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!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wishing You

Wishing you everything you would wish for yourself including excellent health, laughter, joy and appreciation.
I'm so very grateful for all of the people in my life....I am so very blessed to have people whom I love so very much...I'm always humbled and overjoyed by the amazing spirits I've gotten to spend time with and to be blessed by knowing.

I know this is the Eve. of a New Year....yet I don't get too caught up in resolutions or "word" of the year etc.  I'm all for one day at a time and looking for every opportunity to laugh or bring a smile to someone's face and frequently....just breathe!  We can't control what happens to us but we certainly have some say in how we respond.  I pray to not loose any friends this year, yet I have no control over that either.  May each and every single one of us find something wonderful in another person, pet or plant....rock, landscape, sky....what ever brings you bliss....and have gratitude for every moment of bliss we experience.

So much has happened in the last two years of my life....more pain that I ever knew was possibly physically and emotionally.    For those of you who know me and are know all about it.  For those bloggers who are dropping by....whoops....wrong day to drop in...LOL.  Stop back again another day....giggles.

Two songs I heard this past year that I loved.....and brought smiles joy and fun....I'm going to post them below.  The first song entitled, "Dirt", made me think about my dear friend who died this past year.  Her life was nothing like the video....but she grew up in a wonderful farm house, renovated it when she retired....and lived there happily until she died there this past Aug. On a side note....the only time I feel really bad is when people ask if I'm still crying over the loss.  The people I have connected with and love...there is not magic time on the clock at which time I'll stop missing you or crying....while I'm still a human being....I'll miss you and think of you until I leave this planet.  If you don't have people in your life you feel that way about.....get your bum up and run...don't walk....until you meet folks that change you, your life and inspire your greatness...AND that's what I have to say about that!!!

The other song, "Up Town Funk", brings back the Mo-Town fun I grew up in.  The song reminds me of The Jackson Five, The O-Jays, The Spinners, The Four Topsand The Isley Brothers and all those folks involved in making music in the 70's at Mo-Town....I can't help but float a bit when I hear this song.  Hope you enjoy them...if worries.  If you don't like them....I'd love to hear what you like....and see if that brings a big ole smile to my face because I'm always open to feeling that smile form on my face.

Cheers and Smiles,

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas to All and to all A Good Night :)

Haven't heard from me recently?  There is a reason...I'm exausted and on that note; Merry Chritsmas and now I'm going to bed.

I hope you have had an amazing holiday and have enjoyed all whom you love, I have!

Big hugs to you!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Patsy! 

Happy Birthday Patsy Thompson!
 I hope you are having a wonderful day doing what ever it is you want to do.

I know this will surprise her so I could not resist!

Feel free to join me in wishing Patsy a Happy Birthday and you can find her HERE.   

On another note:

Those of you who have not read my blog in a few days may not know there is a Happy 2014 Holiday Sale going on over at I Have A Notion.  Many items are 50-75% OFF so if you have not been over there....ya just might want to because there will be no back orders taken.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Beauty....on Fabric....Sooooo Lovely

I just know I'm not alone here....there is just something about having amazing fabrics on hand to uplift the creative spirit!  Look what came in the mail today:
Please don't drool on my new fabrics!  Giggles
They came from Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works.  I can typically resist any sale and even free fabric...yep I'm pretty darn good at that.  However.....I could not resist Jackie's Cyber Sale on Batiks and Kaffe Fassett Fabrics.  She hit me right in the knees with this sale!

Will you just look at all of these amazing fabrics....certainly made my list of amazing things that happened today!

Where have I been other than at the mailbox?  Nowhere really.... the elves and I have been working, doing laundry, cleaning floors, making and cleaning up meals and that's about it.  

Hope you are in love with your fabric stash....cuz I certainly am in love with mine.

Giant Colorful-filled Smiles,

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It is ALWAYS Cyber Monday at IHAN

Don't let those folks with their red hot "One Day Only" deals fool you. Typically they mark the price up to mark it down or limit what you can purchase to certain items. NOT at I Have A Notion, Inc.

