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).
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!!