Sunday, August 7, 2011
Dog Days of Summer
Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies" according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813. The modern French term for both this summer period (and for heat waves in general) "canicule", derives from this same term. It means "little dog", again referring to Sirius.
In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days extended from July 24 through August 24 . In many European cultures this is still said to be the time of the Dog Days. The Old Farmer's Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest levels.
But what ever the calendar or listing of days - I have been like the photo - standing in front of the fan - (are my ears blowing in the wind?)!
PLAYING WITH BLOCKS
I have half of the needed 36 - patch blocks from Crazy Mom Quilts. I am going with more traditional fabrics and shirtings. I just love it! I, also, love what Patti over at Pattilousquilts is doing. Not only the 36 - patch, but an 8-patch. So if you are intimidated with the large block, try the 8-patch.
And I made a few more Jacob's Ladder blocks for Bonnie Hunter's Floribunda quilt. I have always wanted to make a JL quilt - I've used the block as settings in other quilts, but I just love it on it's own. Using just my blue/green/yellow scraps - half way there with these, too.
I haven't shown these blocks at all because I'm not sure how I will border/sash yet. This is 'Home Sweet Home' By Paula at Quilt Happy, Quilt Often. She is up to block #6, but they are all still available.
My lovely 1.5" squares - remember I sewed them to 1.5" strips of muslin. They have been seperated, pressed, and trimmed - now I am sewing them to 2.5" muslin strips. They are then seperated, pressed, and trimmed. I will have (400 ?) bricks 2.5" x 3.5". Hmm - how will I play with them next? Will I be making more of these? My play puzzle.
I had some requests to show how I was hand quilting the Raggedy Friends quilt. Now don't be grossed by the photos and all the cat hair - I have a great lint brush (one of those washable, reusable - fantastic with pets just love it)and then it will be washed with a couple of color catchers (afraid of the one red fabric) and half cup of ammonia - great for hair and dander.
There are some good tutorials for the large stitch - a few that I like because they show the quilter's knot also - here and here and here. And I know I said I would quilt this in a week - well, had to take one day to let a badly stabbed finger recoup - I don't use a thimble. But I have just one block left to finish off. Then I will do the binding and then add all the buttons last.
I finally made a decision on the binding and finished off the fabric framed cross stitch. At least one finish to claim for the weekend.
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
- John Lubbock