I Have A Notion blog and store have moved to:

the store can be found at

There is a much easier to navigate store, with new items. The blog has its own page as well... new content too.

The blog is now at

Please come and visit!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Quilt Market 2010 Houston, TX Day One-Schoolhouse Series

I thought I'd log on and give everyone a sneak peak at a few people I spoke with today....just a little teaser....there are so many more and lots of photos too!!! 

The lovely Amy Butler just before her Schoolhouse presentation. She looked as fresh and beautiful as ever and I can't wait to get to her booth at Market and take more photos.  Hmmmmm who is the gal in the background?  Why it is Miss just never know where she is going to turn up.

Eleanor Peace Bailey with an unidentified passerby.

 I love this picture.  Sarah Vedeler and Susan Brubaker Knapp together in the hallway after their Schoolhouse Presentations.  They both have fantastic presentations today and I took lots of photos in each to share.
That unidentified passerby has found a new love interest.  What can I say....he offered free Chocolate Milkshakes for life....LOL (No worries Mr. McSteamy....just a wee bit of humor :)

It was a great day today.  I am finding it very difficult to blog on a laptop.  I will keep my posts short while here in Houston and share much more once I'm back at IHAN headquarters on the trusty ole home bot.

If you were here at Quilt Market what would you be most interested in seeing?  Is there anyone you would just absolutely love to meet?  Who and why?  Inquiring minds want to know :)

Tired Smiles,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Safe Arrival In Houston and Winner of the X-Block Template and Bright Eyes Pattern

We've arrived safely in Huston!!!   The weather here is just lovely.   I remembered all the cords and memory sticks....hurray!!!  Progress, not perfection, right?  Right!!

THANK YOU GENE for reminding me to visit the Random Number Generator :)

And the number is......

Number 40- Congratulations BillieBee!!!  Please e-mail me your address and when I get back I'll send you the Bright Eyes Pattern and the X-Block Template :) 

Sorry there are no pix tonight....I'm in the lobby at the Hilton (right across from Market......I can smell the fabric and notions from here :) ....something about waking up Mrs. Rosemary to get my camera etc....well....lets just say....I'm a good rommie :)  So you'll just have to visualize the pattern and template and the links and photos normally posted.  If you are not good at visualizing....scroll down to earlier post where all the photos are :) 

Thank you to everyone who left comments and wished us safe travels.  I had the good fortune of meeting a neat gal on the flight from Detroit to Houston.  Her name is Jean Gerow and her website is  I think that is my favorite part of coming to Market is all the interesting and fun people I get the opportunity to meet.

Ok....time for some much needed sleep.  zzzzzzz :) zzzzzzz :) zzzzzzzz :)


IHAN Needle Exchange Program Update and MORE!

Well, I'm almost ready to go to the airport....but still a few last minute things....cameras...extra memory camera this time....but I won't be able to post because my laptop can't do that....darn it anyhow!!!

So I have some loose ends to tie up here on the IHAN blog.  I still have some giveaways and posts to do from Spring Quilt Market.  So, I will post when I get back or perhaps I'll consider a double hitter!!!  Time will tell.

The IHAN Needle Exchange Program is still open to everyone in the world who would like to receive a free  Superior Titanium Coated Topstitch Sewing Machine Needle.  Just click the link and read the details.  I have sent out lots of needles so if you would like to exchange a needle....jump on the bandwagon :)

This is a comment I received from a person who exchanged her needle:
I just used my new Topstitch 100/16 Superior needle to attach prairie point binding ties to a Christmas tree skirt using decorative metallic thread and it all went thru like butter. No needle breakage and no thread breakage. Thank you for setting up the free needle program, I will definitely be ordering some soon.
(published with her permission)
Many of you will recall the IHAN 30 (plus) Days of Giveaways celebrating our 1st Anniversary and at that time I asked the winners to please send me a photo of what they did with their prizes.  There were two gals who responded and here are their photos and letters.

