The Dog Days of Summer

Apparently, in the northern hemisphere, the days between the 3rd of July and 11th of August are known as the dog days which are considered to be the hottest days of summer..  In my lovely corner of England, nobody appears to have told the sun. I don’t mind because, in the end,  I didn’t like it in Southern France when it got too hot to go out in comfortably.   I have discovered that the temperate climate of England suits me and, when we get good weather, it’s such a treat that everybody makes the most of it and never takes it for granted.

Still, last weekend my very good friend Sarah, drove the three hours from London to see me in our new house.  She arrived Thursday afternoon and we did a tour of the immediate surroundings so she could see the resting race horses, the rams and the Ladies in Waiting – the cows who are in the field opposite full-time at the moment waiting to calve.  I was especially  hoping for good weather on Friday so we could get out and about a little further afield.  Luckily, Friday was a lovely day so we went to another beach  just to ‘mill about’ and then we walked into the local market town of Bridport. 17,000 steps if you’re at all interested.  She, being a triathlete, has a Fitbit thingy on her wrist so I know it to be true.

The beach we visited is West Bay – more stunning cliffs along the Jurassic Coast.  This was the setting for ‘Broadchurch’ and also the place where Gabriel Oak’s errant sheepdog drove his entire flock of sheep to their deaths in the 2015 film version of ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ (very good by the way but no substitute for the book).

There are always some brave souls ready to make the most of the sunshine.

Close up, the texture and colour of the cliff face looks as if somebody has built a giant sandcastle.

Anyway, back to dogs – sort of.  Do you remember this stitch and flip dog’s face I made yonks ago which, like the paper pieced gnome I showed you recently, I didn’t quite know what to do with afterwards?  Well, I thought I’d use it as the central motif for another quilt for Project Linus UK but, this time, a slightly larger version measuring 36×42 inches which is the size requested for young children.

The block is rectangular – but in the wrong way for a quilt – so I searched my stash and made up the measurements as I went along, in order to utilise the fabric I had and get it to the right size.

I put a large spotted border around the outside and then remembered a dog print fabric I’d bought ages ago for face masks (Miss T. the Elder has one)  so started to make a further border with that using a greater width top and bottom in order to get the rectangular shape going.

One of the lessons I learnt early on in patchwork was to measure through the middle of the piece and cut your border to that size rather than to the size of the sides.  I forgot and ended up with a very wavy quilt top which became apparent when I put the first of the batik borders on.  OOPS!.  So, I had to take all the borders back off (apart from the spotted one) and was amazed at how much shorter I’d cut the doggy print fabric – what was I thinking?  I got creative and made up the shortfall by inserting a small piece of batik on each side.  I think it looks intentional 😉

Anyway, it turned out alright in the end.  The red batik is actually all the same shade but the light wasn’t good in my workroom for the photo so it looks as if it’s lighter at the bottom but it’s not.

Just need to sandwich it together with the wadding and backing, then bind it and quilt it as simply as possible.   I didn’t have enough of any suitable backing fabric in my stash and I had in mind some  dog paw print fabric so I broke my ‘no more fabric until I’m 110‘ rule and ordered a bargain piece online.

I’ll show you it when it’s finished.

I just hope there’s a small child in need of a quilt out there who also loves dogs!!


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  1. #1 by nanacathy2 on July 8, 2021 - 13:45

    I’ll be honest, I was disappointed with West Bay and Bridport, too much bigging it up had given me unreal expectations. I much prefer Portland. Love the doggy quilt.

    • #2 by tialys on July 8, 2021 - 14:11

      I wouldn’t like to go when it’s really busy but it was pleasant to spend a few hours just mooching about and chatting. Can’t deny the drama of the cliffs though. West Bay is a short drive for us and Portland is quite a way over in comparison. We’ll get over there one of these days, we’re still exploring as and when we get the chance.

  2. #3 by Laurie Graves on July 8, 2021 - 14:15

    So doggone cute! I am 100 percent sure there is a child out there who would be thrilled to receive that quilt. Those cliffs are fabulous. Would love to see them. And, wonderful to have such a great visit with your friend.

    • #4 by tialys on July 8, 2021 - 14:55

      It was lovely to have a visit from Sarah – We’ve been friends for 25 years or so but don’t manage to get together as much as we should.

  3. #5 by simplylive1452 on July 8, 2021 - 15:33

    Such a cute quilt.
    I live in Canada and we are in a heat wave, right ton the days you mentioned! Thanks for the post.

    • #6 by tialys on July 9, 2021 - 10:47

      I read about the heatwave in Canada and those temperatures made me feel queasy just seeing them in print, I hope you are managing and keeping cool as best you can.

  4. #7 by tinaor on July 8, 2021 - 16:00

    Lovely photos – wasn’t Broadchurch a fab series? – nice to have a peek at where it was filmed. Far from the Madding Crowd too – great book, did enjoy the film – but difficult to get the atmosphere right anywhere in film. Lovely patchwork too, I’m sure you will find a good recipient.

