Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

WIP Wednesday – July Shop Hop Blocks & Bolster Cover

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 29th, 2015

My heart is sad today.  Our oldest and her partner left Monday afternoon to spend the rest of their vacation with his family.  I guess I was too busy yesterday to think about not seeing her again for another whole year.

I spent yesterday washing sheets and towels and straightening the house.  I’d forgotten how much laundry and housework 5 (+1) can create in just a few days.

We’ve also spent the last couple of days using up all the leftovers in the fridge.  Just to give you an idea of the food that was served over the weekend:

Thursday night we had Zweibelkuchen.

Friday night was perogies, cabbage rolls and Holubtsi (Ukrainian cabbage rolls.)  Dave and I made both kinds of cabbage rolls earlier in the week and froze them.  The perogies were made on a huge perogy making day last winter.

Saturday night, Dave cooked a big pork roast on the rotisserie on the bbq.  I’d made potato salad Friday night to go with it and the kids “tested” it off and on all day Saturday to make sure it wasn’t poisoned… lol.

While the girls and I checked out fabric shops, Dave taught our oldest’s partner how to make cake donuts.

And by special request, I made a Mustache Cake like the one I made Dave for Father’s Day.  (Photo tutorial coming soon.)

Mustache Cake

Sunday morning, I made two large Crustless Quiches.

Not only is my heart sad today but I’m exhausted.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved having everyone home (even all the cooking and cleaning that goes with it) but as an introvert not having any alone time for that long drains my energy reserves and now I need to take time to recharge.

For today, I’ve decided I’m not going to do any of the things on my sewing/crafting to-do list until after I’ve done some just for the fun of it sewing.

I’ve decide to play around putting these free July Shop Hop Blocks together.

July Shop Hop Block kits

Once I have those all pieced, I’ll go back to working on my to-do list which includes finishing the Seeds of Friendship bolster cover.

Seeds of Friendship Bolster with quilting completed

Despite everyone’s confidence that I’d have it done in time for oldest daughter’s arrival, all of the sudden my machine started skipping stitches while I was fmqing the hearts and loops.  By the time I figured out what was wrong, it was time to put my sewing machine, cutting table, etc away so that I could turn my sewing room/office into a second guest bedroom for our middle daughter to sleep in.

But the good news is that I learned something important for future projects.  I discovered that while my Singer 15-91 will sew and straight-line quilt with Coats and Clark thread, it doesn’t not like for free motion quilting.  For some reason, as I’m fmqing, the thread gets tighter and tighter in the upper tension disc.   After I switched to Gutterman thread as the upper thread, I was able to finish the hearts and loops with no more skipped stitches.

I’m off now to go recharge my reserves!

This post has been added to the following link parties:

WIP Wednesday           WIP Wednesday #203 @TN&TN

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Posted in Quilting, Sewing | 10 Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday & Stitchery Link Party #16

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 27th, 2015

Just a quick update… we had a wonderful family weekend with everyone here.  Our two daughters and I even got in some mother/daughters time visiting local fabric stores on Saturday.   The rest of the time was a blur of making as many of our favorite family meals as we could fit into the time they were here.

Now it time for this week’s vintage Workbasket pattern.  Last Monday, I shared the pattern for the dancing onion and cucumber.

Well, you can’t very well have a dance without a band to play the music.

Vintage Wordbasket pattern for Squash and Salt Shaker from page 2-949This winter squash looks like he’s having a blast playing the salt shaker!

The pattern is available as a pdf here.

 

Stitcher Link Party Button

Welcome to Stitchery Link Party #16

For those who may be visiting for the first time… every Monday I host a link party in which I invite others to share their hand embroidery projects.  I am constantly amazed and inspired by the items that are linked up each week.

You’ll want to check out not only this week’s party but previous ones as well.  Parties #1 through #14 can be accessed by clicking on “Stitchery Link Party” in the categories section of the left hand side bar.

I try to make sure to have this post scheduled to go live at 7 am EDT (11 am UTC) Monday mornings so that those who like to plan their posts and linking ahead of time can count on the party being up and ready for them at the same time each week.

The rules for linking up are simple:

1. The project can be anything you’ve made as long as it includes embroidery stitches in some form. Such projects might be but are not limited to redwork, blackwork, goldwork, bluework, (etc), counted cross-stitch, crazy quilting, crewel, silk ribbon, pulled thread, hardanger and sashiko.

These projects do not have to be vintage or vintage inspired. All styles are welcome as long as it’s hand embroidered.

