Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Vintage Embroidery Monday – A Variety of Large Flowers

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

Vintage Embroidery Monday patterns are scheduled ahead, but for some reason today’s post seems to have disappeared and therefore didn’t post.   So a little late in the day, for your stitching pleasure I have a variety of large flowers to share.

Larger flowers from Workbasket Pattern Page  79

The flower on the left in the first row is a water lily.  The flower in the middle is a rose.    The name of the flowers on the bottom right left escapes me at the moment.   The flowers on the bottom right are lilacs.   But I have not idea what the flower at the top on the right is, other than it looks like some kind of tropical flower.

This pattern is available as a pdf to download here.


Edited to add:  In the comments, Gretchen mentioned that the flowers on bottom left (I have a tendency to get left and right mixed up) are dogwoods.   Thank you, Gretchen!

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How to Make Two Drawstring Bags from Two FQs

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on August 28th, 2014

Back in July, I posted about sewing drawstring bags that I filled with toiletries to donate to the local women’s shelter.  As I was sewing them, I took lots and lots of photos so that I could share a tutorial for how I made them.  Last Saturday, I finally sat down and went through over 200 photos I had taken, picked out the best, resized them and wrote this tutorial.

To make two fully lined drawstring bags you will need:

2 coordinating fat quarters

Fabric for lining and strings (I used Kona cotton)

Matching thread if you wish. (I was making 10 bags so I just used white thread for all of them.)

To make the pattern for the bottom of the bag:

Fold over 4 ¼” of an 8 ½ X 11” piece of paper.

1. fold over about 4.25 inches

Make a pencil mark at 4” from the fold.

2. Make a pencil mark at 4 inches

Make another pencil mark at 7 ½” along the folded edge of the paper.

3. Turn paper and mark at 7.5 inches on folded edge

Using something round as a template (I used a small plate), draw a quarter circle from that bottom line.

draw a curve using a small plate

Now extend that line up to the pencil mark at the top of the paper.

5. Draw line to mark at top of paper

Once, I’d finished doing that I adjusted the curve until I liked the way it looked.

redraw the curve for bottom of the bag

Cutting instructions:

Fold each fat quarter in half so it is 9”x22”.  Trim off the selvedge and square up.

Trim off the selvedges

Measure and cut a 10″ strip.

Measure and cut a 10" strip

Next measure and cut 8” so that you have two 8”x10” pieces of fabric.

Measure and cut at 8 inches to get two 8x10 inch pieces

Pin the pattern piece you created to the rest of the folded fat quarter.  Cut out.

Pin pattern piece to the uncut piece of fat quarter

Repeat the above steps with second fat quarter in a coordinating fabric.

Using the pattern piece, cut 4 lining pieces.

You will now have the pieces you need to sew two drawstring bags, one the reverse of the other.

Photo of all the pieces cut out for two drawstring bags

To make the drawstring bags:

Pin one 8”x10” piece to the coordinating bottom piece.

Pin 8X10 strip to bottom of bag

Next, take them all to the sewing machine and chain piece the pinned pieces using a ¼” seam allowance.

Photo of chain piecing bag sections together

Remember those 10 bags I talked about making… here’s a photo of them being chain pieced.

Photo of ten bags being chain pieced.

Next, pin a lining piece to each of these and chain piece using a ¼” seam allowance.

Press the seam allowances in the same direction as pictured below.

Photo of bag pieces with seams pressed in the same direction

Pin together matching seams.

Pin bags sections together and sew

Using pins… mark openings for the casing at 1 1/2″ and again at 2 1/2″ from the seam line.  (I use pins with different colored heads so that I don’t miss them when I’m sewing.)

Using two pins… mark opening in the lining for turning.

Opening in the lining is indicated by double pins.

Pieces pinned and ready to sew

Sew all the way around, stopping and starting at the places marked by the pins, removing pins as you go. Back tack each time you stop and start.

Turn right side out and sew the opening in the lining closed.

