Monday, June 30, 2014

Chicken A La King Anyone?

As most of you know, I've been dragging my lip (actually my entire self) around on the ground for weeks and I'm doing my very best to "keep my chin up."  MJ is in full swing with her chemo and for all the exhaustion and yucky side effects, that stuff better be working....or so I pray it is doing its job.

I received a package in the mail the other day and I could not help but laughing my bum off.....I absolutely LOVE this wall hanging and will treasure it for all the days of my life:
You know it hangs over the commode in the master bedroom.....this keeps the lip up because I can't laugh while dragging my lip on the ground!!!  Thank you dearest friend....I love you BIG....but you knew that before the gift.

Another girlfriend sent me this book a few months ago:

I've been unable to sleep so I reached for this book on my nightstand.  A Promise in Pieces grabbed me from the beginning....I like people and this is a story about some of the best and most loving, kind and loyal people.  It is a story of passion, gratitude and triumph so you know it grabbed me and didn't let go.  When I turned the last page I was very sad....the same sort of sadness I feel when I've put the last stitch in the binding of a quilt.....sad that I'm parting with a friend and I know I'll miss them.

Paying it Forward.....I'm giving this exact copy away....just leave a comment below if you'd like to win the book and I'll let the random number generator do the rest of the work.  I'm willing to pay shipping to all US States....but if you live outside the US and want to pay shipping....you're more than welcome to leave a comment too :)

Who likes a "short story?"  I like all the details....as long as they are not boring....so if any of this bores you....just click on the X in your upper right hand corner :)
 Flamingos on Summer Vacation
World Cup Flamingo Style
A short trip to Maumee Bay State Park last weekend.
Upon returning home from Maumee Bay State Park....I looked up our street to see the Waldo MoBile coming down the street.
I guess you could call it a "Drive By Waldoing"....LOL
New family members direct from Grow A Frog....I'd like to introduce you to Abbott and Costello :)  Abbott for Zach's Christmas and Costello for his birthday.  I want a bumper sticker that reads "Let me tell you about my GrandFrogs."  They were tadpoles when they arrived and now....look how handsome those strapping young hoppers are....I love them.

Mr. McSteamy has a good friend at work who is retiring at the end of the month.  What did he get him as a gift?  Something to do with Golf perhaps?  Woodworking maybe?  Just some good coffee?  Nope!  Not my husband....this is what he bought for his retiring friend:
I laughed so hard when I opened the box. Can you imagine....I just couldn't figure out why there were two pair.  I didn't inquire....I just let it go.  Then a few days later we were out for an evening walk and McSteamy says, "I have to come clean about something."  Imagine my heart rate....it goes up....my mind begins to scan....has anything been strange recently....oh no....what is he going to say....

Then I say...OK...what is it?  This is his reply, "I actually bought the other pair of slippers for you but I was afraid you would not like them."  What a relief....my greatest fear was that he would say something like....I've been wearing your clothes....a pair of Bunny Slippers....I can live with that...ROFL.  Ya can't help buy smile while looking down at your feet with a giant pair of bunny slippers on....its true!

That's all from here....leave a comment if you'd like the opportunity to read, A Promise in Pieces.

Lip Dragging and Smiles,
Kelly

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A NEW Tool

Do you ever have a difficult time seeing the contrast in fabrics because you just see color?  A new notions available to quilters allows them to see only gray scale so you can see only contrast.  I like the Sew Red Clip On Glass naturally because I already wear glasses.  The Sew Red Glasses are regular glasses for those who don't wear glasses.
Easy enough to flip them up....aren't I just a vision?  ROFL :)

I've been quite busy since returning from PA.  Hopping around town and the internet I've seen lots of great things and I thought I'd share a few with you.

While hopping on the internet I found a very fun tutorial to make this n the internet I found the neatest Pin Cushion Scissor Fob...naturally the elephant grabbed me and now I've got to make one for myself.

The tutorial was written by Karen at Faeries and Fibers Blog. 
Perhaps elephants are not your thing, no worries, use any fabric you love and you'll have a fun scissor fob or a wonderful gift to share.

Hopping around town took me to the local urgent care with my youngest co-worker.  Those trips are never any fun.
The little man bent down to pick up a "pretty rock" while he was rollerblading and rolled right over his right ring finger.  The skin and nail are damaged but the doc says he'll heal up in no time.  So fortunate :)

Last evening took us next door for a baby shower.  The happy couple are expecting a little girl, Ella May Vickers.  It was a family shower and we all had a great time.
Bryan and Elissa seemed to like the quilt I made for Miss. Ella May.  I found a label that read, "Your First Breath, Took Ours Away."  I just used a fabric marker on the label to give the rest of the details.  It was a super easy pattern as you can see, very nice for a quick gift.

