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Friday, November 20, 2009

Response to the Accuquilt Go

Last night I took my Accuquilt Go to a guild meeting.  I showed several of the gals how nicely and easily it works.  I got lots of positive feedback.  The one thing everyone always says is, "well I still have to cut my fabric don't I?"  The answer to that is yes and no.

NO: You don't have to cut your fabric to fit on top of the dies.  It depends on what size piece you are starting with and what you want to do with it.  You can take a one yard cut and fold it to lay it over the dies for the strip cutter.  If you have scraps you want to use...don't pre-cut them...just lay them over the die and put it through the machine...and wahhhh lahhhh.

Yes: If the fabric you are using needs to be fussy cut or if you want to lay the fabric just a 1/4 inch overlapping the die blade.  Then you would need to pre-cut to the width you would be using. 

Consider this:  I just cut 140 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch squares for the I-Spy square swap that Karen did over at SewManyWays blog.  I cut 140 blocks using my ruler and rotary cutter.  It took me quite awhile.  I was very frustrated that no matter how well I looked at my ruler the blocks were not the exact same size.  I don't know why.  I had to re-cut some and some of that fabric was wasted.  So yes, you will have some waste....but there are very few projects where you don't have even a little waste.  It is all in how you want to work.  I truely find mundane repetitive cutting to be unpleasurable.  So if I want to just have the fun of sewing my strips, blocks, circles, hexagons and triangles I can get to the fun part faster. 

I never imagined myself buying the Accuquilt Go.  Honestly....and why....because I did not think I would use it enough to justify buying one.  Then I kept going back and looking at it...over and over.  I've had the privilege of using it several times at market and at shows.  I've decided it is worth my time and energy to own it and I've been really happy with how it works. 

The obvious thing about sewing notions are that no one really needs anything more than a pair of scissors, yard stick, needle and thread!!! That is what quilters used for many years and many still do. You don't "need" all these wiz bang notions. It is a choice for your own convience, comfort and budget. In order to get to the fun part I have chosen to use the sewing notions I really like and believe are worth the investment.

Everyone knows I would not recommend anything that I thought was not worth the money, RIGHT? RIGHT!!!  I'm saying this is worth every penny.   If you are even considering one...please call me (419-914-8080) and I'll tell you everything I know and some things I bet you'll be surprised by!!!   The call may be something you are Thankful for :)  Feel free to call and just say howdy anytime 9-9 CMT :)  If I'm in the middle of "working" with my might just have to talk to one of them for a minute!!! LOL 


Petals on the Edge

This is Mary Lee Grabowski's quilt.  The pattern is by Sew Be It and the title is "Petals on The Edge."  I have admired this quilt since I saw Mary Lee making it at the Widewater Retreat we went to back in Oct.  I love leaves and nature and this really caught my eye.  The lighting was not the best unfortunately.

I just got 66 yards of Batik fabric from Batik Textiles.  I think I know what I'm going to do with some of those!!!  I will be posting over 50 individual yard cuts on my website very soon.

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This wonderful little dancers were also made by Mary Lee.  They are so much fun.  I didn't get the pattern name for these last night.  I will get the name and come back and post when I hear back from Mary Lee.Posted by Picasa

Boney Smiles,

Giveaway Alert

SewCalGal has a wonderful giveaway going on.  I am only posting this to get my name in the basket an extra time...I really, really, really don't want any of you to go and leave your comments because it reduces my chances of winning....ROFL

Silly Smiles,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sew You Think You Have Shoes?

Check these shoes out.  

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These oh sew cool shoes were made by Mark Miller for his mother's birthday.  Cindy, Mark's mother, was at the Widewater Retreat I went to back in October. 

Cindy was telling me he did not use any photos for inspiration....all of this came from his memories of growing up watching his Mom sew. 


No-Reply Comments

I am asked questions about products and I can't respond because the person is a non-reply blogger.  If you would like a reply and have not received one....this is why.  You can also leave your e-mail addy in the comment and I will respond.