Dear Kelly,

I finally finished the lovely quilt design you were so generous to share
with me. Attached photo shows my version . I decided not to add theappliquĂ© leaves but to quilt an 'all over' pattern of leaves and swirls thatlook like leaves blowing in the wind. Gerald loves the quilt... and retirement also. The quilt looks attractivespread over his favourite chair.  I have made four other quilts for various Charities since starting 'Natures Palette'. They were considerably smaller than Gerald's quilt as his measures2.0m by 2.5m.I quilted it on my favourite quilting machine...Brother PQ1500 which I wasfortunate to win on eBay for the tiny sum of $700. It is a wonderful quilter.
Kind regards,


My new simplicity ruler is fantastic. It is so clear and easy to read. The break down of measurement variations is wonderfully helpful.I can't wait to go 'Star Crazy'.
Well....that is today's post!!  Wish us all safe travels and I look forward to blogging from Houston!!! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

National Alzheimer's Awareness Month - November

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Ami Simms on the phone (lucky me:).  She was telling me packing for Quilt Festival and some of the things going on at the  Art Quilt Initiative.  Next month is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month and I thought folks might want to check  out Ami's Blog and her Facebook page.  Below is a video of some of the quilts that will be for sale in Houston at the International Quilt Festival.  Warning-the photos move fast....put your coffee down and is worth it trust me :)

Oh I just loved seeing all those quilts.  Can you imagine 1,000 of them?  I wish I were staying for Quilt Festival but I have to get home to the monkeys/co-workers :)

Not going to Quilt Festival in Houston either?  You can still be a part of the action!!!

At the end of November, Ami will have this collectors pin for sale on the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative Website .  There are earrings available too.  What a great gift to give for the holidays to the Quilter in your life with everything!!!  (we all know a few of those :)

"1,000 quilts, lapel pins, and earrings — we have no shame when it comes to trying to relieve you of your spending money when the cause is fighting Alzheimer’s. This is a vile disease that affects 5.3 million Americans and we can only raise awareness and fund research with your help." (copied from Ami's blog with her permission)

The World Series Quilt Challenge is in full swing as well.  You can root for your favorite players...just click here :) 

I won't be staying for Festival....booo I guess I'll have to get my pin on the website too.  Where do you put your pins?  I put them on my camera strap and on my guild badge holder. 

I can't say enough about Ami's work/dedication to raising awareness and funding research for Alzheimer's.  Go over to her blog and the Art Quilt Initiative Website and see for yourself.  Ami is proof that all it takes is person to make a do something inspire others.....and that one persons work begins to touch the lives of others and then an entire legion of people are working together to make a difference in the lives of others....and in Ami's case it touches those with Alzheimer's and those who will have Alzheimer's in their lifetime.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spring Quilt Market 2010 - X Blocks by Quilt Queen Designs

Counting down the hours now....before Fall Quilt Market 2010 in Houston, TX.  However, we still have some things to discuss before I go....namely...X-Blocks!!!

This is Patricia Pepe from Quilt Queen Designs.  Patricia has designed the X-Block Patterns and Templates.  I took some photos of the beautiful quilts that were hanging in her booth during Spring Quilt Market.

The quilt behind Patricia is Venetian Tiles.  It is hard for me to see that all of these quilts were made with the X-Block Templates.  They are all so very different aren't they? 
"Bright Eyes" is a fun pattern that would be great for a teen as well as a baby.  Of course, it would be great for me and I'm not a teen or a baby....anyone want to make me one?  LOL

Patchouli is the name of this pattern.  Strong yet sensitive - here I go again- like the Patchouli Essential Oil. 
This is the wall banner that comes along with the Patchouli Pattern.  Two great patterns for the price of one :)
Blueprints Pattern also comes with a "Bonus X-tra Quilt Pattern". 
Patricia also has a book, Once Upon A Time in X-Blocks Land.  "Discover the exciting quilting adventure of X-Blocks!  Not just another quilt book, it's a fabric fairytale come true! Use the X-Blocks rotary tool to turn simple blocks into exciting new designs - no more "ho hum" quilts! 9 magical quilt designs included. "

I like that the X-Block patterns are pleasing to the eye and many come with two patterns for the price of one.  That is great when you want to make a lap quilt for someone and have left overs to make a smaller quilt too!!

