Thank you Sylvia for inviting me to write this post about cruising and stitching at sea.
For those of you reading this and wondering who I am …I have taught patchwork and quilting internationally for nearly 20 years ( gosh that makes me sound ancient!) and up until November last year I was a regular guest on Sewing Quarter TV.
So here’s my story…
Back in 2015 I made the lucky discovery that a favourite USA designer – Lisa Bongean – was about to undertake a sewing/quilting cruise. There was no hesitation on my part – Lisa had been my idol for years – I was going. It couldn’t really be that bad could it?!
I got the prices, did the math, and then dropped it into conversation (subtly) with hubby…. quite a few times I admit – until he finally gave in! At this point neither of us had cruised before. So, this would literally be a voyage of discovery!
I think some of the reason that he caved was because when we booked it was something like 14 months in the future. To be honest we then didn’t think that much about it until we were approaching the ship in Fort Lauderdale for our Caribbean Cruise. Oh boy, then it really hit us !!! Our ship – “Oasis of the Seas” was massive …. our boys looked on in amazement, with faces that said – “Well you booked it!!”
Hubby was less than happy, and I was quite frankly terrified!
As soon as we were out of the car our suitcases were taken away by staff – hubby threw me a look of “You will be lucky if you ever see those again!”. At “ Check In” – we were barely on speaking terms….!
It didn’t really take very long and suddenly we were on ship being handed glasses of champagne and being welcomed. It all felt rather surreal!
I found the conference centre, met the other ladies and was pleasantly surprised by our cabin. From that point onwards everything exceeded our expectations – the food, the staff, the evening entertainment, the camaraderie of the group and the fact that I could stitch from dawn to dusk with some fantastic people! Total BLISS! I had brought sea sickness pills, special wristbands etc but they stayed in the cabin drawer. We were both totally smitten in just one week.
Since that first cruise we have now undertaken three more – Transatlantic (Sewing), the Mediterranean and the Fjords. We have another booked for July (Greek Islands) when we are taking our boys – they are “big boys” – 27 and 22 – for the first time.
Hmm I can feel I am wandering now let’s get back to the story…
In November last year I was made aware of Sewing Quarters TV ‘s difficulties and the distinct possibility that it wouldn’t survive. I spent a couple of weeks deliberating – and finally decided it was time to “be Super brave” and link my cruise addiction with my sewing addiction!
So that’s how I got to this point in my sewing career – and now I am amazed, and totally humbled that my first ever European Sewing Cruise is nearly full….and people are already asking for another in 2021.
Stitching at Sea? Yes, please!!
(Oooh here are a few of my previous cruise makes!)