Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fusible Review

A little late, but now that we are back on a straight road, even though we still have some bumps and curves ahead, I did get into the Creative Space to play with a new product.

 I have been playing with a new product. Not just new to me, but really new to the sewing/quilting world. I haven't heard much chatter about it... and thought I would give it a try because sometimes you just need a paper backing!!!! A really lightwieght paperbacked fusible.

New Product Review:  Barely There lightweight fusible from the Swirly Girls
(from the web page)
This new, ultra-sheer, iron-on adhesive comes in pre-cut 8.5" x 11" sheets to print or copy on your inkjet printer. Features quick, easy release paper liner - no more picking at the edges of your applique! Barely There is permanent, machine washable and acid free. Perfect for layered applique!

I use lots and lots of fusible, in the last 10 years or so... some where in the neighborhood of 70 yards. I have used Wonder Under (Pellon), Steam a Seam Lite 2 (Warm Company), Misty Fuse (attached inc), Soft Fuse (Shades Textiles) and many others that didn't make the grade to use again.  I saw this product and while I like Misty Fuse, it can be problematic when you want to make precise pieces or do not want to pre-fuse lots of fabrics for a project. Fusibles can cause some real stitching issues when you start stacking many layers, so I am always on the lookout for a fusible that is lightweight and does not stiffen after fusing leaving the quilt flexible and soft.

Free Spirit project
I have 3 projects currently under way with this product. The first one 'Birdies' are two that were not working for the 'Free Spirit' project was waiting for the right inspiration or idea to finish it off. I'm not sure it is ready for fusing yet.... still seems a bit dull. And I have a block to make for a friend, and thought I would try it for that as well. So the projects.

The Free Spirit project... not much more than the motifs cut from the Barely There fusible and I am not sure if I need to tweak the colors a bit more or not.... Not In Love with it as it is....


Gecko
The Gecko, is a block for a friend. I used the donut method, where you cut the center of  the larger parts of the motif out of the center of the fusible, so I could compare how it felt... in the fused and not fused areas.  I could detect the fusible, but barely. I had a bit of difficulty with the eyes and toes, and resorted to an old standby for fusing those. Not sure if the difficulty was me or not , but I was out of time and needed to get this completed. The block is a little over sized at 11", but I wanted to leave a bit extra for trimming.

The last project is one just for trying out the Barely There fusible. Birdies, or the formal title.... "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" was fun and planned on the go... as in we started with birds and designed on the fly. It will get picture heavy... but I know you want to see. (You can click on any picture to see it bigger!)
The birds fused, the yellow one is stitched.

A detail of the notes, these are about a half inch tall, and you can see how well the fusible keeps the fabric edges sharp.
And finished.

I like Barely There product.... however, I used too hot of an iron on one item and... I learned too much heat will fry the glue. It left the fusible glue (diamonds) pattern visible on the front. So, MEDIUM heat is the setting for fusing!!! Once I reviewed the instructions, iIt worked a charm. I have now fused both plain quilting cottons and Batiks, and none were prewashed and got a good tight fuse in most cases, Gecko eyes and toes the the one issue.

The fusible claims to be lightweight, not as thick or heavy as some of the more well known brands, and I found that to be mostly true after fusing the 2 layers together. Not sure I would say it is lighter than Misty Fuse, but pretty close!


Another Feature and as far as I am concerned the most beneficial was the ability to send it through an INKJET printer, (not advisable for laser printers due to the heat require for lasers to print. I drew up a pattern for the Birdies and sent one sheet through the printer on a copy and print and I also sent a print job from the computer on a mirror to get the reverse... for the birds. All printouts came through perfectly! If what you are making requires you to make many bits, this is the way to go, no wasted time tracing or copying to the paper side the same shapes over and over and over... The folded corner is to show the fusible on the back side of the paper. You can see the little diamonds I referenced above.

So yes it is great fusible for projects and I will be adding to my arsenal of fusibles. I have also added it to store, www.ihaveanotion.com!!!

Do you have a favorite fusible? Tell me what and why in the comments. We all like to learn...

More Later! Beth

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sometimes... life makes a LEFT turn

I started to write this post on Tuesday morning, but my heart was just too broken. Every line made me want to start crying all over again. So I erased what I had written leaving just the title.

I am back, not to normal quite yet, but there is a little brighter future and more work, but it will be joyful.

The Heartbreak: We had to give Bandit back to the breeder over the weekend. It was a very difficult decision for us. It was a first for me to abandon a pet. But it is what needed to be done. We had been working with the breeder to bring some of his escalating behaviours under control since late summer. While some things were getting better, the one thing that caused us the most difficulty was not. He wanted to be the dominate figure in the house and was starting to use his size (90 pounds at 10 months) and teeth to push back, we had been trying to work through this. The last straw was when he nearly got me in the face, (his teeth grazed the flesh and left welts) and he did get my hand, I have a few healing holes. 

Monday and Tuesday were difficult and after crying and agonizing I sent the breeder a note, asking how Bandit was doing. If he was adjusting (to living outdoors in a kennel after being a house dog and the new rules). We missed his presence (chaos and all) just like a year or so ago when we had to say goodbye to Axel his predecessor. We do have Lini, and she tries, but her temperament is very laid back and pretty easy going, (unless you are a rabbit or a squirrel in the yard). The breeder called last night to reassure me  us, that Bandit is adjusting, although in some cases not willingly, but he will continue to work with him. 
Bandit with Jeff, the breeder, you can see how big Bandit is!

