Privacy Policy/GDPR Content

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and to analyze traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate usage statistics and to detect and address abuse.

By continuing to read/visit the I Have a Notion blog, you acknowledge the I Have a Notion... Privacy/GDPR statement and agree.
View the complete blog Privacy/GDPR on the "New" Privacy/GDPR at or click on the Page Link above.

Monday, December 13, 2010


When I walked outside to get this box I saw the label and my heart rate sky rocketed.  If you live in a 4 state radius of IHAN I'm sure you heard me screaming when I saw this on my doorstep....I scared the co-workers....poor guys.

Do you see those words....yes those....the one's that read...Tim Holtz and VAGABOND by Sizzix!!!  On my front porch no less.  All I could think was, feet don't fail me now.  I ran into the house and the kids wanted to know why I was all excited (they are home from school due to the weather and snow here in OH)
My co-worker standing next to me while I cut the tape on the box.....
Waldo's Granddaughter, Clair,  and my Co-Worker Zach were standing at my feet......they had to see what I was screaming about.

Look at this....even the cardboard box ROCKS.

This is exactly what you see when you open the box.....the stickers are to embellish your Vagabond any way you like.

Oh look, it comes with a luggage tag....somehow an IHAN card made it right into the slot even before I un-clipped the Vagabond.  I wasted no time marking this one as MINE....and I'm a darn good aim too....just for the record.
I clicked the button and the Vagabond suitcase opened right up.

It comes with standard cutting pads, a Solo Platform and a heart is pounding as I'm typing just recalling all these things that just happened a few minutes ago.....

Typically I clean up before I shoot pix....not today folks....sorry for the mess but I was just too excited to share this with pretend you don't see the mess, ok! Promise?
This is not a Sizzix warehouse...but I am happy to say I am fortunate to own the Big Shot Pro on the far right, the Vagabond, and the Big Shot in the background.  The Big Shot Express belongs to a customer in PA who asked me to give it a test run for her.  Within the last 24 hours I've had the incredible pleasure of cutting lots of applique shapes without even turning the handle.....sounds lazy right?  Think about it though.....when you need to cut hundreds of blocks or applique shapes your arms and shoulders get tired (mine do anyway) so it is wonderful to have one that you plug in and it just zips on through.  Many quilters have problems with Arthur (Arthritis) so the Big Shot Express and Vagabond are the ticket to cutting lots of pieces at one time and quickly too.

I'm going to quickly show you the machines so you can see which one's I'm talking about and the size differences.
This is my Big Shot Pro...I tape the photo from the package onto my dies so I can quickly glance and know which is which.
This is the Vagabond....can you say OH YEAH BABY?  This machine will make all other cutting systems dial kidding no joke and you have my will flip too.

This is the Big Shot Express with a Sizzix Snowman Die.  I was extremely pleased when I tested my friends Big Shot Express.  Since it does not belong to me I did not attempt to run 12 layers of fabric through it but I did cut 6 layers with ease. 

I know I'm excited and my post may not be as clear as I would like it to be so I'll just tell you that both the Vagabond and The Big Shot Express are electric.  The Big Shot and the Big Shot Pro are manual. 

This is my Big Shot, it does not come with my little friend who sits on mine...he makes me smile and I appreciate all the smiles I have in the dark months of winter.
The Vagabond has a little side compartment to hold the electric cord.....and when I looked away for just a minute.....

A stowaway jumped in.  See.....he is even happy to be close to my new Vagabond.
So, now is the time for the big test.  You know I'm not cutting up any fabric....not scraps....nope....I'm funny like that.  So I took a 100% cotton pillowcase cover that I bought at a factory sale for 25 cents and yes....I'll cut that up.  Will I cut one layer with the new Vagabond?  Two?  Three?  Four?  Heck no....the very first time I put fabric through this baby I used........
TWELVE layers.....why?  Because I heard this baby works like a dream and it cuts chip board....if it cuts chipboard (which is very dense cardboard) you know it will cut 12 layers of fabric.  Keep in mind I have not read the instructions and have no idea how many layers are recommended....but I did watch the YouTube video for the Vagabond and I knew I had to give it a spin.  I did not use the new cutting pads that came with it....I have to keep those pretty for awhile, I used the one's I use with my other Sizzix machines so you can see the pads are used.