This is what the X-Block Templates look like.  They come in 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 inch as well as a Mini and the X-Block Tool Belly Buttons that go along with Once Upon A Time In X-Block Land

"With the X-Blocks® rotary cutting tool, you can create dozens of spectacular designs that look complex but are incredibly quick & easy! They can be created from strips or easy-to-piece blocks and the fabulous borders are created as you make your X-Blocks® so there is virtually no waste! "

I've had the good fortune of having the Bright Eyes Pattern (Autographed) and the 6 1/2 inch X-Block Template in my possession since May.  The best news of all is that I did not open and use either of them....I saved them to give away to a very lucky IHAN blog reader!!!  Patricia was kind enough give both autographed items to me!!!  THANK YOU Patricia!!!!

If you would like to be the lucky new owner of the Bright Eyes Pattern and the 6 1/2 inch X-Block Template leave a comment on this post telling me why you would like to own it.  I know what you are thinking...."why does she ask that all the time?"  Right?  I ask because I really do want to know why you are interested in a particular giveaway.  You must have a reason and it is fun to read those comments.  But if you are tired of that question....make up an interesting one of your own....write it in the comment box....and then answer it!!!  IHAN is a kinder and gentler sort of place.....:)  LOL  How about we choose a winner on Thursday Night?  I"ll ask Gene to remind me....because he is great at that sort of stuff!!!  Gene, will you please remind me on Thursday that I need to do a number generator for a winner?


Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm still here :)

I'm still here.  We had family in town over the weekend and trick or treating with the boys and cub scouts food collection.  As many of you know it takes time and energy to write a thoughtful you'll just have to let me rest tonight and wait for a good one tomorrow :)


Winner of "TidBits from Triangles" by Kari Ramsay

I went with the random number generator and the winner is Terry from Terry's Treasures Blog!  Please e-mail me with your address and I'll get your book in the mail to you right away!

Stay tuned...still more gifts from Spring Quilt Market and I leave Thursday for Fall Quilt Market!  There is a list with at least 25 things I have to do before Thursday noon.  I have lots of comments that have not been answered.  Please forgive me.  I've had my brother and sister-in-law here for the weekend and we've had lots of activities with the co-workers.  I appreciate your understanding and I'll get right on to the next post so I can give away some more fun prizes :)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spring Quilt Market 2010 - Dovo Solingen

If you have never heard of Dovo Solingen you are not alone.  Until my first Quilt Market I had never heard of Dovo Solingen Scissors either.  It was the end of market and I was walking up an isle and saw a line of ladies waiting at the Dovo Booth.  I happened to have known one of the gals so I asked what they were waiting for.  I was expecting to hear something like....Elvis will be right out or John Alison is giving away free fresh chocolate chip cookies.  Nope!  They were waiting to pick up the scissors they wanted to purchase from John.  So, I asked why?  She let out a small gasp and walked me over to the scissors and showed me why.  Holey smokes.....these are like Heirloom Quality Scissors.  They are imported from Germany, Solingen Germany, and they are definitely some spanky scissors. 

This is John Allison's Dovo Booth.  Now I'm not saying he does not work.....but can I say....he is the most relaxed guy at Market.  His booth is easy to set up, just unfold the boards and he is sweating and rushing.....just up and done.  Ya gotta love that.  I so badly want his job.....but I'm thinking he would not give it up for all the steel in Germany!

