Friday, September 09, 2011

Sail and Sew!

29 Quilters with sewing machines humming and fabric flying..how fun is that?!

I was definitely having a “pinch me” moment when Jim gave us a tour of where we would be…there was an official “SIGN” and everything!

The room was large, and Sue of Citrussewandvac.com was here with beautiful Janome Horizon machines all set up for our use!

After seeing how our luggage was handled, piled into huge crates and lifted with fork lifts to be placed on the ship, I was sure glad that we didn’t have to BRING machines. Can you imagine? This was wonderful. In fact two of our quilters were extra thrilled because this was the machine they had at home. They love theirs, and were able to help us with questions when Sue was busy helping someone else.

((IN fact, she gave us a cruise special, if anyone wanted to purchase the machine on ship, it was $1,000 off retail, free shipping, didn’t have to claim it in customs, and no sales tax. What a steal! I bet if you contacted her, she’d offer you the same deal, there were some unclaimed machines when we were done….going fast I’m sure! The direct phone number is (352) 726-9743 No affiliation, just a very pleased cruiser passing on the info!))

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This was our room! There was more light in here than it looks, it’s just that we were inside and I was taking pics without flash.

Those coming on the November cruise? Sue is providing machines for us too! However, that is a smaller ship, so I’m not guaranteeing this much space--And! We are not sharing the whole project at this time because we want to keep it exclusive for those traveling in November.

My favorite afternoon? THE LAST DAY! We stopped class at 3pm so Sue could start packing up the machines. We went for TEA in the dining room. A full fancified English Tea!

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Do you see these yummies? Could YOU choose just one? It was a delightful way to sit and share and visit with all these women that I now consider close friends! ((Yes, I know, more gratuitous food pics, but…isn’t it gorgeous?!))

After tea we found a place on deck to squeeze into and spent the rest of our time before our last dinner just doing handwork and enjoying each other’s company, totally UNPLUGGED. We talked, we laughed, we reminisced about our favorite aspects of our week together and plotted and planned to do it again as soon as we can!

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Sarah and Kathy sharing a cozy lounge! I met Sarah while teaching in Texas this past February. I was with Kathy’s guild in Alabama in May? Or June? And here they are, now knowing each other! This is another thing that just filled my heart….those I knew from all over the country are now friends with each other too. It’s WONDERFUL!

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Emily or “Auntie Em” as I started calling her, and Lu…just chillaxing on the deck!

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Emily, Lu, Sherry, Ada, and Suzy!

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Bare feet, busy fingers, and a full service bar…LOL!

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This was the most relaxing afternoon!

Some questions from excited November Cruisers have come my way, and I thought this would be a good place to post some answers to your questions!

  • Will we be able to use the sewing studio and sewing machines after class hours?

There will be designated sit and stitch times, but some of our locations will not be available 24/7 as they are used for other ship’s activities. We encourage you to participate in the ship’s shows, highlights and activities as well as sew. There is time for both! On the August Cruise we had sit n stitch each night after dinner from 8pm to 10:30pm. You could choose to participate or not, you could go see a show, go to the comedy club, go dancing, enjoy some quiet time on deck, it’s YOUR CRUISE you don’t have to be chained to your machine 24/7.

  • How much space will the sewing studio have? For cutting, layout, squaring up? Design wall?

A small cutting mat that fits in the bottom of your suitcase is sufficient. 12” X 12” or 12” X 17” or so is fine. As I’ve not taught on this next ship before I am unsure of the answers to how much space we will have or if there is room for a design wall. If you wish, you can pack a small flannel backed table cloth to lay pieces out on.

  • Will there be a quilter's shop on board, for fabric, thread, notions purchases, or must we bring all that from home?

There is no “store” on board. Please bring what you need for your projects with you. I will have some books with me. Pat Sloan will also have “some” items with her, but come prepared.

  • Will we be using office type adjustable chairs, or banquet chairs? Should I bring lumbar support, and a seat cushion?

We will be using the chairs the ship provides. I assume they will be similar to what you see in pics above. If you need a lumbar support bring it. You can also use the pillow from your cabin.

  • Can we safely store our quilting supplies in the sewing studio, or must they be kept in our stateroom?

Because these rooms are available for other ship activities you must keep your things with you when you leave the room. Keep it all in a small rolling tote and it is easy to transport!

  • How much cool/cold weather should we expect to pack for?

Weather should be warm by the time we reach Florida. But it is going to be November in Baltimore when we leave. I’ll pack a bit for both….but I’ve cruised the Caribbean in December the week before Christmas in the past, and it is still summer down there in December!

  • Are any special side trips planned on our stops to visit with quilters,
    quilts and or quilt shops?

I am unaware of special side trips. There is so much to do in the Caribbean! Do a google search for shops before you leave from home. A Taxi can always take you, but from what I just learned on my last cruise, when we hit port, everyone seems to pair off with who they are traveling with and choose different shore excursions. You are free to do what you want, snorkel, sight see, shop, eat, and if you wish to track down a fabric store as some did, you are welcome to. At this time I am unaware of where fabric shops might be at these ports of call as I’ve never taught on this route before.

Are you getting excited? We’ve got twice as many quilters going on the November cruise as there were on the August one since Pat & I are team teaching! You will have two days of class with me, and two days of class with Pat! And we are going to have a BALL!

Start the count down! I’m ready!


  1. Hi! Greetings from Finland! It was very nice to read! Very nice Blog-site you have! Greetings to everyone!!! :)

  2. This makes me feel relaxed just looking at it the photos. ;c)

  3. Glad to be able to live this vicariously. Looks wonderful. Nice that so many quilters can get together and enjoy!

  4. Looks like an absolutely amazing thing to do: cruising and sewing. I particularily liked the chilling and stitching bit ;o)

  5. I can't wait for the November cruise! When will we get our supply lists for our classes? I'm eager to start lining things up now.

  6. Great photos Bonnie, it looks like everyone enjoyed themselves. I gotta ask, did you buy the Janome Horizon?

  7. I must be getting old but the afternoon teas have become one of my favorite parts of the cruise (ok, I still like the piano bar too....)

  8. Wish I could join you! Looks like such a great trip!
    Wish you a Happy weekend,


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