2. Link directly to your blog post, not to your blog home page.

3. If you happen to sell your embroidery or embroidery patterns, feel free to link up to a blog post you’ve written about a project you’re selling, but No direct links to shops or websites selling things.

4. This will be a curated link party. In other words, if a link does not conform to the three simple rules above, it will be removed.

The next three are more requests than rules.   They are by no means a requirement to take part in the party:

5. Please link back to the Stitchery Link Party with a text link somewhere in your post. Or if you’d prefer you can use the cool button that our son designed for me.

Simply copy and paste the code you’ll find under the button in my left side bar. You can add it to your post or to the sidebar of your blog.

6. As well, please share the love and visit one or two (or more) of the other links and take time to leave a comment.

7. I would, of course, love it if you decide to follow me but it’s not necessary in order to take part in the link party. (If you do decide to follow me, you can subscribe to e-mail updates in the box on the upper right hand side bar. You will then be sent an activation e-mail.  Once you click on the link in that e-mail, you will begin receiving updates each time I post.  Buttons to follow me on other social media are in the upper left hand side bar.)

Oh and don’t worry if you’ve never linked up to a link party before, I’ve written a quick tutorial called How to Link Up to a Link Party to help you not only link up to this party but to any link party you might like to participate in.

 Loading InLinkz ...

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Posted in Stitchery Link Party | 6 Comments »

One Good Chair from Two Broken Ones

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

A few weeks ago, while out for my morning walk, I found two wooden chairs sitting on the curb awaiting garbage pick up.

Two chairs found on the curb

The base of each chair was still perfectly fine but the backs of both had spindles missing and/or broken.

I’ve been wanting a chair for our bedroom for Dave to hang his clothes on at night so we rescued them from the curb.

If you happen to make a similar find, here are step-by-step instructions to transform this:

 

Two chairs before transformationInto this:

One newly repaired chair - one ready for further transformation

First the backs of both chairs need to be removed. On the back of the top rail small wooden plugs cover the screws holding the rail onto the outside spindles.

Insert a small screw into the plug just far enough to provide a grip on it.

Insert the screw into the plug.

Screw the screw into the wooden plug.

Next, pry it out using the claw edge of the hammer.

Plug the plug out using the claw end of a hammer.

Remove the screw from the plug and set the plug aside to be reused later.

Remove the screw from the wooden plug.

Using the appropriately headed screw driver remove the screws holding the outside spindles to the top bar/rail.

Remove top screws from outside spindles.

Gently tap the top with a hammer to loosen the inside spindles.

Use a hammer to loosen the spindles for the top back rail.

If one of the spindles refuses to come off, you may have to be a bit more persuasive.

Tap harder with a hammer if necessary.

In some cases where the spindle has broken off at the top, you may have to drill out the hole in order to install a “new” spindle.

Drill out the spindle hole.

In other cases, you might be able to use the same method used to remove the small wooden plugs from the back of the top rail.

Use a larger boltscrew to remove broken spindle pieces.

Next drill out any broken spindle ends from the seat of the chair.

Drill out the broken spindle pieces from the seat of the chair.

To drill out the holes closest to the outside spindles, you may have to remove them. To do this, turn the chair over, loosen and remove the bolts.

Remove the bolts from the outside spindles.

Once all the spindle holes are cleaned up, use the unbroken spindles from both chairs to create one good chair.

Install the unbroken spindles in the chair.

Replace the screws in the top of the outside spindles.

Chair with spindles replaced.

The final step is to reinsert the small wooden plugs that were set aside earlier. Tap the plugs in place using a hammer.

Tap the plugs in place.

Here are the two chairs once again.

One newly repaired chair - one ready for further transformation

The chair on the left is now in the corner of our bedroom ready each night for Dave to hang his clothes on.  In another post, I’ll show you what we did with the chair on the right.

 

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Posted in Budget Savers, Conserving Resources | 10 Comments »

WIP Wednesday – Quilting the Seeds of Friendship Bolster Cover

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 22nd, 2015

Just a quick post today while I take a break from quilting my Seeds of Friendship Bolster Cover.

FMQing on Seeds of Friendship Bolster Cover

I want to have this finished and on the bed in the guest bedroom before our oldest daughter and future son-in-law get here.  The original plan had them arriving here Thursday but their flight out of Shanghai was delayed a few hours and they missed their connection out of Beijing.  The airline got them on the next soonest flight but it put them a day behind schedule so we’re not sure if they’ll be here tomorrow or not until Friday now.

I’m so excited!  We haven’t seen each other in almost a year.