Do you know if you are leaving messages as a no-reply? So many of you are and that means I can't send you a message back. I would love to be able to chat with you so if you could change that....that would be great :)

Here is how to do it if you don't know how:

•first, go to your blogger dashboard

•near your picture or logo on the left, click "Edit Profile"

•go to the first section labeled "Privacy"

•in this section, the third line down should say "Show Email Address"

•make sure the IS a Check Mark in the "Show Email Address"

•if you don't have an email address listed, you can fill it in in the "Identity" section

•The MOST IMPORTANT part when you finish, is to go to the bottom of the page and click "Save Profile" on the bottom left side. If you do not click save it won't work.

If you want a reply....I need a e-mail address or I can't get back to you.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exceptional Gift for That SPECIAL SOMEONE!!!

Check this out.  Someone has to buy these and send them to someone.  I just have to see their response when they open the package (who ever does it has to take pix and forward them to me).  I might just have to have some of these....but you know me....I wear them to Sams Club on Saturday!!!! ROFL

Cracking myself up again....Nutty Smiles,

A Beautiful Tribute to Kathy Bartley's Mother

This was shared back in October at the Widewater Retreat with the Black Swamp Quilt Guild.   I was so moved by Kathy's quilt and her story I asked and received  her permission to share it with all of you.  These are Kathy's words:

“Dancing in the Moonlight”

My mother, Olive Sherertz Lanham, was born and raised in what was previously called Soochow, now called Suzhou, China. Her parents were Methodist missionaries and my grandfather taught English at Soochow University. While she was still a child, China was attacked by Japan and her family had to flee to the mountains at various times for safety. The family went through some harrowing moments and finally returned to the U.S when she was 15 when it got too dangerous to stay. They were able to get my grandmother and the children home safely but my grandfather was taken prisoner and sent to a concentration camp for 18 months before his release. My mother never returned to China but it always held a special place in her heart.
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 One of her favorite memories was when she was about 10 and she and her cousin spent the night out in a tent up in the mountains in Kuling. It was a bright moonlit summer night and around midnight the girls got up and picked white violets and went out and danced in the moonlight. My mother always told me that was her very favorite childhood memory, when she forgot about the war and just enjoyed being a child. White violets were her favorite flower. She said, “Most people think they are just a weed but to me they are something beautiful.”

 So when my mother passed away in June of 2007, I decided to make a quilt in tribute to her. This is my design of her favorite memory. It was very healing to work on this quilt. At times I could almost feel my mother’s presence and I often felt like we worked on it together. Rosanna Williams quilted it for me and did a beautiful job. After it was completed I could barely look at it for awhile without getting emotional. But now that some time has gone by I am comforted by it.       Kathy Bartley

What a wonderful and moving story to share Kathy.  I thank you for allowing me to publish this and for being willing to share such a chrrished memory with all of us.  I admire you translation and hope one day I can make something as meaningful.

With Gratitude,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

When the going gets tough....the tough....

eat Tiramisu, oh yea baby!!!  Look at this lovely gift my husband brought home tonight at 9:30.....isn't she a beauty? 

This is just the way to end one of "those" days.  Yesterday I had Zach to the doctor's office with an ear infection, congestion and croup like cough.  Today I get a call from the school nurse that Aaron has pink eye and to come and get him. 

Last night Rick worked late and tonight he had to go to dinner with co-workers.   Just as he pulls out the driveway on his way to dinner I yell...."how about ordering Terimisu for dessert tonight and pretend you can't finish it" (bring it on to Mamma baby).  He must have been feeling very sick...because he didn't even take a bite.  I would eat every last bite but I'm worried I won't sleep and I really have to sleep in order to stay healthy myself. 

