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Friday, July 15, 2011

Kaleidoscope of Quilts 2011

The Kaleidoscope of Quilts is being held at the Franciscan Center at Lourdes College in Sylvania OH.  I particularly enjoyed the show because I recognized so many names on the quilts.  Local show are so much fun...I saw so many friendly faces it was a ball. 

 I took over 350 photos and I've spent the last 4 hours tyring to get them ready to post.  Not all of them are uploading for some crazy reason.  I've done my best to list the title and quilter first followed by ribbons and then quilts.  I hope you enjoy this labor of love (love of the needle arts, the work the local gals have put into their quilts....and for all my blog readers whom I want to share pix with).  Congratulations to all the ribbon winners.


Agfter reading all the credits...I think I'm going to change my name to "Self"  :)


Inspired By Tradition Winner Announced and More

There were lots of great comments left on the review of Inspired By Tradition.  The winner of the book with the CD is M and M plus 3...please e-mail me your full name and address (

For all of you who are local...or semi-local...I hope to see you at the Kaleidoscope of Quilts at the Franciscan Center in Sylvania OH tomorrow.  I'm excited to watch the Iron Quilters should be lots of fun.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

True Sharp Power Rotary Blade Sharpener Product Review

Edited 7/20/2011
Wednesday is the day to raise our "e-notion IQ".  What is "e-notion IQ" you ask?  Why it's my new Wednesday blog feature where I will review a sewing, quilting or stitching notion - unsolicited - no company or person has paid me or sent me anything to do the product reviews (this is typically the case here at IHAN...otherwise I tell ya) each Wednesday.  Have a item you've been wondering about?  E-mail me or leave a comment on this post and I'll do my best to do a review for you.

I'm starting with the True Sharp Power Rotary Blade Sharpener by The Grace Company.  I've been surprised lately when people have asked about blade sharpeners and they did not know about the True Sharp Power Rotary Blade Sharpener.  So I'll show you how mine works....and boy does it work!
The sharpener comes with two fine grit sharpening stones and two coarse grit stones, a cleaning cloth, blade sharpening oil and a blade handler (blue tweezers in the back). 

I spent a lot of time with my grandmother when I was growing up and she didn't throw anything away...seriously...she had hundreds of bread ties.  Waste not want not....I'm sure you've heard that one are my old rotary blades....cuz you know I don't throw them away

As you can see I've saved them forever and I have several of these cases marked "Old"....the new ones I mark "New" so I don't get them mixed up. 
This baby is filthy....just how it was when I took it out of my rotary cutter way back.  So now I'll show you how I sharpened it....really simple to do...just use the blade handler so you don't cut your fingers.
Before I sharpen a blade I put some of the sharpening oil on the stones.  Here I have the fine grit stones in the sharpener because this blade doesn't have any nicks.  After putting the blade into the sharpener I close it and push the button for apx. 30 seconds.  The instructions say to add a little more oil so I'm open it and add a drop or so...then I hold down the button (it does make noise....that thing is spinning fast so it isn't exactly quiet).  When I open the sharpener I press down on the little lever and it pops my blade up.
Check out how sharp this baby is now!!!  The True Sharp Power Rotary Blade Sharpener sharpens 28mm, 45 mm and 60 mm rotary blades.  You can't beat get really sharp rotary blades and you don't have to buy blades near as often so you save money too :)

I hope your "e-notion IQ" has been increased by a few points today....any questions....feel free to ask.  Click  here if you are interested in purchasing a True Sharp Power Rotary Blade Sharpener and you will be magically transported to IHAN.


Now for an update the Truesharp Power Rotary Blade Sharpener review from last Wednesday. Many people asked how many times a rotary blade can be resharpened. Good question right? I knew I could sharpened my blades several times but I did not have an "official" answer so I called The Grace Company and spoke to their service department. I was told they have sharpened blades many times over....50-100 times. Of course some of the nicks are too deep to grind out so then a new blade is needed. I'll add this information to that post as well....just thought you'd want to know :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Inspired by Tradition Book Review

Can you believe I'm in the van and using my laptop?  I feel like I'm on the Spaceship Enterprise with Captain Kirk.  We have wireless internet through Verizon and it's mobile....but there has to be service near to use it.  While at the cabin in Wyalusing there was little chance of any internet service much less phone service so I've really been out of touch. 