The joyful part? He offered us another puppy. I don't think that would have been the case if we had not worked so hard to try and bring Bandit around. We drove 5-6 hours round trip to spend an hour or two each week with the breeder and we did all the homework and training he suggested and Bandit was happy to comply -but the Dominant Aggression just would not stop. So we go this weekend to view them and make a selection. I don't know if it will be released or if they plan to keep them a little longer, but I am making preparations! I know a new puppy will not be the same, but it will be close and that will have to be good enough. 

There will still be sadness, as we adjust. Bandit did have a sweet side that he showed us most of the time, but the times he wanted to be boss were scarey and becoming more frequent, not less. We knew he needed more that we could physically give him in terms of control and that was the best thing FOR him.

Stay tuned! Lots more later- Beth






Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tuesday Tool

Before I get into the next tool, I want to say that I am pretty straight forward and of course my opinions are my own. I am not paid or endorsed by any company (and if I was it would start with that information right up front). So, when I share, I am sharing from my perspective... and what I found to be true or not. I also think that you do not need the latest and greatest of everything to be creative or create. We do need to eat, right? But sometimes we need to consider changing our tools especially if it makes creating and playing easier or more comfortable or in some cases, even possible! So with that said, on with the show.

I have recently discovered (for myself) some new scissors!!! I have been a dyed in the wool Ginger and Fiskars user. Why? Well I have several pairs of Ginger scissors in 3 different sizes that I bought way back when, (in the latter half of the 80's) and I rarely every use them. I have a pair of 8 inch dressmaking shears, a pair of 5 inch scissors and a pair of embroidery scissors.  I let a local sharpener sharpen them. Big MISTAKE!!! They are sharp, but the points are now too pointy so they catch on everything. I haven’t really missed any them... except on the 2 or 3 occasions I needed to actually cut out a pattern.

I also have a bevy of Fiskars and Fiskar-like (colored handle) scissors. Many I inherited and several I purchased. I use them about as often as I use the Gingers these days. I have discovered some new ones.

In April while at the Spring Paducah Show I picked up 2 new, to me, scissors.

The first one is for cutting batting. I find them very useful when cutting batting from a roll at the longarm. But don't let that fool you, they are great for cutting batting to size for smaller projects as well as regular fabric cutting scissors. So what is the advantage of these over say a pair of Fiskars (what I was using before). The Batting scissor has a blunted end so it does not grab or catch the batting as you advance you scissors to the next cut. And the blades are much longer so you are not advancing as often and that helps create a much smoother cut.

The other pair I picked up are for hand cutting. I often find myself cutting many motifs and bits from fabric for applique and most times I find the traditional shaped scissors bother my hands when I am making lots of careful repetitious cuts. In many of my older model scissors the small openings for my fingers and/or thumb tend to cause discomfort and depressions in the skin from holding and cutting carefully. I found these large handle scissors that are not particular about which side is fingers or thumb and are very comfortable to use for hours at a time. The serrated blade really helps hold and cut at the fabric at the same time is a great help. I think it is a huge asset to be comfortable while creating!!!

I was talked into one other cutting implement. A scalpel for the longarm. Long thin tool at the top in the next photograph. WOW! It really makes unstitching a breeze. Of course it is very sharp... and could cause some additional problems if you are not paying close attention. The longarm I have allows me to lift the roller the top is attached to, to get under the top above the batting. So I can do what is being called "skin the quilt", by breaking the stitches between the batting and the top. Goes really fast!

At the 'new' Fall Paducah Show in September, I decided to check out one more cutting item. I have seen them used by many Machine Embroiderers and since I do so much thread... stuff I thought they might be handy for me too. And guess what, they are! Prior to these I was using a very sharp pointed pair of small Fiskars, (bottom left in the photograph above) and once or twice cut something unintentionally (not a good thing!). With these very sharp, but curved blades and again no holes to stick my fingers in, snipping my project free of the machine is a quick snip away. I also found them very useful at the longarm, when snipping threads, again the curved blade helps to keep from cutting the fabric, when snipping the threads. In addition they are extremely lightweight.


So WHAT are these great scissors? Famore Brand- said Fa-mor-ray. You can find them at Famore.com. I Have A Notion™ Shop has one or two pair and I hope someday to carry the 4 pieces I have mentioned above, especially if there is interest. But if you think you might prefer ... another brand, say for instance Karen K Buckley... I have a couple of those in the shop too. I haven’t used them myself so I can’t tell you which is better.

I hope you day is full of treats, no tricks...and as always More Later! Beth


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Its a Thread Thing

I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but Thread is my thing!!! It is how I learned so much about needles and the best one for the job. Well that is not exactly true, it was Free Motion Quilting that led me down that path, but much of what is true for the Quilting part is also true for the Free Motion 'Threadplay' part.

So I thought that my next logical step would be to do some show and tell .... about the "Threadplay".