    • #8 by tialys on July 9, 2021 - 10:46

      I will have to watch the film with Julie Christie again as I can’t decide which version I prefer. What I definitely preferred in the more recent version was the scrummy Gabriel Oak – although I think Terence Stamp was a much more dashing Sgt. Troy.
      I did tell my husband he ought to read the book as I felt a lot of the events were rather ‘brushed over’ and so didn’t have quite as much impact – although that’s inevitable really in most film versions due to time restrictions I suppose.

      • #9 by tinaor on July 14, 2021 - 13:01

        OOh just googled ‘who played Gabriel Oak’, as I’d forgotten – he was rather scrummy!

      • #10 by tialys on July 14, 2021 - 18:17

        Yes. It definitely wouldn’t have taken me so long to decide which one to marry😉

  5. #11 by kathyreeves on July 8, 2021 - 18:57

    Oooo, more lovely English scenery! I think you could probably make 20 of those quilts and still have kiddos lining up for one!

  6. #13 by katechiconi on July 8, 2021 - 23:27

    What child would not want this quilt, dog lover or not? It’s very sweet, great colour scheme, and the puppy in the centre is very cute indeed. I loved your intro section too, and the idea that the English are grateful for any halfway decent day. Personally, I have to flip that, and am grateful for any day when I don’t break a sweat within the first 10 minutes!

    • #14 by tialys on July 9, 2021 - 10:41

      It’s a beautiful day today, just perfect and, what with the general euphoria about England getting to the final of the Euros, it’s a happy place to be at the moment.
      My inner Englishwoman has obviously come to the fore and, although I don’t mind a couple of weeks holiday in a hot climate, living there is a different thing altogether. My sister came back from Southern Spain last year as she could no longer stand the heat but, having said that, my other sister is now a resident of Portugal – although she did bring her dog back to Wales last month to live with her son as the dog wasn’t doing well in the heat. (It’s quite windy in Portugal though 😉),
      Keep cool over there xx

  7. #15 by Anne Lawson on July 9, 2021 - 00:30

    Oh yes, there will be child who will fall in love with your very cute quilt. It must be so nice to venture further afield, especially with a dear friend. Wouldn’t if be grand to see a dinosaur bone peeking out of those cliffs?

    • #16 by tialys on July 9, 2021 - 10:33

      It would – there are fossil hunters galore along the coast but you’re not allowed to dig about in the actual cliffs for fear of a rock, a precariously rooted tree or a cow wandered too close to the edge falling on your head.

  8. #17 by Born To Organize on July 9, 2021 - 05:28

    That is adorable! I know the child that receives it will fall in love with its charm. I like your clever workaround and wouldn’t have thought twice if you hadn’t pointed it out. I also like your heart. xo

    • #18 by tialys on July 9, 2021 - 10:28

      Thanks Alys. It will probably be a parent that says ‘oh, but our colour scheme is grey and yellow or blue and white’ and the child won’t get a say but you never know.

      • #19 by Born To Organize on July 9, 2021 - 17:00

        That would be a terrible loss. It’s adorable.

  9. #20 by cedar51 on July 9, 2021 - 05:39

    awesome, adorable quilt – will be loved by a child … and great that you could find a way out of the “structure measuring” oopsies…

    • #21 by tialys on July 9, 2021 - 10:26

      Thank you. It’s always a leap in the dark for me when I go maverick but, this time, it worked out O.K.

  10. #22 by claire93 on July 9, 2021 - 18:23

    must be lovely to meet up with “old” friends again, and get to do some sight-seeing along the way. Life is soooooo quiet here. Some neighbours already away on holiday (I’m looking after their cats) other neighbours heading off to Corsica next week (husband will be watering their veggie garden) and we’ll be staying here. To matter things even sadder . . . the spa had a recent puncture which we’ve repaired, but relaxing spa sessions are going to be in slightly deflated spa this year. We don’t dare reinflate properly, for fear of causing even more strain along the seams.

    • #23 by tialys on July 9, 2021 - 18:55

      Ah yes! France comes to a standstill round about now doesn’t it? The guy we’re paying to cut our (French) grass every two or three weeks just sent a video of the finished job today and is now away until the 9th August. Mind you, I’m not surprised, the amount we’re paying him has probably meant he can have quite a nice holiday this year.

  11. #24 by Emmely on July 10, 2021 - 06:37

    No new fabric until you’re 110. 😀 Maybe it doesn’t count if you use it immediately?
    That’ll be a great kid quilt when it’s finished, I love your solution for the too short fabric problem.

    • #25 by tialys on July 14, 2021 - 18:19

      I doubt I’ll stick to my pledge but at least I’m trying.

  12. #26 by magpiesue on July 11, 2021 - 00:07

    Good save on the border treatment! However, I think your fabric buying rule is a bit unrealistic. I could accept 90 but not 110. 😉

    • #27 by tialys on July 14, 2021 - 18:18

      O.K. I’ll go for 90 then 🤣

  13. #28 by Quimper Hitty on July 16, 2021 - 02:22

    I love it – so cute!!

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