Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

There Are No Words

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 23rd, 2014

There are no words to describe what Dave and I have been feeling since we heard the news yesterday about the shooting of a Canadian soldier as he stood guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

Our hearts go out to his family and friends and also to the family and friends of the two soldiers who were victims of the hit and run terrorist attack a few days ago.  As well as to everyone across Canada affected by these terrible events.

Canadian Flag at half-mast

Some of you may remember that Dave was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for 25 years.  As an army wife, I always knew that when he deployed on UN peacemaking/peacekeeping missions that he may not return.  His specialized trade in the army was also one that was not without its dangers.  But never did I worry about something like this and I can only try to imagine what members of the military and their families are going through now and will go through in the days to come.

Our prayers and thoughts will be with them.



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Vintage Embroidery Monday – Halloween Witch and Cat

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 20th, 2014

There’s still lots of time to embroider this vintage Witch and Cat to make onto a treat bag or something else for Halloween on October 31st.

Vintage Workbasket pattern for a witch and cat from pattern page 80This pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

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Gifts from Asia

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 15th, 2014

I’ve been meaning to post about these for a while now but didn’t get them photographed until now. Our oldest daughter and her partner were back in Ontario for a short two week holiday in August so I drove from Nebraska to spend some time with them.

They’ve been teaching in Shanghai, China for the past few years and when they have a few days off, they travel to exotic locations most people only dream about visiting. We’ve received some pretty cool gifts for Christmas and Chinese New Year since they’ve been living there. When I arrived in London, it was like Christmas in August!

Gifts from Asia

They picked up this beautiful bag on their trip to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat.

Beautiful Bag with Elephants from Cambodia

We have a power point presentation that she created and e-mailed to us of the photos they took while at the temple.  They are breathtaking. I can only imagine what it was like to see it in person.

They bought this beautiful sarong/scarf on their trip to Thailand.

Sarong with Elephants from Thailand

Notice that both the bag and the sarong have elephants on them. In many cultures elephants are revered as symbols of wisdom, courage, stature and strength. To those of the Hindu religion, they represent good luck.

Coaster from Shanghai

Coasters featuring the Shanghai, China skyline.


And inside those boxes are minature replicas of the Emperor….

Miniature replica of Emperor from Xian

And Terracotta Warriors found at the famous archeological site in Xian.

Miniature replicas of Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian

I took them out of their boxes long enough to make this little tableaux.

Miniature replica of The Emperor and his Warriors

Then back into their boxes they were packed until I can find something to display them in.

She sent us another amazing power point presentation of their visit there as well.

And just this past weekend the two of them went to Beijing and the Great Wall of China with which they are both dually impressed. I can’t wait to see those photos!



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Posted in Gift Ideas | 1 Comment »

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 13th, 2014

To my readers in Canada, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Canadians have so much to be thankful for.  Even the least fortunate in Canada have access to health care and other resources that people in other parts of the world probably don’t even dream of because they cant imagine such abundance.

I grew up in rural Alberta.  We were poor or at least poor compared to most people.  One winter we lived with my maternal grandmother in town because the little house in the country we had been renting had no insulation and no heat.   It was that winter too that my father at the age of 32, attended his first year of technical school to train as a TV technician.  For a time after that we lived in a house with no running water.  My mom’s youngest sister was only a few years older than I was so I wore a lot of hand-me-downs.

Once Dad was employed as an apprentice things started to get better for us.  It was a big deal when Mom and Dad were finally able to replace the wringer washer with a used top loading modern washing machine.    Then it was an even bigger deal when we got a dryer!

I was 16 when we moved into a small single story three bedroom home.   I only had to share a bedroom with my sister because our brother finally got his own bedroom.

I never, ever look back on those days with nostalgia or any kind of a wish to return to that time.  We went without a lot of luxuries that are taken for granted now.   But I do look back with thankfulness.

I am thankful that I grew up in a country that was at peace.   I am thankful that while there were many times when there was a lack of money, there was never a lack of love.

Today, I am thankful for an amazing husband who is and has been my very best friend for almost 33 years.  I am thankful for our three incredible adult children.  I am thankful for our good health.

And I am thankful for the opportunity to share with all those who visit my blog.