Let me start with one of the most difficult Free Motion Threadplay options. Metallic thread. These are postcards, and came about so I could compare the difference/sameness of the Fil-Tec Glide to the Floriani Thread. I had never used the Floriani and if I have to sell it, then I guess I should know something about it. I have used the Glide in the longarm and recently used it for another project in the Janome domestic machine, which is where I did the postcards.

I stitched these Free Motions with just the spine drawn. The feathers on the left are Floriani thread and the feathers on the right are Glide thread. The threads appear to be very much alike and the only real difference is the slight variation in color, I picked Floriani threads that were a close match to the Glide threads, and chose red and green. There wasn't a problem with either thread and to further test things I also tested the Signature Metallic thread. Wow!!! You don't really see it in the pictures, but I went over some areas with the metallic. I stitched pretty quickly and the Signature Metallic stitched like a cotton, no breaks, no shredding and no kinking. Of course a large eye helped the thread move without breaking.

The second is a detail photo, and it also is a little light on the metallic sparkle visibility. These were great fun to make, if you haven't ever made any postcards now is the time to try. Send one as a surprise to a friend or far away family member. I keep a stack on hand to mail... as needed. People just love to get them in the mail!

So to sum it up Floriani thread seems to stitch up the same as any other Polyester thread that I have used. Next up is to test the Floriani for use on the Longarm.

Have you ever received a textile postcard in the mail? Leave a comment. You might be the lucky one to receive a feather in the mail!

More Later- Beth








Tuesday, October 17, 2017

On another Note....

I am still trying to figure things out over here at I Have a Notion.... mostly a schedule... or at least a general idea of a plan... but since my life has never really had a schedule, with the exception of when I worked I had to at least show up on time and stay until quitting time! Beyond that I fit housekeeping, cooking, laundry, and/or computer issues in as needed or required. I still do that now and I try to remain flexible. About the only "regular" schedule I have these days is sleep and feeding the dogs on a fairly regular basis. After that all bets are off...

I also seem to have many once in awhile obligations that make me shift back and forth.... almost weekly. This week is no different. There is a mini retreat later this week (basically a one day sewing event) where you are fed. I am the organizer, so I have to come up with the plan and the food for the day. I plan to cook for the ladies... (the last 2 times we had a delicious sandwich and salad bar) so something different will be required this time!!! I was hoping the weather would cooperate so I could make soup and have it simmer on the stove all morning, but we are not yet that cool in Kentucky, so plan B will be implemented. Homemade Pizza.

As you see by the last post... I was thinking about talking about some of the tools of the trade, (I don't have the regular Chrome needles yet, but I will, Please please please be patient... with me), especially some of the newer innovations that make our time spent creating so much more effective...  Speaking of creating, I finally got back into my creative space.... the last couple of days. Usually when I have had to change gears.... and step away from the daily opportunity to make a mess, I mean create, I start by doing a bit of cleaning or reorganizing and then dive in. I cleared off the table of things I didn't need or generally has its own place in the Creative Space, and then I got busy. I had 2 baby quilt to get done. ONE is late!!! and the other still has a few months before it will be needed.

I got out the box of Baby Quilt Fabrics, it sounds like so much more, but it is just a plastic shoe box and only contains a few bright tone on tone prints and some scraps of black and white fabrics. I try to keep all the black, white and bright stuff together and in the box I also found some quarter blocks I started in Virginia (before spring of 2015!) and a stack of leftover Disappearing 9 -Patch blocks. Now fair warning these may make your eyes hurt... I generally make black and white quilts for babies these days, because their brains are still forming and connections are still being made.... and this colorway is very stimulating. So without further warning... bright is next.

Baby Quilt for Baby D!



and

Baby Quilt for Baby N!


I plan to quilt them on the Longarm with a flannel back for warmth and softness, and that will be next week?????

What are you creating.... this week.

More Later- Beth

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tuesday Tool- Machine Needles

I think we should talk about tools. Not the workbench kind, but the type that help us ‘craft’ better. I have often taken something I heard to heart and continue along my merry way, only to discover that it is or was an old wives tale, the information was based on a completely false interpretation of information or that technology has improved so much the past information or beliefs have been made obsolete.

Let’s take needles for instance, technology has made so many changes and advancements that they are almost new again.

There was a time…. When Singer was the ‘standard to meet or beat’ when it came to sewing machines, and then in the 70’s Bernina came to the fore… and depending on your favorite machine, may still be for you. But it doesn’t matter which machine you choose to use, if you are not using a -pick one- “good”  “correct” “right” “sharp” needle for your project; your machine stitches will not be great!

Depending on what you are sewing you may need a specialty needle and there are plenty of those out there, but I think we need to start at the beginning with what I call my “daily driver”… the needle most often found in my machine. But before we get specific, maybe a little needle anatomy should come first.
Needle Anatomy courtesy of Sew Essentials.co.uk

There are 4 major parts to a needle… that we as stitchers need to consider. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Shank –the part that fits up into your machine, if you are using a domestic sewing machine it will have a flat side, that most often placed in the machine with the flat side at the back to make fitting and centering the needle fool-proof. If you are using a longarm or industrial sewing machine the shank is round and you have to center the eye of the needle visually. In all machines the needle should be inserted all the way in/up and well tightened, (but not ‘man’ tight).

