Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Posts Tagged ‘FNSI’

FNSI Tonight

Posted by supermom on March 16, 2012

Just a quick reminder that tonight is March’s FNSI (Friday Night Sew In) co-hosted by Heidi over at Handmade by Heidi and Bobbi from Crafty Vegas Mom.

There’s still time to sign up… so head on over by clicking here or on the FNSI button in my right side bar.

It’s been a few months since I’ve been able to take part and I still haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to work on, but it will be fun to spend the evening doing a virtual sew-in with all the other ladies who’ve signed up.


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December Friday Night Sew In Results

Posted by supermom on December 17, 2011

Oh my goodness… Friday Night Sew In at Sandra’s last night was sooooooo much fun.  I can’t remember when I’ve laughed so much.  Sandra and Nancy kept me in stitches all night (pun intended.)

It’s amazing that we managed to get any sewing done.

But before we got started, Dave and I sat down with Sandra and her hubby for a yummy supper of chili and coleslaw (I need to get Sandra’s recipe.)  And then for dessert, Sandra had made the most delicious tiramisu laced with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Nancy arrived a little after 7 and after a few minutes of visiting, we headed downstairs to Sandra’s sewing room.

As all of my fabric and sewing stuff is packed away in storage, Sandra generously allowed me to search through her plastic bins of fabric so that I could make these sweet little house Christmas tree ornaments.  Nancy brought a selection of fabrics too for me to choose from… I used a couple of those to make the roofs.

Aren't those cats in the windows adorable!

Sandra also allowed me to borrow her beautiful Singer 201 sewing machine, Bella to sew them with.  Bella sews like a dream and I’m now thinking it’s a really good thing that we weren’t able to sell the 201-2 sewing machine that came out of the Art Deco cabinet that Dave refinished to house my 15-91.   Once we’re settled somewhere, I may just have to start looking for a cabinet for that 201-2.

The pattern and instructions for the house ornaments can be found in Retro Mama’s post titled Home for the Holidays.

Sandra completed a sweet zippered bag for a neighbour’s child and Nancy finished the most adorable apple and pear pincushions.  (Click on their names to read their FNSI posts.)

And if you’d like to check out what all the other participants worked on last night, be sure to click through the FNSI sign-up list.  That’s what I’m going to be doing off and on throughout today and tomorrow, in between going to pick out a Christmas tree and getting it set up and decorated.

Oh… and that’s not all.   Sandra, Nancy and I had a Christmas gift exchange last night as well.  They both spoiled me far more than I was able to spoil them.  Those gifts deserve a post all their own so be sure to come back tomorrow when I’ll post photos of everything that was hidden inside these gift bags.

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Little Things Making Me Happy

Posted by supermom on December 16, 2011

It’s been two weeks now since we finished packing up everything and put it into storage.

The contents of a 3 bedroom house stacked and packed into a 10X20 climate controlled storage unit.

Since that time, we’ve traveled up to Canada and secured temporary housing to take us through until after Christmas.   What direction our future will take is more than a little uncertain at the moment.  If I concentrate only on the big things facing us, I find myself overwhelmed.

But what I’m also finding is that it’s the little things that are making me happy and providing bright spots to our days.

As all of our Christmas decorations are in storage, I’ve been scouring the local thrift stores for inexpensive decorations to give our little apartment a bit of Christmas spirit.   The other day, while searching the shelves of the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Whitby, ON, hidden on the very bottom shelf, I found something that made my eyes light up and my heart sing.

Now I know that someone else might have passed by this little house and not even taken a second look.  But right away, I recognized it as the treasure it was.

You see, back in the late 90s, Dave and our children gave me two little wooden houses for Christmas.  And every year since, they have been brought out and displayed along with our other Christmas decorations.

The trees were later additions and the little snow hill was a gift from one of our children.   But we’ve never been able to find any of the matching houses to expand our little village; until now.

Today it is helping to make our temporary home a little more festive.  But next year, it will become part of our little Christmas village and that thought makes me smile.

