Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Archive for August, 2011

Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 4 and the Giveaway

Posted by supermom on August 27, 2011

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Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 4 and the Giveaway

Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 3 Installing the Grommets

Posted by supermom on August 27, 2011

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 Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 3 Installing the Grommets

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Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 2

Posted by supermom on August 27, 2011

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Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 2

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Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 1

Posted by supermom on August 27, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 1

Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Gift Ideas, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christmas on a Budget – Building Traditions

Posted by supermom on August 25, 2011

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Christmas on a Budget – Building Traditions

Posted in Budget Savers, Christmas on a Budget Series | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Getting Things Done – The Three Hot Pads are Finished

Posted by supermom on August 22, 2011

On Saturday, I got the third hot pad quilted after a quick trip to the fabric store to buy more thread.  Free motion quilting takes a lot of thread!

Then there was another stop in the sewing action while Dave worked on figuring out why the potted motor of my 15-91 was leaking oil.   He ended up having to take the motor off and give it a complete cleaning.  It turns out that the woman I bought the machine from had put way too much oil in the motor when she refurbished it.  It wasn’t noticeable when I was doing small projects where the stopping and starting didn’t cause the motor to warm up.  But the fast speed and continuous sewing of FMQ got that motor good and warm.

Luckily I noticed the problem and Dave was able to fix it.  That’s one of the great things about these vintage Singers; they were made to last and they were made to be repaired by the home sewer or in this case by the home sewer’s husband.

After Dave got the 15-91 fixed and back into her sewing cabinet yesterday, I got the binding sewn on all three hot pads.  Then the later part of the afternoon and evening was spent hand sewing the binding to the back while listening to a book on CD.  And here’s the final result:

For the churn dash hot pad, I quilted in lines of loop-de-loops leaving the center of the block unquilted.

Hanging on the island ready to slip under hot bowls during our next supper at the dining room table.

I did take a break for supper and to watch The Black Cauldron that I’d picked up on our last trip to the library.  It’s not one of Disney’s best animated movies but I’ve always loved little Gurgi and his saying “Munchies and crunchies in here somewhere” has become one of those phrases that got incorporated into the family vocabulary, especially when someone is looking through the cupboards for snacks.

On the agenda for today is working on getting a couple of tutorials finished to go along with Thursday’s Christmas on a Budget Series post.

And I’ve also got a trip to the mall planned to use a $10 off $10 or more coupon that I received in the mail from JC Penny.  I’m hoping to pick up a top or two in their end of summer sales.

Oh and I might… just possibly… get some placemats or mugrug quilt sandwiches made so that I can have some more fun practicing FMQing.

End of summer, Christmas only 4 months away… where has the year gone?

Posted in Quilting, Sew easy projects | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

August Friday Night Sew In Results

Posted by supermom on August 20, 2011

I’m going to start off by saying I am ridiculously pleased with myself.

Last night during FNSI, I was having trouble figuring out how I wanted to quilt the hot pads I had prepped and ready (see previous post.)

I had toyed with the idea of free motion quilting them.   For a while now I’ve been watching videos on youtube to learn how it’s done, but felt I hadn’t learned enough to give it a try.

First I tried sewing ¼” on either side of the blocks but didn’t like how that looked.  So I unpicked those lines of quilting.

Then I tried stitching in the ditch.  I liked how that looked especially when the stitches actually stayed in the ditch.  I don’t know if it was the extra layer of batting or what but I ended up having to unpick those lines of quilting too.

As I sat there at the machine trying to decide how I was going to go about quilting those hot pads, I thought to myself… what did I have to lose by just dropping those feed dogs, installing the darning foot and giving FMQ a whirl.   So that’s what I did.  And I had a blast doing it!

I meandered.  I made loops.  I made points (some intentional and some not so intentional.)

I overheated the foot controller of my 15-91.  Dave made some adjustments to the speed control screw and after a half hour break to let it cool down; I was back to meandering and loop-de-looping.

Now my FMQ certainly isn’t the prettiest.  And there are places where the stitches are bigger than others.  I’m still learning how to control how I move the quilt so that it moves smoothly so I don’t get those unintended points and wobbles.   But I’m definitely on my way to learning how to free motion quilt.

The Jacob’s Ladder hot pad was the first one I FMQed:

Front of Jacob's Ladder hot pad.

Back of Jacob's Ladder hot pad.

For the second hot pad, I only FMQed the background fabric.  That made the pinwheel really stand out and created a pretty “butterfly” on the back.

Front of Pinwheel hot pad.

Back of Pinwheel hot pad.

The third hot pad will be quilted today and then I’m going to get the binding on them so that I can start using them.

I’ll say it again, I am ridiculously pleased with how the quilting on these turned out for my first attempt at free motion quilting.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Quilting | Tagged: , , , , , | 20 Comments »

I’m Ready for August’s Friday Night Sew In

Posted by supermom on August 19, 2011

On my Unfinished Projects list I have listed two table runners/toppers with a notation saying they needed to have borders added and then be basted, quilted and bound.  The blocks in these two items were made back when AmandaJean over at crazy mom quilts was hosting her first quilt-a-long.   Not only was it AmandaJean’s first quilt-a-long, it was my first ever attempt to piece those more intricate kind of blocks.  I hadn’t yet learned that a ¼” seam isn’t really a ¼” seam but an almost ¼’ seam so very few of my blocks came out the right size or even the same size.

