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!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CutRite Bind Up Demo - Perfect Mitered Bindings Every Time

  People tell me all the time that they have a hard time mitering their binding and they mess it up.  I know if I can do it, trust me, almost everyone else can do it to....because I'm just a middle of the road talented type quilter/sewing. 
I'm going to show you how I do it with the CutRite Bind Up.  I used a permanent marker and wrote the directions pretty much so it would be easy to follow along.  If I was one of those spanky young quilt bloggers I'd have fancy typewriting over the photo....clearly you get the "old fashion" version here at IHAN :)

Here are the ends of your have left tails unsewn from the edge of your quilt.  You bring the tails together to the point where you want/need them to meet.
Then you press them exactly where they meet.  Can you see I have the Left tail folded back and the Right tail folded back and I'm pressing the fabric right where they meet?  If you can't see this....blink a few times and then open your eyes again or go get your reading glasses!
When I open the Left tail you can see that there is a crease in the center where I had pressed my binding but also there on the Left as well.  I put arrows pointing to where the fabric was ironed and creased.  Although my black lines are not very straight, I'm certain you get the drift.
Now this is where you take your CutRite Bind Up  and place it over the tail with the L for Left facing upward just like the photo above.  Where the two creases meet you center the ruler right where they two creases meet.
You then do the same thing on the Right tail but notice the direction of the Right tail and the template.  The R is facing to the Right.  Again you line up the ruler over the center where the creases meet and cut the fabric along that line.
Then you take the CutRite Bind Up and match the notches to the ends of each tail clipping off each tip.
With right sides of the fabric together, they will now both meet up exactly as they need to.  You sew a 1/4 inch seam from one end to the other.
And Wahhhhh Lahhhhh, "Magic Mitered Binding" all done.  Now you just fold it over and stitch it to the quilt and you are now ready to hand stitch down your binding.  I know, I know....some of you cringe at hand stitching the binding on.  That is my favorite part as it gives me some time to separate from my project as it is coming to an closure ritual.

This is what the CutRite Bind Up Ruler  looks like without my funky handwriting all over the fabric.  Pretty darn neat ay?  I think so too.  I bet you'll never guess where you can get one guessed it...IHAN....dang you are one smart cookie today.  Guess some of us have  neurons that are re-firing again.

A couple reminders before I close.
1.  The FabShop is having a Shop Hop.  You might want to consider joining them because there are lots of great prizes being given away.  IHAN is participating so you will have to find the bunny at IHAN too.  There is also a weekly special throughout the month of January for the hop.  The specials are listed on the front page of IHAN each week.

2. Tomorrow night, Jan 12th (not the 13th like I wrote) is the deadline to get into the drawing for the Fab Five book by Abbey Lane Quilts.

I hope you are having a great day and have found several somethings to smile about and be grateful for.


DISCLAIMER:  I work alone and until Oprah or Gail loan me some of their staff, I'm the only editor there is.  I write all of the posts and because they are my words I don't see most of the mistakes.  I do use spell check but often times those mistakes are not caught.  So if you find mistakes that are dates or something that is not clear....feel free to e-mail me and let me know.  The rest is minor and just pretend you don't see it.  I'll be sure to return the favor :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Abbey Lane Giveaway Update and MORE :)

Some of you may have noticed that I did not include a deadline for the giveaway.  I guess there were fewer neurons firing than I thought were firing.  Those darn synapses are just not what they used to be....ROFL :)

Lets say Wednesday, January 13th is the deadline.  I'll decide some time that day....I'm not telling you when....just some random time I'll run the ole RNG and come up with a number and post it. (unless of course Gene e-mails me and tells me to draw now...giggles)

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading all these comments.  Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable that is for sure.  I've been working my way down the list replying to everyone.  I can't thank you enough for all the kind words and the comradery.

By the way....I have a bone to pick with some of you....I love you comments but if you are a non-reply blogger I can't even reply to you.  SOOOO lets just nip that in the bud today....what do you say?