The Shaft of the needle, which is between the Shank and ‘eye’ and has the Groove, that runs up and down on the front of the needle. The groove helps guide the thread from the machine to the eye of the needle to make a stitch. Sometimes specialty threads need a larger groove to flow freely and without difficulty. This is also the area that determines the size of the hole the needle leaves behind. The size of a needle is also important, as it makes the hole and carries the thread through the fabric. A rule of thumb for needle size, the bigger the number the bigger the needle 100/16 is a big needle and will make a big hole, the 70/10 is much finer. A note about the numbers the smaller number is the US needle size and the larger number is the European size, which number is listed first is not important.

The next part is the ‘Eye’ of the needle and as you may have guessed by now if
Picture courtesy Schmetz Needle
I am pointing it out, also plays a huge role in thread progression from spool to stitch. Too small and it will shred or break the thread, causing headaches and frustration especially with some of the specialty threads. There are several needles that are the same circumference as any other, but the “eye” is where the difference is.  The Topstitch needle eye is larger to accommodate larger threads, an Embroidery needle has an extra-large eye to help keep thread from shredding and a Metallic needle often has a Teflon coating to help the metallic threads move through the eye. Basically if the eye is too small the thread will have a difficult time moving through the eye smoothly, causing all kinds of problems.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia
Lastly the point of the needle, it is the part that pierces the fabric and carries the needle all the way through so that the needle can make a stitch. Too big and it may leave a large hole, too flat as in a ballpoint it may pull threads in the fabric… or a dull needle can also cause very similar difficulties. For a long while the Universal Needle was recommended, since the point was sharp for woven fabrics but not too pointy for knits or stretchy type fabrics and is generally a considered an all-purpose needle. These days for most of the thread use in the quilt making process a Sharp is most often recommended, it pierces the fabric layers easily and carries the thread through a well-made hole.

Another aspect that has changed the needle is technology. We used to only be able to get a hardened steel needle coated in chrome. When they come out of the package they are bright shiny and sharp, but after about 8 hours of stitching the point starts to dull and is recommended to be changed. But now we have Titanium coated needles, (which does make them a bit stronger), but more importantly it helps protect the point and does a much better job of dissipating the heat we may generate when stitching fast.  The strength it gives the point allows you to sew with the same needle up to t3 to 5 times longer than a chrome plated needle, it is smoother and is cooler to the touch after sewing. Which when you compare the cost is a much better value!

So what needle can you find in my machine most days? The Titanium Topstitch 80/12 or 90/14 for general sewing. I have found that the longer life of Titanium needle make them my go to needle for all sewing, whether Free Motion Quilting, Free Motion Embroidery, Decorative Stitches or general piecing or seaming, especially when combined with many of the newer specialty threads.
The correct needle, with the right point and eye will help your machine make the most beautiful stitches and the best needle will carry your threads with ease. For convenience, Titanium Needles in a 10 needle pack can now be found at IHAN and if you really prefer the ‘chrome plated steel’ needles you can find those as well at IHAN, also in a 10 needle pack. (EDIT- Chrome needles are in stock as of 10/20/17!!!edit.... chrome is not yet available, but will be soon!)

What is your favorite needle and why?

As Always More Later!  Beth



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Once again .... its a Time thing. What gets done and what doesn't is often less of a choice than there just isn't any more minutes in the day!!! Do you ever run into that?

I have still been having some computer issues, but finally I think I have it figured out. It was one or both of my Photo programs... both have been banished from the computer.... for the time being, but it also means that editing pictures is now a bigger difficulty other than just not liking to do it, it also means that getting the pictures off the camera... is not possible! (I hate the way Windows handle photographs.)

I had a great time in Paducah and had my first opportunity to explore the town since moving to Kentucky. Paducah was supposed to be our move destination in Kentucky, but for some reason we couldn't find a house that would work for us. Oh well, we're close.

To fill the time between Fall Paducah and now... one of the local quilt guilds I belong to held our annual quilt show. I have a large job and a major responsibility on the show committee, so I was a busy bee...helping to set up/hang, work and then of course the take down/clean up, and I also manned the "I Have a Notion" booth. It wasn't a big space. It was the debut...

While in Paducah I stumbled upon a quilt auction and brought home a quilt. Old and a bit worn, each piece was stitched with 1/8 in seams, so some weren't holding together very well. It is a bit brighter than the larger picture shows, as you can see but the photo above. I discovered that the batting was a threadbare blanket. Someone had at one time attempted to make some repairs and I continued with just enough stitches to hold the bits together, long enough to longarm it all together. It was also tied, so once loaded, I snipped the ties. The quilting I added was nothing special, I only paid $12 for the quilt and I had planned to use it as a table cover.... I love the 30's prints and that green that says vintage quilt...  The other table has one of my other fun finds... some flower basket blocks that I pulled together for a longarm practice quilt. But I have another vintage Grandmothers Flower Garden planned for larger booth needs. I think quilty things always look great with quilts on the table.

Yeah I know not too exciting and quite frankly I am looking forward to some quiet... time hanging around the house and not doing too much for a few days! HA!!! I'm going to keep dreaming.

More Later-Beth


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Visitors and Travel

Well I thought I had a post started.... about a week or so ago.... but alas... must have been snatched by that pesky computer gremlin, (which I hope has been excised by taking a very old copy of Photoshop off).

