Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Vintage Embroidery Monday – DOW Wednesday Bellows

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 26th, 2015

Today’s addition to the Colonial Kitchen set is a pair of handheld bellows to introduce air into the coal or wood fire to get it rekindled or increase the heat being produced.

Vintage DOW pattern for Wednesday and BellowsThis pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

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Posted in Embroidery | 1 Comment »

Grow Your Blog 2015 and a Giveaway

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 25th, 2015

Sue's PhotoIf you’ve arrived here from the Grow Your Blog 2015 Event… Welcome!

My name is Susan Flemming. At least that’s how I introduce myself when I first meet people. But all my family and friends call me Sue and I hope that you will too.

I’ve had a presence on the net in one form or another since way back in 2000 when I created my first website for my writing. When blogging came along, I added one to my website. (That site was recently moved to a new host and completely redesigned by our son who is a professional web designer and developer. You’ll find the link to it in the right hand side bar.)

In 2008, my children encouraged me to start a homemaking blog separate from my writing blog to share the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years.

Of course, that blog needed a name. Me being dubbed Super Mom started out as a family in-joke shortly after the movie The Incredibles was released in 2004. I had sorted out some problem one of our children was having and said child remarked, “Super Mom to the rescue!” To which I replied, “No Capes!” If you’ve watched the movie, you’ll recognize the reference right away. If not, you can watch a clip of it here.

So when it came to naming this blog “Super Mom – No Cape!” seemed the perfect choice. I can’t tell you the number of e-mails I’ve received from people telling me how much they love the name.

The things I share here are all the direct result of whatever is happening in my life at the moment. You’ll find a bit of everything from sewing to quilting to embroidery to knitting and crocheting. There are recipes and household tips as well.

The posts that seem to receive the most visits are my tutorials, the most recent of which was my Thimble Pip Tutorial.

Every Monday, for Vintage Embroidery Monday, I post a vintage Workbasket embroidery pattern. The first set of patterns I found in the seat of the Art Deco sewing machine cabinet my husband, Dave refinished for me. Since then I’ve come across more patterns in antique shops as well as online.

I have a lot planned for the blog over the coming months and I’d love for you to follow along. You can do that by subscribing through the box in the upper right hand sidebar.

(Edited to add:  When you subscribe, you’ll receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription.  I have this feature to guarantee the safety of my subscriber list.  So please take a moment to click on the confirm subscription link to ensure you’ll receive future post updates.)

Or if you prefer, you can follow me on Bloglovin by clicking on the “b” in the upper left hand sidebar.

I’ve also just joined Twitter and am in the process of learning how to use it. My twitter name is 1SuperMomNoCape, if you’d like to follow me there.

I’m so glad you stopped by.  Before you head off to visit all the other blogs who are taking part in Grow Your Blog 2015, I hope you will take a moment to leave a comment to be entered to win this sweet little zip pouch with matching Thimble Pip, scissors and Oasis Candy Bar by 3 Sisters for Moda.

Grow Your Blog Giveaway Prize

There will be a matching scissor keep and pin cushion included as well.   I ran out of time today and didn’t get them completed to include in the photo.

The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere and will run from now until 11:59 pm (EST) on February 14th. I will announce the winner on February 15th. Only comments on this post will be included in the drawing.  Good luck everyone!


2 Bags Full

Posted in Giveaways | 38 Comments »

The Flying Zebra Quilt is Finished!

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 23rd, 2015

I have had so much fun working on this quilt! And as my January project for A Year of Lovely Finishes, it is done well before the end of the month.

Back in 2011, I made two donation quilts from this line flying zebra fabric which I posted about here and here.   This third one I had intended to save to have on hand for when we have young children visiting. But the more I worked on it, the more I fell in love with it and I just can’t see folding it up and putting in a closet.

It needs to be used. So that’s what we’re going to do. It will stay in the living room to throw over our laps when one of us is curled up on the couch reading or watching a movie (we don’t have cable.)

