Last Thursday, Dave and I headed to Block Island, Rhode Island for a short off-the-grid vacation.
The island is located about 10 miles south of mainland Rhode Island and almost the same distance due east from the very eastern tip of Long Island, New York. We took the 5pm ferry and arrived at our B&B, the fabulous Barrington Inn, by sunset. This is the view overlooking new harbor from the deck just after the sun went down.
Block Island is covered with walking trails. In the fall, many migrating birds make a stop along the shores and along the trails in perfect unison with our stay. Dave is tricked out with his birding gear!
We added two birds to our 'life list' both of them shore birds. This one with the very fuzzy image is a Wimbrel - like an oversized sandpiper with an extra long beak.
I didn't manage even a half-way decent photo of the second bird - an American Oystercatcher, also quite large - seagull sized, with a thick bright orange beak.
The weather was late-summer-perfect with temperatures in the low 70s. This wild rose bush was still going strong with summer color.
The southern end of the corn-kernel shaped island has steep bluffs leading to a rocky beach.
No surprise, we managed to find some excellent food, seafood especially, for relaxing lunches and dinners.
Even though the island is small, and we've been here before, there's always plenty of things to explore just over that next dune.
And being an island, the WiFi wasn't great. Aw, shucks!
A Little Test
Last week, when discussing my packing list for my extra-long weekend off the grid, I mentioned that I used a new-to-me marking tool - the Select Self-erase Marker - to mark, then stitch the center of this sun from an upcoming Heart Fulls pattern release.
In the Quilt. Stitch. Connect. facebook group, I said, while I was pleased with the strong dark line on the wool (most marking pens don't work on felted wool at all), I needed to blot the design with a paper towel, then work quickly. About an hour after marking the ink's disappearing act was complete.
I didn't see this as a negative - it worked on the felted wool, after all, but it did tell me not to plan too far ahead of stitching time.
Someone in the group, asked how long the marks lasted on cotton, and since I didn't know, I decided to do a test.
There are instructions on the pen that say that it lasts 1-14 days. But a lot of that depends on atmospheric conditions where you are.
I was in a warm (mid-70s), and somewhat humid environment for this test.
The first thing I noticed about the pen is it's fine-tipped - but not too fine-tipped. And it has an eraser on the opposite end. (That's kinda cool!)
The marker makes a generous ink marking that is easy to see.
If you prefer an extra, extra fine line; this isn't your marking tool.
By 6pm Friday, the mark had faded a little, but still easy to see.
From left to right below: Saturday 8am, Saturday 8pm, then Sunday 9am.
The lines were still visible on the cotton a full 24+ hours later. But by Sunday morning, they were tough to see.
Your results may be different where you are. With any new tool, the key is to test it, so you know what to expect. Then you can plan your strategy.
Whenever I use any disappearing ink marker, I try to mark in small increments. If I'm quilting, I'll mark just enough to stitch in one sewing session, and I might even break that up into smaller increments - mark what I can stitch in an hour or two, then stitch. Marking is time-consuming (and not as much fun as the stitchin'!), so I don't want to re-mark if I can avoid it.
I really like the thicker line, and the ability to mark on felted wool for this brand. On felted wool, I recommend blotting the excess ink before stitching, and limited how much I mark based on what I can stitch in 60-90 minutes.
Where to find?
Find this cool tool and others by Quilters Select only at independent quilt shops. For a list, or to find online, follow this link. (Not an affiliate, just a fan.)
That's my take. What say you?