Monday, May 17, 2010

Quilting While Cruising

  Despite the fact that everyone thought I was insane for bringing a sewing machine on the cruise, I was not the only one who did so.  There were several quilters on board and at least one of them also brought her machine.  And none of them thought I was nuts.
  I brought my older Bernina, bought in 1983, because it is built like a tank and has a good hard shell case.  I meant to bring it onto the plane as carry on, but in the beginning of January, when I flew to Florida to meet the ship, no one flying into the US was allowed any carry on.  Not even my laptop bag made it, and I had to grovel and whine in order to bring on a book, so I'd have something to read during the flights.  Once through security, the gates were full of people clutching naked laptops to their chests.
  I told the airline that the sewing machine was fragile, and they stuck one of those broken wine glass stickers on the case.  I think those stickers are seen by airline baggage handlers as an instruction, as in, "This should be broken so it matches the picture."  Even though it was treated as normal luggage, and so did the conveyor belts with their associated drops, the Bernina survived perfectly.  The case was even cracked open on one corner, but the machine worked perfectly all during the cruise.
  To get it home, I took if off the ship in Vancouver, and it is returning here by bus.  I assume teh bus ride will be gentler than the flights.
  That machine does only seven stitches, but I knew I'd have very little room to spread out while sewing, and so I brought only projects that were simple, those involving squares and rectangles, nothing more.  I brought fabric for three tops.  One was the red and black log cabin I'm making for Melissa's future grandmother-in-law, and I picked out the fabric just before I left Saskatoon.  The other two were kits I bought years ago, when I first started quilting. 

 When I did the first cutting for a project, I took the fabric, my mat, and rotary cutter up to the Lido, and used this round table near the back.  Through the windows behind me you can see the aft deck, which is outside on Deck 8.

For smaller cutting jobs, those that needed to be done while sewing, such as cutting apart chain-pieced block sections or trimming, I used the cabin.  Before I broke my ankle, I knelt at my bed.

There was a small moveable table in the cabin, and I put a towel over it and it became my ironing board.  The chair at the front of the picture is at the desk, and I used it while sewing, so you can see tht no area was very far from any other.

And here I am, sewing.

After I broke my ankle, I became much more efficient.

I finished two tops, which still need borders, but here they are.

Working in my cabin wasn't ideal, since the cabin, being low and right in the bow, showed clearly whenever the ship pitched while underway.  I could have taken the machine up to the library or the Lido, but there were only a few plugs near tables, and it would have been difficult to carry everything in one trip.  I need one of those rolling sewing machine carts, with lots of pockets!  But I could sew when the ship was in port, and when we were in calm water.  I started the third top, but it isn't ready to be photographed.
  I also got a pair of socks knitted, which I gave to Sidney Mobell.  I'll be doing a post on him soon.

I didn't sew the items in the following pictures.  Some of the quilters on board did a little show and tell, and I just love what these two quilters are doing and so had to share them with you.  Unfortunately, I didn't get anyone's name.

These are all clothing, and for the top two, the quilter began with a man's while business shirt.  She cut the white fabric away under the applique pieces, so that there would be no extra bulk.  Aren't these pieces amazing?

1 comment:

  1. Amazing designs - I flunked required jr. hi sewing - managed to pass cooking the next semester (had a partner for that - gas stove at school, everything electric at home).