  •  go to
  •  click on Blogger Settings
  •   be sure the box for "Show my email address" is checked.
  •  click Save Profile

 Lastly....I just have to say....some of us sound pretty bad....we are all into "Fast and Easy"....hmmmm.  Guess we tripped into that one.  I'm thinking there could be better words these folks could choose for their quilt books...LOL :)


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Abbey Lane Quilts - Houston Quilt Market 2010

I may have a neuron firing least I think I have one...LOL.  I have to say I loved every comment I received on the subject.  I know I'm not alone and I must say I have felt very connected to those who leave comments.  What a joy to have such great support. 

You would be shocked to see how many books and other fun things I have here next to my desk to give I'm getting on with it. 

Do you recognize these faces?  The gals from Abbey Lane Quilts,  Janice Liljenquist and Marcea Owen.  You may recall this post when I introduced their first book, Blooming Possibilities.  They have another book out and this time they autographed one for me to give away to one very lucky IHAN blog reader.

This is Janice at Market holding a copy of their new book,  Fab Five; Fun, Fast & Flirty.   There are 2 patterns in this book of basic quilts.  They have added 5 seasonal appliques that are really fun.  To see these quilts just click here.  I think they are cheerful and the applique patterns in the book are printed on the nice heavy paper pull out from the center of the book. 

With the energy I've had lately, anything that says fast and easy is up my alley, how about you?  Please don't ask me about the quadratic formula today....typically I can compute very fast....but not get up and up and went...LOL. 

If you would like to be the lucky new owner of this autographed copy of Fab Five; Fun Fast & Flirty then leave me a comment on this post.  If you are a zombie can just admit it and that is good for a comment.  No contortionist activities in January right?  Right!  If you are feeling perky, please leave a perky comment so the rest of us can enjoy the energy boost :)


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Are you tired too?

Or is it just me?  Sorry for not posting....I have tons of great material to talk about....but I need a brain cell in which to engage in communication and typing!!!  I think I'll go take a nap and see if I awake with neurons firing....stay tuned :)

ZZZZ Smiles,

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rob Appell - Endangered Species Quilt Project

This is a recent photo of Rob I took at Quilt Market in Houston in October, 2010.  I had met Rob a year earlier in Houston and was absolutely floored by his work.  His energy reminded me of Wade, my neighbor's son, who I also admire.

A little about The Endangered Species Quilt Project:

Michael Miller Fabrics and Rob Appell have teamed up for the Endangered Species Quilt Project.  Rob designed each quilt using Fairy Frost Fabric from the Michael Miller Collection.  Three dollars from the sale of every pattern goes to help support these animals and the people who care for them.  To date they have raised 7150.00!!  Great Job Rob :)

Photos I took while in Houston 2009 and 2010:

Green Sea Turtle (taken 2010)
Bengal Tiger (taken 2009)
Giant Panda (taken 2009)
Blue Iguana (taken 2010)
Scarlet Macaw (taken 2009)
Rockhopper Penguin (taken 2009)
Red Eyed Tree Frog (taken 2009)

Brown Pelican (taken 2009)

Howler Monkey (taken 2010)
Red Wolf  (taken2009)
This is where the "story" begins:
While chatting with Rob in 2009 I could not help but see the connection he had with the animals he was using in his quilts.  How could someone bring these animals to life and portray their energy using only fabric and thread?  Energetically I could see he had a connection and I was just taken back by his gift to translate those images with thread and fabric.
Rob shared that had been working in his Mother's Quilt Store, The Cotton Ball in Moro Bay, California.  He has made some Machine Embroidery Designs and has drawn his inspiration from Tattoos.  Well, of course I thought that was cool, new and interesting.  Being comfortable using materials that are traditionally thought of as being for "older women" was also interesting. Perhaps the energy I was seeing/feeling in Rob was congruent with how I saw the animals...sort of wild, a bit carefree, easy to move about, comfortable being in his own skin, and adventurous.
Look at this close up I took of the Red Wolf-  See the eyes?
Now, look below at Rob's eyes....
The energy is there....a bit wild, carefree, adventurous, and comfortable.

