Wednesday, February 12, 2020

TOALT- Phase 3

Quilt Cruise

In case you overlooked the last sentence in the previous post ... My ultimate destination on this trip was a quilt cruise!  From Sydney Australia, around New Zealand, and returning to Sydney.

Holland America Line - Noordam
Many people ask me "What do you do on a quilt cruise?" And more importantly, "What does your husband do on a quilt cruise?"  My answer:  What we would do on any cruise -- find something to occupy our time and attention while at sea, and do all the touristy excursions when in port!  My husband likes to walk the decks for at least two miles and then he finds a comfortable place to sit and read at sea while I am in quilt classes.

The next question is usually "Do you take your machine?"  No.  Depending on where the cruise originates and returns, a dealer may provide machines for classes.  But if the cruise starts or ends outside the US, machines are unlikely, due to Customs.

The best part of a quilt cruise, in our experience, is being with a group of like-minded folks.  We are seated together at dinner (on nights when not dining elsewhere) and there are special welcome and wrap-up events, as well as impromptu meetings at a bar and open sewing in the evenings.

Obviously, on this cruise we were never even close to US soil, so all classes involved handwork, or design.  The teachers were Karen Combs and Sue Nickells.  Since I had taken Karen's classes in 2018, I opted for all three of Sue's classes.  The first two days at sea we worked on wool applique.  The project should look like this:

Mine ...

Sue does her applique with a small satin machine stitch.  Right now I am working on the embroidery embellishments.

The first day at sea on the return to Sydney, we learned how to draw feathers for free-motion quilting (FMQ).  Sue designed a little project that incorporated the NZ symbolic fern in both machine applique and in machine quilting.

Since I knew I would probably never get to the FMQ, I decided to make a mug rug with a smaller version of the fern and some great NZ fabric as the backing

The last day at sea was more cotton-on-cotton applique, another Sue Nickels original design.

I stuck around long enough to prepare a multi-layer bird (no pic) but since my husband was receiving his 100 sea day medallion, I cut out early to watch the presentation and enjoy the Mariner's luncheon following.

I am still marveling at Sue's thorough and thoughtful preparation.  She is great teacher and I would recommend you study at her knee if you haven't already had the pleasure.

Sunrise as we return to Sydney
Next installment - New Zealand

Footnote:  We always book our quilt cruises through Quilt Seminars at Sea.  They almost exclusively use Holland America Lines.  We have never been disappointed in either.


  1. Quilt Cruise??? Lucky duck, Libby!! (Well, except for that whole cruising part, as I'm more of a dry land kind of quilter.) That return sunrise photo is spectacular! Thanks for sharing your TOALT with us.

  2. Your sunset photo is gorgeous! I really like the wool project you started. So glad you enjoyed the cruise and the quilting so much. It is fun to be with like minds!

  3. When you do TOALT, you sure do go all out!

  4. That sounds wonderful, Libby - travel to an amazing part of the world and learn some new quilting skills at the same time! Your wool applique looks great!

  5. I have always wondered about quilting cruises so thanks for this information. What a wonderful way to spend a part of each day. During the cruises I've done, I always found a quiet spot with my hand stitching, like your Hubby with his book. But I would jump at the chance to do a quilting cruise.

  6. Sounds like you had a wonderful time with some great classes and a good teacher.


Comments make me smile; I would love to hear from you! I respond almost exclusively by email, so be sure you are not a "no-reply" blogger. Or include your email address if you need an answer to a question.