Something else that is making me smile… tonight, not only will I be joining the virtual Friday Night Sew In hosted by Heidi and Bobbi but I’m going to be taking part in a real life sew-in with Sandra and Nancy at Sandra’s house.   Now how fun is that!

If you haven’t signed for the second of December’s FNSIs… it’s not too late.  Just click on the button on my right sidebar or go here.

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Gifts Mailed Off and FNSI

Posted by supermom on November 18, 2011

The first of the Christmas gifts have been wrapped and mailed off.

We always sends books to Dave’s grandchildren for Christmas and birthdays as we’re quite sure they receive loads of toys from their parents and other two sets of grandparents.    It is our plan to become known as the Book Grandparents as we hope to foster in them the love of reading and the appreciation of the adventure, knowledge and pure enjoyment that can be found between the pages of a book.

As well, the gift for my parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary has finally made it into the mail.  I had been searching for a really pretty gift box to wrap it in… but I wasn’t able to find any locally that were the right size or that didn’t have a Christmas theme.  In the end, I ended up making one by taking apart a larger one and cutting it down to the size I wanted.

That completes the mailing of gifts.  The rest of the gifts will be hand delivered or they’ll open them with us on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Now I just need to get started on writing the Christmas cards so that they can be mailed out before we move at the end of the month.

In other news… Heidi has the sign-up post up for this month’s Friday Night Sew In, so hurry over and sign up to join the rest of us who’ll be busy sewing and crafting tonight.  Just click on the FNSI link in my sidebar and it will take you to Heidi’s blog.

I’ll be working on completing a couple of Christmas stockings that I promised to donate.  They need to be completed this weekend so that they can get to their destination by the 1st of December.  I’ll be posting photos tomorrow of the completed stockings, as well as trying to visit as many of the participants’ blogs as I can… though I might not make it to as many this month as we’re having a moving sale tomorrow.

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Plans for October’s Friday Night Sew In

Posted by supermom on October 21, 2011

Tonight is Friday Night Sew In; the monthly virtual sewing bee co-hosted by Heidi from Handmade by Heidi and Bobbi over at Crafty Vegas Mom.

For last month’s sew in I had planned to work on my version of the 10 minute table runner but by the time I got done figuring out how to sew this little purse onto it’s frame, I’d had enough sewing for that particular night.

I’ve been super busy working on secret 50th Wedding Anniversary, Christmas and birthday gifts that can’t be shown on my blog until after the gifting takes place.

Since a FNSI where I couldn’t share pictures of what I worked on wouldn’t be as much fun, I’m taking a break tonight from gift making and will instead work on getting a couple of those table runners finished using these fabrics that I showed you in September.

If you haven’t signed up for this month’s Friday Night Sew In, you can still do so.   Bobbi is hosting the sign-ups on her blog this time round and has mentioned that she will be giving away a really cool prize to a lucky FNSI participant.

I always enjoy taking time on Saturday and Sunday to visit as many of the FNSI blogs as I can.  I hope I’ll be visiting yours.

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FNSI Results – The Plan Changed

Posted by supermom on September 17, 2011

I didn’t get the table runners done, but I did manage to get the little clutch purse finished.

Earlier in the week, when I was cutting out the pattern pieces for the purse so that they’d be ready for Friday night, I decided I should take some scrap fabric and make a test of the pattern.  Good thing I did because there were a couple of easily fixed errors but ones that you wouldn’t want to happen if you were cutting into your good fabric.

Once I’d finished the tester, I figured why waste it as it would work for a lining and so I found some more scraps leftover from making a gift bag and made the outside of the purse.  I was quite pleased with how the fabric part of the purse turned out.

I fussy cut the fabric so that the dragonfly would be in the center.

I can picture all sorts of these little clutch purses with fussy cut fronts and different combinations of fabric for the front and sides.

I only had one of the clutch purse frames and I wanted to save that as I had purchased it to go with the blue ladybug fabric.  But having almost completed one purse, I figured putting the one together last night would be a breeze.   I mean, all I had to do was make another fabric purse and sew it to the frame.   What could be so hard about that, right?