This is a bad/fuzzy photo of Rob and myself.  I was definitely in my bliss.....learning about an interesting person and hearing about his experiences....what fun.
Look at the difference a year makes! 
I see more confidence and that same fierce creative spirit don't you?
Posted by Picasa
Rob sells his patterns as well as fabric kits to complete the designs.  You can visit him here on his website and here on his blog.
You know I stopped and did a double take when I saw this Aurifil Thread Collection...."So Cool, IT'S HOT!"  Rob Appell has an Aurifil Thread Collection...I want one too! 
So there you have can be a skateboarding ocean loving surfer who loves to draw and put out some incredible quilt patterns that benefit endangered species too....see what an impact we can all have when we have the courage to be ourselves and use our talents....

Rob teaches and lectures too.  You gotta check out Rob's Twizzleman Project.  I absolutely love these quilts.  These are the "Mad Scientist" Quilts that experiment with color and shape.  Dang Cool Dude! 

Oh....I almost forgot this exciting new subject:  Rob's new book, Making Waves....Adventures of a Surf Quilter!!!  Impressive....just like I said earlier :)

Thank you Rob Appell for sharing your valuable time with me and sharing a bit of your story....I thoroughly enjoyed it and wish you all the success you wish for yourself.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Simplicity Deluxe SideWinder

Let me just tell you why I love my "job."  I got an order for a Deluxe SideWinder a few weeks ago and then the customer e-mailed me immediately to tell me she had read on a chat board that this SideWinder did not work with the bobbins she uses.  She wanted to know if I knew for sure whether it would work with her bobbins. 
I already knew that there was an extensive list of bobbins that had been tested with the Deluxe SideWinder but I did not know about this bobbin in particular.  I suggested she send it to me and I'd test it.  We figured it was cheaper than her sending the Bobbin Winder back if indeed it did not work like the chat board writer had suggested.  Her bobbin is pictured worked perfectly.  Guess I'm a Myth Buster too!! 
So I figured, why not take this opportunity to show others what I do here at IHAN.  I test notions to be sure they work like they are advertised to work and decide if I want to write about them or not. 
After winding my customers bobbin a light bulb went could post about this.  So of course I had to wind another bobbin...some of us are slower thinkers than others :)
See how nicely it winds bobbins.....and tons of bobbins too.  What makes it Deluxe you might ask?  Not only does it wind bobbins for sewing machines, embroidery machines and long arm quilting also will wind thread from smaller spools to cones (up to 12,000 handy is that?  Very cool indeed...if I don't say so myself)  It has a tension adjustment for the different thread weights.  See the little white circular disk to the left of my bobbin?  That is the dial that lets you decide how much thread you want on your bobbin and it has a speed control, fancy that!! 

I like the way those folks at Simplicity Creative Group think.   I'm guessing at Spring Market in Salt Lake City they'll show us even more ways to use the Deluxe SideWinder.....because they are always thinking.

I can think of so many different reasons to use this machine and since it is my blog....I think I'll just tell ya!

Share thread with a friend-you can wind off some thread from those zillion yard cones to share with a beginning quilter or just send some to a blogging friend so they can built their thread stash too.  You can wind off a large sample of your threads and put them into the bobbin doughnut (Bobbinsaver-I love to call them doughnuts) to carry with hand stitching projects.  Not only are they great for travel....but when you go shopping for fabric how nice would it be to pull a calorie free doughnut (Bobbinsaver)out of your bag to make sure you have the right color thread before you get back home?  For those of you who teach can wind off thread onto plastic bobbins to give to your students....or if you sell kits.....make your own thread kits the same way.

I bet you never thought of these great ideas did ya?  If you did....Good On Ya Mate :)

So if you are like many others who like to always have plenty of full bobbins to work with....the Simplicity Deluxe SideWinder may just be the ticket for you too!

How many other stores can you shop with that will do this for you and let you know the results to save you money?  Just another good reason to shop at IHAN and feel free to tell your friends too....all one zillion of them :)

Oh I work so hard....I think I'll take a break now.....


