It was a lovely day today and it's feeling more spring-like all the time. Sue and I walked this morning for the first time in about a month, and it was good to get together again. The trail looked better since all the rain and mud has been cleared away, and some of the trees were blooming. We're going to try a different trail when we walk next week, but I'll say more about that later.

I needed to make a quick trip to the grocery store...just to get through the weekend. I never grocery shop on the weekend. You would have to drag me kicking and screaming even to go into the grocery store park on the weekend. I realize this is one of the luxuries enjoyed by people who do not work, but believe me, I paid my dues on that front.

So when I came home I got to work on my "official" March NewFO project, the Chili Rounder.

I took some time yesterday to peruse the pattern and pull the fabrics I'm going to use. The bright colors are for the peppers. The browns and some of the greens are for the stem caps.

This table topper can be made 23, 30, or 36 inches. I measured my table and breakfast bar, and decided that for my purposes, the 23-inch topper is large enough. The size of your topper determines the number of rounds of peppers you will use. For the 23-inch topper, I will just be using the peppers lettered A through E. Here's a rather complicated looking map of them all laid out, but it's not as difficult or confusing as it looks.

The pattern is very well-written, as a nice change of pace. The peppers are done with fusible applique and fused to a foundation piece. When I'm ready to do the back, this is the fabric I'll be using:

I chose a medium-weight muslin for my foundation. Then, as directed in the pattern, I folded and pressed it into a grid. The crease lines are marked Top, Bottom, Right, Left, Upper Left, and so on.

The pattern suggested cutting out this template below and using it for the placement of the "A" peppers.

I don't like cutting up my patterns, and so I made a template using waxed paper, which I think is a better method in any case.

Then I was ready to start making my appliques. If you've never done fusible applique, you can read my rather detailed tutorial right here

The templates are already reversed, which always makes things easier.

The pattern suggested making all the appliques first, but I'm making them as I go. Here are the two "A" peppers and their associated stem caps.

I used the template to get their position right

And then I fused them down.

The "A" peppers are the only ones fused down from the beginning. I'll lay the rest out and use pins to hold them in place. Once they're all cut and positioned, I'll fuse them to the foundation piece.

I went as far as the "B" peppers, and then decided to quit for the day. I laid the stem caps out just for grins.

It was getting late, and I wanted to take the pictures off the birdcam. It was a nice day, and so I set it up today. The weekend is supposed to be nice, and so I'll probably set it up each day this weekend. Since we've been using the birdcam for making time lapse photography, the settings were off, and I didn't get as many good pictures as I would have liked, but there were a few. I was hoping to see the Goldfinches, but I don't think they've come back to Oregon yet...a sure sign that summer is on the way. Here is a black capped chickadee.

It's always a little hard to tell the house finches from the purple finches, but I believe this is a purple finch.

Here is a house finch.

And we also captured the elusive cat bird. It's an odd little bird. I believe this one has evil on his mind.

So that's my day. As I said earlier, the weather is supposed to be nice for a few days, and so tomorrow Mike and I will be cleaning out the greenhouse...a terrible job, but it has to be done. If I can rope him into it, I'm going to have him help me clean up the culinary herb garden too. I'm hoping I'll have time this weekend to get the rest of the peppers fused onto the chili rounder, but sunny days have a way of keeping us outdoors to enjoy them.

What's on your agenda for the weekend?

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, Smitty, smile - you're on candid camera! I would be enjoying the outdoors too - if we had better weather - so you go ahead and soak it up for us.

Junebug613 said...

That is a much simpler pattern than I expected! Yes, well written and clear instructions are wonderful, although seemingly rare. I hope you get to enjoy your outdoor time, this weekend.

Pieces to Love said...

It topper looks like fun. You are right the bright red headed finch is a purple finch. I have lots of them at my feeder I too avoid the grocery store on the weekend.

WoolenSails said...

I think my brain would get lost on that piece, lol. Love the bird photos and the elusive cat bird.


quiltzyx said...

How nice that the Rounder has such good instructions. You're off to a great start with it - only 3 rows to go!

The birds all look like they've been waiting for their close-ups - except for that evil-minded catbird perhaps!

I've no concrete plans for the weekend, except doing my taxes. Not much to that, so it should go fast. I should probably update my guild email list to reflect the current member roster too. We'll see.

Lyndsey said...

The pepper pattern looks fun and it's great news that it is well written. It's nice and sunny here in London so I've already taken Scamp for a long walk. I'm going to open the patio doors and let the fresh air in while I sew. Once I've got some blocks stitched together I have some work to do in the garden. Enjoy your time outside.

Dana Gaffney said...

Yeah for bird pictures! If I can't get in and out of the grocery store before 9:30 A.M, I'm not going, weekends? never.

Anonymous said...

You are moving right along, and the peppers are looking good. Love, love the backing fabric!

I always like the bird photos and the Smitty photos. (Poor Smitty, entering the world of electronic surveillance.)

Kate said...

You got a good start on the table topper. Hope you get all your chores done this weekend with some time to spare for stitching.

Anonymous said...

I haven't see that pattern and am excited to see how this goes!!!!! Staying tuned!!!!!

Michele said...

it looks good so far. And I don't go near the grocery store on the weekends either if I can help it. That place is a mad house.

Brown Family said...

The peppers are looking good. It looks like a good pattern with the layout!