On another topic:
 I am learning quickly all that I don't know about computers and Kathy (her story next) said if I knew how much of a "techno idiot" she was I'd feel better. I want a bumper sticker that says Techno Idiot On Board. I was laughed at by my webmaster and her partner....why....because she wanted to see what I was talking about on my screen. So, I took my digital camera and snapped a pix of the screen and sent it to her. She and Gene laughed themselves silly. Guess there is a computer way to do that....who would know? I'm a Dinosaur....Techno Dinosaur.....and I'm accepting of myself!!! Don't go rolling your eyes....I bet most of you are in the same boat.....speaking of boats they still have ores or are there some new electronic thingy-mo-bobs to take care of that too?

Ok....I just checked Techno-Dinosaur....yep....there is a blog called Techno-Dinosaur....there goes my next blog adventure....taken by a stranger.....LOL. 


Monday, November 16, 2009

Theresa Pulido Author of "hook, loop & lock" was in Houston for Quilt Market

This is my first official collage....if this actually shows up on my post. I can't believe it....truthfully....I can't. This is not how I intended to tell you about meeting Theresa....but this is how I'm gonna do it because it is to pretty to remove at this time. Raise a glass of bubbly for me!!!

This very pretty and friendly lady below is Theresa Pulido.  I met her in Houston at Quilt Market.  She was sitting at a table working on a project and it looked interesting to me so I walked up and asked her what she was doing.  She told me it was locker hooking and she showed me how she was using her fabric and needle to create a really neat placemat. 

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I had no idea she was there to do a Schoolhouse presentation and that she had just published her new book, "hook, loop & lock." 

Theresa took the time to show me the things she had brought from home to show at Market.  She was so friendly and know how much I love people who are friendly and cheerful :)  Lucky for me I got a copy of her book.  Unlucky for you because she signed it and put my name in it.  I know many of you are crying right now....but I'm friendly and I'll share (but you have to come to my house!!!).

Locker hooking requires the use of a locker hook (looks like a long crochet hook with an eye on the end), locking medium (any strong cotton twine/cording), pre-cut fabric or plastic strips and rug canvas.

Theresa has made some absolutely beautiful bracelets using silk.  She gives you the directions to make placemats, coasters, rugs, pillows, wall hangings, gift bags, Easter baskets, totes and many other fun things in her book, "hook, loop & lock."  You can use printed cotton fabric (anyone have any of that hanging out at their house?), batik, wool and even plastic!!!  The strips Theresa uses are 1 inch, 3/4 inch and 1/2 inch strips.  This looks like a great stash buster for sure. 


Moda Bakeshop Sampler Now Available at I Have A Notion

While at Quilt Market I met with the Moda people to discuss the possibility of carrying Moda pre-cuts at IHAN.  I got to see this Moda Bakeshop Sampler and I ordered 12 packages.  There are 480 -  2 1/2" squares from twelve Moda designers.  Each stands on their own, but together would make a fascinating charm quilt. 

The Sampler comes with a booklet that gives many ideas for using your fun charm squares.  Scrap-Basket Surprises is also an excellent book that has many wonderful patterns for 2 1/2 inch charm squares.
When they are gone, they are gone.  I can't order any more so if you are considering ordering one for yourself or to give as gifts, you might want to do so very quickly.  I only have 12 boxes. 

Guess who signed one of the booklets for me?  Mark Dunn, owner of Moda.  I guess some lucky someone is gong to have an autographed Bakeshop Sampler booklet!!!  Will it be you?


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Giveaway Alert

See this apron? 

It's gonna look great on me....the first one especially.  And it just might be mine unless you hop over there and get your name in the hat. 

I am still in a quantry about Goosegirl's profile.  She is the mother of 2 and married to a Hot Husband Rocker.  I checked out the photo at the bottom....she's right.  BUT....that is like telling everyone you live at Fort Knox....I'd hide him for sure!!!  ROFL


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Did you know I Have A Notion has a Gift Registry?

Since day one, there has been a gift registry at I Have A Notion and I'd like to invite you to stop by and register. Once you register all you have to do is drop me an e-mail to with the names and e-mail addresses of those you would like to inform that you are registered here. Can't get much easier. I can add a personalized card inside the package as well.