Friday, December 31, 2010

Thoughts and Appreciation

I'd like to share some thoughts as so many other bloggers have done. 

First, I'd like to recommend everyone read a blog post written by Shelly Stokes on Cedar Canyon Textiles Blog.  It is about Rituals and  I thought it was excellent and I bet many of you will appreciate it too.

This past year I've been inspired by so many people this year and I'm grateful for all the beauty and joy that has been brought into my daily life.  Connectedness to people is the most important thing in my life and it always has been. 

It is a pleasure and privilege to own IHAN and it would not be possible without all of you who have purchased from me.  I'm very mindful about who and what I support when I make purchases.  It typically takes the folks at the car dealership by surprise when I say I want to meet more than one sales person.  But hey, I figure that I'm actually helping that person make their mortgage payment and I'm not about to pay a persons mortgage if I don't think they care about what I want and need to purchase.  Actually, I do this with most places and people I shop with and I suspect many of you do the same.  So this THANK YOU is heart felt because I know you want to support me and I appreciate it very much!!!

May you have the happiest of New Years possible and healthiest too :)


Thursday, December 30, 2010

When Darkness Comes

Edited: 11:00 PM 
Another dear friend in PA gave me an update…..Kay is obviously distressed but her main concern is her daughter in law Shiela. ( Kay has been teaching Sheila,to quilt).  That is the kind of heart Kay has….loosing her last surviving child and now concerned about her daughter in law.  What an amazing woman.

Last Edit I promise.  I set up an e-mail account and if you would prefer to send an e-mail rather than a card you can send it to:
I will print them all and take them to her.  For those of you would would like to send a card my addy is 25696 Brittany Rd. Perrysburg OH 43551.  Just address it to Kay c/o Kelly Jackson and I'll take them to her.  If you want to send one to Sheila, Kay's daughter in law, you can just write Sheila c/o Kelly Jackson or send them to the e-mail addy above.

I have a dear friend in PA who has lost her son in a car accident this morning.  Her name is Kay and when I think of Kay I think of a tall strong sunflower that brings a smile to everyone's face.  Years ago she lost a son and then a daughter....and today her only surviving child has died tragically.
We all know there is nothing that can be said or done....yet....we all want to do something....and there isn't much a person can do other than let her know we care.  Kay does not have a computer and does not use the internet so I can't just say....can you drop her a line.  

However, if you are like me and would want to reach out and just say can do that and I'll take the cards to her when I go home on Jan. 13th.  Just e-mail me at and I'll give you my home addy if you don't have it all ready.  You can address it to Kay C/O Kelly Jackson and I'll take them home with me and give them to her.  Please keep her and her family in your prayers/thoughts/ or what ever ritual you practice when things like this occur.

Many of my PA friends know Kay and I am certain you are all hurting along with her.  Please don't tell her I've done this....I'd like to quietly give her some cards from other quilters and stitchers that would like to reach out. 

I'm so sad for Kay that it makes posting almost anything else today meaningless.  Once again an important reminder to be present for each moment of our lives and to embrace those we love for the time that we are able to do so.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

IHAN Christmas Slide Show

I told everyone I was going to take a break and that is just what I have done.  Not one blog post in several days....I can't believe it!

If you've been wondering what we've been up is a little Slide Show for you.  It may not appear obvious but we like to play games and cards too.  We may just so happen to need some fun hats to wear when playing cards....and there is always a losers hat.  Many times we play under assumed names as well....just for fun.

The last photo is a Hawk that swooped into the tree in front of our interesting guest.  The other folks in the photos are, Mr. McSteamy, Krista(oldest), Megan(middle girl), Cody(Megan's husband), Maddy(youngest girl), Aaron(oldest boy), Zachary(youngest boy), Olivia (mom), Tracy (sister), Cordie(brother) and me. 

I'm still sick but I'm moving just the same.  Unfortunately Krista and Maddy boarded a flight this morning early with the same bad colds.......a little extra present from me (unintentional).