Whether you are celebrating or not, I wish you all a wonderful day filled with the spirit of Aloha.

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Vintage Embroidery Monday – Zebra and Sunflower

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 13th, 2014

The sixth and final pattern for the baby or child’s quilt is this sweet baby zebra with sunflower.

Vintage Workbasket Pattern for Zebra and Sunflower from Page 81To make the quilt, square up the blocks and then alternate plain blocks with the embroidered blocks.  For the baby quilt using 9 1/2″ squares, arrange the blocks 4 rows of 3 blocks across.  For the larger child’s quilt using 12 1/2″ squares, arrange them 6 rows of 4 blocks.   To make either quilt larger, you could add sashing and borders.

This pattern is available as a pdf to download here.


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Thimble Pips

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 10th, 2014

I think I’ve developed a bit of a thing for making these cute little thimble pips.  They are quite a bit smaller than the clam shell accessories cases I showed you in this post.

So far I’ve made three while working on the tutorial for how to make them and I’ve got the plastic forms cut out to make 5 more of the smallest one!

Three different size thimble pips

These go by so many different names:  thimble buds, precious pods, precious buds, pipkins, clam shells and Kai No Kuchi.  But of all the names I like thimble pip the best because it’s the most fun to say.

The largest is 2.5” and I’ve embroidered the two sides but left the bottom plain.

Front and back of 2.5 inch thimble pip

The pattern for the side with my initials came from this Vintage Embroidery Monday alphabet. The pattern for the back can be found amongst these. I added the ladybugs simply because I love ladybugs.

The stitches I used were backstitch, satin stitch and lazy daisy.  For the gold border I tried a new to me stitch called the coral stitch.  I found the how-to video for it on Mary Corbet’s Needle & Thread.

This large one holds my three thimbles with plenty of room left over.

2.5 inch thimble pip with 3 thimbles inside

The redwork thimble pip pictured below on the left is 2” and will hold the three thimbles if I nest them. The pattern for the flower can be found on the same pattern page as the lazy daisy flowers on the 2.5” pip. It can’t be seen in the photo but I embroidered along the joining seams with a herringbone stitch after they were first sewn together using a blind stitch with heavy weight hand quilting thread.

Two smaller pips with thimbles inside.

The tiniest of the thimble pips pictured above on the right at only 1.5” is just the right size to hold one thimble. It too had the herringbone stitch worked along the joining seams as well as along each side of the opening.

I hope you’ll come back for the complete tutorial which includes simple instructions for how to create a pattern to make any size of pip you’d like. Watch for that towards the end of next week. By then I should have even more thimble pips to show you.


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Submarine Sunday #105

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Two Minute Gluten Free Muffins

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 8th, 2014

Since going gluten free, one of the things I miss the most is bread. Earlier this year, I discovered this muffin recipe that I’ve been using as a replacement for rolls and English muffins.

I make them one at a time as I need them. They are great split in half with a burger between them or served under poached eggs. They also make a nice snack with peanut butter and milk.
Gluten free muffin served three different waysIf you find they make your burger too tall, simply slice them thinner and use the leftover pieces for a second burger or save for a snack later.

GF muffin sliced to make smaller bun

Various places on-line call these 1 minute muffins but just as I’ve never been able to make the 10 minute table runner in under an hour, I’ve yet to have one of these come out edible in less than 2 minutes (total time) even using a microwave as I describe in this recipe.

If you don’t have or don’t want to use a microwave they’ll take about 15 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.

Two Minute Gluten Free Muffins

¼ cup ground Almond flour/meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)
¼ c ground golden flax seed (I buy this in bulk and grind my own with a coffee grinder)
¼ tsp of fine sea salt (or whatever you have on hand)
¼ tsp of baking powder
1 large egg
½ Tbsp butter

Place the butter in a ramekin. Put the ramekin in the microwave and microwave on high for 30 seconds.

While the butter is melting, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add egg and beat until mixed. Stir in the melted butter.

Batter for Gluten Free Muffins

There will be a thin layer of butter left in the ramekin… smooth that around to grease the sides.

Scoop the batter into the ramekin and pop it back into the microwave on high for 85 to 90 seconds depending on your microwave.