I simply put the Sizzix Ornaments Die with 12 layers of fabric between the cutting mats and pushed the button.  The Vagabond is very quiet and within literally 3 seconds or less ( I didn't time it but I can if you want me to :) the die came through to the other did the test work?
Like a charm!!!  All 12 layers....cut through without one little string hanging....not one I tell ya.  Now you know why I'm so dog gone excited.....this machine cuts like BUTTAH and it is sooth, fast and sturdy! 

Look at all these perfect little ornaments.....24 in all seconds.  Can you even begin to imagine how quickly you can cut applique shapes?  Blocks? Circles? Triangles?  Dresden Plates?  I know many of you are like me and I can't keep going or we'll all need medical attention. 
Look at this....12 deep....smooth....real smooth.

That is 12 layers and I'm still looking at that stack of fabric.....I can hardly believe it....this is absolutely amazing to me...perfect....and I have one....please don't wake me up if this is a dream....I'll shoot ya.

When Mr. McSteamy gets home from work and the boys get settled down....I'm going to video tape me cutting this exact same thing you can see it and hear it for yourself.  If you can't wait you can always call me and I can hold the phone next to the machine so you can hear how quiet it won't believe it either. 
Last night I used the Big Shot Express to make the Tea Towel from my last post.  The entire thing took me 20 minutes.  I wanted to test the machine and I also wanted to make something useful so I used my "real" fabric.  There are so many dies for applique that your head may hang on tight before you click on any of the links here.
If you want to see the YouTube video before I make the IHAN Vagabond it is:

I've had these questions asked so many times that I'll post the answers here.  If you have any more questions please e-mail me don't ask them in the comments.  I'm on a vacation from replying to comments....but never if you want met to reply...send a e-mail or call me.  The contact info is on the front of the IHAN website.

Ok...I hope this all makes sense....I feel like I hit the Quilting Lottery....good thing I was not in a towel when the Fed Ex Driver came...LOL.

Giant Smiles,

Want To Win A $25 Gift Certificate to IHAN? And More

Would you like to know who is giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to IHAN?  What would you buy with it?  Hmmm...inquiring minds want to know :)

Ok, I'll stop teasing you....Melissa from Ardea's Nest Blog is giving one away TODAY for the Sew Mama Sew!  Blog. 

I put this little gift together 20 minutes it was done.  Talk about the perfect holiday gift...I guess because I've always loved holiday guest towels and kitchen towels (when I was a kid I always thought only rich people had these sorts of things).  I used a spanky machine to make it with some really spanky dies too.  More on that later....but if you want to see the spanky here...drool away :)

FYI...I am still not replying to comments...please, please, please forgive me.  If you want to me or e-mail me (numbers and addy posted on the front of my website).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Two Reviews & A Giveaway

Why Two Reviews?  Why......

Because I have not finished my Spring Quilt Market Reviews and then I went to Fall Quilt Market in Houston.  What can I say?  I need more time and lots more energy!! 

So without further ado....let me introduce you to Liz Kettle and Ruth Chandler.  They are two of the authors of Fabric Embellishing, The Basics and Beyond.  (Minneapolis Releases)
Liz and Ruth are great fun and I love the vest Ruth wore to Spring Quilt Market.  Check out the back of her vest below.

How cool is she?  Not only a great looking vest but a fun advertisement and demonstration for Image Transferring.  I chased her down the hall yelling, "Hey Fabric Embellishing Girl" kidding.  Clearly I have no shame.  I could not remember her name ....that happens to me all the time.