I hope all of you have had a wonderful week and are warm and not stranded anywhere due to the snow in the East.

The IHAN Holiday Sale continues through Dec. 31, 2010 so if you want to take advantage of some great prices you better hop to it!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winners Announced for Robert Kaufman Fabric Charm Packs

The IHAN Posse has arrived and I can't believe I remembered to post about the Giveaway....even without Gene reminding me....Oh I'm getting good!!  LOL

Instead of the Random Number Generator I relied on the IHAN Posse (all arrived safely tonight)....I walked in and told them to pick two numbers between 1 and 95 and the first numbers that were said were 13 and 72....sooooo

Congratulations to Patty and Marcia W.  Please e-mail me at with your addresses and I'll put two charm packs each into the mail.

Thank you to everyone who left comments.  I'm really glad I thought of asking to hear what you had learned because I learned so much from the comments myself.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

IHAN Update and Giveaway Alerts


My co-workers are anticipating the arrival of their sisters tomorrow.  The house will be full, three daughters and a son in law....making a total of 8 in the IHAN Posse this Holiday Season. 

The youngest, has recently lost a front tooth and the next one is just dangling.....and I think if the Tooth Fairy is too busy the Elves will come and visit his pillow very soon.

Now I get a little break....I got sick....yep....can you believe it? I certainly can't. I went to the Dr. yesterday and got an antibiotic....hopefully this URI will clear up soon....because I have lots of fun stuff to be doing around here.

Mr. McSteamy was very tolerant of me....I was laying on the sofa and out of no where...I screamed...."Is today the 20th? is the 20th.....and it is the deadline for the Aurifil Christmas Photo thing.....I gotta get my entry in."  You would have though there was a fire with how I started running around.  Well, can you blame me?  The winner would get 28 spools of come on.....I would be willing to do a lot for that....wouldn't you?  Don't ask what...please....I've already posted photos of myself nude quilting on my blog....I just can't go there again.....and I did win that prize....and it was not even Aurifil Thread

I did not win.  I know, I know.....I'm sad too.....I could not stop thinking about that thread.....but apparently I was too focused on the prize because I never read the "Fun" part of the sentence.  DANG.....I could have done so many fun things with all that thread....but no....I thought it was about a Christmas decoration.  It pays to read folks!!!  It cost me 28 spools of Aurifil Thread.  Look at the cute little snowmen that here.  Aren't they cute?  Now those are time....I'm reading every word!

I'm going to find more Kleenex....the really soft stuff.....I'm really grateful for very soft Kleenex right now :)

Kelly foggy headed self forgot on very important thing....A VERY COOL GIVEAWAY going on at the Quilting Gallery Blog.  The drawing is tomorrow so get yourself over there and check it out :)

Tomorrow I'll be looking for 2 lucky winners for the current IHAN giveaway. OK, I hope that is everything.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Aurifil Holiday Wishes

May All Your Bobbins Be Full of Aurifil This Holiday Season

Dreaming of Sugar Plum Fairies?  Not me....I'm dreaming of Spools Full of Aurifil!

I want to wish you all a Merry Aurifil 40 wt and A Happy Aurifil 50wt to you and yours this Holiday Season !

PS....It is still Dec. 20th here Alex!!!  My entry is officially in with 29 minutes to spare :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Monday December 20th Last Day to Ship in time for Christmas

Monday is the last day IHAN will ship packages before Christmas.  If you have been procrastinating, better get hopping!!!  I am happy to enclose gift cards too.  Make sure you write "Card" in the notes section and what you want the card to say and I'll make sure to enclose it.

Just a reminder, you can still get a FREE Sizzix Die (my choice) when you purchase the Vagabond Fabric Cutter....and it is ready to ship (You save $40.00)

as well as the AccuQuilt GO! Baby.....You can get the GO! Baby, the GO! Baby Tote AND the Value Die for only $180.00 (you save $35.00)

PLUS....there are many Holiday Specials going on at check them out because tomorrow is the last day to ship according to the USPS and still arrive in time for Christmas :)

If you have not read about the current Giveaway here on the IHAN might want to check it out!


