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?)!


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

Sewingly Yours,


Anonymous said...

Sharon you have been very busy,well done

Kris said...

Hey Sharon - Thanks for the fun tidbits about Dog Days - it was really interesting!! All your projects are looking really good and I love your Raggedy Friends quilt!! And I think your closing comment was meant just for me!!! Thanks, Kris

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I watched the clouds I guess I didn't waste my time.

Love you post!

Wilma Lee said...

I started out hand quilting all of my quilts in the beginning. I even hand quilted a queen and a king. I am still hand quilting the Tiptoe through the tulips wallhanging. When I hand quilt, I feel the need to quilt around each and every piece, so it takes me quite a while. But the back looks so pretty. I'm getting close. Will post a pic when I'm done.

young by design said...

I love the dog picture! It feels like our dog days have been here since Apr/May!! It's time for some cooler weather.

Your 36 patch and Jacobs ladder blocks look nice. It looks like you have been extremely busy and everything is coming together nicely. Good job on the cross stitch; I bet it looks awesome in person!

Sarah Craig said...

You've been busy, Sharon! Love your blocks and admire your patience with the 36 patch blocks. I need to set those up as a leader/ender project, I think. Your hand quilting is gorgeous- I'm getting ready to try some myself, on Lilli's Christmas quilt - wish me luck!

And one question -ammonia? Doesn't it leave a smell? Curious minds want to know...

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

I had a Basset Hound growing up and your picture reminds me of how his ears used to fly when he ran :)

You have been very busy this week. Love the hand quilting you are doing. And your cross stitch picture is beautiful!!

Winona said...

Oh, I absolutely love the hand quilting on your Raggedy and Friends quilt. Makes me want to start on mine, but it needs to be a little cooler here before I attempt that. Your cross stitch is beautiful. I need to get back into that. Love your blocks. You are a busy lady.

Paula said...

You have been one busy gal, love the raggedy friends quilt, very sweet.

I am just getting started in the quilting blogging land and was wondering if you
would you be interested in joining in on a Christmas fabric Swap, if so you can read all the details here at, Paula's Crafty Boutique.
Happy quilting!

Mama Spark said...

Interesting about the dog days of summer. Thanks for sharing. I can't believe how much you managed to get dome. Send some of that energy my way will ya?

Sheila said...

All your projects are wonderful. I like how you let us see how they each develops ... daily. So much more interesting that just showing us your finished projects. You allow us to see the process.
Love your blog, Sharon :D

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

Your cross stitch is beautiful. I like that you framed it with fabric.

Snoodles said...

I like your Raggedy quilt the best of all your projects today! I have the color catchers, but I've never used ammonia....will I need to add some fabric softener to cancel out the smell?

Miss Hillbilly said...

I took the time to read each of those quilting tutorials, thank you for sharing them. I do like the larger stitch, the look of the colored floss too. I cannot wait to get this quilt to the finished point so that I can try it out. I will probably have to do one stitch at a time at first though.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

You have been very busy! Your hand quilting is wonderful, cats don't hurt anything do they? Take care of your finger.

Christel said...

Hi Sharon, just wanted to say, I really LOVE this cross stitch you is perfect for a cozy home! Looks like something I will attempt! great information here at your blog! Christel

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

It's going to be 101 here today. Ick!
I do love shirtings too. Something about them is just so soft and comforting. Reminds me of my grandpa.
xx, shell

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog is like taking a mini vacation...I'm at work today, boring, boring, boring, and so I took myself on a vacation with a nice visit here...thanks ever so much! xoxo, Nan

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog is like taking a mini vacation...I'm at work today, boring, boring, boring, and so I took myself on a vacation with a nice visit here...thanks ever so much! xoxo, Nan

StitchinByTheLake said...

I didn't know about the ammonia but I love and adore color catchers. :) blessings, marlene

Michele said...

It is really hot here.....record setting!! You have been busy :-)