I have been busy!!! Very, very busy. And I will be busy for the next week or so... and then I hope things start to settle down and I can begin a routine that has me focusing on "I Have a Notion" as my primary goal. So what has kept me from it?

On September 2 I collected 2


friends from South Africa at O'Hare International Terminal and then the fun began. We spent the next 3 days playing in the Chicagoland area. A ''quilt store" (only one of my friends was a quilter), and the rest of the stops were landmarks and traditional touristy things. We did not make it to Willis Tower, aka Sears Tower (birds eye view was not high on the list), but we did the North Shore south bound driving in, visited Navy Pier, took a 
Lake Cruise, the Chicago Cultural Center, Cloudgate, Buckingham Fountain, considered the Field Museum, walked along the waterfront, some of Michigan Avenue, and a bit of the downtown area streets as we walked everywhere after parking the car (about 6 miles). The following day we took it very easy and went to the Chicago Botanic Garden for a day of tranquility, (although many others thought to do the same thing as well).








On our way back to N Kentucky we stayed on the
smaller highways and avoided the Interstate. There is a small well established Amish town called Arthur, which we also stopped in. Once home we spent a few days.... visiting around town. Since I live on the Bourbon Trail of Kentucky, we made a trek over to the Makers Mark distillery for the the tour and to see the Chihuly Art Glass exhibit. We explored quilty things and some golf things... One of the quilty things was a visit to New Albany IN to see the "Form not Function" exhibit at the Carnegie Museum. One word Spectacular!!!

On September 12 we headed over to Paducah for the first annual Fall Show! We arrived after a meandering drive through the Land

Between the Lakes with enough time to beat the crowd at Hancocks of Paducah Fabrics!!! We spent a few hours looking and choosing just the right fabrics. I brought
some home too!!! We spent the next 3 days looking the quilts, visiting vendors and exploring Paducah. It was my first time with more than one day so I was able to see all the venues and antique stores, along with the Museum and the waterfront.

After Paducah we parted company, me for home and they were heading to O'Hare via the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains. From the pictures they have posted, Mother Nature has given them a glimpse of fall color too.

I had a blast hosting and returning the favor to visitors that showed and shared so much of their South Africa with us. Can't wait to do it again...Travel home safely my friends I will miss you.

Next.... a few pictures of the Fall Paducah show. As Always, more later!  Beth

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Struggles....

Time!!! Do you have enough? Do you have times when you seem to have all the time in the world and other times where no matter how you.... rearrange the demands you don't have enough? Sometimes it is a big thing and other times it is many many small things. Sometimes at the end of the week do you wonder how you got it all done?

One of the fellows my husband used to work with called the small
things 'Time Thieves'. Little things that eat up lots of your time and attention in small almost unnoticeable chunks, that add up to hours at the end of the week.

We all experience the little ones... emptying the dishwasher, picking up a room, feeding the dog, answering a phone call that extends by 15 minutes.... giving some attention to a family member that just needs a little comfort or a sounding board. I bet you can name a few too and at the end of the week wonder where all you time went?

And there are the regular big ones... work for a paycheck and then there is housework, and family duties oh and let's not forget sleep. All suck up an enormous chunk of our available time, not to mention energy.

At my house we seem to be grappling with a few of the bigger ones. Bandit, the 10 month old puppy has needed a little adjustment. He is a dog bred to be aggressive, (not necessarily mean, but not a fraidy cat either). He was not understanding his place in the house and certainly forgetting what the word NO meant in regard to him. So off to the breeder, for some
more stringent training than the regular obedience that we already completed. This is taking about 17-20 hours a week, but in the end Bandit will be a better dog and we of course will people and all be on the same page.



Added to the dog woes... my computer has been acting up... regularly for months but I just couldn't figure out where the problem was. The computer was shutting down, or the program I was in (usually Google Chrome) would freeze and I would have to restart, or after restarting the computer the program would not start so restart the computer again. I think I have it worked out now. It appears to have been caused by an Anti-Virus/Internet Security update/upgrade that was loading a .dll or other startup directive... where it cause interference with another program, possibly even Windows 10. But my computer has behaved itself for 24 hours now, without a restart, which lately is a record.

So where was all this going you ask... well my time has either been used up or not allocated well enough, and I seem to be behind in all areas.... and for me it won't get too much better until the end of September. The for most of the month I get to play hostess...  a little time back in Chicagoland, some time showing off Kentucky and a trip to Paducah for the new Fall Show. I am so excited about this opportunity, and of course, I will post about that a bit later.

In the meantime, check out www.ihaveanotion.com... I have started to update the stock and some of the prices. So far Books, DVDs, Fabric/Kits and Stabilizers have been sorted. Check them out, some are pretty good bargains if it is something you need.

As always, there will be More Later-
Beth and Bandit

Monday, August 21, 2017

Theme of the Day

Hello Friends! 

Life here on farm (ha don’t I wish I had a farm!) is going full speed ahead, in a direction other than planned of course!

I want to share a couple of experiences… I had this week which all have a theme.