How about a some affordable gifts for your guild friends?  Send a box of silk to your dearest friend for the holidays and sit back and wait for the phone to ring!!!

Eleanor Burns

How about sending some great creative and artistic supplies for the nieces, nephews, grandkids who live out of state?

How about registering for the things you might not purchase for yourself but you would love to have as a gift?  Maybe these would strike your fancy:

(Call for pricing)

Check out "Great Gifts for the Holidays" if you need some more inspiration.
Special orders are required for items not listed on my website. If you would like a Tutto Sewing Machine Bag or Dream World Sewing Machine problem!!! I can do that too. You just need to let me know and I will do everything possible to get that special gift out to you or a friend.  You can call or e-mail for prices :)  Let me take the stress out of your holidays....I would appreciate doing that for you (and me :)!!!

Tutto Machine Bag

Dream World Sewing Table

Ohhhhh Yes Baby....I can do THE TABLE too!!!


Friday, November 13, 2009

American Samoa Packages...And The WINNER IS....

Who remembers this post?

"If Barb receives 10 packages ....I'll make it worth 125.00, over 20 and I'll make it worth 150.00 and over 30 I'll make it worth 200.00 and if she recieves over 40 packages....I'll make it worth 300.00."

During the challenge period Barb's Bejeweled Quilts received 31 boxes for the Tsunami survivors.  Check out her blog for photos of the packages and their contents.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

16 Timestamp: 2009-11-13 13:36:05 UTC

So number 16 is the lucky winner of a 225.00 gift package from I Have A Notion. (I added a little because we got over 30 boxes :)

I bet you are wondering who number 16 is.....I would be.....hmmmm...


Just send me your address and I'll ship out your gift box :)

My sincerest Thank You goes to everyone who sent a box.  I know you sent it for yourself and for those receiving the needed help.  However, it never hurts to have a good deed rewarded ay?

A special Thanks to Barb & Andrew Gaddy for receiving the packages and making sure they got to those in need.  We are all so greatful you are safe had us all scared.  My thoughts are with all those who were not so fortunate.

Greatful Smiles,

Checker that is what I call Customer Service

Rob Krieger is the owner of Checker Distributors.  I recently stopped to pick up and order and I saw Rob loading a customers car.  (You know a good Blogger never goes anywhere without a camera!!!)  The customers asked not to be photographed but Bob just smiled and let me take his photo. 
I like that kind of service.  A person....not a letterhead or name....a person...and a person who loads cars...the owner of a big company loading my attention.

Personal service is one of the most prized values a business owner/operator can have in my opinion.  No one....and I mean....NO ONE....should be so far out of touch or reach that if I come into their place of business or call their place of business that I can't speak to them or see them (always exceptions I know). 

This is how I operate.  My kitchen phone is available 9am to 9pm Mon-Sun.  If I'm here, I answer the phone!!!  I've had many of customers call on Friday evenings and were completely surprised that I answered the phone and helped them with their question or concern.  When I call someone to verify their order is correct I usually get a surprised voice on the other end of the phone.  News flash:  I'm in business to be of service to you.  If you buy something from me....I will guarantee 100% satisfaction and excellent customer service without exception.  I know I can't make everyone happy....but I can be 100% accountable for being of service and providing the best possible information I can find.

Most of you know I am the only full time "employee" here at IHAN.  My co-workers are 5 1/2 and 7 :) and I do it all.  I have three un-paid associates who cover my fanny and help with my product line.  Those ladies I refer to as my East Coast Connection.  I have an East Coast Operations Advisor and two Product Testers and Quality Control "Specialists." 

My goal at present is to grow my business and in doing so I've decided to carry a line of pre-cut fabrics.  The only fabric I stock by the yard is Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth.  You can check my website frequently for additions because as soon as they hit my door....they hit the website :)  I have recently added some great tools and products so if you have not visited I Have A Notion recently....might be a good time to stop over.

