I prefer using a milliner's or straw needle. The eye is the same width as the shank, so when you're stitching knots or bullions, the needle slides through the wrapped thread a bit easier. I usually use a size 9, but that's just a personal preference. (Yes ... The ones in the pic are no. 10's & picked up by accident & you should hear me muttering when trying to thread two strands of thread! πŸ™„) And speaking of threads ... It took me a while, but finally I've admitted its better to work with a shorter length of thread. 😜 My favourite Cottage Garden Threads come pre-cut into a good length, or the length from your wrist to elbow is a good guide. As you pull your thread through the fabric, it rubs & frays a little & can lead to frustrating thread breaks or your stitching looking a bit 'fluffy'. So, shorter lengths = less fraying. Most stranded embroidery thread has 6 strands twisted together, but most stitching is done with 2 strands, so you need to separate them. If you separate the strands one at a time, they're less likely to tangle & will sit flatter when you stitch.

But the
MOST IMPORTANT RULE of stitching is ... HAVE A GO & HAVE FUN!! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ It's not about who finishes first, or whose work is the neatest, you don't need to compare your work to anyone else's & it won't look exactly like the pattern sample ... And that's more than OK! It's about each of us taking some time to slow down, take a breath & do something creative, so enjoy the process, not just the finished project. 

I know many of you are more experienced Stitchers than I am, but I hope something I've shared will help or encourage you to keep stitching ... Or maybe tempt you into picking up needle & thread for the first time in a while πŸ˜‰ And now, I think I've earned a cup of tea, so I'll sign off for now. OPAMers ... I'll be doing the draw in a day or two ... Promise! 😁 In the meantime, I hope you all have a relaxing weekend. Stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling! 😊 Til next time ...



PS. There's a brand new Tag Along Teddies website up & running too ... In case you need another project ... Or two or three! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Winter Blues!

I've got deadlines I should be working towards, I've got pattern templates I should be editing, instructions I should be writing, sketches I should be brushing up, washing that should be put away, emails to answer, dinner to prepare  ... But I did none of those things! Instead, I took advantage of a rare gale-force-wind-free day & spent some time outside.

 I strolled around the garden to see what's growing & what's hibernating for winter, I chatted to one of our resident kookaburras, I topped up the birdbath for an impatient fantail bird (you should have heard the language he directed at me! 😝), I watered my vege patch & my marauding herbs (the mint is seriously plotting world domination, I'm convinced! πŸ˜‚) & gazed at the blue, blue cloudless sky forming the dazzling backdrop for our gorgeous gum trees. SIGH! Yep ... That's the best winter blues to have. 😍 The deadlines & tasks are still on the "To Do" list, but after stopping to take some breaths of fresh, crisp winter air, I think I'm ready to put my head down & get working again. 😁 (PS This pic hasn't been enhanced or filtered in any way, just cropped ... The sky really was THAT blue!)

So ... How's YOUR Tuesday going? πŸ˜‰ Til next time ...



Tuesday, 30 June 2020

OOPS! Where'd June Go?!

Calling all cars! Calling all cars! Be on the lookout for a missing month stolen recently. It goes by the name of "June" & was last seen trailing behind May.  If found please return to someone who seems to have lost it! πŸ˜‚ (possibly in more ways than one! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

Yep, it's the end of another month in this strange & topsy-turvy year, which means ...

... It's time for all good OPAMers to update their sidebar lists & email me their tally of finishes for the vanished month if June. 😜 I'm happy to be able to record a few finishes this month, with some Secret Squirrel projects completed ... What have you been stitching?

And the end of June also ends the countdown to ...

From tomorrow, July 1 , there will be a free 4" block shared one a week over on the Love & Hugs From Australi  Facebook page to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas & keep Stitchers around the world occupied as we all spend more time at home than usual. Each designer who is playing along will share a free downloadable Christmas themed block & will show how they've used it. Having had some behind-the-scene sneaky-peekies ... I think everyone will be getting stitched gifties this Christmas! πŸ˜† So make sure you check out the Love & Hugs pag  each Wednesday for the next 12 weeks for the new stitchery, but pop in between blocks to be inspired by people's work & share your progress updates to encourage others. Thanks to Natalie Bird for once again organising & coordinating the Stitchalong to help keep people connected by stitches during a strange & difficult time.

And now ... I'm off to get ready to be social, as we have GB's cousin & his wife coming to dinner tonight. I hope your week is off to a great start. Stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😁 Til next time ...



Friday, 26 June 2020

Friday ... AGAIN!!