I put my quilt holder through his paces yesterday while we had one of those rare winter sunny days so there are lots of pictures to share.

First the front:

Front of the Flying Zebra Quilt

I quilted very lightly in the flying zebra sections, stitching along either side of those rainbow lines that run across each panel.

The two blue sections between the flying zebra panels were quilted in a cross hatch.

Flying Zebra Quilt Cross Hatching

I wrote more about the cross hatching here.

The blue border is quilted in two wavy intersecting lines.

For the outside border in the rainbow fabric, I quilted intersecting circles. I splurged a bit and bought a spool of lovely variegated rainbow thread by sulky® (733 Color #4106.) I may just have to splurge more often because the sulky® thread feels and sews so much nicer than the plain quilting thread I usually use.

Here’s a closer view:

Flying Zebra Quilt Borders

I had quilted three sides of those intersecting circles and was so pleased with how it was turning out that I decided to try making a video to show you how I did it. Dave was recruited to run the video camera and to edit it into a short movie.

This is the first time we’ve tried to make a how-to video, so the finished product may seem a little rough. I’m sure that both Dave and I will improve and learn as we go. (We’ve already made a second one that I’ll be sharing next week.)

The quilt back was made from the same line of fabric as the front panel but with flying zebras cavorting all over it.

Back of the Flying Zebra Quilt

The fabric had to be pieced to be big enough. I remember that it took me several hours of very carefully matching up the zebras to make the joining seam as invisible as possible.

While I was quilting, I kept mentally searching through the fabrics in my fabric dresser trying to figure out what to use for the binding. Then I remembered one of the fabrics that our oldest daughter had sent to me. The blue cloud fabric matched the colors of the clouds in the flying zebra panels perfectly.

Flying Zebra Quilt showing the back and binding

Quilt stats:

Finished size: 40” X 59”

Flying Zebra Panels and the quilt back are from “A Zebra of a Different Color” by Winky Wheeler for MMFab Inc.

Blue fabric between the panels and the inside border is Kona Cotton Ocean.

I can’t remember what line the rainbow fabric in the outer border is from.

Binding is “Atmosphere” designed by Maria KIalinowski in association with Benartex Pattern #Sky-C 5949.


This post has been added to the following link parties:

Finish It Up Friday
New to Me 2015

Can I Get A Whoop!


LAFF #152

Fabric Frenzy Friday #57



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Posted in Quilting, Sewing | 11 Comments »

Homemade Italian Seasoning

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 20th, 2015

Recently I was trying out a new recipe that called for Italian Seasoning. It’s not something that I usually have on hand in my spice cabinet so I went looking on-line and found that it was super simple to make from herbs that I already had.

Homemade Italian Seasoning

1 tbsp each of the following herbs:

Parsley, basil, thyme, leaf oregano, rosemary, rubbed sage, rosemary and rubbed marjoram.

Ingredients for Italian Seasoning

Measure them all into a small bowl.

Italian Seasoning Ingredients in a small bowl

To chop them up a bit finer and blend them well, pulse the mixture a few times in a spice grinder, a half a bowl at a time.

Store in a glass spice jar.

Jars of herbs for Italian Seasoning

This recipe almost fills the above jar and now that I have it ready to use, I’ll be adding it to more recipes.  That’s what happened after I started making homemade taco seasoning mix.  That seasoning mix gets used for lots more recipes than just tacos.


Note: After seeing the photos, I realized that I had spelled marjoram wrong when I originally wrote the label. I reversed the a and the o.

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Posted in Budget Savers, Recipes | No Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – DOW Tuesday Coal Scuttle

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 19th, 2015

Imagine having to bring in a scuttle full of coal (or more) each day just to have heat in the winter!

Vintage DOW Tuesday Coal ScuttleThis pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

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Posted in Embroidery | No Comments »

First Finish!

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 16th, 2015

In Wednesday’s post about my 2015 Finish Along Q1 goals, I mentioned that I had cut this stocking out just before Christmas but ran out of time and energy to get it finished.

