Traveling by ferry to areas accessible only by air or water, Liz Bacom and the Blue Canoe Quilters of Petersburg, Alaska, have gathered for quilting cruises along the Alaska Marine Highway in southeast Alaska. As Liz says, "Because most of the communities are accessible only by air or water, the Alaska Marine Highway is our highway system in SE Alaska. People use the ferry to go to school athletic events, medical appointments, shopping, and visit family and friends."
Of one cruise, Liz says, "Last year we took a ferry from Petersburg to Skagway, stayed overnight, then took another ferry in the afternoon for a long trip back to Petersburg via Juneau and Sitka (36 hours). We were able to set up our machines in the dining room or in the bar. It all depended on the passenger load and if we could find a place we could all sit near each other! We were the talk of the ferry, from the crew to the passengers. People were fascinated with our machines, our gadgets, our projects, and our adventure, visiting us frequently to monitor our progress on each block."
The women of the Blue Canoe Quilters (a subgroup of the local quilt guild) are varied in their interests and backgrounds but share a common bond: getting away from the day-to-day grind. Liz says, "Life is so busy, and it's nice to get away to do something enjoyable with no interruptions. The quilting is fun, going shopping is great, the scenery can't be beat, but the best thing for me is friendship."
Their tips? Have projects cut ahead of time, do serious packing with rolling totes, and share quilting tools. The featherweight is the machine of choice because of its size. Irons can easily overload circuits, so they've learned to keep those to a minimum.