Today is Mr. McSteamy's birthday so I've got to run.  I need to make his favorite cake, Screwball Cake.  I've posted the recipe before...but if you didn't see it by chance...here it is again:

Screwball Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Combine the ingredients above and then mix in the following:
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp vinegar
2/3 cup oil
Once that is all combined, add 2 cups of water and mix well. 
Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour and you'll have a very yummy cake.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend and if you are a father or do anything in the way of fathering for anything or anyone...Happiest of Father's Days to you!!!

Smiles,
Kelly

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hoffman Fabric Winners Announced


Congratulations to the winners of the Hoffman Fabric bundles!!!


Thank you to all of you who took the time to stop by and visit and thank you to Hoffman Fabrics for sponsoring this fun giveaway.

I apologize for the delay in announcing the winners.....I was home 2 days and we got back on the road.  Friday was surreal....can you believe my oldest co-worker is finished with elementary school?
They grow up so fast....just yesterday they were 2 and 3.

They were not off that bus more than an hour when we hopped into the van and headed back to PA.   Mr. McSteamy's family is here and I was able to rejoin MJ for a few more days.  She starts her chemo today so please send her all the good energy you can muster if you are so inclined.

Our trip permitted us to be with McSteamy's family and celebrate some birthdays.....and I've been working on some blocks using MJ's machine....
It's coming together....and I've only been able to sew a few minutes at a time.  Just a few minutes here and there can really get the job done apparently.  This pattern works for any fabric and any fabric combinations as long as the center squares are lighter than the other fabrics.

Have an amazing day and take time to smile...at least once today :)

Kelly

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Another Beautiful Roadtrip

The scenery on my drive was breath taking....here are some pix :)
Then of course I arrive and the scenery gets even better....LOL :)
My dear friend, Mary Jane, receiving a quilt from our Tuesday sewing group.  She starts chemo therapy on Monday so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers....she will definitely be in mine.

I loved every minute of my visit...even though I could not stay as long as I would liked.  Visiting with my amazing girlfriends from PA always brings joy to my heart.  While in Wellsboro, I stopped in at Needles Quilt Shop and learned they are having a SALE....so if you are in the area, do stop in and get yourself some beautiful fabrics.

Guess who else I got to see?  Someone many of you are familiar with....Susan from Hanging On by Needle and Thread blog.  What a treat that was! If she ever says her sewing room is a mess....don't believe her....it was beautiful :)  My phone was not charged otherwise I'd have taken a photo as proof!

Leaving PA is always the hardest for me....for so many reasons....I love North Central PA and I hope one day we can retire and live there.   As I drove away from MJ's house, I was thinking about her and her husband.....knowing next week starts chemo therapy.  She has the best attitude of anyone I've ever met and I'm so proud to be able to call her my friend.  Looking into the distance...this is what I saw:
In this photo it is faint....there is definitely a rainbow there and it made me smile instead of cry.  What a blessing.
The sunset last evening from I80 heading West.....so many gifts we receive.

If you have not yet entered to win the Hoffman Fabrics, CLICK HERE and enter.

Smiles,
Kelly



Friday, May 30, 2014

Hoffman Fabrics Giveaway

I'll be traveling back to PA today to spend time with my dear friend Mary Jane.  Since I'll be enjoying myself, I thought you may want to enjoy lusting after these beautiful Hoffman Fabrics and enter for your chance to win one of these 3 bundles. 
Oh the Hoffman Challenge Fabrics for 2014 are so beautiful that I'm really having a hard time parting with this bundle....but for you....I will....but just this once :)  giggles
This is the brochure for the challenge and you can read more on the Hoffman Fabric Website.
This is the bundle that I'll be parting with...so vibrant and lush. 

Suzy's Pumpkin Patch by Suzy's Zoo 

Hoffman Fabrics has a link for free quilt patterns on their website and they just so happen to have a way fun table runner made with Suzy's Pumpkin Patch Fabrics.  This pattern would be great for this next bundle as well....
Not only would Suzy's Christmas make a fun table runner, I think it would make a great Christmas quilt for any young child.

How to win?  Check out the Rafflecopter Widget below...I will ask the winners to pay for shipping so if you are not willing to pay for shipping, please do not enter. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Smiles,
Kelly

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

All The Ways to Bind A Quilt

 Bot Troubles Over-Finishing my Post :)

I was responsible recently to do a presentation at the Black Swamp Quilt Guild.  The topic was Creative Borders, Creative Sashing, Mitered Corners and Binding.  My part of the presentation was binding.
All Quilts Shown in this post were made by Mary Jane Ehlich, my very dear friend, teacher and mentor.

Binding, why does it trouble people so?  I've heard many folks say that they hate binding....and for the life of me I don't know why......for me, that is the easiest part.  I love, love, love every stitch that I put in by hand because it is my way of saying goodbye to the quilt....it is the finishing...the end.

