Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Lots of Fabricy Goodness

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 25th, 2014

Yesterday when I went to check the mail, I had a lovely package waiting for me that I’ve been waiting excitedly to arrive. Kristyne from over at Pretty by Hand recently hosted a giveaway on her blog sponsored by Shay from Simply Sweet Fabric. And I won!!

Photo of Lecien fat quarters

Aren’t they pretty! The Red Riding Hood fabric is by Lecien and the other five fat quarters are Lecien Old/New 30’s.

Thanks so much Kristyne and Shay. I already have a plan for what to make with the 30s prints. The Red Riding Hood fabric I’m just going to enjoy having in my stash until I find the perfect project for it.

I’ve also been exploring some of the local quilt shops and thought I’d share a few of the fabrics that have come home with me.

This gorgeous floral with the coordinating blue is destined to be turned into a gift for a new friend.

Floral and coordinating blue fabric

I may have to go back and buy some more so that I can make something for me out of it too.

These red prints will be used to frame redwork embroidery.

three different red print fabric fat quarters

The tiny hearts and umbrellas just make me smile.

And these beauties are going to be used to make a new set of travel bags for me.

birds and butterflies fabric

I’m hoping to get started on the travel bags this weekend, so watch for a post with the finished bags soon.

Have a wonderful weekend filled with Aloha and may you too have lots of fabricy goodness (or whatever would be that equivalent in your life.)



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My New Embroidery Tote

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

When I purchased the fabric to recover the small footstool, I liked the fabric so much that I bought a full yard so that I would have more than enough leftover to make a new tote bag to hold all my embroidery supplies.

Constructing the tote turned out to be a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. As I wanted a durable fabric for the footstool I purchased outdoor décor weight fabric. What I hadn’t taken into account when I decided I also wanted to make a tote out of it was whatever coating they used to make the fabric resistant to weather would in turn make it difficult to fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.

Whenever I work with a new fabric, I do an “iron” test on a scrap of the fabric to check to see how much temperature the fabric can handle. Well when I tried to iron on the fusible interfacing at that safe temperature, the interfacing simply would not fuse. So out came my cotton pressing clothes and with the fabric facing down and the fusible interfacing on top of it (fusible side to the wrong side of the fabric) and a pressing cloth over that, I was able to turn the iron temperature up enough to get them fused together.

Once that step was taken care of the actual sewing of the tote went smoothly and I love how it turned out!

Photo of handmade tote bag

I lined the inside with quilting cotton in a cream color with light beige stripes. I also added two pockets to the inside.

Lining of the tote

The pocket on the bottom was measured and cut to fit my largest embroidery hoop. The pocket higher up on the opposite side was made wide enough to fit the pencil I use for tracing the patterns onto the fabric I’m embroidering.

For the flap closure, I decided to use a set of magnetic snaps I purchased a few years ago to make a purse that I never got around to making.

Magnetic snap on the flap closure

I’d never installed magnetic snaps before but it’s pretty straight forward. Everything Mary has a video showing how easy it is. One thing I did differently from what’s shown in the video is I added a couple of small squares of interfacing to reinforce the fabric where the snaps were positioned. This will make the fabric less likely to tear away over time from the snapping and unsnapping.

I also tried something new when sewing the bottom of the tote. I used this tutorial to make and sew in a nice firm base to give the bottom added structure.  I didn’t have any Peltex so instead I used two pieces of the heaviest interfacing I had on hand and fused them together.

The finished tote measures 14” by 14.5” with a 4” squared bottom. As I mentioned, I love how it turned out and can see a few more of these in my future.


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Vintage Embroidery Monday – Baby Face Rose

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 21st, 2014

You can’t get more vintage than today’s Baby Face Rose pattern.  I’m picturing it stitched onto a potholder or onto the corners of a large square of linen used to line a basket to put the Sunday dinner rolls in.

Vintage Workbasket embroidery pattern for a Baby Face RoseThis pattern is available as a pdf to download here.