30 seconds to melt the butter + 90 seconds to cook and there you have it The Two Minute Muffin.

Fresh out of the oven gluten free muffins

They can be served warm if serving under eggs or as a snack. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes or so, if using in place of a hamburger bun or for sandwiches.

I won’t pretend that this recipe has either the taste or texture of a traditional hamburger roll or an English muffin but when you’re craving a bread substitute that still tastes good, these do the trick.


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Vintage Embroidery Monday – Monkey and Poppy

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 6th, 2014

This mischievous little monkey picking a poppy is the second last of six patterns for the baby or child’s quilt.

Vintage Workbasket Embroidery Pattern for Monkey and Poppy from Page 81This pattern is available as a pdf to download here.


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Squirrel, Owl and Raccoon Quilt Top Finished

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 3rd, 2014

Getting this quilt top sewn together and then photographed turned into a bit of an adventure.

Katherine over at Sew Me Something Good recently shared beautiful photographs she’d taken of her maple leaf quilt while on a fall nature walk. The whole time I was piecing the quilt I showed you on Wednesday I kept thinking of a creative place to photograph my quilt top once it was finished.

Right beside our apartment building a field of corn has been growing all summer long and had ripened to a beautiful golden brown.  It would have been a great backdrop but the evening after I finished piecing the top, this is what that field looked like!

Harvest Corn Field

The huge corn harvesters had been in the field that day and had finished their work before I’d finished mine.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The adventure actually began back when I cut the blocks for the quilt. I made a mistake when cutting two of the background blocks. I cut them 1/2″ too short!

The shop that put this quilt kit together was very generous in the amount of fabric they included but not generous enough for me to be able to cut two more blocks 8.5” X 16.5”.

The obvious solution of course was to just add ½” to each piece. But such a tiny strip at the edge of the quilt could have created an area that was difficult to quilt through and might even have made that area noticeably bulkier when it came time to add the binding.

I wanted a more creative solution that wouldn’t show as a mistake on the finished quilt.

A package of rainbow jumbo rick rack turned out to be the perfect solution.

I shortened the blocks that had been cut the wrong size and added a 4.5” strip to obtain the correct length.  Next I covered those seams with the rainbow rick rack to conceal them. And then to make it look like it had been planned that way all along I added two strips of rick rack to each of the other long background blocks.

One Big Cabin quilt top with Squirrel, Owl and Raccoon applique blocks

I love how this turned out. The rainbow rick rack adds interest to what otherwise would have been big blank spaces.

As you can see, we did find another cornfield to use as a backdrop to photograph the quilt against.

Dave even created his very own Kilroy Was Here moment!

Dave's Kilroy Was Here Moment

I can’t wait to get this quilted and bound so I can start using it. The pattern says it’s a baby quilt but I’m going to use it as a lap quilt to curl up and read under. Grown-ups should have fun quilts too!!!


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Posted in Quilting, Sewing | 7 Comments »

Animal Appliques Blanket Stitched, Ready to Piece

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on October 1st, 2014

Back in the spring when we were staying in the hotel, I started work on a quilt kit for One Big Cabin by Row House Creations

When we moved from the hotel into our apartment it got packed up and didn’t get worked on again until this past weekend.

Before it got packed away, I had chosen to blanket stitch by hand around each piece of the appliquéd animals but for some reason I found it tough going and was considering unpicking the stitching I’d done and zigzagging around them by machine. But when I got the blocks out on Friday evening, I thought I’d give it one more go hand stitching them first.

This time the stitching went smoothly and the animals were turning out so cute that I kept stitching until they were finished.

squirrel applique block for one big cabin quilt

blanket stitched owl applique block for one big cabin quilt

blanket stitched racoon applique for one big cabin quilt

There are still some details to embroider but I’m going to leave those until I’m doing the quilting in order to add dimension to each of these little characters.

I don’t have room in the apartment for the kind of design wall I see on so many of the quilting blogs, so I laid the blocks out on the living room floor and then took this picture as sometimes a photo can reveal areas where there is a concentration of one color or combination of colors that a bit of repositioning can fix.

One Big Cabin blocks laid out on the floor

I’ll be back on Friday to share the finished quilt top.


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Posted in Quilting, Sewing | 6 Comments »