Ruth and Liz presented at School House and we had a opportunity to see many of their techniques in their samples.  They have a big sample book of their techniques and the book is very inspiring.  Below you will see a collage of some of their pages.  I didn't think the collage showed enough detail so I also included some of the individual photos below those.

Unfortunately I was not able to take their classes but Ruth and Liz were kind enough to send me home with a kit to try myself.  Kind and generous ladies for sure!!!

Fabric Embellishing, The Basics & Beyond was co-authored by Ruth Chandler, Liz Kettle, Heather Thomas and Lauren Vlcek. This book (as well as the next one) are hardcover but made with the spiral bindings inside which really makes it easy to read along while you are working.  There lots of photos that help teach the techniques that are described....which include this long list of great techniques:

  • Textiva
  • Cocoons & Rods
  • Burning
  • Paper Collage
  • Weaving
  • Embroidery
  • Devore
  • Stamping
  • Angelina
  • Discharge Dyeing
  • Couching
  • Tyvek
  • Crazy Quilting
  • Metal
  • Image Transfer
  • Beading
  • Needle Felting
  • Rusting
  • Lutradur
  • Foiling

Isn't this just an incredible list?  I'm sooooo glad they did not call me and ask for help with writing this would still be in pencil form and no where near the printers.  These girls are clear in their instructions and really share tons of excellent reference book and a great gift too!!

Fast forward now to Houston and Fall Quilt Market

Guess who has a new book out...already?

Liz Kettle has co-authored another book that was presented in Houston, Threads, The Basics & Beyond.
Liz and Ruth holding their books :)

In this photo Liz is sharing some the techniques in book Threads.  Below is a photograph of one of the projects that was shown.

Debbie and Liz cover so many ways to use thread in your creating.    I never looked at thread in so may ways before.  This book offers an in-depth coverage of  thread as paint, quilting, texture, ornament, structure and embellishment.  The photos are a great part of the book for me.  Without the excellent photos, I probably would not really have a full appreciation for all the techniques. 

If you want some in-depth information to further your creativity I highly recommend both of these books!

Would you love win a copy of  Threads  The Basics & Beyond?  Here is your chance.  Just leave a comment on this post telling me what interests you most about the book.  The winner will be announced on Wed. December 15th. 

PS....I most likely will not be replying to all the comments as I have made a commitment to myself to get some sewing done too :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fassett, Jacobs, Lucy & Mably in Houston for Quilt Market 2010

I'm in Heaven....Kelly Heaven.....oh...Heaven.....and of course there are monks chanting in the background....:)  If I put music on my blog it bothers some you'll just have to get your imaginative juices working this morning/afternoon.....

I know Sarah Vedeler thought I was stalking her while I was in Houston.  Every time I showed up she looked at me and took her photo.  BUT....who I was stalking....and I do honestly admit it was true was the Westminster Fabrics Booth with Kaffe Fassett, Philip Jacobs, Brandon Mably and Liza Prior Lucy

I'm just appreciative that Brandon has such a good sense of humor and Liza had her back turned because otherwise....I'm certain I could have been jailed in Houston.
The energy these colors. along with the designs just speak to my inner "Wild Mo Jo".....and I don't think I really knew I had an inner "Wild Mo Jo" until I first saw their booth a few years ago. 

I could have parked a lawn chair in front of this quilt and book and stayed there for three days with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.
Kaffe enjoying his needlework.

I thought Kaffe was kind to even bother to look up for a photo.  After all, he had been on a plane most of the night (or so I was told.....maybe he really thinks I'm a nutcase and can't stand me taking his photo....who knows?)
Since this is my blog and I can take creative liberties.....I"m going to  name this piece,
 "Peaks of Enlightenment."  How do you like that?  :)
I'm calling this one......"Amber Waves of Joy"
I like "Cornered Energy" for this one.

"Wheels of the Ruby Dharma"....I like that you?
This I call, "Where is Waldo?"....LMAO
(if you don't know what the acronym stands for....please don't look it up)
"Water Falling on Bliss"


These are just the titles I've given these photos.  I love these Westminster Fabrics and the designers are very inspiring to me. 