Well ... Here we are, it's Friday again & the weeks just keep slipping by at the speed of light, don't they?! 😳 Everyone jokes about how it will be Christmas next week ... But it feels like Christmas really WILL be here before we know it! EEP! 😳😜

Actually ... When people say Christmas will be here next week ... They're really only a week early. 😜 Because over on the Love & Hugs From Australia Facebook page, Christmas will begin on July first ...

What better way to ease towards the real Christmas (& get a few gifties made & stashed in preparation) than to join us for the second fun Stitchalong. This one will be unfolding a little slower, with a free 4" stitchery being shared each week for 12 weeks ... The 12 days of Stitchalong Christmas. 😜 My stitchery is ready, but I'm just finishing up the companion projects that will be included in the Christmas pattern I will release when my block is launched. I confess to not really being a Christmas gal (I get cross at the over-commercialisation of it) but I've been loving playing with aqua & French red fabrics to create four quick-finish projects that will make up my "Christmas Cuties" pattern. Would you like another sneaky-peeky??

Are you intrigued??! 😜 Not long to go! As long as I stop procrastinating on blogs & FB & get back to my sewing & instruction writing. 😝 I have to say, with our frosty temperatures this week (it's a warmer one today, sitting on 10 degrees with a "feels like" of 8 at the moment! 😱) it's a good time to be tucked up sewing. So I've got "Holiday Joy" essential oil blend in my diffuser, Enya adding her angelic Celtic crooning in the background, the fire crackling merrily away (GB lit it for me before he headed off to work ... AAAAAWWWW! He loves me! 😍) & I'm wearing a pair of warm fuzzy socks ...

Aren't they fun?! 😜 Not everyone has zebra socks! πŸ˜‚ Mum bought them for me as a joke because I hate having cold toesies & love fun & funky socks (I often wish I could knit well enough to knit myself some!) Not sure who the joke is on, as I love wearing them. πŸ˜‚ Now if I add a hot cup of tea to my list, I should be ready to tackle my sewing/instruction writing, so that's what I'm off to do. Whatever you're up to this weekend, stay well, stay safe, keep stitching & keep smiling! Til next time ...



Saturday, 20 June 2020

Freewheeling Friday!

Hello, hello! How is everyone this Saturday afternoon I hope you're all well & planning some fun stuff for the weekend. Due to my Beloved Geek Boy spending all of last weekend away from home for a work-related road trip, we were both REALLY hanging out for a break together. Unlike some married couples, we still quite like each other & enjoy hanging out together. πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚ So when GB's boss gave him Friday off, thereby matching up with my day off, we decided to make the most of it & hit the road for one of our mini road trips. YAY! 😁

With both of us continuing our usual work schedule when others were at home during the zombie apocalypse lockdown, & the fact that we haven't had a break since Christmas, we've both been feeling a bit antsy ... So even a day trip is a nice change of scenery. 😜 So, after a little sleep in (it was our day off, after all! 😜) we piled ourselves into "Big Blue" & hit the road ...

Hmmm ... Where would the road take us today? People often laugh at us because we rarely have a firm destination in mind when we set off on our day trips ... Half the fun is the spontaneous decision to follow a road less traveled to see where it takes us. 😁 Yesterday, the road took us a bit north & a bit east ... Down one range & up another, along winding, narrow back roads where the forest closed in on every side & we wound down the windows to let in the crisp winter air & listen to bell birds & whipbirds singing their mesmerising tunes. I confess to being so "in the moment" that I didn't get pics. 😜 After a while, we wound our way back down out of the mountains & found ourselves ...

At Sunshine Beach ... Which was NOT living up to its name, but we weren't really surprised, as it ALWAYS rains when we go to the beach ... Even for a quick visit. πŸ˜‚ It was wonderful to stand & watch the waves rolling in & listen to their thundering crash as they hit the beach. But that squall you can see in the middle of the pic started to roll closer, so it was back into Big Blue before we got wet. 😜 And back on the road to ...

... Visit another stretch of beach a bit further south ... Mooloolaba main beach. We were too far away to pick up in a photo, but there were lots of crazy surfers out there making the most of the swell being kicked up by the stormy weather. They made me shiver with cold just looking at them! 😱😜 And since we were at one of our fave beaches, we just HAD to have a fave sweetie-treatie ...

GELATO! YUMMO! 😍 Salted caramel for me & ...

... Maple pancake for GB. This was followed by a short walk along the beachfront ... Cos it was too jolly windy & cold to go too far! Then ... Back on the road ...

... Where it was wet & foggy as we climbed back up into the hinterland hills. It's a bit hard to see in the pic ... & was hard to get a good pic cos there wasn't anywhere to pull over ... But as we were driving, we watched the clouds coming down over the mountains, giving them a storybook feel.

And we encountered quite a few roadworks along the way, commenting to each other that stop-and-go sign holding would be a crappy job in rain. 😜 A bit more driving & ...

... Home again, home again, jiggitty jig! 😁 It may only have been a day trip, but it was wonderful to get out & about for the day. We're hoping to get away for a full weekend sometime soon, but that will hold us til then. I hope you enjoyed road tripping with us. 😁

Right now, though, I'm off to do some sewing ... My trust Husky is working like a dream now after a service ... YAY! 😁 (& a huge thanks to my Quilting Fairy Godmother the Fabulous Fiona, who did. GORGEOUS job of quilting the project I was interrupted on! 😘) Have a fantastic weekend, everyone. Stay safe, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😁 Til next time ...



Sunday, 14 June 2020


What do you do when your trusty Husky decides she doesn't want to sew without knotting & breaking thread, you need to finish a project by a deadline & your weekend plans get cancelled due to husband's unscheduled work road trip?! Not sure what anyone else would do, but I've given up trying to be productive & plonked myself in my comfy chair with a cup of tea & fave movie. Maybe helping stop a giant shark from terrorising the seven seas will make me feel better! 😜 Hope your weekend has been less frustrating. 😘 

Til next time ...



Friday, 12 June 2020

The Bells Are Jingling!

Hello, hello! How are we all this fine-and-not-too-frosty Friday?! There you go ... Confirmation of what day it is AND a weather report. 😜 It's been another crazy-busy week here at the Meares' Madhouse & I'm looking forward to a weekend of stitching & sewing ... Which is just as well, since I have a deadline looming. 😜

Do you remember the sneaky-peeky I shared a couple of posts back?

Well ... It's for a rather exciting event that I'm part of ... And it's coming SOON! 😁 If you visit my Facebook page you'll already know about this & will probably be getting as excited as I am. Hold onto your stitches, friends, because the Love & Hugs From Australia group is at it again ...

WOO! HOO! Another Stitchalong!! And for those of you who start putting up the Christmas tree three months early, you're gonna LOVE it! πŸ˜‚ This time the Stitchalong will be a little slower-paced, with blocks spread out from July through to September. The blocks will be 4" (finished) & there will be 12 blocks in total, from designers: Anni Downs, Libby Richardson, Natalie Bird, Helen Stubbings, Leesa Chandler, Jenelle Kent, Marg Low, Leanne Knell, Robyn Welsh, Janelle Noack ... & yours truly. 😁 We will have some project ideas to show you in advance; quilt layouts, and other projects using 4" blocks, which will be available before 'Love & Hugs for Christmas' starts. Pictures and information for these will be posted on Wednesday 17th June, so pop in and have a look at some of our ideas for what you can do with the blocks. And some projects using the blocks will be released as patterns for sale on the day that designer's block is posted. So once again there'll be something for everyone to enjoy stitching along with. 😁 And don't worry ... the original project blocks will still be available going forward ... In case you're enjoying a slower stitching journey than the Speedy Gonzales Stitchers. 😜

So ... As you can imagine, I'm madly working on samples, tweaking templates & scratching my head over instruction writing ... THAT should keep me busy for the weekend, right?! πŸ˜‚ 
But if YOU are looking for something to fill your weekend & you're within driving distance of my Home-Away-From-Home The Quilters Angel  you really should make the trip. The Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph are about to move onto the next exciting chapter of their Quilters Angel adventures & are having a 40% off sale store wide before they close their Village Green shop door for the last time on June 26. 

Now ... DON'T PANIC! THE QUILTERS ANGEL IS NOT CLOSING! And if you hear that nasty rumour, knock it on the head with your quilting ruler! 😜 Marion & Steph will continue to run their fabulously fabricky business ... Just in a different format for now. With their current shop lease finishing at the end of June, they have decided that it's time to start putting some of their exciting dreams & plans into affect that they haven't been able to do while tied to a shopfront. They'll still be running their website ... With LOTS more stitching treasures than ever ... Especially the yummy Tilda fabrics & Cottage Garden Threads that I seem to be addicted to at the moment! 😍 They will still run Girls Stitch In & Stitchers Dream Day ... Bigger & better! πŸ˜‰ As well as holding pop-up shops, workshops, craft fair stands, even more BOM programs & some wonderful new stitching clubs. I've heard some little whispers from this gorgeous Mother/Daughter team about some of their plans & I'm pretty excited! 😁 So keep an eye on their Facebook page & sign up for their email newsletter to keep up with their exciting adventures ... & watch out for the bright pink Quilters Angel trailer, cos they're gonna be quilting Gypsies! 😜 And I dare say there will be a new shopfront home for The Quilters Angel in the not-too-distant future ... When just the right spot is found! πŸ˜‰

Well ... With so much happening, is it any wonder I now need a cup of tea. πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚ Whatever you're up to this weekend, please stay safe, stay well & keep stitching & smiling. 😁 Til next time ...