Our oldest has allergies so I spent this morning, giving the guest bedroom an extra thorough dusting and vacuuming.  All the bed linens are fresh and the blankets and quilt have even been washed and dried.  Dresser scarves replaced with clean ones, etc.

The guest towels have been set out on the dresser.

Towels for the guest bedroom

Once I know for sure when they are arriving, I’ll add a small vase of flowers and maybe some other goodies to make them feel welcome.

Our middle daughter is coming from Toronto on Friday as well.  This will be the first time in six years that we will have our family… Dave, me and our children all sleeping under the same roof.   I can’t wait!!

 

This post has been added to the following link parties:

WIP Wednesday            WIP Wednesday #202 @TN&TN

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Embroidery, Quilting, Sewing | 13 Comments »

Tip & Tricks Tuesday – Cook Bacon in the Oven

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 21st, 2015

I have always hated cooking bacon because of the mess of frying it.  It doesn’t seem to matter how careful you are or what temperature you try frying bacon on, you end up with grease splatters.   In fact, I hated it so much that years ago Dave took over making bacon and eggs on Sunday mornings.

I’d heard of cooking bacon in the oven but I hadn’t tried it because I assumed that it would make as much of a mess of the oven as it does when frying it in a frying pan.  (Cleaning the oven is right up there with dusting as one of my least favorite household tasks.)

Then one day last summer, I came across a blog post (can’t remember where) that explained that cooking bacon in the oven actually meant no clean up at all.   I was still thinking to myself that must be impossible but decided to give it a try to prove whether it was as mess free, splatter free as the blog post claimed it to be.

It turned out to be one of the things you say to yourself, “Why did I wait so long to try this!”

The bacon cooks up nice and crisp.  The only mess to clean up is in the bottom of the pan you bake it in.  So for anyone who is still frying bacon in a fry pan or skillet and wishes there was a better way… here’s how you do it.

Lay the bacon strips in a single layer in a baking pan.

Bacon in a single layer in a baking pan

We lay the bacon on a rack placed in the pan because we find that it bakes up nice and crisp. The rack also allows the fat to drip off into the bottom of the pan so the bacon is less greasy, eliminating the need to drain the bacon on paper toweling after cooking.

Place the pan into a 400 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes… longer if you like it crispier.

Place baking pan with bacon into the oven.

We bake ours for about 40 minutes.

When the bacon is done cooking to the crispness you like, remove from the oven and enjoy.

Bacon cooked just the way we like it... nice and crispy.

That’s all there is to it.

After breakfast, drain the bacon fat into a glass container and store in the fridge.

 

Please note:  Never pour melted fat of any kind down the drain.  Even if you don’t clog your own drain or pipes, the fat congeals in the sewer and can create problems further down the line.

 

 

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Posted in Recipes, Tips & Tricks Tuesday | 8 Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday & Stitchery Link Party #15

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

We’ve moved in to the hottest weeks of summer here in the northern hemisphere.  Some things in the gardens are ready to start harvesting.  Or if you don’t have a garden, the farmers’ markets and u-picks are in full swing providing lots of opportunities to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

For the next several weeks, I’m going to be sharing a really fun series of quick to embroider vintage Workbasket patterns from pattern page #2-929.

First up… this onion and cucumber are dancing up a storm and are sure to bring a smile to your face as you stitch them.

Dancing Onion & Cucumber embroidered on green polka dot fabric

Vintage Workbasket Embroidery Pattern for a cucumber and onion dancingThe pattern is available as a pdf to be downloaded here.

 

Stitcher Link Party Button

Welcome to Stitchery Link Party #15

 

For those who may be visiting for the first time… every Monday I host a link party in which I invite others to share their hand embroidery projects.  I am constantly amazed and inspired by the items that are linked up each week.

You’ll want to check out not only this week’s party but previous ones as well.  Parties #1 through #14 can be accessed by clicking on “Stitchery Link Party” in the categories section of the left hand side bar.

I try to make sure to have this post scheduled to go live at 7 am EDT (11 am UTC) Monday mornings so that those who like to plan their posts and linking ahead of time can count on the party being up and ready for them at the same time each week.

The rules for linking up are simple:

1. The project can be anything you’ve made as long as it includes embroidery stitches in some form. Such projects might be but are not limited to redwork, blackwork, goldwork, bluework, (etc), counted cross-stitch, crazy quilting, crewel, silk ribbon, pulled thread, hardanger and sashiko.

These projects do not have to be vintage or vintage inspired. All styles are welcome as long as it’s hand embroidered.

