Dark Stormy Sea

The partially done Storm at Sea block is now finished.

Storm at Sea IMG_2007wtmk

And now I know why I left this project in the midst of that block! Why? Because that dark batik is  – well, a bit difficult. Along with being quite dark, it’s also one of the few batiks I’ve run into that is hard to needle. So it’s clearly not as much fun to sew the blocks with that dark batik as all the rest.

3 blocks with darkest batik remaining IMG_2008wtmk

There are 15 of the Stormy Seas blocks left to sew. I went through the envelopes and found that only these 3 of the remaining 15 have the dark batik.

So now I’m trying to decide – do I just drop everything and finish those 3 blocks and get them done so that I know they’re finished? I’m leaning towards doing that because I know that once they’re out of the way, when I do go back to this it will be much more fun to have all the blocks that are a struggle done.

Back of square IMG_2009wtmk

I took this photo of one of the pieces of the dark batik, and enhanced it as much as I could to try to show the lines and matching points. I can see them relatively well on most of the batik but finding the matching points on some of the darker spots can be a bit more difficult, which makes the block more of a challenge to sew and ensure that all the points are as sharp as they should be.

Just writing that last paragraph has got me about 75% decided to just get these 3 blocks done so that I will be happy to work on the remaining ones when I do go back to this in earnest. If I did that, maybe I could get all the units for each block sewn and pressed this weekend and then get the three blocks put together early next week and then go back to the various Silent Garden and Harpsichord and 9-patch blocks.

which way?wtmk

“Crossroads”

Baxter July 25, 2018 IMG_2003wtmk

No, Baxter isn’t falling asleep in the water bowl. This is how he drinks. We’ve done video of him drinking, but Wednesday night I managed to get this photo. His paws are a bit blurry because they’re always in constant movement when he’s drinking. Seven years of watching this hasn’t made his drinking habit any less fascinating.

16 thoughts on “Dark Stormy Sea

  1. Cats are just weird! I’ve had cats who laid down while eating or drinking but never one who twisted like Baxter is.
    I like the storm at sea block but I too have put a project aside because of some difficulties. I can think of a big one now – the thread I used was bad and I need to go back and restitch the areas it was used in. It’s a foundation pieced pineapple block and I didn’t find the problem until the blocks were seen together. One day I’ll bite the bullet and get it done.
    I’m glad to see the cartoons are back!

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    • Smudge, who was one of our previous Maine Coon cats, also had a very odd way of drinking water so we were grateful that Baxter also had a very special method – he has done this since we got him as a very young kitten.

      I think projects like that with areas that need to be picked apart and re-sewn sometimes seem like larger obstacles than they are once we get started on them. I hope you find it goes much quicker and easier than you’re thinking it will.

      Cathi

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  2. I love batiks and blocks with good light and dark contrast but I have also run into hand stitching difficulty like you mentioned. Big problem for me stitching a tight batik to a more loosely woven fabric in my la passacaglia which is a riot of color and fabric from my stash. I am wirking on it today in a cool spot on tjis very humid summer day.

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    • One of the other comments left on this post reminded me that the smallest size of the Thimblelady needles really do make a difference. I was using them with some of the Ribbon Flower blocks as they also were made using a number of batiks. I’m going to start using them again for the Stormy Seas blocks.

      Cathi

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  3. I have a batik hand pieced quilt in the works, too. I find that the small Thimblelady needles are the best for getting through hard to needle fabrics, though they are a bit tough to thread.

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    • Thank you! I’m glad you reminded me – the last time I was working with some tighter weave/harder to needle fabrics, I also started using the Thimblelady needles and found they made a marked difference. I find they’re easier to thread than the Roxanne #12 sharps I usually use.

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    • Thank you! Now that I’m looking at the blocks that were finished and those yet to be done I think I may need to add a couple more to get the effect I’m trying for – but they will not have that dark, dark blue batik!

      Cathi

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  4. All this discussion of hand needling batiks. I remember hand quilting two pillow tops out of batik. That idea is filed under “never again”. I think the first (Margueritaville) mystery I did of Linda’s used some “tough” batiks. The only saving grace of these fabrics are we use them with small/short seam lines.

    Ah, Baxter! I used to have one that ate out of the food dish that way, but not the water. Mine have some “must” peculiarities about drinking water too. They are fascinating to watch drink.

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    • My hands ache at the mere thought of hand quilting all-batik tops! I can’t even imagine trying! The smallest of the Thimblelady needles really do make a difference when sewing the “tough” batiks.

      Smudge, one of our previous Maine Coons, also had a very funny way of drinking water – so we were quite glad that Baxter also had a unique method as it’s always so entertaining!!!

      Cathi

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  5. I’ve been off my blogging, so I haven’t been reading your blog as much. I miss you! And that dark batik block is lovely! I hope that maybe we can meet up again some time. Please give my regards to Mr. QO.

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    • I’ve missed seeing you – I haven’t been to the quilt shop or the Creativ Festival in ages. Every time I see the notices about Creativ Festival, I think of you and wonder how you are – hopefully we meet up either at the store or the festival soon!! I hope you and your husband are doing well.

      Cathi

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  6. Between Baxter and Mr QO, I have to laugh. Decisions when fabrics do not suit? either continue, or start again? I love batiks but have found only one that was too hard and almost too shiny. Think it is still there in the box.

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    • Baxter and Mr. Q.O. always keep me laughing! I wonder if that batik that’s almost shiny needs to be washed a few times in hot water to get rid of the wax used in making it? I’ve noticed that with a very few batiks I’ve been able to actually smell the wax when ironing them after washing – that tells me I need to wash them again to get rid of any remaining wax traces.

      Cathi

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    • I agree – and I got a start on doing that over the weekend. It will be such a relief when I have those three blocks done and won’t have to deal with the dark, dark blue batik until I start sewing the blocks together!

      Baxter has done that since he was a very young kitten – I’m so glad he didn’t lose that quirky way of drinking water as he got older!

      Cathi

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