Around the World (ATW) quilters aboard Insignia’s 2016 Around the World in 180 Days cruise have reason to celebrate. Several months ago, guests aboard the world cruise began a monumental quilting project – and their ATW quilt creation, a stunning work of fabric arts, is now complete! About 36 ATW guests and entertainment staff – from beginners who have never sewed before to expert quilters – contributed a total of 72 blocks depicting destinations and activities during the 180-day adventure on Insignia. Each block was uniquely created on board using a wide variety of fabric techniques from simple embroidery sewing to elaborate fabric painting and applique stitching.

ATW Quilt - Setting Quilt Block Borders (2)ATW quilters gathered each sea day in the Horizons lounge where a welcoming ambiance invited block creation, quilt design and storytelling creative juices to flow. The 4 p.m. high tea awaiting the quilters was an added bonus.

At the beginning of the voyage, fabric artist and frequent Artist-in-Residence Anna Smith coordinated the design, production and assembly of the ATW Quilt and was aided by ATW Hostess Tricia Walsh. Anna taught beginners embroidery and various quilting and stitchery techniques and offered suggestions on fabrics and materials to obtain during ports of call visits. Each quilter shopped for, designed and assembled their blocks with excitement. Teamwork, a sense of pride and creativity was in the air.

When Anna left for home in Cape Town she stated “I shall return – with sewing machine, quilt borders and quilting supplies” and she did just that in Tahiti. Using a self-standing 3-Early Work in Progressdesign wall, the quilters laid out each block and carefully experimented with the quilt design until ready for final assembly. The sewing machines worked overtime to add sashings, piping, borders and more. A fun quilting bee atmosphere was in the air while the team stitched in a huge circle, sharing travel stories and fun times.

When Insignia General Manager Victor Conceição initiated the ATW quilt project with Anna and Tricia at the beginning of the world cruise in January, no one expected the high number of guest participants or the passion and teamwork that ensued. The first public showing of the completed quilt at a recent ATW reception was packed.

2-FinishedQuilt1200pixelsSo where will the magic of the quilt live on? The ATW quilt raffle has recently decided its new home. ATW guest Patricia Marchese won the magnificent quilt in the raffle on the day that just happened to be her and husband’s 50th wedding anniversary. ATW quilt raffle proceeds of over $4,000 will go to the crew Welfare fund.

Anna and husband David Smith (travel photography guest lecturer) will produce a digital photo story book about the ATW quilt project and make it available to ATW quilters in July. Contact them at their web site for more information.


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