2. Link directly to your blog post, not to your blog home page.

3. If you happen to sell your embroidery or embroidery patterns, feel free to link up to a blog post you’ve written about a project you’re selling, but No direct links to shops or websites selling things.

4. This will be a curated link party. In other words, if a link does not conform to the three simple rules above, it will be removed.

The next three are more requests than rules.   They are by no means a requirement to take part in the party:

5. Please link back to the Stitchery Link Party with a text link somewhere in your post. Or if you’d prefer you can use the cool button that our son designed for me.

Simply copy and paste the code you’ll find under the button in my left side bar. You can add it to your post or to the sidebar of your blog.

6. As well, please share the love and visit one or two (or more) of the other links and take time to leave a comment.

7. I would, of course, love it if you decide to follow me but it’s not necessary in order to take part in the link party. (If you do decide to follow me, you can subscribe to e-mail updates in the box on the upper right hand side bar. You will then be sent an activation e-mail.  Once you click on the link in that e-mail, you will begin receiving updates each time I post.  Buttons to follow me on other social media are in the upper left hand side bar.)

Oh and don’t worry if you’ve never linked up to a link party before, I’ve written a quick tutorial called How to Link Up to a Link Party to help you not only link up to this party but to any link party you might like to participate in.

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

Posted in Stitchery Link Party | 8 Comments »

July Shop Hopping & Row by Rowing

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 18th, 2015

I hadn’t really planned to do our regional July Shop Hop, first because of the distance and driving involved to get to 15 shops spread out all over Southwestern Ontario and second because I have sooooo many other projects that I want to finish this quarter that starting a new one would slow down progress on those.  But last week, when I needed to make a quick stop at our local quilt shop, they gave me the free kit for their block and a passport just in case I made it to any of the other shops.

Well… come this weekend, the temperature today was supposed to reach the lower to mid 30s with the heat index in the 40s.  Middle daughter and I decided an afternoon of quilt shop hopping in an air conditioned car might be a good idea after all.

We managed to make it to the last of four shops 10 minutes before closing time.

July Shop Hopping block kits

The finished block in the middle of the photo is the one from my local quilt shop.  The rest are from today’s trip.

I don’t mind admitting that middle block gave me a lot of trouble.  It may look simple but for some reason I was having trouble obtaining the accurate (slight) 1/4″ seam allowance that is essential for getting all those corners to line up.  After several times of ripping seams out, the block did finish at an almost perfect 9 1/2″ square albeit with a few seams that have tiny ripples in them that I’m hoping will even out after quilting and washing.

Since all the shops we went to were also participating in the Row by Row Experience, we picked up the patterns for those too.

Local Ontario Row by Row Experience patterns

If I make any of these, I think they will have to be turned into individual wall hangings because as you can see… none of them really go together.

For my personal taste, a quilt takes far too much time, not to mention money (fabric, thread, etc) to throw a bunch of rows/blocks together with no thought as to how the finished quilt will look.    If I do end up making a Row by Row quilt, I may have to wait until November when the rows from other shops not in my area will be available for mail order.  Then I’ll be able to pick and choose the rows to be included.

On a completely different note… be sure to stop back here on Monday for the weekly Vintage Embroidery Monday & Stitchery Link Party.   Over the next several weeks, I’m going to be sharing some really adorable vintage patterns.

And of course, each Monday there will be lots of inspiration to be found on the blogs who join in the Stitchery Link Party.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit those who linked up this past Monday, I really encourage you to take a few moments and go see what everyone is working on.

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend with much Aloha!

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Quilting | 7 Comments »

Just Call Me Scarlett!

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

Last week, when I posted the photos of the pj pants and shorts I made for our middle daughter, Debra commented that it was like Scarlett O’Hara making a dress from curtains.  So this week when I started cutting out a new housecoat for myself, I couldn’t help but smile the whole time because rather than using vintage sheets as I’d done for the pjs, I was using a 100% cotton shower curtain that was another of my thrift store finds.

There wasn’t enough fabric to make an ankle length housecoat so I opted to shorten the pattern for a knee length version.   I had just enough then to cut the 2 front pieces, the back, pockets and belt (which had to be cut from 4 short pieces to obtain the length needed.)

I didn’t have enough to cut out the long facing pattern pieces so I searched through my fabric dresser and came up with a 1/2 yard cut of pretty green fabric leftover from making this quilt.

I am thrilled with the way it turned out!!

My new pink roses housecoat

When sewing the facing on, I sewed it right side of facing to the wrong side of the housecoat and pressed the facing to the outside to give me the contrasting band as opposed to sewing right sides together and pressing it to the inside.  Then I topstitched along the entire length of the facing.

