Crystal World Cruisers Create Unique Souvenir

March 1, 2005
Passengers on Crystal Serenity, currently sailing its world cruise, are busy working on a group-created souvenir to leave behind when they depart.

More than 100 different passengers are participating in the project, under the guidance of Carolyn Lee Vehslage -- a well-known quilter whose own creations have appeared in exhibitions in places as far-flung as Spain, England, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Nevis and Lebanon. The quilt tells the story of Serenity's voyage with a blue-oriented design scheme that represents the sea and sky.

The team of quilters works an hour or two on sea days and, according to Lee Vehslage, some are so inspired they work on quilt blocks -- sitting by the pool or tucked up in cabins -- during their own time.

The quilt, a melange of contemporary and traditional styles, features everything from Crystal logos to souvenirs brought back from shore explorations. "As such, there's a range of crazy quilt blocks, nine-patch, log cabins, as well as blocks that are needlepointed, cross-stitched, appliqued, trapuntoed, embroidered and embellished," Vehslage writes to Cruise Critic in an e-mail. "When I have enough finished blocks," she adds, "I machine sew them together in a column and add them to the quilt. Currently, 70 blocks are completed making it 60 inches high by 42 inches wide."

In an effort to keep the project fresh and interesting, Lee Vehslage teaches additional techniques; "Since Sydney," she notes, "I've taught people how to paint on fabric with acrylic paints in the Aboriginal art form."

The completed section of the quilt was hung yesterday in Crystal Serenity's Crystal Cove -- so that guests disembarking in Hong Kong can see at least a partially finished version.