Snowman Musical Band Stocking

I’m pleased to say it has now been moved from the to-be-finished list to the finished list.

Snowmen Musical Band Stocking

All the fabrics used along with the fusible fleece were from my stash. The Snowmen Musical Band print by Kimberly Montogomery for MBT I bought about 4 years ago in the January post-Christmas sales.  I have a little over ½ yard left of it to turn into either another stocking or perhaps a gift bag.

This one will now go in the box with the stockings that live at our house so that if someone forgets to bring their stocking with them when they come for Christmas; we’ll have one that they can use.

In other Finish Along news, I had hoped to be done quilting the borders of my flying zebra quilt by now but instead I’ve spent the last two days unpicking several lines of quilting along the rainbow bands in the flying zebra print sections of the quilt. For some reason on the back, it looked like a mischievous little mouse had gone along and snipped a stitch here and there… that’s the only way I know how to describe it. The bobbin thread didn’t break when I was quilting. In fact, I only noticed the broken stitches afterwards when I was burying threads so they’d be out of the way when I started quilting the borders.

Today I’ll requilt those two sections, bury the threads and be ready to start the borders tomorrow… at least that’s the plan!

And when I need a break from quilting, I’m going to be working on the final testing of the pattern for my Mini Mittens, Hat and Scarf set so that I can get it up for sale on Ravelry.

Mini Mittens, Hat and Scarf Set

This post has been added to the following link parties:

Finish It Up Friday

Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew Link Party

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Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Knitting, Sewing | 3 Comments »

My 2015 Finish Along Q1 Goals

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 14th, 2015

As I was taking stock of all my UFOs and fabric, I was also deciding which projects to include for my 2015 Finish Along Quarter 1 Goals.

I am of course including my Flying Zebra Quilt as it needs to be finished by the end of January for this month’s AYofLFs project.

Center Section of the Flying Zebra quiltThis is where it was as of Saturday.  I have since completed the other section of cross hatch quilting and the top section of the flying zebra print.  There’s one more flying zebra section to quilt, then the borders to quilt before I bind it.  I even have the perfect blue cloud fabric (thanks to Oldest Daughter) for the binding so I’m well on my way to finishing this before my January 31st deadline.

The day before Christmas I had cut out this stocking because our middle daughter had forgotten hers when she came to spend Christmas with us.

Snowman Musical Band Stocking

I ran out of steam about 10 pm Christmas Eve and didn’t get it sewn.  Instead she used my stocking and Dave and I shared his.  So this is on the list of things to finish this quarter.

Next is this hand-basted baby quilt that I found when I was unpacking boxes.  I had sewn 8 of those pinwheel blocks as practice sewing half square triangles with the intention of turning them into a larger project before I realized I didn’t have enough fabric to make the required number of blocks.

Pinwheel Baby Quilt

This needs to be quilted and bound before it can be donated.

The remaining 3 pinwheel blocks were made into this table runner.

Pinwheel Table Runner As you can see, my quilt holder started getting a little goofy.  :)

I also found two sets of placemats when I was unpacking.  These went on the list for this quarter because we are in need of new placemats and they should be quick to complete once it’s their turn.

I had been using this set of placemats with hens and roosters on them to practice free motion quilting.  The quilting is complete on two of them and half done on another.   After I finish quilting that one and the fourth one, they’ll be ready to bind.

Hens and Roosters Placemats

The second set of placemats is basted and ready for more fmqing practice.

Chef Cooking placemats ready to quilt

I adore those Chefs cooking.  They look like they are having such fun in the kitchen.

And finally, these embroideries need to be turned into something:

Three Large Embroideries

Several Small Embroideries

There’s a good mix of  projects here with regards to size so that if I get bogged down on one of the bigger ones, I can complete a smaller one to have the satisfaction of adding a finish to my list.

Are you joining in the 2015 Finish Along or any of the other sew alongs that are getting started?