Part of growing my business is letting other potential customers know I am here and that I provide excellent customer service.  I don't pay for advertisement.   When people know I'm good at what I do and they trust me.....I will have all the business I can handle.  You can help me with that.  If you have purchased anything from me and would be willing to go to my website and leave a comment about your experience I would love it. You can just click here now to do that :)

Thanks for reading.....and.....stay tuned because I'm about to find out who won the Gift Package worth 200.00 for sending a box to American Samoa to help with the people affected by the Tsunami.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Toni Whitney & Big Fork Cotton Bay Company at the International Quilt Festival Houston 2009

Prior to leaving for Houston,  I received a cold call from Tracy at the Bigfork Cotton Bay Company.  While on the phone with Tracy I pulled up their website. I said, "Ohhhhh."   I loved all the fun colors and interesting patterns and kits they have.  But what really hit me were the animal wall hangings done by Toni Whitney. Talk about hitting me right in my center....I lost my words.

While in Houston I had the privilege of meeting Tracy and Toni at the Bigfork Cotton Bay Company's Schoolhouse.

Meet Toni Whitney, painter, graphic artist and quilt artist from Montana.

Toni's lecture at Schoolhouse was interesting and fun.  I was glued to my seat with the biggest blows me away that someone can take fabric and thread and make an animal come to life. 

I took the following photos of the PowerPoint presentation given during Toni's lecture.

This is Toni's first painting.  Her father-in-law gave her four tubes of paint; red, yellow, blue and white and asked her to paint a picture of old car.   Toni turned those four tubes of paint into this incredible picture.  He like the picture so much he asked Toni to paint another picture. 

This is Toni's second painting.  Her mother-in-law liked it so much she snuck it out of the house to show in a gallery in Bigfork.  The gallery called Toni and asked her to do two more so they could sell them as a grouping.

I can only imagine how proud they must be of Toni and her artwork.  She has given herself permission to take amazing risks and I'm so glad she has.  There must be something amazing in Toni's spirit and something wonderful in her soul that allows her to create such beauty.

This is a photo of Toni's first art quilt.  She has been friends with Tracy (she works at The Bigfork Bay Cotton Company) for some time and one day she dropped by and saw Tracy making a fusible snowman wall hanging.  So she asked Tracy what she was doing and Tracy gave her a few pointers and some fabric.  Toni came back with the wall hanging pictured above.

A close-up of the wall hanging here....look into those eyes.

These photos were taken of the PowerPoint presentation during the Schoolhouse.

"Serengeti" is the name of this pattern.  Toni started with a pallet of various batiks and auditioned them.

Pieces of fabric are selected and cut out for each part of Toni's drawing. 

When a fabric doesn't work....she auditions other fabrics until she gets what she is looking for.

This is a photo of Toni working in her studio in Montana.  She said animals walk right past her window and she can stop to enjoy them.

Look at the end product after all the auditioning and piecing. This lion looks so majestic.

Toni spent her days at Market working in the Bigfork Cotton Bay Company booth.  I stopped by to visit and see some of her wall hangings "in person."

This is Toni's "Savanna" pattern.  Elephants are my favorite animal.  My dream is to go on Safari in Africa one day and see where these amazing and beautiful creatures walk free. 

You know the best part of these patterns?  They come in kits with all the fabrics (Batik Textiles) Toni used to make her wall hangings.    It might take someone like me years to find fabrics and get the courage to put it all together.  Not's all in there baby and IHAN is your connection :)  The kits are available for the other patterns from Bigfork Bay Cotton Company as well!!! 

I felt truly blessed to meet Toni and experience some of the gifts she has been given.

It has taken me two days to put this post together.  I have really struggled with my words and what photos to use.  I think that happens when I am moved in a place where words don't exist. 

Many people are talented and can draw and paint....and they paint beautiful things.  How is it that others are able to create a picture that has a life and spirit of its own?  These are not just pictures of animals....when I look at that elephant I can feel it.....its spirit....I feel reverence for its existence and beauty.  How does someone do that with paint, fabric and thread?  
Silent Smiles,

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