Thursday, January 29, 2015

Paper Piecing---The difficult sections!

Sometimes when you're paper piecing, you come across a difficult shaped piece that stumps you. You seam rip OVER and OVER and get really frustrated!  Here's my method to having these pieces come out perfect nearly every time. 

I have already sewn pieces D1 through D3.  I am on D4.  

If you're familiar with paper piecing you know that I am going to sew the line between piece D3 and piece D4 after getting my fabric in place.  This line is very short, but making sure my fabric is laid out correctly is the tricky part. 

Below: I have flipped my paper over.  I traced the outline of D4 with permanent marker to make it show up better in these pictures.  The back of your pattern won't have these lines because you can use the light to see where your fabric is lining up.

Below: I have placed my fabric RIGHT SIDE UP so that it completely covers section D4. I have taped my piece on a window so you have the benefit of seeing all my lines.  (I normally don't tape my piece to a just gives a better view).   

Below: Flipped back over. You are viewing the top of the paper and the wrong side of the fabric. 

Next, fold on the line between piece D3 and piece D4 as shown in the pictures below.  

Below: Iron the fold to set the crease. 

Below: Open the fold.  See that nice crease? 

Below: Flip the fabric over.  RIGHT SIDE DOWN.  Leave the crease folded and lined up with the fabric below. 

Below: Carefully unfold the end of the fabric as shown below, leaving the creases and fabric lined up. Pin if necessary.  

Below: Sew on the line between D3 and D4. 

Front view

Back view.
 Below: Flip fabric over and iron. Trim seam after ensuring that the fabric still covers section D4.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Butterfly Trick for Paper Piecing

Ever run across a tricky piece in your paper piecing? Try Paper Panache's Butterfly Method to help things sail a little smoother!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Red Elk Burritos

Sorry I don't have a picture! We ate them all before I thought about it!

Red Elk Burritos
1 lb. ground elk meat
About 1/4 C. flour
About 1/4 C. shortening/lard/oil
1 large can red enchilada sauce (we like the La Victoria or Macayos brand)
2 1/2 C. of shredded cheddar cheese

Brown elk meat.  Next, we're going to act like we're making a gravy (over medium heat).  Add some shortening/lard/oil to the pan so that making a roux will be possible. Add a little flour at a time until you reach a roux consistency (you want the roux to still be very oily, not very floury). After your roux caramelizes, add the can of enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese.  Stir until thickened.  Serve in tortillas

Thursday, October 2, 2014


 The kids and I visited a local fire station for a preschool field trip.  Buddy  was in HEAVEN! He was literally bouncing off the walls.  The firemen at the station were commenting, "Now there is a future fire fighter!" because he just couldn't contain himself.

Ten loved it, too! She got to participate right alongside the "big" (bigger than her) kids.

The fire fighter that gave us the tour was so great with the kids and super patient.  Buddy was the only one who got to wear her fire hat.  He said it was "real heavy!" But, it made for such a cute picture.  It's my favorite of the whole outing!

Thank you to all the men and women who serve as fire fighters, police officers, ambulance drivers/paramedics, and...let's not forget the military!

The Big City Backwoods Family loves you ALL!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Navigating the System, Talk like a Pirate Day, and Picture Day!

What I have been up to lately...let me begin: 

First, it has become a concern that Buddy may need a little extra help with his speech.  When I ask him to say one word, he can repeat it beautifully, but when he says a whole sentence, it is not understandable to strangers and the Favorite sometimes has a rough time understanding it, too! 

So, on September 3rd I got him tested through the public schools pre-screening.  He failed the speech area.  Not because of his individual words, but because of the pronunciation of sentences.  So...they scheduled another test 3 weeks later. 

So, on September 23rd we had another appointment. This one was the real screening.  It was longer. More focused and more 1-on-1 with Buddy and the testing staff.  When it was over, I expected to know if Buddy qualified for the local preschool program, but they were super vague. 

They scheduled an IEP meeting for October 13th, but left me with absolutely no indication of whether he got into their program or not or whether or not he passed or failed their tests.  

So frustrating! 

Other than that, on September 19th (International Talk Like a Pirate Day) we plundered Krispy Kreme and got 4 dozen free DELICIOUS doughnuts! YUM! Here's some picture proof! 

Somehow, taking professional quality pictures of my kids does not happen as often as it should. It's so sad.  Not sure how it happens since I am a photographer...I guess between all of my hobbies and responsibilities, my family's pictures end up taking a back seat.  Here they are! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Puppy Overload--What else were you expecting?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Camping in May

Back in May, before our lives got out-of-control busy.  We went camping with my in-laws. It was so fun. We camped at the Rainbow Campgrounds at Big Lake, AZ. It got pretty cold at times (especially at night) and my in-laws have apparently been using this trick to keep warm for years! It is amazing! Why didn't I know about this sooner! While sitting around the campfire, you can set up some reflex (or you could use something similar to one of those cheapy car windshield shades) behind you...and stay SO WARM! If it's really bad, you can set it up so you have one behind you and one above you as a roof.  Seriously amazing.