I had planned a visit to MJ's house (my "Master" needle turn applique and hand quilting girlfriend) for some fun and some time to improve my needle turn applique skills.  Naturally I had to bring several books for inspiration and thought this would be a great time to tell you about Inspired By Tradition by Kay Mackenzie. 
As you can see, I have little yellow post it notes in all the designs that I want to make.  I love the designs Kay has put together and including the CD is a real gift.  I don't like to trace designs if I don't have to....I'm fussy about the design being accurate and I'm not the best at tracing. 
The designs are traditional but no one says you have to use traditional fabrics to make the blocks.  You know me....I really like those bold bright fabrics.
Kay offers a "Gallery of Ideas"...this is where I found this wall hanging.  Smaller projects really appeal to me...I stand a much better chance of finishing and not adding to my UFO pile. 

After all the beautiful designs, Kay gives readers some hand applique tips, information on hand stitching, raw edge machine applique and even has a question and answer section.  

I think Inspired By Tradition is an excellent book.  Guess I'm not alone either.  Back in March, SewCalGal reviewed Inspired By Tradition and there are links in her post to other bloggers reviews of this here to check them out for more great information and ideas.

Wanna check it out for yourself?  Leave a comment on this post telling me why you would like to own this book and I'll let the random number generator choose a winner on Thursday July 14th. 

Good luck in the drawing!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

Apparently someone got the mail before we left town and did not tell me.  As I was moving some things around in the van I found a package with my name on it.  Oh yeah baby...I love a surprise!

I opened it to find this great tote/grocery bag.  I love it.  I had ordered the bag from Sew Write Creations, an ETSY shop that I really like. 

Inside the tote is this handy clip for either my keys or those grocery store customer cards.  I'm going to make this my new tote bag of choice because it is so pretty.
Check out these luggage handle covers.  Karin really surprised me with co-workers love them of course :)  I love Karin's work...and the quality is impressive.  Straight seams and her finishing details are excellent.  THANKS Karin!!  I keep telling her I'd charge more but she doesn't.  If you want a high quality treasure for yourself or for a gift....I'd check out her ETSY shop: I'm not related...LOL...I just really appreciate the quality of her work and still can't believe her prices. 

A few more pix from PA :)

Now I'm going to sit with the "Master" for my Needleturn Applique Lessons :)


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July to those in the US...Happy Day to everyone else :)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful 4th of July here in the US.  The IHAN clan is on holiday and I thought I'd share a few photos of our trip so far:

 We arrived at the cabin and spent 4-5 hours cleaning.  Although we have a generator and it was on the lighting was not very good.  You know I brought my Beam N Read Light with us....and it is a darn good thing I did too.  Believe it or not...the boys spotted a snake in the cabin.  We need a really bright light to check the entire place over because you can bet your sweet bippy I'm not sleeping in close proximity to a snake.  Yes we have plenty of other critters there...but a way!  So we can now add another "off label" use for the Beam N Read Lights....snake hunting...LOL.
We also found a pond monster at the cabin.  Nothing like the Loch Ness monster....but he has his days :)

Then there are always the being kept in their own private zoo.  Aaron's shirt was filthy and I said to him, "Aaron I think you have ruined your shirt."  He said, "Mom that is what a boys vacation is like, very dirty."  You know I laughed and smiled in my heart.

Looks like everyone is having fun....looks can be deceiving too....snakes are just not my speed...yucky...but I'm managing just fine otherwise.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Winner of IHAN's Beam N Read Light

This has been a very fun week hoping around reading all the comments that have been left by those who are interested in having a Beam N Read 6LED Hands Free Light.  Unfortunately I was forced to get up before the birds this morning to pack for our trip to PA...back to the cabin and yes I have my Beam N Read packed as there is no electricity there :)

Oh I ramble...keeping the suspense going....hard to type as I'm not even this a dream?  Oh...I'm rambling again....silly me :)

The winner of the IHAN Beam N Read 6 LED Hands Free Light is :

JCnNC.  Congratulations JCnNC :)

Please e-mail me at with your full name and the mailing address of your choice.