There are also Gift Sets like this one and others too.
This little brief case is too cute.  What a lovely way to disguise your "business!"
These are folding scissors and they come in a little leather pouch.  I was fortunate enough to get a pair of these in Minneapolis (I treat myself to a pair at every Market) and I walked around the entire time rubbing my pocket.  I absolutely love these scissors.  I know what you are thinking.  What about the Scissorman? Was I right?  Yes....I knew that is what you were thinking.  Brint understands I have a "thing" for scissors and he accepts me just the way I am.  The Dovo are significantly more expensive and some girls just like to have some of everything :)
These are Hardanger Scissors.  Oh they are soooo nice.
Close up of their blunt tip Machine Embroidery scissors.
Oh yes, and I also have a pair of these, Embroidery Scissors.  These are the ones that have such a sharp fine point that you can cut a single check out of a piece of small gingham check fabric without over cutting.  I was amazed the first time I saw that. 

IHAN currently has three pair of the Embroidery Scissors in stock.  I order direct from Germany so I don't keep many pair in stock because I pay import tax and shipping.  I will be placing an order in the beginning of November for the Holidays.  So if there is a pair of Dovo Scissors you would like, please e-mail me at and inquire.  All of the scissors you see on the Dovo Solingen website I can get so just write down the part number and let me know. 


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spring Quilt Market 2010 - Fresh Cut Quilts Pattern Co.

I know, I know, I'm leaving for Houston a week from tomorrow and I'm still posting about Spring Quilt Market.  I've got to clear out my files to make room for new Fall Market Reviews.

I remember meeting Kari Ramsay from the Fresh Cut Quilts Pattern Company.  She was full of energy and excitement and her booth really radiated that great  energy.  Funny how photos take me right back to the moment and I can recall almost everything that we said and how great I felt being in Kari's presence.  She had just got the fabric cards for her fabric line with Henry Glass called Tidbits to go along with her new book, TidBits from Triangles.  (click on Henry Glass link and on the sidebar click on Kari Ramsay /Tidbits to see the fabrics up close)

Kari's booth just emanated fun energy.  I loved the re-assignment given to the old records, very cool idea.
As you can see Kari has many patterns she has designed.  I only wish I could have that sort of creative freedom in my mind.  What a gift, don't you think? 
This quilt was more beautiful in person than in this photo.  I'd love to have a fun quilt just like that one ....guess I better get busy....I mean busier!!!
Jolly Stockings is a block of the month pattern that comes complete with full size templates.  This has to be the most fun Christmas Quilt Pattern I've ever seen.  It is playful but not too whimsical....(oh geez...guess I better take some classes in description for is like describing a fine wine....I have no clue...just using my own verbiage here!)
This is the quilt on the front cover of TidBits from Triangles.  So often we buy the pre-cut fabrics because they are pretty and fun but then we put them on our shelves to look at.  Kari's patterns make it easy/easier to use up your pre-cuts because they use Fat Quarters, 10" Layer Cake Squares, 5" Charm Squares and 6" Squares or Tunovers.  Now that should certainly give you some more reasons to open them up and actually make something with them.  After all......that is what it's for....sewing with!  LOL....I think we are all a little guilty of not wanting to cut or use our favorite fabrics.  I have to turn myself in and say that I've decided to use my fabrics no matter how beautiful.....because that is why I bought them....not to collect or admire them....but to actually make something I can enjoy.  Geez...I'm sooo guilty here.
You know this jumped off the table and into my eyes.  My love of pin keeps would not permit me to avoid this fun creation.  And with a closer look....guess what else was there to adorn that precious pin keep?
YUP, sure enough....those embellished wonderments, Just Pins, made by Just Another Button Company.  Well that is all it takes to get my attention.  Did I mention there was a long line of millionaire men, nude, with "we love IHAN" signs standing all over the place....I never noticed them until someone pointed them out....why?  Because I could not take my eyes off pin keeps and embellished wonderments!!! (slight exaggeration) 
This is Kari holding her new (was then!!) book and she autographed it....and you know what that means don't you?  Yes indeed, to be given away here on the IHAN blog.  So if you would like to be the lucky new owner of TidBits from Triangles all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me why you want the book.  I have not decided yet weather to use the random number generator....or to choose a comment myself.....I guess I'll just wait and decide later.....I guess it can be a blog writers prerogative to not decide!!! 

