There's nothing better than combining a love of quilting with a love of cruising with the love of your life! OK, I know that sounds a little bit sappy, but Woodworker Hubby and I just returned from a trip of a lifetime to Alaska, and what a time we had!
If you recall, we live in Nova Scotia, Canada, so after a day of flying across the country, we were ready to start our adventure. On August 19, we sailed out of Seattle on the Norwegian Pearl for a 7-day tour. We were bound for Glacier Bay and the ports of Juneau, Skagway, Ketchican, and Victoria, BC.
But this wasn't just any Alaskan cruise...this was a quilting cruise hosted by Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Trouble Quilts and Pam Buda, of Heartspun Quilts and coordinated with great skill and thanks to Bunny of Quilting Corners.
Woodworker Hubby has always had an Alaskan cruise on his wishlist, so when the Great Girlfriends Getaway was announced in the fall, we put our heads together and figured this would be the perfect holiday for the two of us.
Three quilting projects were chosen for the quilting cruise by Pam and Lynne. The projects were presented during the days at sea, with lots of classroom time available throughout the week. (Don't worry...Woodworker Hubby had lots to do on the ship while I was in class!)
Everyday that we arrived in the sewing classroom was like Christmas....there was always a gift or two waiting for us. Even our name tags were the cutest!
Project one was a quilt called "Sweetwater Creek" designed by Pam using her new line of fabrics, Heart of the Prairie. The pattern and fabrics are adorable and I couldn't wait to get started!
For this quilt, many of us had cut our fabrics before we arrived, so by the end of the cruise, I had lots of "parts" finished and now just have to sew them together!
The second quilt project was "Spare Change" designed and presented by Lynne, using raw edge applique. We each received her unique Spare Change Ruler that had us quickly cutting and piecing our blocks. Lynne chose Holiday Medley for the kit...all precut for us and packed in this little collector tin using a wonderful Christmas collection that makes my heart soar!
As you can see, I have all of the inside blocks done...just a little piecing and a few borders and it will be a Ta-da finish!
Project Three was a combined design effort by Pam and Lynne and it is gorgeous...my kind of project, as were all of them, actually!
The two ladies shared the day with us, allowing us to choose to applique using Lynne's raw-edge technique with cotton, or Pam's wool applique. The lovely ladies had pre-cut the background pieces, Lynne had even hand-dyed the large rickrack, and a few hours later, my wall hanging was ready for the appliqued flowers, basket, and the addition of those little hexies!
I chose to purchase the wool kit so hope to start cutting the shapes later this week. Isn't the wool gorgeous! I've used a little wool in the past but learned a few new techniques to use with this project.
Pam and Lynne were absolutely wonderful teachers and I would highly recommend that you check out their next quilting adventure and join in. They both presented trunk shows that just made me want to sew and quilt for the rest of my life! And the 33 other participants were a wonderful combination of folks from all over the USA...I think I was the only Canadian! Two lovely ladies shared my sewing table with me and I can tell you, we had a lot of laughs and they gave me lots of support when I struggled to be precise!
Was there any quilt shopping on the ship, you ask? You bethcha! Here are just a few quilt kits, patterns, and treasures designed by Pam and Lynne that made it home with me...some were complimentary, and some were purchased...all I will say is that the the ladies were extremely generous.
On the last day, one lucky quilter among us even won a brand new Janome sewing machine! All of us were provided with the top of the line Janome sewing machines to use while at sea with an option to purchase at the end of the cruise.
Did I mention that Alaska is filled with quilt shops? I went to four quilt shops in the ports of Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchican. Some of the shops were huge...
and some were smaller...
Suffice to say, I found lots of treasures. I don't usually gravitate towards panel prints, but how could I resist this?
Especially when it has such a cute picture of the map showing our ports...
Each of the shops we visited in the ports had a special gift for folks from the quilting cruise, so I added a few complimentary patterns and flannel fabric to my stash. I even received a glass thimble printed with the forget-me-not, the state flower. And I just had to purchase the redwork pattern, "Kuspuk Christmas", designed by Raven Stitches. I love the red and white blocks bordering the embroidery!
Of course, no trip would be complete without a few more mementos...like a couple of charms!
And we were all thrilled when Pam and Lynne presented us with pendants made especially for us. Here is the front...
and here is the back.
You can see a picture of me and some of the other quilters by visiting Pam's blog here. I'm near the front of the classroom in the third picture looking very intently down at my seam line! Lynn also posted some great pics on her blog here. There are some more quilting adventures being planned by the two of them, so make sure you check it out and maybe you'll be on the next Great Girlfriend Getaway!
It was a wonderful week of cruising and quilting, and we followed that trip of a lifetime with another fantastic week "out west"... a memorable week of visiting with our daughter and her fiance that included trips to the zoo, movies, super suppers and nights out, walks, tours of new house under construction, and even a day of wedding dress shopping ( yes, very successful with plans for next summer's event already well underway)!
Thanks so much for visiting me today. You can see that I had a lot to share! It's nice to be in touch again and to let you know that it's always a great day for quilting!