I just returned from a wonderful cruise called, “Quilt Camp At Sea – 2008 Cruise for a Cure“, where we boarded our ship in Boston and visited Portland, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick, Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Bar Harbor, Maine ports. Quilters from all over the world gathered for fun, good food, sightseeing, classes and lectures. This was also a fund raiser for Breast Cancer, where quilts raised thousands of dollars for this worthy cause. The seas were calm but I couldn’t resist having my own little Titanic moment at the bow of the ship.
Our first port was Portland, Maine where we invaded a local quilt shop to stock up on fabric……like most of us don’t have any! Nautical prints were in high demand and it was fun seeing what everyone was purchasing for their stash.
We also enjoyed strolling the streets of Portland and seeing the items in the local shops. Several cruisers took sight seeing trips to see what is special and unique in the Portland, Maine area.
Our next stop was Saint John, New Brunswick where we spent the morning in search of the sights and fabric! As a quilter, it always amazes me how you can find inspiration everywhere for our passion.
In Halifax, we were greeted at the port by two young gentlemen dressed in traditional militia garb. They definitely were a tall drink of water and didn’t mind posing for pictures with hundreds of quilters. I think several quilters were eyeing their lovely plaid kilts!
With a couple of ports behind us and lots of fabrics added to our stashes, it was time to begin classes and lectures. I taught a quilt that I designed specifically for this cruise called Bright Sails. I used a block from my book, 40 Bright & Bold Paper-Pieced Blocks, as the inspiration for this little wall quilt. The students used sewing machines supplied by Janome and got to work making their quilts. Lots of happy students got their quilts underway.
When we reached Sydney, the quilters there went all out to make us feel welcome. A local fabric store, Fabricville, organized a group of local quilters to act as hostesses providing a wonderful display of their quilts, refreshments and just good old fashion friendship when we arrived at the store to shop. Here I am helping one of our cruisers with her fabrics. I was really so impressed with the kindnesses of the local quilters and how open and sharing they were. We visited several shops and artist type galleries in Sydney. One local quilter, Anne Irons, displayed her Cape Breton Heritage quilt and explained the meaning of the the blocks in her lovely quilt.
As one who travels quite a bit, the locations may be different, but it is the people that you meet along the way that make a place special. The Cape Breton quilters certainly made our stop in Sydney very special indeed.
Having a couple of hundred quilters land in Sydney is news and we made the newspaper!!! This photo was snapped by a local reporter of several cruisers comparing purchases as we were leaving the store. Here I am lusting after one of the purchased fabrics. This clipping was sent to me by one of the Sydney quilters.
Back on ship, there were more classes and lectures and lots and lots of great food and good times. The trip was great fun and lots of lasting friendships were made. But mostly, it was just plain fun with lots of laughs!
All the best,