#1. I have a vacuum cleaner, only 2 years old. As anyone with dogs or kids knows, they occasionally need to have some attention, especially the area of the brush roll. So I settled in to deal with this machine. Thinking like most vacuums I have had, I’ll just take the cover off and clean out the area brush roll/belt area. After removing the screws (9), and a Google search for the how to get the cover off, I finally called the company. First thing the guy says to me is, "if you have removed any screws you have voided your warranty". Big deal, it’s already out of warranty and needs attention. Next he says they don’t make them to come apart. That if you need to replace the brush roll or belt, they sell you a brand new head at $70 plus S/H! How is that good for me? For the landfill? Longevity of a vacuum? Would I recommend this product to friends and family or would I buy another-not a chance. I have a Hoover that is 15 and still works great and I can still buy just the parts I need for it.

#2. I bought a new phone about 4 or 5 weeks ago. Just recently released. It stopped working while charging. Like FROZE to a brick of unresponsiveness. Took it to the store… After more than an hour I came out with my old phone activated (the Sim Cards have gotten even smaller so the Sim Card from the new one would not fit old one, they waived the activation fee) while I wait for the replacement phone to be sent to me. The phone that died was inspected like I had done some damage to it and wanted something for nothing. You would think they might look up our record with the company…. And see that we don’t make complaints and pay the bill on time… We are the ones they want to keep not alienate with distrust and skepticism. We won’t even discuss the skipping me in the que for assistance. 

#3. I also had an issue with some food… coffee, the life blood of early risers. I like a particular brand and I get it from a big box store. For the last 6 months or so, I have asked, complained, suggested, or pointed out (to the powers that be) that the store is having a stock problem… Finally, in our house we were out… not a bean left in the jar, it was time for some coffee. At the store not a single bag of either blends we prefer were on hand. I stopped at Customer (no)Service, for a stock update, shipment expected on the 6th. I had to come home without coffee, and what is worse make a trip to another store for a bag of ‘make do’ until I figure out a new coffee. As I came in door I spied my computer and though… I wonder if the company knows that this store chain is having a problem, or if it is just my store, since I was getting nothing done from the bottom up… what about the top down. So I called them. It was an amazing conversation. I was promised 2 bags would be sent to me right away, and what is more…. The Operations Manager called later that evening from his personal cell to discuss the difficulty I was having and to try and figure out where the problem might be. He also told me to contact him back if I had any other issues or concerns. 10 days later I sent him a picture of the coffee display, stating that nothing had changed…. And the store was still out of the coffee.


So where was all this going? What is the theme? Do you have a guess? Did you say customer service? What makes a happy customer? Kelly knew and I am going to try to carry on in her tradition. Friendly Customer Service with a SMILE!

More Later- Beth

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Good Morning Quilters!

While you don’t see much happening at the I Have a Notion store, there is so much going…. I don’t know where to begin to tell you about it and I am more than sure you don't really want to hear about it. I have been on the Internet for a long time, but mostly from the finished front side (stores and blogs and information pages) but have never found the need to spend much time on the backside. What an education!!!

In addition, while attempting to scale the mountain of things I don’t know I have been visiting with a dentist. I have had so many experiences with dentist that were not so favorable, that I now go over the edge with anxiety, that it takes a day or two to get my equilibrium back. I will have a few more visits over the next year…. You know those pesky fillings from our childhood… I have a few that need to be replaced.

Speaking of Childhood, here in my neck of Kentucky the kids are back in school already. I grew up in California, and Labor Day was the marker that summer was over and we had to buckle down inside for the next 9 or so months (we never had snow days or conversely we didn't have any “too much sun” days either!!!)

I have a quilt that I titled "Childhood Memories". For me it depicts the freedom and wide open spaces of being a child in the summer.
Childhood Memories


I made it for a Guild Challenge in 2015. The challenge issued was to use the pinwheel block (already constructed by the challenge committee) on the front of the quilt, and we were not allowed to alter it. I knew the minute I saw it, that I wanted it to be a 3 dimensional “Pinwheel” that turned on my quilt like the little ones we had as children on a stick. As a child I saw them as pointless and requiring too much work to make them spin (running) if there wasn’t a strong breeze blowing. 

So what marks the end of summer for you? I am always interested to hear other perspectives… especially if you live where it is different than where I have lived.

Thanks for stopping by and checking in, as always More Later!!!

Beth

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hello Ladies, Gentlemen, Quilters, Sewists, Shoppers and Gadget Guru’s!!!

Thank you Kelly for the introduction. To say that things have not gone quite as planned is an understatement. The Internet in all of its confusing states has decided that what ‘was’ there is…. Not. I apologize if you are finding it to be inconvenient.

So…. While I try and scale the mountain of things I don’t know and file them among the little that I do know, let me tell you more about me and maybe some of my vision, and in return please comment and tell me some of the things that you love about Kelly and I Have A Notion!!!

Linzi and Bandit... the dogs
As you know my name is Beth Hunter. I currently live in Kentucky, and just passed the 2 year mark at this address. I have a husband and 2 dogs… and we have moved a lot. Quilting has been my connective tissue whenever and wherever I have moved. I know quilters around the world both in real life and online. Quilters are, by nature a warm friendly and sharing community and I want that at I Have A Notion. I want to share some of what I have learned, help other quilters find what they need to progress and create their vision, and create a community of joy and friendship.