Check out our 2014 Happy Holiday Sale....I think you'll be very surprised to see the low, low, low prices available through Dec. 31st, 2014 (While supplies last of course.)
Want something that is not "On Sale" worries....Be Smart and e-mail me at


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happiest and Most Joyous of Thanksgivings to You and Yours

I count each and every friend I have connected with as a huge blessing in my life and I can't thank you enough for reaching back to me over the  years.  My heart and soul is full of gratitude today.

Kindness Matters More Than Our Eyes Can See

Abundance is an Attitude

Gratitude is a Gift

Hug With Your Full Body and Soul Today
....none of those quick hard shoulder things...
there isn't much emotional nutrition in those.

Full Bodied Hugs and Lingering Smiles,

BTW...The Beam N Read Winner is being verified and will be available by checking the Rafflecopter widget HERE when confirmed.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Beam N Read Pre-Holiday Giveaway Ends Soon

If you have not entered yet, please do so soon!   If you blog, post to facebook, tweet, e-mail 20 friends about this giveaway TODAY, I will add your name an additional 15 times to increase your odds of winning :)  You must comment below with the link so I can visit where you posted.

Have a wonderful BRIGHT day!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Beam N Read Pre-Holliday Giveaway Starts Today

It's that time of year....time for a fantastic giveaway!  The folks from Beam N Read are allowing me to give away a 6 LED Deluxe Hands-Free Light.  If you are not tickled pink, you certainly should be....not an opportunity you want to miss!!!  Why do I say this?  I say/type this because I was so surprised by how much I use and enjoy my own Beam N Read light.  When I first saw the light I thought to myself....great another light....who cares.  Oh was I wrong and I'm guessing if you have that will be surprised by how wrong you are too!

Having a Beam N Read 6 LED Hands Free Light will bring you, your family and friends 6 oz (including batteries) of total gratitude this holiday season, I promise :)  The Beam N Read Lights are wonderful for power outages, camping, reading, late night work.....any time you need to BRIGHTEN you path....they work wonderfully.  You also have the choice to use 3 LEDS or 6 LEDS by using the switch on the light...very handy ay?

I have given away over 25 Beam N Read Lights over the last few years.  I give them for birthday, Christmas, Going Away Gifts, Sorry Your Power is Out is the truth...just ask my friends, neighbors and family.

Recently I had a friend who was moving back to Shanghai and I gave her one as a going away gift.  Knowing she would be on an airplane for a very long time I figured it would be very useful to her.    Lisa said I was so thoughtful to think of a gift that she could use that would not take up much room.  She works late hours on her computer and sometimes while in bed so I thought she would get a lot of use out of her Beam N Read.  Sure beats getting another something that will collect dust!

For you long time followers of my blog, you will remember the recent loss of my very dear girlfriend Mary Jane.  I used her Beam N Read while caring for her during the night.  The light allowed me to see the labels on the medication bottles without turning on the overhead light.  I used it to read at night as well.  The beam does not illuminate the entire room so it does not disturb people in close proximity.  A bit of humor....Mary Jane had sores in her mouth so bad there were times she could not speak.  She wanted her Beam N Read light so she was using her hand to make a flipping up motion to indicate what she wanted.  I cracked up laughing because I knew exactly what she wanted immediately.  She smiled big and I laughed out loud.  Thank God for friends and light!

Yes, I am very bad and work at night in my bed.  For the sake of your sanity and eyesight  I did not post a photo of me in my pj's using my light.  You all know how "unique" I it should be no surprise that I have made my own adjustable neck strap.
I'm only 50 and I have already found that the more light I have while sewing or reading...the BETTER! 
I have found using the orange filter (both a red and orange filter are included)  that comes with the light helps to block some of the blue light from the LED bulbs.   

