Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Posts Tagged ‘Gift Ideas’

Handmade Christmas – Gifts for Youngest Son

Posted by supermom on January 6, 2012

Last year, one of the items on our son’s Christmas wish list was a set of throw pillows to match the striped comforter we bought for him to use at college.  We chose other things from his list to give him but I kept the pillows in mind for a future gift.

Earlier this fall, I was lucky enough to find a cool print with all the colours of his comforter.   So for Christmas, I made him these two pillows.  The covers have a concealed zipper in the back to make it easier to remove them for laundering.

Our son is a great cook and so for his second gift, I made him the apron that Dave is modeling in the picture below.

I also copied out several of our favourite family recipes and put them in a cool recipe box along with extra cards for him to add his own favourites.

His third gift was, of course, a set of Christmas Elves.

Then to add some extra goodies to his stocking, I made him a set of luggage tags and an Ipod case with matching earbud case.

Also to fill his stocking, he received one of the fleece patchwork scarves pictured below.


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Handmade Christmas – Gifts for Middle Daughter

Posted by supermom on January 4, 2012

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Handmade Christmas – Gifts for Middle Daughter



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Handmade Christmas – Gifts for Oldest Daughter

Posted by supermom on January 2, 2012

This year, each of our children received three handmade gifts.

Our oldest daughter lives and teaches in Shanghai, China.   Even before we knew that we’d be in Southern Ontario over the Christmas season, we knew that she would be flying here with her partner to spend Christmas with her partner’s family.  That meant that her gifts needed to be ones that could easily fit into her suitcase for her return flight to Shanghai.

For her first gift, I decided to make her a travel set.

The set included: A boxy zipper bag for toiletries, a make-up bag, a pantie bag, 3 shoe bags, a laundry bag and 3 luggage tags.

Our daughter loves to do cross-stitch so for her second gift, I designed a stitchery keeper.

The flap opens so that she can store her cross-stitch flat when she's not working on it.

Down the center is a pincushion. On the right side are a needle keeper and pockets for embroidery scissors and hoop.

The third gift that each of our children received was a set of two Christmas elves.

You can see pictures of the elves and the story behind them here.

I also made a couple of little things for her partner, so that he would feel included.

A while back, I posted photos on my blog showing this little coin frame purse.  When he saw the photos, he mentioned that he could use something like that to hold all his coins, so I designed this smaller, flatter version for him.

This little coin purse is also the perfect size for business cards.

He also received one of the fleece patchwork scarves pictured below.

I made the scarf following my tutorial for How to Sew a Patchwork Scarf except I cut the patchwork squares 2.5″X6.5″ and the fleece 11.5″X60″.

His third gift wasn’t handmade but was something he mentioned really wanting.  He has a favourite tea that he can’t get in China, so we bought him four boxes to take back with him.

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

My Trip to Canada

Posted by supermom on September 6, 2011

No sewing or homemaking stuff got done last week because our youngest and I traveled up to Canada to get him settled into his second year of college.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, we hadn’t been able to make a trip earlier this summer to secure him accommodations so we trusted to the Universe to provide and provide it did.

He had contacted several people offering rooms to rent or house shares and we had two confirmed appointments for Sunday, August 28th with others possibilities to view on Monday.   But they weren’t needed because he got the room he wanted in the basement of a really nice home that was our second appointment on Sunday.

He has a master suite type room; large furnished bedroom, his own private bathroom and walk-in closet.  He also has the use of half of a fridge in another room in the basement, some shelves for storing non-perishable food as well as a fully furnished common area/rec room.  And not the usual rec room furniture of other people’s cast-offs, but really nice, comfy furniture, TV, etc.

He’ll be cooking his own meals upstairs in the family’s kitchen who, I might add from our brief acquaintance seem to be very nice people.

We feel so blessed and grateful everything fell into place for us.

One more example of that was… while we had hoped since it was so close to the first of the month, our son would be able to move right in… it turned out the room wasn’t available until the 1st because the other tenant had decided to stay on a few more days than he told the landlords he would be.   The other tenant was paid up until the end of the month, so they could hardly ask him to leave.  But even that proved to be the Universe providing.

You see, our original plan (such as it was), was to find him a place and get him moved in Monday and Tuesday, shop for groceries and essentials on Wednesday and then take care of the getting him his new student ID, etc on Thursday.    I had also planned to set aside time to meet up with friends (more on that later. )

Instead we spent Monday morning getting his student ID and doing banking.   On Thursday, all the college support workers in Ontario went on strike.  Many of our son’s friends and classmates were and have been standing in line for hours to get their student IDs and get registered and moved into residence.