And the fabric part of the purse did go together fairly easily.  The taffeta that I used for the lining is less forgiving than cotton in that it’s slipperier and as you remove the pins when sewing, it can shift a bit.

Some unpicking action had to take place to remove a pucker in the bottom curve of the lining but other than that it was pretty smooth sewing.

Then it was time to sew the purse to the frame.  Yeah… that’s where things got tricky.

The curse curve of the purse (yes there were words spoken) doesn’t match the curve of the frame.   The top part of the purse does fit in the frame but getting it to stay there while at the same time trying to sew it in… that’s the tricky part.  And it took me a few tries to figure that part out.  Did I mention that there were words spoken?

Here’s my solution:

I counted the number of holes in the purse frame.  There were 28.  So I positioned the center of the purse between the 14th and 15th holes and placed a pin in each.  Then I went to each side and pinned those in place.  Next I worked my way towards the center; pushing the purse into the frame and pinning.

Beginning at one side, I sewed in one hole, out the next all the way across (a running stitch), removing pins as I went.  Once I reached the other side, I worked my way back across to fill in the stitches.

Then I repeated those steps for the other half of the purse and frame.  Finished, the little purse looks like this:

To attach the purse to the frame, I used #5 Perle Cotton in a colour to match the frame.

As mentioned above, I used a blue taffeta to line the purse.

I like the contrast between the cotton and the taffeta; a touch of elegance to add to the fun and cuteness of the ladybug print.

By the time I finished sewing the frame to the purse; I’d pretty much had all the sewing I wanted for the evening so I called it a night.

I’ll work on the table runners over the weekend.  Now I’m off to see what everyone else worked on last night.



This post has been added to the Sew Darn Craft Party over at Sew Many Ways

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Sewing | Tagged: , , , | 18 Comments »

FNSI – The Plan

Posted by supermom on September 16, 2011

I have all the pieces cut out to make the little clutch purse that I picked up the frame for when Sandra, Nancy and I went shopping at Quilt-A-Bag when I was up in Canada.

The ladies at the shop included a free pattern with the purchase of the frame.

And after I’ve finished that, I’m going to be turning these two fabrics into a longer version of the 10 minute table runner.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow when I get to go see what everyone else has been working on.  For now, I’m off to sew!

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , | 3 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 »

Friday Night Sew In Results

Posted by supermom on July 23, 2011

Last night, we’d just finished supper and I was about to head to the spare bedroom to settle in for FNSI when our neighbours from across the street stopped over for a visit.  I got to show off our newly recovered lawn chair cushions and we spent a pleasant evening chatting on the front porch until it got dark.

By the time Dave and I came back into the house, I decided that rather than start on something new at 10 o’clock at night, I’d do some crochet.

I don’t know if you’ve been following my progress on my various projects on my Unfinished Projects list, but if you have, you know that I ran into a bit of a glitch when working on the crocheted beaded garland.  In trying to use up what I had on hand, I ended up running out of the South Maid crochet cotton thread that I was using and then wasn’t able to find more locally.  When I checked out ordering some on-line, the shipping would have cost more than the crochet thread itself.

So earlier this week, I made the tough decision and took apart the one and a half very long rows I had already completed and started over with a new ball of Aunt Lydia’s crochet cotton.  Last night, I finished row two and made a start on row three.

Then tired, but not enough to go to sleep, I decided to cut out the paper pattern pieces for this vintage apron pattern.

This pattern was one of the treasures that I found in the bench seat that came with the Art Deco cabinet we bought for my Singer 15-91.  It had the same awful smell as the cabinet did when we first brought it home, so it, along with other bits and bobs, has spent the past several weeks in a bag covered with kitty litter to absorb the odour.  The kitty litter worked great!

That’s the sum total of my FNSI.  No actual sewing, but progress on a UFO and a pattern prepped and ready to use.  Not what I had planned but a very pleasant evening nonetheless.

Note:  Don’t forget to leave a comment on my previous post to be entered into the giveaway for The Traveling Stash.

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