Tomorrow I head to Alaska! It is hard to believe that it was two years ago that Pat Tobin of Quilt Camp at Sea invited me to teach on the 2011 Alaskan Quilt Camp at Sea cruise. Of course I accepted – this is my 4th cruise with the Quilt Campa at Sea group, and my 3rd one to Alaska with them, and I am just as excited about this trip as the previous two. The Quilt Camp at Sea staff are wonderful, and run a first-class quilting cruise aboard Holland America ships - every little detail is taken care of, and there are lots of extra events organized. The cameraderie is so terrific that many of the cruisers in our groups have been on multiple cruises with Quilt Camp at Sea. I am looking forward to seeing previous cruisers, and also making some new friendships. My room-mate is none other than Northcott designer Jody Houghton – how exciting is that!?! Jody has designed several collections for Northcott, all around the theme of her Sisterhood of Quilters characters. Today I whipped up a couple of vests to wear on the cruise: one using Jody’s Girlfriends collection in pinks and blacks, and the other in Jody’s brand-new Girlfriends as Sea, designed specially for this cruise. I am also using the Girlfriends at Sea for one of my 2 classes that I am teaching on the cruise. Here is a photo of my Stars at Sea quilt.
The other project that I am teaching is my Simplified Double Wedding Ring. I really like this one, because it is easier than most quilters think. The fabric collection that we are using is Northcott’s Woodland Warmth flannel – yes, flannel for a double wedding ring. You would be amazed how easy this quilt is when using flannel. This one is called Alaskan Circles – doesn’t it look great? The fabrics in this quilt remind me of the raw beauty and majesty in Alaska. The scenery is truly spectacular, and I don’t know if I will ever tire of it. We spend the first 3 days sailing up to Glacier Bay, and it is these days that most of the quilting classes take place. Our first stop is Juneau, where our group will pay a visit to Changing Tides quilt shop. Lat time I was there, Alaskan artist Barbara Lavalle was there autographing our tote bags with her signature caricatures. She was great fun! Then we are on to Sitka, and Abby’s Reflections quilt shop. What I love about these shops is the amazing selection of Alaskan-themed batiks, fishing fabrics and Russian-motif fabrics, especially in Sitka, with its Russian roots. Then we stop in Ketchikan and Betty’s quilt shop in the main waterfront building. Betty’s shop is HUGE! It is really 2 shops. In the winter, one of the shops is the classroom, but in the summer it is filled with Northern wildlife fabrics, and fabrics that have typically Alaskan-theme motifs. I spent WAY too much money at Betty’s shop last year. Our final stop is a quick one in Victoria, BC and a quick taxi ride will get us to Satin Moon Quilt Shop. Brenda will put on a spread, likely with Nanaimo bars. I drool over her selection of Oriental fabrics, and picked up some sashiko supplies there last year.
My next cruise with Pat and Quilt Camp at Sea is next March to the Mexican Riviera – that should be awesome! I will be using Jody’s Beach Babes collection for one of my classes on that cruise. Pat tells me that there is still some space available, so if you think you might want to join us for some sun, fun and quilting, visit www.quiltcampatsea.com for details.
Well, I had better get packing…