While I drove home, our son spent the weekend organizing his room and exploring his new home area on the bus.  What we had first thought of as a disappointment turned out to be the Universe arranging our days to our best advantage.

The trip wasn’t all college related.   I did indulge in a little (okay, a lot) of fabric shopping.  I’ve discovered that while driving 15 hours a day the way I used to, just isn’t fun anymore, I can make a 10 hour driving day fun by stopping at intervals to check out quilt shops.

On the way up, we stopped at The Quilt Box in Dry Ridge, Kentucky.    I had first stopped there on the way up to Canada back in April on our trip to bring our son home for the summer.

Then on the second day of our trip up… just before the Pensylvannia/New York stateline, we stopped into Calico Patch Quilt Shop in the little town of North East.  (Yes, it’s really called North East.)

There's an item missing from the above photo but I'll explain that in tomorrow's post.

During my stay in Canada, I had the opportunity to meet two internet blogging friends; Nancy from Heaven is Handmaid and Sandra from Sandra Sews : ).

I was quite nervous before meeting them, wondering what they’d think of this Canadian Ex-Pat who thinks of herself as Hawaiian even if she is currently living in Georgia.  However, from the moment we met, it didn’t feel like I was meeting strangers at all, but dear friends that I somehow hadn’t seen in a while and we were simply spending time catching up on all that had happened in the intervening years.

I had so much fun that afternoon and from the write-ups on their blogs here and here, I’d say they did too.

Before we went for lunch, they introduced me to this wonderful little shop called Quilt A Bag in Markham, where I indulged by buying a few fat quarters as well as some bag handles.

After shopping, we stopped at Tim Horton’s for a quick bite to eat. We also had a gift exchange.  Let me tell you, Nancy and Sandra thoroughly spoiled me.  Just check out the photos below.

This is the gift bag from Nancy. Aren't those the cutest little scissors!

And inside was all this... a quilt book, a tin of pins, candy and lip gloss which is just the yummiest lip gloss ever.

When I stopped at Nancy’s place to pick her up, she invited me in to freshen up a bit after driving through morning traffic on Hwy 401 and 404.   I noticed one of the bags she’d written about on her blog and mentioned to her how much I loved the fabric she’d used.  Nancy surprized me by giving me the fabric she had leftover, saying that she’d had so much trouble making that particular bag that she couldn’t stand to even look at the fabric anymore.

Sandra had made me this darling gift bag with matching card.

And inside the bag from Sandra was real Canadian Maple Syrup, one of her pretty zip bags with buttons, a covered notepad and a beaded bookmark with the cutest ladybug beads on each end.

Back at Sandra’s, I got to see her sewing room.  I had to marvel at how organized she is.  She has project kits all made up ready to sew.  Some by her sewing machine, others in baskets on a table opposite and even more kits in bins that she rotates in as she completes kits.  No wonder, she is so productive!

While there, Nancy had a browse through Sandra’s scrap bin and found that ladybug scrap for me.  I love ladybugs.  And Sandra gave me a flex bag frame and made copies for me of two of the patterns she uses for her bags.

See… I told you they spoiled me.

Thank you Nancy and Sandra for making my trip extra special!

Tomorrow, I’ll post pics of my quilt shop stops on the way back home.

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

Christmas on a Budget Series – Buy Christmas Fabric Only When On Sale

Posted by supermom on June 25, 2011

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Christmas on a Budget Series – Buy Christmas Fabric Only When On Sale



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Allowable Fabric Purchases

Posted by supermom on April 18, 2011

We just got back from a whirlwind five day trip up to Canada and back to pick up our youngest from college.  He’s home to stay for the summer!

It’s a good 15 to 16 hour drive each way and even just a few years ago, we would have driven straight through.  But now we divide the trip into two days; usually 10 hours the first day and then the rest on the second day.   This time, I also decided that we needed to take a break halfway through the first day.  And what better way to take a break than to check out a quilt shop or two along the way.

I got to browse through fabric and Dave got to put the seat back in the car and just relax for however long I was browsing.

On the way up we stopped at The Quilt Box located a few miles off Exit 159 in Dry Ridge, Kentucky.  When I started researching quilt shops that would be along our route, I’d read a glowing review of The Quilt Box and was really looking forward to checking it out.

I was not disappointed.

There were beautiful quilts in all different sizes displayed everywhere you looked.  Bolts and bolts of fabric and quilt patterns downstairs.  And then upstairs… more quilts, a small clearance section and batting.   I probably could have spent the entire afternoon there just going from section to section.