(Ok, sometimes ya just have to bow down to the tech gods and feed them mega bites of something!  All I'm trying to do is upload a photo from my phone so I can finish this post....nope...the IPhone camera isn't working like it always has.  Sometimes the universe speaks...as it is now)

Hand pieced and quilted by Mary Jane Ehlich



May 2014 Black Swamp Quilt Guild
Binding Tips, Ideas and Tutorials
Compiled by Kelly Jackson, I Have A Notion, Inc. (www.IHaveANotion.com)
Cutting Biased Binding Resources
Kelly’s note: I cut my binding 2 ½ “ wide and I always cut my fabric on the bias for quilts.  Below you will find some helpful resources that include a variety of ways to cut your fabric on the bias.  Note some people prefer to cut their fabric 2 ¼” and for smaller quilts they may cut their binding even smaller.
Below you will find a variety of tutorials and information about binding traditional quilts as well as art quilts.
Bernina Sewing Studio Video Tutorial

Demonstrates folding fabric prior to cutting bias binding

Video Tutorial: McCalls Quilting


Sew4Home.com

Title: Bias Binding: Figuring Yardage, Cutting, Making, Attaching
This site also links to several interesting tutorials for projects.


Julie Herman, Jay Bird Quilts, has several excellent tutorials on her blog for a variety of binding techniques.  Her book, Skip the Borders, is also an excellent resource on the subject of binding quilts.
“Julie reveals in Skip the Borders, bindings matter. Bindings impact the look of your quilt, yes. But even more importantly—at least to me, who owns quilts that are now 15 years old—the wrong kind of binding can wear out long before your quilt is ready to do the same.”

Sewing Bias Binding to a Traditional Quilt
Note: There are a variety of ways to attach the binding to a quilt.  This is not a complete list just a reference:
 Machine stitch the binding to the front of the quilt and turn the binding to the back and hand stitch the binding down.
Machine stitch the entire binding to a quilt, using a straight stitch or using a wave stitch (Bernina stitch #4) to catch both front and back of binding.


Tutorial demonstrating sewing the binding to your quilt:


Machine Stitched Binding



Fast Machine Quilt Binding 101


No Pins, No hand Sewing Binding


You Tube: How to Hand Bind a Quilt featuring the Binding Tool


Mitered Corner Binding

You Tube Video Tutorial: How to Bind A Quilt With Mitered Corners and an Invisible Join

Non-Traditional Ways to Bind A Quilt
Prairie Points, Ruffles, Ric Rac, Pillowcase Method, and Ribbons
These can be cute on baby quilts.


Scalloped Edge Binding
NOTE: With Janet's Quick Points Rulers you can make prairie point borders and bindings
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMp5sRAzVD0

“Lady Eleanor Burns”





Binding Inside Corners Tutorial

A Quilters Table has a variety of great resources:
Straight Matched Binding
Pieced Striped Binding
Angled Matching Binding

Piped Binding
Kelly: A few notions that I know about for making quick piping
·       PipingHot Binding by Susan Cleveland
·       Grande Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool by Susan Cleveland
·       SimplyE-Z Piping Wizard by Linda McGehee
·       DeluxeBias & Piping Machine by Simplicity

Video Tutorial Piped Binding

Faux Piped Binding


Faux Piped Binding Tutorial by Trisha Chubbs PDF


Magic Binding aka faux piped binding

Faced Binding
Elizabeth's Faced Binding - a 2013 FAL Tutorial

Susan Brubaker Knapp Non Mitered Facing for Quilts

French Binding


Art Quilts

Quilting Arts Magazine 12 Quilt Binding Methods
PDF: "How To Bind A Quilt: 12 New Quilt Binding and Finishing Methods for Your Art Quilts"
I'm so very proud to be among Mary Jane's friends and the only purpose for adding these photos to this post was for pleasure.  I hope you have enjoyed.

NOTIONS
Kelly’s note: Some notions that I know about that assist in making and joining quilt binding.  **indicates tools I own and have used successfully
**Bias Ruler by Susan Brown
**Cut Rite Bind Up Tool by Quilter's Paradise
Fons and Porter Binding Tool
Binding Thingy Tool by Deborah Manlove
Zip Bind System by Martelli Enterprises
Instructions for Cutting Bias Binding- Instruction Sheet from Q Snap Corporation
**Bias Tape Maker Machine by Simplicity
Bias Bender Adjustable Presser Foot by Euro Notions
**Creative Feet by Clare Rowley
You Tube Videos using Creative Feet


One of the best books you can buy for yourself or a friend....it will tell you everything you need to know guaranteed!!!