PS....I'm so glad none of you have gone over to Patsy Thompson's blog....she has 8 days of giveaways going on....and I put my name in the hat for most of them.....I want my chances to be don't go over...OK? 
And what ever you do....don't visit Susan Brubaker Knapp's blog, Blue Moon River, because I want that book too.

(Smutley Snickers)....some of you may remember Smutley....and Dudley Duright for that matter...ROFL

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Robert Kaufman and Quilts for Kids - A Giveaway too!!!

Thank you for the kind words for my son...he is feeling much better.  His illness was brief....and I am very grateful for that.  There are children who are not so fortunate....some are seriously ill and some are in great need of comfort due to a tragedy.  As I was thinking about this I remembered a wonderful presentation in Houston for Fall Quilt Market.  It was a School House Presentation given by Linda Arye for Robert Kaufman Fabric Company

Linda is the founder of Quilts for Kids.  Their mission is, "Transforming discontinued, unwanted and other fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children with life-threatening illnesses and children of abuse". 

P&G and Downy  and Robert Kaufman Fabrics are just two sponsors of the Quilts for Kids project.  There are many more and you can read all about their wonderful program the Quilts for Kids website. Please take the time to go over and read about their program. 

Since I promised TWO Giveaways today, I thought it was apropos to offer some Animal Party Too! charm packs. 

Robert Kaufman Fabric Company has a line of 33 fabrics by Amy Schimler that benefit Quilts for Kids.   How incredibly wonderful is that?  The talent of Amy Schimler coupled with the generosity of Robert Kaufman that is something to smile about, right? Right! 

Look how cheerful the fabrics are in the Animal Party Too! line.  I never understood what folks do with one charm pack.  Am I alone here?  I'm always thinking two is  good start and then you can add some fabric for borders, right?  Tell me what your thoughts are on the subject.

Since it's my blog....for today....I'm saying ya need two charm packs and there will be two winners chosen.  Do you have that?  Two winners will each get two Animal Party Too! charm packs compliments of Robert Kaufman Fabrics by way of the IHAN blog (they were kind enough to provide them for a giveaway).

To enter, visit the Quilts for Kids website and come back and tell me something you learned.  If you have participated in the Quilts for Kids project, tell us about your experience.   I'll choose TWO winners on Wednesday December 22nd.  Feel free to spread the word if you are so inclined :)

THANK YOU Robert Kaufman Fabrics!!! 


PS....if you are looking for something incredibly fun to do with your kids, or the kid in you, check out Dave's Snowflake Patterns....I love making these during the winter months :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Change of Plans

Flexible...oh yeah that's me....I have to be flexible and now you do too!!  No Giveaway Today...I have a sick co-worker home and I had to tend to him all day.  I guess we'll all just go with the flow and I'll be able to get something up soon. 

Nothing serious....upset stomach and lots of whining.  Wonder where he gets that from?  I get fussy when I'm sick too.....must be a genetic thing....or not!

Hope you each had a great day and I'll be back in touch tomorrow....unless I'm forced to be even more flexible....dang sometimes I feel like Gumby Momma :)

Very Limber Smiles,

Giveaway Alerts

You know I can't keep a good thing to myself....much less a Great Thing....actually THREE Great Things.

Dragon Threads Blog is giving away a copy of Susan Brubaker Knapp's latest DVD.  I  was over there putting my name in the hat and figured you might want to know too :)


Susan Brubaker Knapp is giving away a copy of Confetti Naturescapes by Noriko Endo.
 I saw Noriko's work in is absolutely beautiful.  Her techniques are very interesting....check out Susan's review and enter to win a copy of the book.  Hey, if you are not interested....just remember I am...and ship it to me :)

And to top it off, check out Patsy Thompson's blog.  She is giving away some Batik Fabric....yes  BATIK....

Wow....Blogland is a great place for fun giveaways.  Speaking of which....I think tomorrow will be a giveaway day here too.  Hmmm....I'll do digging into my goody bag from Market and see what I have to share.



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