If you are not sure if you are a no-reply blogger, leave your e-mail address otherwise I won't know how to tell you that you won!



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Interesting Stuff in Five Short Chapters

Today's post is a collection of things I've been wanting to share so I'm putting them all in one post with 5 Chapters.
Chapter One

Do you remember when I blogged about this book, Happy Villages?
Happy Villages by Karen Eckmeier

Rosemary, my girlfriend, bought Happy Villages and I bought the Accidental Landscapes and Layered Waves books by Karen Eckmeier.  Rosemary is much faster than me....check out Rosemary's Haunted Village below.

This was still on the design wall and the threads were not clipped when I snapped the photo.  Isn't this a fun Halloween wall hanging?  I just love it.  I don't have any Halloween fabrics but I'm going to start getting some so I can make one too.  Of course, I want on for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Presidents Day, Valentines Day, Columbus Day...oh yeah....and my birthday too!!! 

Chapter Two
I recently needed to make my own design wall.  So I laid the insulated foam board on the floor with the batting under it so I could cut just the right length....don't want to waste any!  Check out these Batting and Fabric Shears that I received from Brint (Famore Cutlery) the Scissorman.  When I first saw them I thought they were huge.....I mean they are 11 3/4 inches from tip to top of the handle!!!  Everyone knows I'm almost a giant so typically I would not hesitate....but these really caught my eye.  I was pleasantly surprised how nice they felt in my hand as I cut the batting....the scissors cut the batting smoothly and I did not have to use my fabric shears which was wonderful (I only use those for fabric).  When I find out more about stocking them at I Have A Notion, I'll let everyone know.  They are some mighty fine scissors indeed!!!!  Yet another reason to LOVE the Scissorman!!!

Edited 15minutes later....found the scissors and have link embeded

Chapter Three
A year ago I learned about "Wrapagain" when a friend e-mailed me thinking I would be interested.  After reading more about Wrapagain I was very excited and thrilled for Susan Frantz, owner/designer.  She has designed her own re-usable gift wrap made from our favorite ingredients : FABRIC!!!!  I was tickled when I ran into her in town at a festival and asked if I could blog about her product and take some photos.  I'm so glad she said yes because I think her invention is genius.  It is green as green can be....nothing to throw away ever....and it is beautiful.  You can't get better than that for wrapping gifts.  Click here if you want to see how to wrap a gift using a Wrapagain.
(the little boy in the stripe shirt is none other than my co-worker Zachary :)
I bought the large red Wrapagain that Susan is holding above.  I have not used it yet because I'm having a hard time parting with it...LOL.  Word to the a Wrapagain that you are not crazy about.  That will make it much easier to actually wrap a gift and give it away!!  Another really cool thing is Susan has each Wrapagain numbered and when you register them there is a tracking system.  Isn't that cool?  I think they make neat gifts in and of themselves.

Chapter 4
Check out this beautiful holiday towel I got in the mail.  I was so tickled when I opened the envelope.  Surprises are so much fun.  A blogging friend, Karin, made it for me.  Now to keep it away from the boys!!!
Chapter 5
My traveling friend, Dana, came by to visit and stitch one afternoon and she brought some things for show and tell.  Check out the great skirt she made with Batik fat quarters. 