Kelly’s Note: If you have any suggestions to add to this list, please e-mail me at IHaveANotion@yahoo.com

I hope you have enjoyed this page, please refer to it as often as you like and bookmarking it will assure you know where to come back to for all the latest and best binding tips, tutorials, and tools.

Smiles,
Kelly

Friday, May 23, 2014

"Ahhhhh" Part 2

Back to Virginia.....by way of Rwanda....sort of.....these are not real spears used to catch dinner, rather decorative spears and they grabbed my attention while at Beth's house.  Aren't they neat?

Imagine my delight when "that girl who can COOK" served a South African Bobotie (Bob-boo-tie) for dinner last Thursday evening.  This was my first experience with African food and it was amazingly delicious.  Malva Pudding was served for desert.  After such a delicious dinner I was so very tempted to stand and shake my bah-boo-tie!

I felt so very spoiled, not only by the food, the surrounds but also the amazing company I was enjoying.  Frank, Beth's husband, has been making his own knives and I must say they were a bit scary to see at first  (I didn't know he made knives when I first saw them).
They grab your attention don't they?  When I learned Frank made these knives I took the time to look over the craftsmanship and they are absolutely beautiful knives.  A house full of creative energy....yep....absolutely full.

I left Friday early afternoon to travel to Virginia for my Wonder Woman Weekend and on the way I stopped at Jinny Beyer's Studio.
I had an extra 45 minutes to stop and soak in the beautiful fabrics and quilts.....more soul food :)
 I asked and was given permission to take these photographs....enjoy!
Imagine several of these shelves full of Jinny Beyer fabrics.....yes and I was fortunate enough to be standing within arms reach of every last bolt.  I behaved myself....only because I didn't want to have to unload the entire shop into my housed...LOL.
 This handy gadget caught my eye....it is a "Golden Gauge Calipers from Jinny Byer."  I'd never seen one before
This handy tool allows you to find proportions without doing the math.....spanky indeed :)  Impressive gadget and I'm so glad no one asked me to develop that tool....you'd still be waiting.
The sky was very different than the day before....the clouds were just beautiful.
It was only a 45 minute drive from Leesburg, VA to the Bolger Center in Maryland where my weekend would begin.   I passed some houses that looked like a small nation could live comfortably inside and the one below made me stop my car and get out for a photograph.
This will be someone's home....the large window in front brought a wee bit of envy....but now the housework that will need to take place to keep that home up....well....lets just say I'm so pleased it does not belong to me!  If they plan to plant grass on that hill....you know I'd be laughing until I leaked watching someone mow that....better to plant some of that crazy growing ivy and leave well enough alone.
My first time to the Bolger Center and I was pleasantly surprised by all the lovely gardens and patios.  The rooms were very nice and the food was plentiful and delicious as well.  The weekend was all I needed it to be and more.  

A wee bit of digression:  When my mother passed last year I knew I needed to find a time and place to get away to recenter myself and I wanted to spend some time with with someone or some people that I admired and respected.  There could be no sewing....this was going to be "soul time" for me.  Time to BE and not DO....know what I mean?  That's when I learned about Iyanla's Wonder Woman Weekend and I immediately signed up.  I was filled with anticipation and excitement and could hardly wait for my weekend in October 2013 to come.  Life did what life does....a week before my trip a nasty black rug reached up and grabbed me causing my left foot to dangle from the bottom of my leg....it was U G L Y.  I told the folks at Iyanla's Institute to hold on to my money because the first chance I got to attend the weekend in Virginia....I'd be there.

The first time I heard IyanlaVanzant speak, I think it was on the Oprah program, I knew I had found a kindred spirit.  She is a woman who says it like it is...what I call WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)....my favorite kind of people.   What ever the weekend would bring, I knew one thing for sure;  my mind would be stretched and I'd more than likely leave with a big smile on my face and in my heart.  That is exactly what happened and that's all I'm going to say about my weekend.....you'll have to go for yourself if you want to know more.  If you go, please tell them all that "Ownership" Class of Spring 2014 says Hello :)
 a portion of Beth's studio
At Beth's invitation, I returned to her home for Sunday evening to rest before making the 7 hour drive on Monday morning.  She is one smart girl because I really did need that rest and having more time with she and Frank, well....lets just say I was like a pig in mud.
 Pure Inspiration
Above and around the doorway there are postcards that Beth has received in exchanges.  They were all special and a few really grabbed me:

This was a gift from a friend that Beth framed, it is a landscape of Africa.  Ummmmm, yummy isn't it?
 The right side of Beth's studio....pretty darn inviting I have to say.

I'd love to have been able to stay and stitch for at least a week if not a month....my co-workers were waiting and I wanted and needed to get back to IHAN® Headquarters.  

I'm here now.....just in case you were wonderin'.

Happy Smiles,
Kelly

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