My quilting endeavors began around the fall of 1986 when I joined a quilting guild. At that time I lived in the small community of Paradise, California. The guild had nearly 100 members and the average age of the members then was 60-65. I was considerably younger (by half), and I loved all those ladies like family. I learned to hand piece and quilt with cardboard templates and a pencil and the rotary cutter was just becoming the THING. The using a sewing machine came later for me.

My quilting took a short detour, when I was mistakenly diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, so I stopped almost all stitching for about 10 years. There were a few moves in California, and then we moved from Southern Cali to Nebraska in 2002. Once in Nebraska (Grand Island) I decided to take up quilting again! I had to let go of much of the handwork and use a machine more…. I of course joined a guild and had a fabulous time with those ladies too. I am still in contact with many of them these days. Since then I have moved many more times and made many many many many more friends, one of them is Kelly!

I first found Kelly and I Have A Notion via the blog and would read every installment, about the products, her guilds and friends, Mr. McSteamy, the kids and of course the flamingos. Kelly and I have kept in contact over the years via email. We have some shared experiences, I blogged about one here, from when I was living in South Africa. Feel free to poke about on that blog… if you want… I have shared much of my QUILTY life and connections there as well as my foray into photography, but for just pictures there is also a Flickr  page.

My quilting style is whatever interests me at the moment… although I have moved a little away from traditional quilts to more ART… I love to play with thread.

Until everything is sorted out… I can be reached at baquilter@live.com or by phone at 270-900-4564

Please stay tuned and be patient …. Because as I always say;




There will be more later!!!  Beth

Monday, July 24, 2017

New Owner at I Have A Notion (IHAN)

As all of the regular IHAN blog readers know, the past few years have dealt me more than a few serious challenges.  I've been told what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.    I'm thinking without practicing, I should be able to dead lift a thousand pounds or at the very least be able to hold my own in a good brawl with wonder woman. (The mental picture of that makes me laugh so hard I almost just wet my shorts...LOL.)

I have some wonderful news to share   There is someone whom I believe has all it takes to carry        I Have A Notion forward creatively and with lots of inspiration.

Beth Hunter and I with a packed U-Haul
 2017 in Ohio

Beth Hunter is the new owner of I Have A Notion, I Have A Notion blog, trademark and yes all that inventory.

I met Beth through my blog back in 2010. We developed a friendship.  I have had the pleasure of visiting her home in two states but sadly not when she lived in Sough Africa.  Beth is a wonderful quilter, thread painter and  a new long arm quilter as well.  She has known I have been interested in sharing the blessings that have come from being the owner of I Have A Notion  and I have passed the baton to her.

You know I would never leave one of my babies with anyone I did not trust and believe could improve on what I've accomplished thus far.  Beth is honest and isn't shy about speaking her mind and I believe you will enjoy learning more about her and from her.

The words Love and Joy don't even come close to my experiences since starting I Have A Notion in March of 2009.  The people I have met and gotten close to have been by far the GREATEST treasure.   You can't imagine how many people have added beauty and strength  to  my life and I would have never known them or met them if it were not for IHAN.  It has been a privilege and pleasure to have been of service to so many of you who have read my blog and have been faithful customers.
Mary Jane and I at the Lake House in PA 2009

I would be greatly remiss if I didn't mention Mary Jane Ehlich, as she was my inspiration, my teacher, mentor and dear friend who took my hand and encouraged me in my adventure with  I Have A Notion.  It seems she had a special quality to bring out the best in me as she did so many others in her lifetime.  Mary Jane never wanted  credit or recognition for her help and would only allow me to refer to her as MJ on the IHAN blog.   She gave freely of her knowledge and spent countless hours sharing with me her gifts and talents  As I take my last bow here....just know, if it were not for Mary Jane, I would not have had this amazing privilege nor the courage.  Thank you again Mary Jane for all you did for me and I Have A Notion.

 I encourage all of you to continue to support I Have A Notion as you know I will.

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Smiles,
Kelly

PS...My new e-mail address is Jax07Fam.Kelly@gmail.com




Monday, February 13, 2017

Time for Borders

This is the wonky charity quilt I made to help keep someone warm and get me out of a rut.  I made the border separately and will add it later today.  This was a great stash busting project.  Naturally I'll be glad to see it finished and get on to using up other fabrics in my stash. 

Check out the gift Aaron brought me from his neighborhood romp.  He hid it behind his back and popped it out like it was a bouquet of flowers.  Melted my heart for sure.

Hope you have a wonderful surprise in your day as well!

Smiles,
Kelly

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Spirit of Love

Before you read further, please know I am aware there is false news everywhere.  I did my due diligence and searched to learn this man is a real person and he has an address in the same city as the article states.  Suffice to say, this story appears to be real.

Please read the story of Mohamed Bzeek, the only foster parent in LA county who accepts terminally ill children.

I read this today and thought to myself, this is the true spirit of love and Mr. Bzeek is not he first person I have met that embodied this spirit.

What many of you don't know about me is that I was a Case-manager and Psychologist and  had the extreme pleasure of serving the developmentally disabled community.  I met people who embodied the spirit of real love and acceptance and served others with dignity and honor.

Know these people exist and they are not super-human....they are just simply living out their truth. That "truth" is we all matter, we all count and we are all important. 