Sew the opening in the lining closed

Push the lining down into the bag. The seams that you pressed in the same direction should now nest beside each other (one seam pointing towards the top of the bag and one pointing towards the bottom.)

Pin in place and topstitch 1/8” from seam.

Topstitch close to seam

Press well.

To form the casing for the string:

Sew 2.5” from top of bag.

Sew 2.5 inches from top of bag

If you look closely at the photo, you can see that I used a thick elastic band to make a seam guide at 2.5” from the needle.

Sew a second seam 3.5” from top of bag.  (I moved the elastic over 1”.)

Stitch a second seam 3.5 inches from the top of bag

Photo of finished bags:

Photo of completed drawstring bags without drawstrings

To make the strings:

Cut two strips WOF (width of fabric) from Kona cotton (or fabric of your choice.)

Cut two 2 inch strips WOF

Press in half lengthwise.

Press strip in half lengthwise

Open up and press each side towards the center crease.

Press edges toward the middle crease

Fold in half and press well.

Press folded strip well

Sew close to the double folded edges.

Stitch close to the double folded edge

Next cut each string in half.

Thread the string through the casing starting at one side, all the way around and out the same side.

Next thread the second string through the casing starting on the opposite side, all the way around and out that side.

Knot the ends of the strings together.

Now you have two drawstring bags ready to gift or store treasures in.

Two completed drawstring bags ready for gifting.

Or if you’re sewing for charity like I was… ten drawstring bags which you can see in this post.


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Posted in Gift Ideas, Sew easy projects, Sewing Tutorials | 3 Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – School House

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

This little school house reminds me of the one from Little House on the Prairie.  Come to think of it, the little girl from last week looked a little bit like Laura Ingalls.  And since Laura didn’t have a little brother, we can maybe imagine the little boy from the week before that as Almonzo.  (as depicted in the Little House TV series.)

Vintage Workbasket Embroidery Pattern of a School house from Pattern Page 80This pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

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Lamb Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Topped with Feta Cheese

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

Our oldest daughter mentioned making lamb stuffed mushrooms a while ago, so when a vendor at the local farmers’ market had hormone free, grass-fed lamb for sale, I picked up a pound of ground lamb.  I’m not sure if this is the exact recipe that she used but it was delicious nonetheless and I will definitely be making it again in the future.

Photo of Lamb Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms topped with feta cheese

The recipe can be found here.

As with most recipes, I used what I had on hand.  I didn’t have fresh parsley so I substituted 2 tbsp of dried.  We don’t like cilantro.  And I didn’t have allspice so that too was left out.  I had some green onion tops that needed to be used up.   Those were used in place of the chopped onion.

Oh and since we had five mushrooms not the six called for in the recipe, the ground lamb mixture was divided in fifths rather than sixths.

I would encourage everyone to never be afraid to make substitutions or change a recipe to use what you have.   Experiment and have fun trying new dishes.



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Posted in Cooking for Two, Recipes | 1 Comment »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – Schoolgirl

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on August 18th, 2014

This little girl looks like she’s telling her brother (the little boy from last week) to hurry up or they’ll be late for school.

Or maybe she’s just so happy to be heading off to school with her brand new slate and lunch box that she’s singing as she walks along!

Vintage Workbasket Embroidery Pattern of a Schoolgirl from Pattern page 80This pattern is available as a pdf to download here.


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“Whiskey Creek” Copycat Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on August 16th, 2014

Last payday Dave and I decided to go out for supper to Whiskey Creek.   Their ribs and rib combos are some of the best we’ve ever had.    To start our meal, we ordered their Appetizer Combo which comes with a variety of dipping sauces.   Our favorite to all of them is their Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.

The next day we were grilling chicken and veggie kabobs and I was wishing we had some of that honey mustard dipping sauce to have with it.  So I searched through several online recipes to get an idea of what to start with and then after a bit of experimenting came up with a pretty close approximation.