But Wait....don't go away sad if you didn't win....I've decided to offer free shipping in the US (discount outside the US)  to those of you who would like to order a Beam N Read Light....or several Beam N Read Lights :)  In order to have free shipping you must e-mail your order to me and not enter it through the website.  Please send all e-mail to

I hope you have all had a great time reading the blog posts for the Beam N Read Lights this past week.  I know I sure did.  I think the best part for me was hearing 9 other women talk about a product I had already reviewed here at the IHAN blog.  The main focus of my job is to give an accurate review for a product and sometimes I wonder if people are thinking I'm just saying what I'm saying to "sell" a product.  Here is proof that I tell like it is and I would never give a positive  review for a product just to "sell" it the same time I do sell many of the notions I review.  I could not afford to purchase every notion I reviewed without having an income to cover those expenses.  Just thought ya might want to know :)

Have a wonderful 4th of July!!  If you are new to the IHAN might want to stick of my favorite things to do is give away excellent products  books, patterns, notions and oh yes I also like to share my strange perspective on life too :)

PS...I moved the Kate Spain fabric so there is no need to come for a bowl of cereal anytime soon....I"m really good at hiding my coveted stash...cuz you know there could be thieving quilters lurking about....LOL

If I missed saying anything else important this morning...I'll come back and edit later...for now...I have Mr. McSteamy on my keester wanting to get on the road...I think I'll pack my spray....if you know what I mean!

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's FRIDAY...IHAN's Beam N Read Blog Hop Hurray :)

Today is the final day of IHAN's Beam N Read Blog Hop and its finally my turn....hey who put me at the end of the list?  I want to talk to someone about that.  It has been tough reading all the great posts this past week reviewing the Beam N Read Hands Free Light and knowing I had to wait until the last day to post.  At least I'm not alone....Patsy Thompson is reviewing the Beam N Read 6 LED Hands Free Light today too (make sure you head over and leave a comment on her blog too :).

I use my Beam N Read to illuminate my hand stitching projects but I also have to share it with the IHAN clan too.  Typically it is in my stitching bag but it does periodically disappear.  Because it is so bright I typically can find it quite easily....even when little robbers don't' want to be found!

Hmmmm inquiring minds want to know why the bed is glowing when it bedtime and all little monkeys need to be fast asleep......
Caught in the act!!! 
Apparently there is a particular co-worker who thinks "lights out" refers only to the bedside light.  Playing with Lego's seems to be more fun than going to sleep.

Then there are always those times when you get the hankering for some fresh raspberries and you have to go out back to pick a few after dark. That Beam N Read Light should be called the "Beam N Eat Light" here at IHAN.

Speaking of eating....
 Sometimes a box of cereal is not just a box of cereal ya know.  There are lots of creative places to hide stash (Tim Tams, Chocolates....any treat that is shelf stable)....but .....there is one really smart gal who would never take any risks with her "stash"!!    When all the lights in the house are out and I'm certain there is no thieving quilters lurking about or peeking through the windows... I slip my Beam N Read Light over my head and I creep down to the kitchen pantry to check on my stash. and sound....oh yeah baby!
 Sure you laugh....but Kate Spain's Terrain doesn't ship to Quilt Shops until September soooo  this is one coveted layer cake and I'm not taking any chances!!!

Another great use for the Beam N Read Light is reading those all important labels.  If you are over 40  you may have noticed your vision is not what it used to be....mine sure isn't anyway.  Below you can see I have the magnifier attached to my Beam N Read Light....since these two aerosol cans are the same height and width....I just need to check to be sure I've grabbed the right first here in the IHAN household :)

 "Hmmmmm I better be sure I've grabbed the right can."
Can you imagine how upset I would have been had I sprayed Mr. McSteamy with my 505 Adhesive Spray instead of  "The End- Late Husband Killer?"  Waste not want not...ROFL.  (It is actually Wasp Spray but I loved the can so much I changed the label.  It pretty much stopped Mr. Mc Steamy from arriving home late from work when the boys were very young.)

Here they are....All TEN Beam N Read 6 LED Hands Free Lights....who will be the lucky winners?  Have you left a comment on each of the blogs...including this post?  Are you sure you can be contacted if your name is drawn (meaning you are not a no-reply blogger)?  Good Luck to each and every one of you :)

I want to close with a stitching tip:
.....are you ready for this one?  Ok then....make sure you are having fun while stitching!!  I honestly think that is the most important just have fun.  Another thing I have found quite helpful is getting a consistent 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Especially for beginners...I think this eliminates a lot of frustration.  Simple, yet true. 

PS...for those of you who are visiting for the first time..."IHAN" stands for I Have A Notion my Quilting Notions and Needle Arts Supply on-line shop :)

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