…..but still dreaming of sand between my toes. Ahhhhhh……
What can I say? The Southern Caribbean cruise was F A B U L O U S! Truly, it was by far one of the BEST cruises we’ve ever taken. The ship was wonderful, the ports of call were beautiful, but the absolute BEST thing about the cruise were the quilters. The quilters were all so amazing. Kim and Amy at Quilt Seminars at Sea put together a 10 day itinerary that was top-notch and there was plenty of time for open sewing in addition to the three full days of classes while we were at sea. And everybody got to know each other. We all bonded. We talked. We laughed. We shared. We sewed…..and sewed. Even me! I accomplished so much — a completed quilt top! (More on that later.)
At our first port of call we spent the most wonderfully relaxing day on Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas called Half Moon Cay. We spent the day at the beach, enjoyed a true island BBQ and then took an afternoon excursion to swim with a dozen large sting rays! (And I fed them squid, which took more nerve to hold those squid in my hands than to pet the sting rays!) The next day we were docked at the fabulous Grand Turk Island where we did a little souvenir shopping and spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach enjoying relaxing breezes underneath shady palm trees and snorkeling in the clearest ocean water you could imagine.
The next port of call was the Dominican Republic. We took the tender ashore and walked around for about an hour. But the local “hucksters” were a bit aggressive for my taste (they wanted to sell us everything from a tour of the island to genuine Cuban cigars and wouldn’t take “no thank you” for an answer) so we headed back to the ship. It was just as well. There was open sewing in the classrooms and I joined a large group of ladies for a fabulous afternoon of easy-breezy sewing and chit-chatting. Since I didn’t go prepared to actually sew anything, I bought myself a Hoffman Bali Pop (Cotton Candy colorway) from the on-board quilt shop provided by Quiltworks Northwest and got to work with my handy rotary cutter and EZ Jelly Roll Ruler and I cut and sewed the afternoon away making simple Bricks blocks (a fabulous pattern, if I do say so myself. Check it out in my book, Jelly Roll Quilts & More. I couldn’t believe how quickly the day passed and I came away feeling completely content from a productive afternoon of color therapy. The colors of the fabrics are unbelievably yummy – and truly capture the essence and allure of the Caribbean!
The next day was our first all day quilting class at sea. I had the privilege of spending the day with a classroom full of enthusiastic quilters who made a special “Caribbean Breezes Mystery Quilt.” What a wonderful day sewing at sea! They sewed throughout the day stopping only to enjoy a relaxing 1 1/2 hour lunch break.
Of course, this was just the beginning and there were more fun-filled days in port and more productive days of sewing at sea to follow. But for now, I hope I’ve given you an update and a taste of our amazing trip of quilt cruising at its best. I’ll be posting all the cruise pictures to my blog under the tab above called “Photos” (hopefully, later today. So check back soon….) In the meantime, I’ve got much to do to get caught up once again. But I’ll be day-dreaming of all the fun we had.
From left to right, Amy Ross, Laura Wasilowski, Charlotte Warr Andersen, Karen Kay Buckley, me, and Kim Boekenoogen
PS… Remember that fun little quilt top I began working on in the open sewing sessions? I finished it in time to share at Show-and-Tell at the Farewell Cocktail Party!
Wow! That looks like SO much fun. Your bali-pops quilt top looks amazing! Have you already booked another quilting cruise so you have something to look forward to?
I ordered ANOTHER Origins Jelly roll this morning and a charm pack so I can put one of your patterns to good use.
I also started a fabric bowl last night… trying out a new shape! Will be making you a set when I get the technique down. 🙂
Looks like I’ll be doing another quilting cruise in 2013 (they book instructors WAY in advance….) with the possibility of doing another Alaska cruise in June 2012. That one is up in the air because Josh graduates that same month…..
I am still IN LOVE with the Origins fabrics — and I, too, have ordered more of the precuts in that line. I can’t get enough of it! So….do tell…..what shape fabric bowl are you working on now? Ooooohhhh, I cannot wait to see it! I am also IN LOVE with those amazing fabric bowls you make. How on earth do you manage to find the time to accomplish so much? I’m in awe of you!
Sooooooo jealous!!! The relaxed smiles on everyone’s faces tell it all. Boy do I love how that Cotton Candy quilt turned out — I drool every time I see those Bali Pops, and that particular one is a fave. It’s good to see you with a big, fat grin on your face as well!
Pat — You’re just going to have to bring Rod and come with me when I cruise again in 2013. Plenty of time to plan ahead and get him psyched up! You are EXACTLY the kind of fun-loving, hoot-n-hollerin, kind of gal who will fit right in with the quilters on a quilting cruise! I can only imagine the fun we’d have….
And yepper….I’ve got that same big ‘ol grin on my face today. Still got that cruisin’ feeling…. 🙂
The new shape is oval. I think it will be perfect for rotary cutters and scissors. I’m hoping to make a set to hold all sorts of scraps. I saw someone do the technique and they made canisters complete with lids! I’m trying to figure out how it was done.
I haven’t had much time lately to do a lot of quilting unfortunately. Slowly changing this week. Sunday I’ve got a bunch of projects I’ve gotta bang out so I can get onto more creative stuff.
Can’t wait to get more info on your upcoming cruises! Maybe I can be sneaky and book our next cruise that just *happens* to be a quilting cruise.
great photos! great time! I am downloading about 750 photos to my flickr albums! Nice meeting you.
Lisa in upstate NY
Hi Lisa! GREAT to meet you, too. I’d love to peruse your photos. I’ll bet you got some great shots!
Kimberly,I had a great time meeting you and the other teachers. That cruise was the best that I have been on. We are hoping to go to Alaska 2012 so I do hope you are on that one also.
Thank you for your great skills and I hope to see you again! Cindy
Thanks, Cindy! Keep your fingers crossed and I will hopefully see you again in Alaska. Wouldn’t that be FUN?
I would LOVE to cruise!! Unfortunately beachy places are not my thing due to some issues I’ve got with the sun, but Alaska sounds appealing. I’ll keep checking for updates! Did you get your Origins JR from that web site that has the daily deals???? If so, what a great source.
glad you had a lot of fun !! You needed that !!
It looks so wonderful , I would love to be able to make one some day !!! dream!!dream!!
Hi Christine! Keep on dreamin, girlfriend. You just never know what might happen!
Love the photos!
I can’t wait to see that star pattern in your upcoming book.
Thanks, Katie! I think you’ll love what I’ve done with those amazing stars…. 🙂
By the way, when is the next meeting for the Cypress Quilt Quilt Guild?
March 1st at 6:30PM is our next meeting I believe. I still haven’t done my BoM. Going to a quilting bee on Sunday the 27th to do that.
Hope you can join us!
Kimberly-I had a great time taking your jellyroll class on the cruise! Thanks Janet