I have been recently educated to the effects of blue light that is emitted from LED's (computers, televisions, hand held devices and phones).  Did you know blue light effects your sleep patterns and can cause other health problems as well? can actually mess up your sleep by using blue screens before bed.  Just ask me how I know!!! Sources to read about blue light: Harvard Health Publications, Environmental Health Perspectives,  The Washington Post....there are so many...Google for yourself if you do not know about this subject.  Having two young boys who want to be on a screen 24/7, I found this information very important.

Winning a Beam N Read 6 LED Hands Free Light will definitely make your holiday season brighter.  Why not give one to everyone on you list....I bet they thank you for years to come!

Time for the giveaway!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bright Beaming Smiles,

Friday, November 14, 2014

Last Day- Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop

The feature blogger today on the Patsy Thompson Blog Hop is SewCalGal.  Have you been over to see her work and read the great ideas and information she has shared?  If not...just click HERE.

Be sure to stop by each of the 5 blogs that are participating and leave a comment so you will be eligible to win a downloadable design from Patsy Thompson Designs.

Patsy has posted several great tutorials and shared some of her beautiful work on her blog as well so be sure to hope over there....or just click HERE.

I want to take this opportunity to say

Thank You
 to 6 truly interesting, kind, talented and creative people who have made this past week possible:
Patsy Thompson wonderfully gifted teacher,  freemotion quilter and hyperquilter, machine embroidery designer, and award wining quilt artist.  Unless you have taken a class with Patsy or watched one of her DVD' can not really appreciate the gift Patsy has for teaching and sharing her joy and enthusiasm for quilting and machine embroidery.

Ernie Bode (Mr. Patsy Thompson...giggles) If you have not seen the beautiful sewing notions Ernie makes you can see them HERE and HERE.  The quality is top notch and I guarantee you'll be thrilled with his craftsmanship.) 

Gene Black Quilter, Artist and Weaver in Alabama.  If you don't follow Gene's blog or watch his YouTube are really missing out on a fun loving creative mans adventure in quilting, art and weaving....not to mention cooking, baking, soap making and sooooo much more.

Marjorie from Blue Feather Quilt Studio who by the way is also a great machine embroidery digitizer and quilter.  Here works is lovely and you can find it HERE.

The very creative, talented, brave....this girl takes risks and reaches far outside her comfort zone to learn quilting and sewing techniques.  I admire her greatly....the wonderful Jean from Jean Creates

And last but certainly not least....the ever so dedicated, information providing, quilting industry supporting super hero....SewCalGal.

I'll post the links to the blog posts one last time here just to make your reading journey a bit easier.

I Have A Notion Blog November 10th
Gene Black  November 11th (you are here) 
Jean Creates November 13
SewCalGal  November 14

Have a wonderful weekend and best of luck to all of you in the drawings on each blog!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

More Patsy Thompson Designs-Guest Post by my friend, Diane

Hopefully you have visited Gene's Blog and Marjorie's Blog to see what amazing creations they have made with Patsy Thompson Designs.  Make sure to leave the appropriate comments so you can be eligible to win a downloadable design from Patsy's website.  If you are a no-reply blogger, you can't be contacted if you win so make sure to include your e-mail address.

Today I have a guest blogger who has used Patsy's design Tulip Quartet Block to make a Tulip Tote Bag.   To be clear, this post is not part of the Patsy Thompson Design Blog Hop....I just wanted to give Diane an opportunity to share her thoughts and project.

Hi, I'm Diane and I'm a Patsy Thompson fan!  Not long ago our embroidery guild scheduled a class with Patsy to learn her technique for multiple hooping.  We made a beautiful wreath design on our embroidery machines.  Patsy uses a 'crosshair' design for multiple hooping, and I can tell you that really works for perfect placement in multiple hoopings. And get this - the crosshair design is FREE on Patsy's website under 'Education' and then 'Machine Embroidery'.  I have used the crosshair design in other projects as well.  Patsy's tutorials on the website are so detailed and user friendly, and fun to watch!  Patsy is a natural and her love of all things sewing/quilting/embroidery is evident in all she does.