These Rowan Threads were in the Westminster Booth just down the isle.  Can you believe I did not even attempt a heist?  Me either!!! 
I was thinking while writing this post.......

........Ever notice that when someone/several some one's work resonates with is actually just reflecting something on the inside waiting to get out?

The IHAN world in which I live can be fun on afternoons such as this one.  Prior to seeing any of these folks work I knew I liked color but I think it was buried deep inside me.   I realize I need some color in my world/home.  I don't typically work with colors etc because of self doubt.  My uncle was a very successful designer and he had wonderful taste.  He was held up as the measure for taste and style....if he liked was "divine" (said in such a grandiose manner too).  Apparently I internalized the message that only "designers" have taste and I certainly am not an artist or a designer so I have honestly never explored much until recently.  I've never taken an art class relied on a color wheel to tell me if things "worked" together or not.

Fear color no more!!!  This photo was taken a few minutes ago in my kitchen.  Like the color?  I can tell you it sure beats what was there before....just ask "Waldo."

Happy Smiles,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tutorials That Rock

Since the website drama I have had to slow down quite a bit.  I burned the candle at both ends for too long and now I'm in the rest and recover mode.  Which is a blessing honestly, because it has given me the opportunity to make some things that I have wanted and needed to make.  I absolutely love being able to Google the word Tutorial followed by almost any other word I can think of ....and.... up pops someone's kind gift to others.  For that, I am greatful :)

A must see tutorial is over at the  Sew To Speak Blog.  I learned about it from the Quiltycat Blog this morning.  It really grabbed my eye.

Bee Tree Designs Blog has another one that is excellent.  I typically print off the designs and use them with some extra wool felt or other fabrics when I want a portable project.  I love hand stitching so I keep a file of those too.

An excellent drawstring bag tutorial is posted on Happy Things blog.  I made two of these recently and I think this tutorial ROCKS. 

Oh and did I mention the MJ's Bag Tag Tutorial right here on the IHAN blog?  These make great teacher gifts, family gifts, anyone gifts because they don't have to be used just on luggage.  I make smaller ones and put on the boys lunch boxes, camera bags, computer bags etc.

My last reminder about the Electric Quilt Tutorial that is free too!!!  Click here and get yourself some free lessons and have some fun too.  (This is a don't tell anyone....if my memory serves me correctly....on Facebook I saw a post that read someone somewhere in Southern California is doing a giveaway and it is related to this tutorial....I have learned that nothing gets quilters rocking faster than a fabric giveaway:...and you did not hear it from me!)
More soon!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Sarah Vedeler's AccuQuilt Dies are Now Available

For all of you who have been patiently waiting, the wait is over!!!  All of the Exclusive Sarah Vedeler AccuQuilt Go! Dies are now available.

Many of you will remember these photos that I took at Fall Quilt Market in Houston this past Oct/Nov.  The dies are just now available and I thought many of you who expressed interest in the Machine Embroidery Designs and AccuQuilt GO! Dies would want to know.

This tree skirt was made using Sarah Vedeler's Sparkle CD.

Sarah's award winning, GO! Bedazzled CD was used to make this amazing quilt.

Consider yourself updated :)

Since the website had some "issues" I've been spending my time getting it back to it's previous condition.  If there is something you want but the price has changed, please just e-mail me at and I can help you with that. 

Smiles....because I've also been sewing while working on my website....oh yeah baby....I'm loving it :)


Friday, December 3, 2010

Winner of Square-agonals Giveaway and an EQ Lesson Invite

Square-agonals by Sandi autographed copy....oh yeah baby.....goes to:

Cbar said... 54

I love using simple creative methods to achieve complicated quilt patterns. This is one book I have to have.
november 30, 2010 9:06 PM

Cbar does not have a blog so when you see this post, please e-mail me at with your name and address and I'll get your book in the mail on Monday.

