Sunday, June 21, 2015

Stitching at Sea

Ahoy! We're home from our epic week aboard the Celebrity Infinity!  Myself and 18 quilty friends spent a wonderful week exploring the Alaskan ports of Icy Straight Point (Hoonah), Juneau and Ketchikan, plus a trip into the Hubbard Glacier which was spectacular. We were so very well taken care of by the wonderful staff aboard the ship (shout out to the electricians who kept our irons hot and our machines running!). In addition to plenty of sewing time, we ate so well, drank lots of delicious wine and coffee, danced, were entertained in the theatre and a few of us even played the slots and went ziplining (more in the next post!).

Stitch at Sea Alaska 2015

This embroidery hoop was my surprise for all of the Stitch at Sea Alaska participants. I drew up the design and had my pal Berene tidy it up in Illustrator so that I could print it directly onto white Essex linen through my inkjet (I cut the linen to 8 1/2" x 11" pieces and ironed them onto freezer paper. If you set your printer to 'cardstock' it will grab the thickness of the linen + freezer paper and feed it through!). 

Our Stitch at Sea classroom
conference room Beta - our studio for the week (design walls/batting supplied by Pellon!)

I taught two workshops on the cruise for a total of 9 hours of instruction, but we had many more hours of free sewing (one night at sea several intrepid quilters stitched until midnight!). First we played with the luscious Oakshott colourshotts which I had kitted into four Alaskan-themed colourways for my Improv Under the Influence technique class. Students had their choice of Midnight Sun, Northern Lights, Glacier or Fireweed. You can see the results here (sadly, too windy for an outdoor photo, so we took over the Grand Staircase inside the ship).

Improv Under the Influence workshop
Most people stuck with the "Chess on the Steps" layout, but as you can see, a few took my encouragement to try alternate layouts for their improv borders.

The second workshop was much more precise: the mini Lonestar Circle. We were all feeling the effects of a week at sea, being well fed and toured around.  People chose their Cotton & Steel FQ sets I'd curated, cut their strips and started piecing, but we didn't get far enough for photos, really. On our final day, the sun was shining through the Inside Passage and most of us chose to pack up our supplies and head up to the top deck to enjoy some stitching in the sunshine while keeping an eye out for whales.  Many of us were rewarded with Orca sightings! I saw a baby jump fully out of the ocean (I thought it was a porpoise), but then the mama's massive dorsal fin appeared, followed by her tail. I was super excited to have my first "Orca in the wild" sighting!  

More photos and stories coming....but first a word from our sponsors:

Over the previous few months I contacted several folks in the industry and was able to put together some fabulous goody bags for everyone, in addition to collecting enough incredible door prizes that each quilter went home with a bonus as well. Special thanks to all of these generous sponsors!

    Love Patchwork & Quilting
  Pellon Projects
rox_LOGO_100        Oakshott fabrics        

 Mad About Patchwork
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Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts said...

Sounds like an amazing trip, and I'm glad you didn't sacrifice the orcas for stitching. Cruises make me feel a little :-/ (too much Titanic) but one like this would win me over. That and an open bar ;)

Leanne said...

It sounds lovely, I sure wish I had been able to come. Maybe next time.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was a resounding success. Happy to hear that you all had such a blast.

Jodie said...

Love that stitchery and have enjoyed the snippets on instagram. The ziplining looked terrifying!!! A bit jealous of the Orca sighting .