“Whiskey Creek” Copycat Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

1/2 c  mayonnaise

3 tbsp honey

4 tbsp spicy brown mustard

1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix the 4 ingredients in a bowl.  Whisk until sauce is smooth.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld.

Pour any leftovers in a pretty jar and keep in the fridge for next time.

photo of honey mustard dipping sauce



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Vintage Embroidery Monday – Schoolboy

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on August 11th, 2014

Yes, we’re getting to that time of year again when school is starting (some may have already started.)   So for today and the next two Mondays I’ll be sharing three vintage school days patterns.   Up first is this towheaded little boy carrying an apple for his teacher.

Vintage Workbasket Embroidery pattern for a schoolboy.  Pattern Page No. 80This pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

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150 Days of Giving

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

Today it is actually 154 days since I started the Giving Challenge to give one gift each day but I missed some days now and then so it only totals up to 150 days.

I decided last week that I wanted to mark this with a special gift.. one that would be a gift of time and service in addition to whatever monetary value the gift might entail.  Long time readers might remember that when we are traveling/staying in hotel, I collect all the courtesy shampoos, conditioners and soaps to donate to women’s and homeless shelters.  I purchase toothpaste, toothbrushes, toothbrush holders and deodorants.  Then last year, I also started sewing small bags to put them in as many people arrive at the shelters with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

So over the weekend I sewed up 10 lined drawstring bags using some of the fat quarters I won recently paired with fat quarters bought during a fat quarter sale at my local quilt shop.

Each pair of fat quarters yields two drawstring bags.

photo of blue and pink drawstring bags

Photo of cherries and yellow drawstring bags

Photo of rose and cherry floral drawstring bags

Photo of yellow and floral drawstring bags

Purple and floral drawstring bags

Ten little gift bags all in a row:

Photo of Ten gifts bags in a row

And here they are stuffed as full with as much as I could fit into them.

Photo of filled drawdstring bags

I hope that the ladies who receive them will feel uplifted and know that even in the midst of struggle there is hope for a brighter future.

This giving challenge continues to bless and challenge me in ways that I could not have imagined.   I do try to start out my day now by thinking about what I can give that day but as I mentioned above there are days when I’ve gotten to the end of the day and realized I had gotten so busy that I had forgotten to even think about giving.   There are more days than I care to admit when it’s late afternoon or evening before I remember.  Yet there are also times when I plan ahead to make sure I have gifts to give.  And times too when the Universe conspires to give me the opportunity to open my heart a little more and give spontaneously.

On the days when me gifts are small gifts, I still struggle with “have I given enough.”    I still tend to think that monetary gifts are somehow more important than my gifts of time or service.

And while I’m getting better at receiving, there are many times when I have to consciously say to myself, it’s okay to let others give to me.

I read a small inspirational book recently called The Butterfly Effect: Everything You Do Matters by Andy Andrews.   It reminded me that even the small gifts could be the start of a butterfly effect in someone’s life just as the gifts I allow others to give me may well be the start of that butterfly effect in my life.

May you all be blessed this day wherever you may be, whatever you may be doing.

Live Aloha!


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Posted in Gift Ideas, Sewing | 6 Comments »

I Couldn’t Resist Making These

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on August 5th, 2014

They are so quick and simple to make using some heavy interfacing and a bit of fabric.  The instructions and pattern are new from Red Brolly.

Teapot Gift Box made from fabric

Once the glue dries, these little cuties will be sent off with tea bags tucked instead to brighten someone’s day.

And now that I’ve had my “tea break” it’s back to working on the edits for my novel!


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Posted in Gift Ideas | 5 Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – Spikey Rose

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

This is the final rose of the series.  We were running out of names to call the various rose patterns so this one got christened Spikey Rose because of the way the petals are drawn.

Starting next week, I’ll be sharing the first of three sweet vintage back-to-school designs.

Vintage Workbasket Pattern for a Spikey RoseThis pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

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