Now if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know from my previous posts here and here, that I’ve not been terribly successful in my attempt to destash in preparation for our possible upcoming move.   And once you read on, you may think I’ve failed again, but I’ve decided that these are all allowable purchases because most of them were bought either as fabric gifts or to make gifts with or to add to other fabrics that I’ve been collecting with specific projects in mind.   Most will to be used in the near future and won’t be added to my stash, except as scraps.

Skinny quarters of Oasis by 3 Sisters (left) & Buttercup by Fig Tree & Co (right). The green at the bottom of both piles is Deco Demure by Laura Berringer for Marcus Fabrics chosen because I thought it co-ordinated well with the others.

For example, I had those 1/4 yard pieces by Fig Tree & Co cut partly as a gift and partly with a specific project in mind.

The true blue fabric was purchased because the colour is a perfect match for the bluework snowman I embroidered and pictured in this post.   Now it can be made into a gift bag.  The dove fabric and flower fabric will be making appearances in gifts I have planned, not to mention, they were on clearance.

For the trip back home, half way the first day brings us to the Cleveland area.  When I googled quilt shops in and around Cleveland, I came across Abigayle’s Quiltery, just a few miles off I-71.   Abigayle’s too has bolts and bolts of fabric to browse through though perhaps not the 5000+ bolts advertised on their website.   And not nearly as many quilts on display as The Quilt Box.  They do however have an entire room of clearance fabric; some on bolts but most cut in 1, ½ and ¼ yard pieces.

The four fabrics on the right are 1 yard cuts from their clearance room.   These will be made into gifts.  The yellow butterfly fabric is a half yard piece I had cut to add to the fabric I’m collecting to make a Bug Jar Quilt.

Both stops were fun little detours to break up that long first day drive.   We will definitely be stopping back into The Quilt Box on our next trip up to Canada.  And I plan on checking out other quilt shops whenever we make a long trip somewhere because in stopping into those two shops, not only did I find some great fabrics I also discovered something else.

And that discovery is that I think if I’m not careful, I could quite easily become a quilt shop fabric snob.

All the fabrics I browsed through including those I bought have a completely different weight and feel to them than most of the fabrics I’ve been buying from the chain fabric stores.  The differences in some cases are quite subtle but still clearly discernable.   Add to that the personal attention that you receive when shopping in a quilt shop as opposed to the chain stores and it is perhaps a very good thing that we don’t make long trips very often and that the closest quilt shops to where we live are in Atlanta and not even the lure of a quilt shop could entice me to drive in Atlanta.

Posted in Gift Ideas, Quilting, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Secret Christmas Swap

Posted by supermom on December 10, 2009

Earlier this fall, I signed up for a Secret Christmas Swap over on the forum for the Chickens in the Road blog.

Now that my secret partner has received her gift, I can share pictures of the gifts I made her.

First, is this crocheted garland.

Here’s a close up:

Then these crocheted ornaments to hang on her tree.

Finally a fabric gift bag for her to store them in once Christmas is over.

I really had a lot of fun working on the gifts.   And it’s been great fun too, seeing all the other gifts as they are arriving at their destinations; each one so unique.

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The Pay It Forward Gifts

Posted by supermom on April 16, 2009

Now that the three ladies who signed up to receive Pay It Forward gifts from me have received them and had a chance to enjoy them for a while, I thought I’d get the pictures posted of what I made for each lady.

For Katherine over at Sew Me Something Good, I knit a set of dishclothes in colours to match her new kitchen apron and oven mitts.butterfly-dishcloth

Line’s blog is Scribbles by Me and while I can’t read Swedish, I did see from the pictures that she has posted that they are remodeling their kitchen.  So I made these dishclothes for her to use once the remodelling is finished.  In her photos, it looked like they had painted the walls a pale yellow, so I chose a bright yellow yarn to make them with.sunshine-dishclothes

From reading through Just A Flip Flop Mom’s blog entries I learned that she is currently attending classes and probably has little time to pamper herself, so for her I knit washclothes instead of dishclothes in the hopes that they would encourage her to take time occasionally to de-stress with a nice long bath.  The washclothes were knit slightly larger than the dishclothes.praying-hands-dishcloth

As you can see, each lady also received one dishcloth or washcloth with a design knit into the pattern.  I chose each design especially for the lady who received it.

And here they are all bundled up just before they were put into the envelopes and mailed off.bundled-up-and-ready-to-go

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