Kelly

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Out of the Mouths of Babes

A few days ago, I was annoyed by the vehicle in front of me that could not decide what to do. I said “please turn” out loud. Once the person turned (thankfully), I turned left so as to have no one in front of me while driving home. 

Aaron noticed my annoyance and said, “Call in an aerial strike.”


 Zach responded with, “Car eliminated. Continue with your safe driving.” 

I laughed out loud. Thank God for kids who understand!


Disclaimer:  I know everyone gets annoyed every now and again so don't leave a shaming comment...it was all in good humor I promise...we would never hurt people purposefully.

Giggles,
Kelly

Monday, February 6, 2017

Perrysburg's "Flamingo Family"

Elijah Johnson has made a video and the stars of the show, The Flamingos!




I loved what Elijah has done to share the story of the Flamingo Family.  The wind was blowing the day I was interviewed and I was trying to focus on looking at Elijah and not at the camera....wish I had smiled.  Thank you Elijah for focusing on the positive in our neighborhood.


Smiles,
Kelly

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Charity Quilting....Getting Out of This Rut

I've been in this deep rut and I'm working to get out.  With much encouragement from friends I decided to sew.  When Beth suggested I sew something new and I thought she was nuts.  I have so many UFO's how could I start something new?  Then Rosemary/Waldo offered to make a charity quilt and insisted I make one too.  Karin continually sends me photos of her projects that are inspiring and finally a miracle occurred....I started to sew.

Note to self: When in a rut, one can not always see clearly or know what may be helpful, consider trusting your friends. 
I just paper pieced this wonky twin quilt top.  Initially I used paper Waldo gave me as the foundation and then I noticed that a cheap tearaway machine embroidery stabilizer worked perfectly (very little need to pick at tiny pieces of paper that can get stuck).  I highly recommend the cheap tearaway stabilizer and of course shortening the stitch length.

I used the Westminster 2 /12 inch strips I  won a few years ago.  I thought the bright fabrics might bring some fun to a person who is in need of cheering up with a free warm quilt.


So many scraps remain I decided to try piano keys along the border.  The width has not been decided yet but the photo above is just a trial to see how I like it.  What do you think?

On the subject of what do you think.....do you like or love your washer and dryer?  We are in need of both and I have to say we have been highly dissatisfied with machines for quite some time. 

This is the front of our washing machine.  It is a Kenmore Catalyst Cleaning Action King Size Capacity Plus Quiet Pak 4.  We bought at Sears approximately 8 years ago.  It has required 4 or more repairs in the past 8 years (not cheap to have a repair person to the house).  The power button wore down rather quickly and that was disappointing as well.

The heating element on the dryer has gone out and I recognize it can be replaced but the machine has been repaired once before.  Repair bills are now very close to the purchase price of a new machine.  

One problem with shopping local stores is the machines are not plugged in and you can't test them before purchasing.  No one tells you how quickly the buttons break or if there are secret re-set codes that are only provided to the service repair people.  

We once had a man come and push a few buttons and the washer began working again.  When it broke later, Rick had to pay to get the codes from the internet.  Other times a code would not suffice so we phoned a repair company.

My question to you is, do you love your washer and dryer?  If so, can you tell me briefly what it is you really like about yours and the brand/model you purchased? 

We have reviewed Consumer Reports and we did then when purchasing the Kenmore's 8 years ago.  This time, I'm going with a friends advise....I trust my friends to tell me what they honestly think.  

What happened to the good ole days where things were actually built to last and there were no secret codes requiring purchase?

Superbowl Sunday....I hope your team wins!  I have no team....but I thoroughly enjoy the 1/2 time show!

Smiles,
Kelly




Monday, January 16, 2017

A Surprise That Made Me Smile

Ya just never know when something will arrive in your e-mail that will tickle you.  This morning I took the time to open an e-mail from Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  I have lost contact with Edyta and her husband Mike over the past few years.  That's what happens for me when life bangs on my hood, I retreat.

This is what I discovered inside the e-mail:



What a delight it was to see Edyta again and tickled to see she is making videos.  I'm a visual learner so videos work wonders for me. 

Given my distress over recent events in my life, I have had little desire to create or sew.  I have done some hand stitching on my little hexies however.
I was working on this piece while Mr. McSteamy drove.  Hexies make a wonderful car project, or so I was told by Mary Jane...that's who got me started.  I'm so glad she didn't encourage me to do base jumping....ya know I would have done it...LOL.

Speaking of Mr. McSteamy, he has taken pity on me and spent several hours putting things away in my sewing area.  I know he wants to see me  get back to sewing so he cleared a path for me.  I'm guilty of just setting things down and walking away when I'm "retreating." 

On Saturday afternoon McSteamy was in his woodworking shop and he caught a glimpse of me sitting down to a sewing machine.  I'm sure he thought he was hallucinating...but nope...it is true...I turned on a sewing machine. 


Now sure if you recall how crazy I am about fleece socks.  Yes, during the cold winter months I'm a huge fan of wildly colorful fleece socks.   I've had this pair sitting on a pile in my sewing area for 2 years just because the side seam had come out.  Your eyes have not failed you, they sat for TWO years because of a simple side seam!  One seam is perhaps not worthy of accolades, however each journey begins by taking the first step, right?

Occasional Smiles,
Kelly

Google+ Followers

Translate

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...