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First DIY Project for the New Apartment

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 17th, 2014

In our new apartment, the kitchen counter has an overhang on the living room side that creates a breakfast/eating area.  This neccessitated the purchase of two bar stools.

When we went shopping we picked out ones that we thought would be comfortable to sit on during meals and also while working on our laptops since the breakfast bar doubles as our desk/work area. And they are comfortable to sit on with the exception of the metal band you rest your feet on. When we were shopping we were wearing shoes but here at home I’m often barefoot and resting my feet on that band starts to hurt after a while. Dave is much taller than I am so his feet reach the floor.

The search was then on for a small footstool for me. The weekend before last we were at the local Goodwill store because I wanted to see if Dave liked a picture I had found there that I thought would look good in the living room.   (More on my thrifting adventures in another post. ) They were just putting out a whole bunch of newly arrived stuff and one of those was a small footstool.

The cover was old, ratty and quite dirty but the solid wood base was in good condition. Both the picture and the stool came home with us.

While I headed off to air conditioned Joann’s for fabric and foam, Dad worked in the hot garage to remove the old cover.

Photo of ratty old footstool cover

It’s a good thing he did remove the cover in the garage. Look at all that dirt!

Step One - Remove the old ratty cover

Once I got back from Joann’s, we busied ourselves making a new cover for the stool.

It turned out that the top of the footstool was actually a lid, so Dave had removed the hinges before removing the cover.

Next he placed the wood base on the ½” foam and traced around it.

Trace around the wood base

Then he cut along the traced lines.

Cutting the foam

Joann’s was out of 1” foam so I bought enough of the ½” to be able to stack it double.

Repeat step tworepeat Step three

Next we stacked the foam and wood base on a piece of batting.

Stack foam and wood base on batting

Then Dave tacked the batting in place using ½” upholstery tacks.

tack batting to the wood base

I know that most people use a staple gun for this step but ours is packed away in storage and a small package of upholstery tacks was $2 compared to the price of buying a new staple gun and package of staples that may or may not get used again while we’re living here.

For the next step, we flipped the batting covered base over and I positioned the fabric I’d chosen with the portion of the printed design that I wanted centered on the cover.

position the fabric

Then we carefully flipped it back over and started tacking the fabric in place.

Dave began in the center of one long side, then the center of the other long side and alternated back and forth, tacking each side evenly.

begin by placing tack in the center of one long sidePlace tack in the center of other long sideContinue to alternate sidesconinue tacking until both sides are attached evenly

Once both long sides were tacked in place, I trimmed off the excess fabric on the short ends.

I folded the corners neatly and held them in place while Dave hammered in a tack to secure it. No photo of that step as there was no one to hold the camera.

Once the corners were secured in place, Dave continued as for the two long sides.

Fold corners and tack fabric in place as for the long sides

Step Twelve B

The final step was to reattach the hinges.

Reattach the hinges

This proved more challenging than we had anticipated. We had marked an arrow on the wood base to indicate which side the hinges had been on but it took a bit to find the original screw holes that were now covered by a layer of batting and a layer of fabric.

I am so pleased with the way this turned out!!

Slippahs footstool complete

I love that fabric. The slippahs, hibiscus flowers and palm leaves remind me so much of Hawaii.

A little story about slippahs…

When we moved to Maui in September of 2000, on our son’s first day of classes at his new school, his teacher told me that is was school policy that the children were not allowed to come to school barefoot and must at the very least have a pair of slippers to wear.  Showing my lack of local knowledge I asked, “Slippers?  Really?  He just got new running shoes.” At that she laughed and said, “Oh right, you’re from the mainland. Here we call flip flops, slippahs.”

It wasn’t long before our kids gave up their running shoes for slippahs. Me too for that matter. We’ve been back on the mainland for several years now, but we still call them slippahs rather than flip flops.