 "Tulip Tote Bag" by  Patsy Thompson Designs 
Front View
 "Tulip Tote Bag" by  Patsy Thompson Designs
Back View
 I've had the pleasure of making her tulip totebag as well.  Literally every time I take it out in public women admire it and ask me where I got it or how they can make one.  I love it for the beautiful embroidery work and the bright, happy colors.
 Close up photos of Tulip Quartet Block

Patsy has an eye for color that is enviable.  'Happy' just radiates from all she creates.  Besides being extremely talented and creative, she is wonderful as well.  If you have the opportunity, take a class from her!  If you want to create something you will really love, try her designs and projects.  Watching these designs stitch out is mesmerizing and the finished product is something you will love. I've also had the opportunity take a class with Patsy for her free motion quilting technique and I learned so much and had such a great time.  Patsy is a true pioneer in all she masters and her love of sharing her knowledge is present in all her videos and classes.

Thank you Diane for sharing your experience and insights with those of us who enjoy machine embroidery and quilting!

Be sure to stop by Jean Creates Blog tomorrow to see what she has made for the Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop.

I Have A Notion Blog November 10th
Gene Black  November 11th (you are here) 
Jean Creates November 13
SewCalGal  November 14

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kicking Off the Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop

Happy Monday to ya and welcome to day 1 of the Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop. 
Patsy has been so generous providing all of us who are participating in the hop designs to stitch out.  AND....there will be one winner chosen from each blog this week to select a downloadable machine embroidery design from Patsy Thompson Designs as well!!!!   How exciting is that?

Being an admirer of Patsy's work for years now, I have always wanted to be able to achieve a feathered wreath (one that actually looks like a feathered wreath and not a lopsided loopy mess).  My choice was a no brainer.... I choose the Majestic Feathered Wreath 1 & 2.  
Perfect beautiful wreaths....yep.....I can now achieve the same results using my embroidery machine.

Earlier this year I visited Jinny Beyer's Studio and purchased some beautiful border fabric and a coordinating green fabric.  Our kitchen is green and I thought the border print below would make a lovely table runner.

 Patsy's Majestic Feathered Wreathes on the black fabric and Jinny's border fabric on the could I go wrong?

How many blocks did I make?  Twelve....yes...twelve!  Why?  I could not stop and I loved playing with different thread combinations.  And....well....there were those two blocks that I cut into while trimming the batting for a trapunto block (we wont' talk about that).  Patsy's designs are so much fun to play with and they are digitized very well.
I used Patsy's method of centering blocks.  She has posted a wonderful tutorial on her blog and you can read it HERE.  (If you are a video junkie like me, Patsy has lots of amazing videos that you can find HERE.)  You might notice I have double stitched each design (I just used the minus spool button and started each sequence again because I wanted the stitching to be a bit bolder).
Trapunto takes Patsy's wreathes into another realm all together.  They just pop right off of the piece squares.  The stabilizer and thread I used was by Floriani.  

After stitching the blocks on 9 1/2 inch black fabric I decided that the blocks were too large proportionally given the border I wanted to use.  Given I own so many rulers I knew I was bound to have the perfect one for the job....and I was right.
This Creative Grids 8 1/2" Fussy Cut Ruler was just the ticket!  I just laid the ruler over the top of my blocks and centered it over my design and rotary cut away the excess.  I'm one who hates fiddling with rulers so this made my job uber easy.
See...nice and uniform 8 1/2" blocks.  Then I needed a ruler to cut the triangles I set in around the squares.  Yep...had one of those too :)
I have no clue as to how I acquired this ruler...but I sure was glad I had it because it made cutting those triangles and corners a breeze.  You can find one HERE.