And of course, she had to make some fun fleece socks for this winter.  I made some last year and I'm telling you if you have not made yourself a pair of fleece might just want to....they feel wonderful and are guaranteed to make you smile.
Dana made a gift for a friend....and of course....her humor is right up my alley!  Check out this cute little shirt:
It is not an I-Pod, but a I Peed....perfect don't you think?  And check out the back:
This just cracked me up.  Mr. McSteamy came home for lunch that day.  Being in the IT field I knew he would appreciate this bit of humor.  He was more than willing to model the shirt for me.....LOL :)
Well, this concludes my interesting things to share in 5 short chapters.  I have been working on adding the GO! Baby Dies to my website for pre-order.  It takes me several hours to add items to my if you don't see me for a few'll know where I am...:)


Monday, October 18, 2010

Giveaway Alerts

Julie Herman, Jay Bird Quilts, is hosting a sponsored giveaway for Canton Village Quilt Works.

John Cary, Quilt Dad, is hosting a stop in the Tina Givens Blog Hop and you won't want to miss that one either.  Click here for the full is a great line up with some great giveaways too.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall into Fall Quilt Bloggers Giveaway & Exploring Embellishments Winner

My sincerest thanks for all who visited.  It was a pleasure having you visit and I look forward to getting to
to know some new followers.

Lucky Linda from "Quilt Cookies"
won the Westminster Fabric  Roll!!! 
I still can't believe how many comments that were left for one Fabric Roll...532  I did my best to reply to every one's comments that were re-ply-able :)

Lucky Joyful Quilter won Exploring Embellishments!!!

The Three Beaded Wool Gems Kits go to:
Woolen Sails
Penny's Hands
and you are not going to believe this one....I didn't when I saw the number come up again....but it is the honest truth
Joyful Quilter.  I guess it pays to be Joyful today :)

Congratulations to all the winners....and let me remind you.....we are all winners.  To have the privilege of being able to communicate with one another over the Internet and be concerned about little in and of it self an wonderful gift and I hope we all continue to do gratitude checks.....especially now when here on this part of the earth the days are getting shorter and the darkness can bring some low moods.  Lets continue to remind one another of our blessings....I know I need that continued support.

I also want to say THANK YOU to everyone who went over to Linda Poole's Blog and voted.  She had over 1,000 people vote total.  I was fortunate to win the Quilt Challenge and I am grateful and thrilled....and I so appreciate every one's voting for my quilt.  The Iridescence Fabric Line is available now as well as Linda's new line (which I get a yard of each....oh my word I can't wait) Seahorses.

If you are a fish person too and love the sea/water....all of these fabrics are available for purchase from here and scroll down :)

"Life Is Good" Smiles,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Grandpa and Punchneedle Embroidery

Since the post yesterday, I've had several people inquire about Punchneedle Embroidery.  So here is a little bit of information about Punchneedle and Grandpa :)

Rick's parents, Dick and Dolores (Grandpa and Grandma) came to visit last month.  I was showing Grandma and Grandpa the Punchneedle piece I was working on.  Grandpa asked me to show him how I was doing it and I gave him a little lesson (mind you, I'm no authority on the subject!). 

I gave each of them a Cameo Punchneedle and some thread.  I started with the Cameo Punchneedle and I found it very easy to learn with.  It can easily be adjusted for the length of the loop.  I now use the Super Luxo Punchneedles because I like to take the handle off and just use the tip.  Any thread that will go through your needle will work!!!  You do need a good hoop with a rim that will hold the fabric taunt.  It needs to be as tight as a drum.  I use a frame (you can see Grandpa is using my frame) .  The Round-About Punchneedle Frame has the same type of carding as mine does.  It really holds the fabric taunt.

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I gave Grandpa this pattern from the M Shaw Collection.  Look what he did in just 2 days.  Punchneedle goes fairly quickly compared to may other forms of embroidery.  If you are ever interested in learning Punchneedle the book I would recommend is Punchneedle, The Complete Guide by Marinda Stewart.  It is the best I have found.
Marinda's instructions are very clear with photos and lots of examples of Punchneedle being used in a variety of ways.  There are lots of other wonderful Punchneedle books out there as well.  Marinda's is just my favorite.

On another note, today is the last day for the Fall into Fall Quilt Bloggers Giveaways.  So if you have not clicked on the Scarecrow and hopped around entering some wonderful better get hopping!!!



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