One final picture of my slippah stool ready to rest my feet on.

footstool ready to rest feet on

This post has been added to the following link parties:

Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party over at Sew Many Ways

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Posted in Budget Savers, Conserving Resources, Thrifting | 4 Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – Tiny Rose Border

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 14th, 2014

I can see these tiny roses being embroidered onto the collar of a little girl’s dress or even along the edge of a white ruffled cotton slip for under a dress, with just a bit of the white with rose border peeking out at the hem.

Vintage Workbasket Embroidery Pattern for a baby rose borderThis pattern is available as a pdf to download here.


This post has been added to the following link parties:

Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party over at Sew Many Ways

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Vintage Embroidery Monday – Applique Rose

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 7th, 2014

This week’s rose could be completely embroidered but I think it could be turned into something unique and beautiful by cutting the petals, leaves and stem out of various scraps of fabric and appliqueing them onto a background  fabric using a product such as Heat ‘n Bond.  You could then blanket stitch around each appliqued piece.

Vintage Workbasket Pattern for Appliqued Rose This pattern is available as a pdf to download here.


This post has been added to the following link parties:

Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party over at Sew Many Ways

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Happy Independence Day

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 4th, 2014


By now Dave and I should be pretty much settled into our new apartment.  I’m not sure if we’ll have internet hooked up yet so I’ve scheduled this post ahead to wish all our friends and readers here in the US a very Happy 4th of July!

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Another small finish – Cloth Napkins

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 2nd, 2014

I had a little less than 1/2 yard of fabric left over from the backing for the 4th of July table runner and when I was at Joanns the coordinating fabric from that line was on sale for 50% off so I picked up 2/3 of a yard of flag fabric and turned them into cloth napkins to use on our picnic on Friday.  (That is assuming the weather cooperates!)

It will be just Dave and I on our 4th of July picnic so I planned to make just two napkins.

Pretty 4th of July napkins

The napkins are identical.  I’ve simply flipped one over so that you would be able to see both of the fabrics that were used.

They were super simple to make.  I cut two 16″ squares from each fabric, placed one square of each fabric right sides together and stitched a 1/4″ seam allowance leaving a 4″ opening for turning.  Next I turned them right side out and used a ladder stitch to make an invisible closing.  After pressing them, I topstitched 1/4″ all the way around each napkin.  The finished napkins measure 15 1/2″ square.

I still had some fair sized scraps of fabric leftover so I made a patchwork napkin.

This is one side:

One side of the 4th of July patchwork napkin

And this is the reverse:

Reverse side of 4th of July napkin made from scraps

I really like how the three napkins turned out; especially the patchwork one.  So much so that I’ve decided that when the patriotic fabrics go on deep discount next week, I’m going to buy 1/2 or 2/3 yards lengths of a variety of fabrics and make up some more napkins to have on hand to use for years when we have company for the 4th.  And on years when we don’t have company, they’ll still look pretty displayed in a basket on the table.

This post has been added to the following link parties:

Finish it up Friday at crazy mom quilts






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Posted in Budget Savers, Conserving Resources, Sew easy projects, Sewing | 3 Comments »

Happy Canada Day

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


free clip art Happy Canada Day

Today is move in day for our new apartment so I’m going to be busy driving back and forth between our hotel room and the apartment.  I’ve been shopping and I have boxes stacked in every spare corner of the hotel room.

While we’re busy getting settled in, Dave and I want to wish all our family and friends, including all my Canadian readers a very Happy Canada Day!




Note:  Canada Day graphic is a free downloadable clipart from

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Vintage Embroidery Monday – 5 Roses

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on June 30th, 2014

This week’s pattern has five very different styles of roses but all recognizable as roses.

The one on the bottom left looks very much like the Wild Alberta Rose.  While it grows all across Canada it is Alberta’s provincial flower.   The flowers are so fragrant and I can remember picking them to give to my mother when I was a little girl.  Though as with most roses, you do have to be careful of the thorns.

Vintage Workbasket Embroidery Pattern for 5 different rosesThis pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

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