Back to those amazing Wreaths!!!
The border fabric on the side was approximately 3 inches wide.  Somehow the border seemed too thin.  If I used the wider border print it might take the focus off the Feathered Wreaths.
What about using the wider border just on the ends?  That looks pretty good....or so I think.
Next I need backing, batting and a binding.
I got as far as cutting the batting and had the thought.....What about making this table runner reversible?  Since the Feathered Wreaths are so much fun to make I thought I could make one identical to this one using different fabrics and colors and have two table runners in one.  I have not decided just yet.  The quilting will be fun because I'm going to outline the Wreaths and they will pop even more.

Speaking of popping...check out these close ups:
You can really see that I used 2 layers of wool batting.

What a great time I've had using Patsy's designs and I am so GRATEFUL she has been so generous...THANK YOU PATSY!!! 

There will be many more of Patsy's designs in my future :)  Would you like to see them in your future too?  Just leave a comment on this blog post telling me which of Patsy's designs you like can find them by clicking HERE.  Did you know Patsy has recently added Pre-Cut Applique Shapes too?  You can see all of them HERE.

Would you like 5 extra chances to win?  Sign up for Patsy Thompson Designs Newsletter by clicking HERE.

Best of luck to everyone and be sure to stop at each of the blogs to increase your chances of winning.

Gene Black An Alabama Artist and Quilter Blog   11/11/14

Marjorie’s Quilting Bee Blog   11/12/14

Jean Creates Blog   11/13/14

Sew Cal Gal Blog   11/14/15

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Big Ole Giant Majestic Smiles,

Friday, November 7, 2014

Monday is the Day!!! Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop

I just wanted to remind everyone, Monday starts the Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop :)
It all starts here on Monday.  The schedule for the week is below.  Patsy has generously offered a giveaway everyday, one per blog!!!  The prize is any downloadable digitized pattern or design on Patsy Thompson Designs Website.

I Have A Notion Blog November 10th
Jean Creates November 13
SewCalGal  November 14

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Winner Announced and Why I Choose Nov. 4th to End the Giveaway

Happy Birthday my sweet boy!

Today is Aaron's 12th Birthday! I can hardly believe my baby is 12 years old.  I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway on his birthday.

And the winner is Josie M.  I have sent the e-mail from the Rafflecopter website.  If you have not received it Josie, please let me know.

I know I promised to post more photos of the kids doing more creative activities....however....the life of this woman is so hectic that I'm lucky I got this posted today!  Hope you understand....if not....find a box of kleenex and let it all out.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Brittany Maynard-May you dance in heaven with my dear friend and loved ones

Brittany Maynard has ended her life according to the news.  If you don't know who she was, Google her name.  I followed her story and was amazed by Brittany's courage and strength.  

I'm not interested in a debate nor judgement.  I know pain, I know loss and I know what is right for me is right for me.  What was right of Brittany Maynard was to end her life with dignity and at at a time that was right for her under those circumstances.  May angles have escorted you to heaven Brittany, and I pray you are the light in the morning sky.

My condolences to your family as the loss of a loved one is immeasurable.

You may not agree or like what is written here....but know....the only thing that separates us as humans is our judgement of one another. 

Yep....still a quilting blog....not advocating others follow Brittany's path.....but I feel I understand her path and can completely respect this young beautiful woman's decision. 

Just know, I'd stand by you too....even if you choose differently because I've always been about love and respect....even where there are differences. 

Tearful Smiles,

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween and It's All About Kids Blog Hop

BOO!  Happy Halloween from the very large child that lives inside of me to the child that lives inside you!

Isn't Halloween all about the kids?  It is in my life because I was never a big fan of Halloween but my children love, love, love dressing up and begging for candy.

Just a reminder that the "It's All About The Kids" Blog Hop has been happening all week long.  There are lots of prizes and tutorials for having fun and inspiring all of us to continue to create with the children in our lives.

I had hoped to get the time to post more creative projects I've done with my children over the years but the day has gotten away from me and it is now time to help the boys dress for Halloween. 

 Make sure and visit each one of these blogs and have fun!