At the time, rather than try to sew all those variously sized blocks into a quilt, I sewed them into two table runners and a table topper.  One of the table runners did get completed but the other two have been sitting in a drawer for well over 3 years now because I wasn’t satisfied with the way they looked but couldn’t really figure out why.

Then earlier this week, I had them out and was looking at them again and I had an ah-ha moment when I realized what it was that wasn’t quite right about them.  I had used the same fabric for the sashing as I had for the background of the blocks so that the blocks themselves lost some of their definition.

The effect of having the sashing and background the same isn’t as bad in the table topper with three fabrics (the yellow, green and background) but on the table runner where I’d used blocks with only two fabrics it was more noticeable.   It’s not that they looked terrible.   The blocks just weren’t being shown off to their best advantage.

I decided to unsew both the table topper and table runner.  I’m going to sew the table topper back together with different fabric for the sashing and also add borders.  I’m thinking about using that fabric you see draped over the chair in the photo above.  It’s hard to tell from the picture but the green fabric is actually green with gold swirls.

Or would another fabric choice perhaps work better?  What do you think?

Instead of remaking the table runner as well, I turning the blocks from it into hot pads to use on our dining room table.  Up until now, we’ve been using placemats folded in half when we needed to put something hot on the table.  These will look much prettier.

Here they are sandwiched, basted and ready to work on during tonight’s FNSI.

I've used one layer of Insul-Bright and one layer of cotton batting between the top and backing for the hotpads.

Are you joining us for FNSI?  There’s still time to sign up over at Handmade by Heidi.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Quilting, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Getting Things Done – Two More Finishes

Posted by supermom on August 16, 2011

I’ve moved two more projects from the Unfinished Projects to the Completed Projects list on my 2011 – The Year of Getting Things Done page (click on link up top.)

First, is this crocheted beaded Christmas tree garland:

I had first tried to photograph the garland on the holly bushes in front of our house, but the shots weren't coming out like I wanted.

I made two of these garlands a couple of years ago and then one again last year, but that still wasn’t enough garland to go all the way around from the top of the tree down to the bottom.   I’m pretty sure with this additional garland we should have enough.

The pattern for the garland can be found in White Christmas in Thread Crochet by Kathryn A. Clark put out by Leisure Arts.   The pattern book is available here.

And the second finish is this child-sized Flying Zebra quilt.

It has the same backing as the Flying Zebra baby quilt I made for Bama Bound Quilts.

I tried something different for the quilt label this time.  For the baby quilt, I printed off an iron-on label that I ironed on to white fabric and then hand-sewed on, but for this one, I decided to embroider the label.

I’m not completely satisfied with the neatness of my printing, but this will probably be how I label future quilts.

Ten more projects on my Unfinished Projects list to finish before the end of 2011.  Not counting of course, the secret Christmas projects that still need to be completed.

And this Friday night might just be a good night to get another one checked off the list as it’s time for August’s Friday Night Sew-In.

Handmade by HeidiSign-ups are over at Handmade by Heidi.  Clicking on the logo will take you there.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Gift Ideas, Quilting, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Squishies in the Mail

Posted by supermom on August 14, 2011

Back in the middle of May, Sandra over at Sandra Sews : )  posted a photo of some wine totes which she’d made using the coolest, most appropriate fabric for a wine tote.

I commented asking, “Where on earth did you find that wine cork fabric? And how perfect for a wine tote bag.”

Along comes the middle of June and what should arrive in my mail box but this small package.

And what should be inside, but some scraps she had leftover of that same wine cork fabric.   I was so touched that she’d thought to send them to me.

I didn’t post about it at the time, because I had this idea that I wanted to show everyone what I made with the scraps.  It seemed to take me forever to get this simple project done as it kept getting set aside while I worked on other projects.  Finally though, here it is:

There’s just enough room in this wine tote to fit two bottles of wine so that they don’t clang against each other but not so snuggly that they are difficult to take out.  I also made two matching wine bottle coasters to use with chilled wine so that the condensation from the bottles doesn’t cause white water mark rings on the table.

I have a couple of small scraps left of the wine cork fabric and I’m going to use those when I make up sets of wine glass coasters that slip onto the bottom of the glass.  Each cozy in the set will be different making it easy to identify whose glass of wine is whose when you’re having a party.

And that’s not all.  Recently, in this post, I mentioned that I was collecting fabrics for a bug jar quilt and Sandra offered to send me some that she had leftover from making a baby quilt.   So I knew that there’d be another squishy coming in the mail.

Even so, I was in for a sweet surprise.  She’d “wrapped” the bug fabric in one of her gorgeous zippered bags.

But wait… it’s not just a regular zippered bag…

It’s a panty zippered bag.  Isn’t that the most fun ever!

At the end of June, Sandra had posted a picture of a panty zippered bag and I commented that I always loved the bags she sewed but I had to say that the panty bag was just too much fun.  How sweet it was of her to remember that and to make and gift me with one.  I adore the fabric that she used.

Thank you, Sandra… not just for the fabric and the panty zippered bag (which makes me smile every time I look at it) but also for the hand of friendship that you’ve extended across the miles through your comments here on my blog and through our e-mails back and forth.

I can’t wait to meet both you and Nancy on our next trip up to Canada.

Posted in Gift Ideas, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »