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 ...



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