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Quilting Cruises: Get Stitchin' at Sea

Shayne Rodriguez Thompson

Oct 22, 2019

Read time
3 min read

While incredibly niche, quilting cruises have actually become quite common. That's likely because quilting and cruising are uniquely suited, as long sea days allow plenty of time for quilters to hone their craft and log lots of sewing hours.

From long 12-night sailings to quickie three-night getaways, there are an abundance of quilting cruises on offer every single year. Most are either official partial charters -- which means quilters cruise along with nonquilters, but have access to exclusive onboard events and activities -- like the World of Quilts sailings or small groups booked on cruises family reunion-style, like those organized by Quilt Retreat at Sea.

While a quick internet search will yield many choices, anyone interested in booking a quilting cruise can also check with their favorite quilters and quilting supply companies including the likes of Bernina, McCall's, Jenny Doan and Eleanor Burns, all of whom are affiliated with one or more quilting cruises.

On a quilting cruise, dedicated quilting enrichment activities might include everything from seminars and classes led by renowned quilters to group sewing sessions and quilting demos, with high quality materials and supplies provided so there's no need to pack your own. While select quilting cruises welcome those who want to learn the basics, most are better suited to quilters who've at least begun to dabble in the craft.

To help get you started on your search, here are some of the most popular quilting cruises for you to consider.

On This Page

  • World of Quilts
  • Quilt Retreat at Sea
  • Quilt Seminars at Sea
  • Stitchin' Heaven
  • Jenny Doan Quilting Cruise

World of Quilts

Each year tour company World of Quilts Travel organizes a number of partial-charter quilting cruises -- including both ocean cruises and river cruises -- to different destinations around the world, from Europe to the Caribbean and Alaska. Sailings can range from standard weeklong trips to 11 or 12 nights and beyond.

Each cruise features seminars, workshops and classes led by renowned quilters as well as open sew times and other group activities including demos, meet and greets and access to special project designs inspired by each destination. World of Quilts even features fundraising quilting cruises on occasion, with a portion of proceeds going toward charitable causes such as Camp Fire Aid. Find a cruise at worldofquiltstravel.com.

Quilt Retreat at Sea

Quilt Retreat at Sea is a series of quilting cruises that are held each year and organized by a mother–daughter duo who are passionate about quilting and travel. Most are partial charters of weeklong sailings to various destinations including the Caribbean, Hawaii and Canada/New England. Each cruise has a theme and features quilting educators like Joan Ford and Heather Kojan.

Onboard, passengers work on quilting projects designed exclusively for each cruise and can participate in a number of group activities, from parties and cocktail hours to quilting classes and open sewing sessions. These cruises are popular and space is limited, so it's best to book early. Find a cruise on quiltretreatatsea.com.

Quilt Seminars at Sea

Whether you're just getting started with quilting or it's been a lifelong passion, Quilt Seminars at Sea are designed to help passengers take their hobby to the next level. Quilt Seminars at Sea are partial charters that are scheduled for various dates throughout each year to a number of destinations including exotic locales like Antarctica and New Zealand.

Sea days are filled with quilting classes led by award-winning instructors, such as Cindy Walter and Karen Combs. Additional onboard activities and events include exclusive parties and get-togethers, a Challenge Block quilting contest and special sales featuring discounted sewing machines. Find a cruise on quiltcruises.com.

Stitchin' Heaven

Each year, Stitchin' Heaven, the leading quilting supply shop in Texas, organizes a number of quilting cruises to various destinations including the Panama Canal, Canada/New England, Hawaii, the Caribbean and more. On sea days, participants can attend classes led by quilting experts like Kari Nichols and Sandra Coffey, or practice their skills during 24-hour open sewing sessions.

Passengers can participate in workshops, classes and demos using tools like Bernina quilting machines and other state-of-the-art equipment, all of which is provided by the cruise host. Each sailing includes exclusive souvenirs, private parties and get-togethers, a group photo and more. Find a cruise on stitchinheaven.com.

Jenny Doan Quilting Cruise

Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company participates in the sought-after Patchwork Quilting Cruise typically once a year. Destinations vary, but each cruise allows quilters plenty of time to participate in all of the quilting classes offered onboard, complete exclusive sewing projects, take part in quilting skills sessions and more.

Throughout each sailing, special activities and events, including group get-togethers, give passengers the chance to meet and connect with fellow quilters. Participants can score great deals on quilting supplies at onboard pop-up shops. Book the Jenny Doan Quilting Cruise on craftyadventures.com.au.

Updated October 22, 2019
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