To make it look like I’d planned it that way from the start, I also added a 2 inch band of the green to the top of each of the pockets.

2 inch band of green on the top of the pocket

The pattern I used to make my housecoat wasn’t quite as old as the one I used to make middle daughter’s pjs.

McCall's pattern that I used for my housecoat

I bought this pattern to make a housecoat for myself when I was getting ready to go on a self designed writer’s retreat back in 2003.

I couldn’t resist taking this photo of my housecoat actually on a shower curtain rod.  :)

my new housecoat hanging from a shower curtain rod

Just for giggles, who else remembers this Carol Burnett sketch?

I guess, I’ll just have to call this my Scarlett O’Hara housecoat!

 

This post has been added to the following link parties:

Needle and Thread Thursday

Fabric Frenzy Friday        Finish It Up Friday        Can I Get A Whoop Whoop!

TGIFF          Pet Project #29        CreativeGoodness Link Party

Sew Darn Crafty Link Party

 

 

 

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Posted in Conserving Resources, Sewing, Thrifting | 18 Comments »

DP9 Progress and Sewing for Me

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on July 15th, 2015

I’ve finished hand basting my Disappearing Nine Patch and it’s ready to quilt.

DP9 hand basted and ready to quiltFor the DP9 blocks I’ve decided to free motion quilt them alternating between dragonflies and butterflies.  So I’ve been doodling some dragonflies.

Dragonfly doodles

As you can see… some of my dragonflies are pretty strange looking but the doodling helped me to figure out how I could fmq in a continuous line without a lot of stops and starts.

The one that is circled wasn’t too bad so on a clean piece of paper, I traced it at different angles joining the dragonflies with some loops.   Today in between other projects, I’ll take a pencil and follow those lines to practice the motions.

Dragonfly quilting pattern

Once I think I’ve got the feel of it, I’ll do a practice sandwich to see if I can translate the doodled dragonflies onto fabric.   If that doesn’t work, I’ll make a stencil that I can use to transfer the pattern to the fabric in my DP9 quilt.  Then I’ll just follow those lines when I’m free motion quilting.

In the meantime though, I’m finishing up sewing something new for me.

Hemming in progress

A couple more steps, a good pressing and it will be ready.  I’m hoping the sun stays out so I can get some good photos later this afternoon.

For some other fun news… yesterday, this mini charm pack arrived in the mail.

Embroidery and coordinating mini charm pack

My entry was drawn in June’s Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew link party and I was allowed to choose any mini charm pack that I wanted from Fat Quarter Shop.  Thank you so much Fiona @ Celtic Thistle Stitches and Paula @ Mud Pies and Pins for organizing the link parties and to Ruth over at Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner who was June’s party host.  Thanks also to Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring this sweet little prize.

Now I can finally get my Seeds of Friendship embroidery turned into a pretty bolster cover.

What are you working on today?

 

This post has been added to the following link parties:

WIP Wednesday             WIP Wednesday 201 @ TN&TN

Free Motion Mavericks – Week 53

 

 

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Posted in Embroidery, Quilting, Sewing | 17 Comments »

Tips & Tricks Tuesday – Rescuing a Shower Puff

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

I’ve decided to add a fun new feature to the blog called Tips & Tricks Tuesday.  It may evolve into a weekly tip or trick or it may just end up being an occasional thing.  I’ll see how it goes.  And it could be about anything that I think might prove useful to someone… from sewing tips to cleaning tricks to quick around the house how-tos.

For today’s tip:

How to rescue an unravelled shower puffHave you ever treated yourself to a brand new shower puff only to have it unravel and look like this a couple of days later?

Netting from an unravelled shower puff

This happens when the cording used to hold the puff together isn’t tied tight enough so after a few uses it completely unravels.  Now you could just refold the netting accordion style and retie it but eventually it will fall apart again.

I have a simple, long term fix.  Take a 24 to 36 inch length of 1/8″ satin ribbon (the kind you buy at the fabric store) and thread it into a long needle with a large eye.   Weave the needle in and out through the mesh of the netting.

Gather the netting on to ribbon

Once the entire length of the netting has been gathered on to the ribbon, pull the ends of the ribbons to form a new puff.

Gather the netting tightly

Pull the ribbons as tight as possible and tie a knot.  Trim the ribbons to approximately 8 inches and knot the ends together.

Repaired shower puff

This post has been added to the following link parties:

Tutorial Tuesday

Let’s Be Social #81

Sew Darn Crafty Link Party

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Posted in Budget Savers, Tips & Tricks Tuesday | 6 Comments »