What an adventure it was! McCall’s Quilting University hosted School at Sea in the Caribbean earlier this month, and I am thrilled to share some of the highlights as I recollect the fun we had.
We set sail from Port Canaveral, Florida for our glorious winter break, with Royal Caribbean’s mega-liner Freedom of the Seas serving as our luxurious campus.Festivities began the first evening with distribution of quilting goodies and a sneak-peek fabric pack for the Mystery Sampler Quilt At Sea, an introduction to the McCall’s staff, Sew Many Places’ Jim West and team, and Citrus Sew & Vac’s Scott Lapham and crew. The students were divided into the Dolphin, Starfish, Seahorse and Marlin teams, and were anxious to get started as they cheered from the audience with their pompoms and freshly-donned beads!
Just one of the many adorable challenge blocks!
Before the cruise, classmates were sent colorful Timeless Treasures fish fabric for a fun block challenge. The McCall’s staff was delighted to see so many creative blocks as they strung them all up as inspiring classroom decorations. Students enjoyed the quilt block show throughout the cruise, ultimately voting for their favorite on the final day of the cruise.While cruising at sea from island to island (CocoCay, Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten), classmates learned fun techniques as they made their Tropical Fish block for the Mystery Sampler quilt.
Students challenged themselves as they learned a curved piecing technique with the Sail Away block.Peaceful hand appliqué and embroidery techniques were taught to eager learners in the McCall’s Posy Block, Under the Sea Block, and optional Bluework Label classes.
And most of the Marlins, Starfish, Dolphins and Seahorses walked out of the Mermaid Fashionista class having completed a glamorous wrist pincushion.
Those with a penchant for traditional techniques took my optional Hand Quilting class; I hope they picked up a few tips for perfecting their stitches.
Between cruising day classes, island excursions, and continual on-board entertainment options (such as the Ice Show – my personal favorite!), classmates took advantage of evening demo opportunities. They watched and learned about machine quilting, English Paper Piecing, easy elongated triangle piecing with the TriRecs Ruler set, an improvisational Plus Block, and a jazzy flanged binding technique.
We would like to extend special thanks to the following for their assistance in making this cruise such a wonderful event:
Sew Many Places - Jim West and the team from SMP
Janome – Scott Lapham and the crew from Citrus Sew & Vac
Timeless Treasures - Block challenge fabric donation
AccuQuilt – Circle die donation
Keepsake Quilting – Cutting hundreds of yards of fabric for class kits
Stay tuned…we’ll be announcing plans for our 2015 McCall’s Quilting University School at Sea Cruise soon!