I really appreciate all the great comments.  It is nice to read the comments and know I'm not alone in my appreciation for Sandi's process.  What a wonderful way to teach others how to make quilts set on point without all the fear that most of us have about messing it up. 

By the way, a  little birdie told me about an Electric Quilt Lesson by  Benni Harper.  It is "Mystery Lesson 10: Sunshine and Shadow"  I think all of us with Electric Quilt Software need to throw caution to the wind and have a few minutes to ourselves.  I know I want to continue to further my knowledge about my EQ 7 Software and I don't always make time to enjoy learning more about what I already have.  I made a commitment to do this Lesson....why don't you join me? 


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sometimes, You Just Have To Make Something

By now everyone knows my website was down and I sat for 2  1/2 days at my computer trying over and over to get into the site and sometimes I could get in and do something and then it would knock me off.  You can imagine the hours of frustration and the feelings of helplessness.  Early on I decided I would get through this experience one way or another and I'm be happier if I had something to do with my hands while I was click, click, clicking. 
I brought my sewing machine next to my computer and started working on the long list of Christmas gifts I have to make.  If you are wondering if I always wait until December to start my gifts.....the answer is.....Yes....that is the case more often than not!!  LOL....and I'm sure I'm not alone either! Right?


You may remember this post, when I started learning from the book, It's a Wrap.  I wanted to continue my "lessons" so I started with these bowls.  Wrapping the clothesline kept my fingers busy while I was waiting for the computer to respond.  Working with my hands is such therapy for me and I definitely needed some THERAPY.  The bowl above is one of my favorites.  I started with a 8 inch bottom so this baby is going to be large. 

Here is a pix of the side of the bowl.  Ain't she purdy?
I also made these two smaller ones.  The brown and orange was made from Batik and will be given to my younger Brother for Christmas.  Don't worry, he doesn't read my blog.  No one in birth family reads my blog so I can show all the secrets. 

I also watched these 3 DVD's Paintstik Inspirations by Laura Murray, Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob and Bobbin Play with Bonnie .  I've seen a few of them before but I wanted to review what I had learned.  Since I've dipped my toe into the thread painting/sketching/doodling/coloring I wanted to see how to use the more decorative threads that won't go through my sewing machine needle but can be used in the bobbin.  Bonnie McCaffery sure has some great ideas and tips.  Now I can hopefully finish the backpack project.

Some of the usual products at IHAN have accidentally been removed and will be replaced.  If there is something you are looking for and don't see, please e-mail me and I'll take care of getting it for you.  There is also Free Shipping at IHAN until Dec. if you have been wanting something heavy or large now is a great time to order them.

The deadline for the Square-agonals Giveaway is tomorrow, if you have not left a just might want to do that....on the Square-Agonals post....not here.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Free Shipping at IHAN Dec 1-5, 2010 US Orders Only

IHAN is offering

FREE SHIPPING on Orders over $75.00
December 1 -5, 2010

Orders under $75.00 will be sent a payment request for shipping.
International orders, please e-mail

I guess an old dog can learn a thing or two from some young people (daughters).  They kids said Cyber Monday is all about Free Shipping and that is what they were doing so they did not have to ship their gifts.  They suggested I do the same and so I "attempted" to update my website to make this happen.  What happens instead?  I crashed the website!!!  Or should I say, Kindness Killed the IHAN website....ROFL. 

Everyone who took a button had to do it two and perhaps three times.....I am SOOOO SORRY.  I'm a "Techno Tabula Rasa."  It is true....clearly.  However, I believe huge team of very knowledgeable folks have repaired the issue and I can now get into the IHAN website.....which is a good thing.

For those of you who wrote me initially to tell me that they were displaying the IHAN Button or had IHAN on their sidebar, I have not forgotten you.  I am planning an Appreciation Event of stay tuned and you'll hear from me.

Now I can get back to our regularly scheduled programming.....more Quilt Market photos etc.....hurray :)

Smiles of Relief,

Google+ Followers


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...