Saturday, 6 June 2020

Winter Wondering!

Well ... Here we are into June ... Its winter (Darn it!😜) and I'm wondering ... Where the heck did the first half of the year go?!?! 2020 sure has thrown us some curve balls, hasn't it? 😳 Here in south-east Queensland where we live, things are slowly starting to return to a form of 'normal' & we're able to meet up with friends again & visit some of our favourite businesses. I popped in to my Home-Away-From-Home The Quilters Angel to catch up with Marion & Steph this week, which was a happy/sad catch up. You see, Marion & Steph have made the difficult decision to close the doors of their bricks & mortar shop at the end of this month. The Quilters Angel will DEFINITELY still be operating but the enforced closure during the zombie apocalypse was a time of reevaluating for this lovely Mother/Daughter dynamic duo. They will continue to operate the online shop but will also be organising lots of exciting new events, workshops, retreats, pop-up shops & craft show stands, as well as running even more wonderful Block Of the Month programs, stitching clubs & so many more exciting things. So while I'm sad that I won't get to pop into their pretty shop, I'm pretty excited to join in their new adventures! 😁

And of course packing up the shop means finding new homes for a lot of their stock so ... There's a 40% off sale on at the moment! 😁 It's in-store only, so if you're in the neighbourhood, it's a good time to visit in the next couple of weeks. And since I did pop in, you just KNOW some pretties followed me home. πŸ˜‚ 

Dotties are always good for sashings & bindings, the teal spots jumped into my arms, the blue stripes & paisley were too pretty to leave behind. 😜 If you want to keep up with Marion & Steph's new adventures with The Quilters Angel, visit the website & sign up for their newsletter. Big thanks to this lovely pair, too, for continuing to support & encourage my design adventures, as well as being valued friends & important members of my tribe. 😘

On the fabricky, stitchy, quilty front ... I'm still working on three different designs. 😝 And of course they're all Secret Squirrel. πŸ˜‰ But the OPAM gals have been stitching up a storm again with ...


... for May, as well as lots of progress on longer term projects ... Well done everyone!! And the random draw winner was ...

Congrats, Raewyn! Drop me an email & I'll send you a PDF copy of my prize pattern. 

And that's about all from me today. I'm off to scare up some lunch & then I need to get back to working on my Secret Squirrel projects ... Because one as a July deadline ... I bet you're starting to guess what I'm working on. 😜 In the meantime I hope you're all staying safe, staying well & stitching your little hearts out. πŸ˜‰ Til next time ...



Saturday, 30 May 2020

Winter Is Coming!!

Actually ... Winter well & truly arrived last weekend. The temperatures stayed in single digits & the "feels like" temps would have made a penguin feel at home! BRRRRRR! I didn't poke my nose outside all weekend & the fire was kept tended so we didn't turn into human Popsicles. Yes ... GB & I are spooky-la-las when it comes to cold weather! 😜 And that was still technically Autumn! 😱 Thankfully, by Tuesday it had warmed up a bit & we've thawed out ... Though with the calendar ticking over to the first month of winter next week, I suspect our reprieve will be short lived ... SIGH!

I DID manage to squeak in a play date with my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette before the weather reached Antarctic levels. I drove down the 'hill' & we decided to have an outdoor outing. Lynette had been playing in the kitchen, so we took a yummy picnic lunch & off we went to Mt Coot Tha botanic gardens. It was so pretty, even on a grey overcast day ...

This was in the Japanese Garden. Worth a visit if you're in Bris. We found ourselves a grassy spot with the occasional splash of sun & set up ...

Here's the chef with mini frittatas, fresh salads & a glass of kombucha. NICE! 😁 It was fantastic to catch up for the first time since my birthday afternoon tea ...we had a LOT of chatting & giggles to catch up on! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And then the REALLY nasty weather hit & I went into hibernation! 😜 However ... The bright side is, it's great stitching weather & my needle has been busy. Would you like a sneaky-peeky at what I've been working on? ...

I can't give too much away. 😜 I'm loving working with Cottage Garden Threads & pretty aqua & raspberry Tilda fabrics. 😍 And that's a finish for my tally, too. Which reminds me ... OPAMers ... Now is the time to update your sidebar tallies & email me your finishes. The year is just flying by, isn't it?! It's been a strange one, that's for sure & we're not likely to forget 2020 in a hurry. 😳

That's about it from me for now. Wherever you are in the world & whatever your government guidelines may be, please stay safe & be wise as things start to return to "normal". Take care of yourself & each other. Keep stitching & keep smiling. 😁 Til next time ...



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 ...



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