Monday, October 27th
SewCalGal - Event kick off
Tuesday, October 28th

Wednesday, October 29th
Thursday, October 30th

Friday, October 31st
Jacquelynne Steves, The Art of Home
What's Coming Next?

Have a wonderful and safe evening!

Scary Smiles,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's All About The Kids- Day 4

Thank you SewCalGal for including me in the "It's All About Kid's Blog Hop."  This has been a lot of fun to hop around and read the wonderful posts.  If you have not been out hopping, may I suggest you get your fingers clicking....there are lots of ideas and prizes too.

When I first became a Mom 15 years ago my favorite thing was showing my daughters how to make boxes using chipboard and art paper.  Then we made beaded Christmas ornaments for gift giving and of course there was scrap booking and sewing back then too.

Fast forward a few years and we added two boys to the IHAN clan.  Sewing these simple aprons helped keep food and art supplies off of the kids clothing. 
Aaron was 3 years old in this photo and he is wearing an apron I made by laminating cotton fabric.  The iron on vinyl comes in a Glossy and Matte finish.  The laminated aprons were perfect because I could just wipe them off.  We used them as "big boy bibs" when the boys thought they were too big for regular bibs.
 Zach at 18 months old standing on a chair in the kitchen helping Mommy make some cookies.  Where does the time go?
These aprons were made for my "Gentleman Diners."  The boys always got the sweetest comments when we went out for dinner and I would put on their "big boy bibs."

These simple little aprons are so easy to make, your kids can even make them for themselves and as gifts.  The best part is they last for years because they are adjustable.  My boys wore their aprons for art until they were in 2nd grade.  

I've taken photos for a tutorial and Mr. McSteamy created a PDF illustrating the process.  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to send me an e-mail at and I'd be happy to explain anything that is not clear for you.

Supplies list:
1/2 yard of fabric
27-30 inches of macrame cording (or a cording / rope of your choosing)
Optional: Iron On Vinyl and it comes in Glossy or Matte Finish

Start by cutting your fabric to the dimensions given in the PDF below.   Feel free to change the measurements and get creative with embellishments, pockets and machine embroidery. 
 The PDF can be downloaded or printed by clicking HERE.
After you have cut your fabric ,serge or zig zag the edges.  If you prefer, you can cut your fabric 1/2 inch larger on all sides and fold over twice to give a finished edge instead of using a serger or using a zig zag stitch on the edge.  Above you can see I have serged the edges of this very cute fabric.
Next I turn the bottom edge up 1/4 inch pressing as I go.  Do the same for the sides and then fold down the top 1" and press.
Last is the angled arm/side and I turn that edge under 1 1/4" and press.  This will create a casing that the cording will go through.
I begin by sewing along the bottom followed by the sides.  Since I've turned the fabric under a 1/4" I just stitch along the edge using my 1/4" foot as shown above.

When I finish the sides and the neck, I take the cording and lay it under the fabric casing I have made. 
Then I fold the fabric over the cording and stitch along the edge.
This step keeps me from having to thread the cording through the casing when I'm finished.  I tie a knot at the end of my cording because I use macrame cording and it will fray.
Since this is for a gift, I embroidered the child's name on the apron.  You can use denim, duck cloth, or any other fabric of your choosing and embellish as desired.  Pockets are fun for supplies and provide a great hiding place for sticky treasures.

Here are some other aprons I have cut out and have ready to go when I need a quick gift.
Now for the giveaway! 
One lucky person will win a pre-cut apron from the fabrics of their choice pictured above, cording and 2 yards of Iron on Vinyl in the Glossy finish.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We appreciate your stopping by, please continue to visit those bloggers who are participating in the hop.  The links to their posts are below.
Monday, October 27th
SewCalGal - Event kick off
Tuesday, October 28th
Wednesday, October 29th
Thursday, October 30th
Friday, October 31st
Jacquelynne Steves, The Art of Home
Wendy Sheppard/Ivory Spring

 Happy Hopping!



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