This post has been added to the following link parties:

WIP Wednesday





Posted in Embroidery, Quilting, Sewing | 7 Comments »

The Most Fun Part About Writing Tutorials

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 13th, 2015

The most fun part about writing tutorials is not making the item; although that is fun otherwise I wouldn’t do it. It’s not taking the step-by-step photos or writing the instructions. It isn’t even posting the completed tutorial.

The most fun part about writing tutorials comes afterwards when readers e-mail me photos of things they’ve made by following the tutorial.

Last week, Rebecca W e-mailed me a photo of the thimble pip she made using my Thimble Pip Tutorial and it absolutely made my day. She has kindly given me permission to share it with all of you.

Rebecca's Thimble Pip

I love the fabric she used! That hexie print is so sweet. Rebecca mentioned that the fabric matches a spool case that she had made for herself.

To make her thimble pip, she used white milk bottles for the plastic forms. (For other kinds of plastic that can be upcycled to make the thimble pip forms check out my post here.)

Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing the thimble pip you made with us!



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Posted in Sew easy projects, Sewing | 1 Comment »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – DOW Monday and Coffee Pot

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 12th, 2015

When I saw this I had to smile because to me this style of coffee pot is only vintage in the sense that this style of coffee pot has been around for at least a century or more.   For years, Dave and I perked our coffee in a pot just like this.  And my parents still use one to perk their coffee every morning.

Vintage DOW Monday and Coffee Pot

In the early 2000s we switched to an electric drip coffee maker but we recently purchased an electric peculator like this one.  I can’t indulge in coffee very often but when I do… perked coffee is the best!

The pattern for Monday Coffee Pot is available as a pdf to download here.



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Posted in Embroidery | 1 Comment »

FNwF – Cross Hatch Quilting

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on January 10th, 2015

Last night was the first Friday Night with Friends of 2015.    On the first Friday of every month a bunch of ladies from across the globe sit and sew knowing that they have virtual company.   As I mentioned in this post, my AYoLF (A Lovely Year of Finishes) goal for January is to finish the Flying Zebra child’s quilt, so that’s what I chose to work on last night.

I started by doing some simple stitch in the ditch all around the center section and then I attempted (more or less) to stitch along each side of those horizontal rainbow lines.  I say attempted because the lines aren’t straight but have little dips and curves so if you look at the back of the quilt it looks like I’d had a bit too much wine!

Center Section of the Flying Zebra quilt

On the blue sections between the flying zebra sections, I decided to try something new to me.  I’ve been seeing cross hatch quilting being used on quilts here and there about the net and like the look it creates so I went in search of a tutorial.   Cross Hatched Quilting Without Tears over at Quiet Play was one of the best I found.

Cross hatch quilting

I only had one teeny tiny pucker on the very last cross hatch line but once the quilt is washed that won’t even be noticeable.   The white lines I drew as a guide will also disappear with washing.

Cross hatching did take me longer than it would have to simply sew several straight lines through those blue sections but I really like how it took a bare space and made it a nice feature in the quilt.  I just hope that the cross hatching in the other blue section goes as smoothly.

Over the weekend, I’ll be burying all those thread ends you see.   That way I won’t have a marathon of thread burying when I finish quilting.  I think I’ve mentioned before that task is my least favorite part of quilting.

After that, I’ll  work on the other blue section and the top and bottom flying zebra sections.  Then it will be time to decide how to quilt the borders.   With the smaller UFOs like this child’s quilt, my goal is to use them to practice different new-to-me quilting techniques to see which ones I might want to use on the larger of the quilts.

I’ll also take some time during the weekend to check out what the other FNwF ladies worked on last night.   And if the weather forecast holds true, our cold snap is supposed to ease.  I might even be able to get out and go for a short walk tomorrow.

Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope you find time to do something that you love!


This post has been added to the following link parties:

Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party

New to Me 2015


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Posted in Quilting | 4 Comments »