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Castaways Quilting Cruise

Join Stitchin' Heaven and Friends on a 7-night Western Caribbean Cruise! Cruise and learn from three quilting experts: Kim Brunner, Leigh Headington, & Raija Salomaa!

May 20 - 27, 2018


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Dear Friends,

When I designed the Castaway Quilting Cruise I was thinking about what kinds of things would make my quilting friends happy. The thought occurred to me that we would want to be left on a deserted island with nothing but our fabric, sewing machine, quilting supplies, and a yummy drink with an umbrella in it. No cooking. No laundry. No beds to make. That would be sheer delight. So the Castaway Quilting Cruise was born.  So pack your clothes and head on down to the pier. I think we are going to be castaway’d for a week of quilting fun!

- Deb Luttrell
Owner, Stitchin' Heaven

If you have never been on a quilting cruise you have missed a real treat!  Since 2010 Stitchin' Heaven Travel has offered quilt-related cruises and motor coach tours to literally hundreds of satisfied guests. See reviews from our happy travelers here.


How can all this get any better? Here's how!

  • Pre-cruise communication from Stitchin‘ Heaven Travel
  • A Welcome Aboard Gathering
  • A Stitchin’ Heaven Travel souvenir tote bag
  • Souvenir T-Shirt
  • All workshops, classes, and demonstrations of products
  • Optional pre-cut Sail ‘n Sew fabric kits
  • Every quilting guest can take all the classes offered
  • Classes are taken on days "at sea" so no port time is missed
  • Classroom is open 24/7 for plenty of free time sewing!
  • Bernina 330 sewing machines
  • Aurifil thread
  • $20 door prize for each quilter - choose what you want from the onboard store
  • Demonstrations of the latest quilting and sewing products
  • Classroom support from Stitchin' Heaven Staff
  • Oliso Pro Smart Irons™
  • Post cruise guest contact list
  • Group Photo
  • Smiles, a few surprises, laughs, and a boatload of fun!

Plus ... You'll be sewing on a Bernina 3 Series sewing machine!

That's right!  Each quilter will be provided a state-of-the-art 330 Bernina machine equipped with the extended table, a quarter inch foot, and an open toe foot.  There's no need to bring your sewing machine all the way from home. Visit the Bernina website to see the amazing features of this great machine!

Consider bringing a friend, your spouse or your family – non-quilters are always welcome to join us and will have many activities to pursue while you are in class.

We look forward to our next adventure together with you!

Overview Image


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Kim Brunner www.kimmyquilt.com

Kim Brunner www.kimmyquilt.com

While growing up, most of Kim Brunner’s school vacations were spent at her grandparents' farm where her grandmother, who had the patience of a saint with a little girl and her clumsy fingers, taught Kim to do all kinds of handwork (probably in a desperate attempt to keep her from going out to terrorize the chickens!). Kim’s love of quilting, and her desire to grow up to be just like Grandma, has led her to an amazing and rewarding career as a professional quilter. And, as if that weren't enough fun, quilting has led her to teaching which is exactly where she believes she belongs

Kim says “I love that my job allows me to spend my life in pursuit of creative pleasures. Stitching new quilting designs, developing new techniques and tools, cutting up perfectly good fabric into little bitty pieces and then sewing it all back together again to make quilts and above all, teaching new quilters to believe in themselves and their abilities is my idea of a wonderful life and I am so grateful to Grandma for setting my feet on this path. Who would have thought that being a grown-up would be so much fun? I get to teach quilting stuff to happy and creative people!”

Kim’s work has been published in numerous books, magazines and calendars and, twice honored with the title of Machine Quilting Teacher of the Year, she is an Ambassador for the Handi Quilter company and travels extensively to teach at national and international quilting festivals and shows.

Leigh Headington www.thesweetteagirls.com

Leigh Headington www.thesweetteagirls.com

The Sweet Tea Girls are Southern in roots with sweet tea as a favorite beverage. Her designs have been featured in numerous magazines as well as major quilting catalogue businesses such as Keepsake and Nancy’s Notions. Many of her designs are been used by the fabric manufacturers in their current fabric collections.

Leigh Headington started The Sweet Tea Girls after finding she needed an outlet for her energy and creativity when she retired as an engineer from IBM. With a background in mathematics, mechanical engineering, and project management, Leigh is meticulous about her instructions and accuracy of information. She prefers symmetrical, balanced designs but loves designing a variety of bright, eclectic styles.

The company is named in honor of Leigh's grandmother, Sally McDonald, the true queen of 'Sweet Tea' who taught Leigh and her sisters to sew using those wonderful scraps from the attic. "She gave us the love of fabric and creation along with the desire to make sure everyone in our family slept beneath a ton of quilts"!

Between designing patterns and teaching classes, The Sweet Tea Girls stay very busy.

Raija Salomaa www.quilterstreasurechest.com

Raija Salomaa www.quilterstreasurechest.com

Raija was born and raised in Eno, a quaint little town in Eastern Finland. Raija met her soul mate and the love of her life while studying in the US. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters.

Though avidly sewing since elementary school, quilting was something Raija didn’t know anything about prior to moving to the States. The moment she saw her first quilt it was love at first sight.

Raija’s desire to become a quilt pattern designer started almost immediately, and her pattern company – Quilters’ Treasure Chest was born in 2004. Her designs have been featured in multiple national publications. Raija loves tools that make accuracy easier, so it's no surprise she is a certified Studio 180 Design instructor. She enjoys lecturing at guilds and teaching workshops and currently resides in Arkansas.


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Kim Brunner Cool Zigzag

Kim Brunner Cool Zigzag

Who loves Kaffe Fassett fabrics? Everyone, of course! From Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Italy book, this quilt is assembled in vertical columns, which are then stitched together. The flowers for the squares at each corner of the border pieces are fussy cut. The zig zag effect is enhanced by alternating dark and light diamonds across each horizontal row, creating a 3D effect in much the same way as a traditional Tumbling Blocks pattern. (Fabrics will be similar but not identical.)  This one you will probably finish before the week is over!

The finished size of this project will be 67” x 92”

Leigh Headington Star Studded Ladies

Leigh Headington Star Studded Ladies

Star Studded Ladies is a deceptively simple quilt with dramatic results. The base block is a depression era block called ‘Lady of the Whitehouse’ designed by Nancy Page. Adding detail with a dressed up sashing and setting square brings out the ‘wow’ factor and sets off the Lady block in a more modern setting. The more fabrics you use, the more your quilt will shine!

The finished size of this project will be 66 1/2" x 81 1/2"

Raija Salomaa Beyond Cozumel

Raija Salomaa Beyond Cozumel

Beyond Labadee is an enchanting quilt that was designed by Raija specifically for this Quilt Cruise. You will experience the magic of Half Square Triangles and will leave the cruise with newfound appreciation for them!

The finished size of this project will be 70" x 90".

Optional Sail 'n Sew Fabric Pack

Our incredible Sail 'n Sew fabric pack includes all of the fabrics and patterns for your projects and they are pre-cut so all you need to do is sit down and sew! The price of the Sail ‘n Sew fabric pack is $500.00 and it includes all three of the projects for this cruise. If you would like to buy individual kits, please call for pricing. If you would like a Sail ‘n Sew pack, just let us know when you make your Reservation and we'll have a kit waiting for you on the ship. Order early as supplies are limited.

Want to cut your fabric yourself? We do have an option where we will send you all the fabrics and the patterns for all three of the projects. The price for this is $365.00 and we will mail it to you at least 60 days before the cruise. You can then cut your fabric and bring it and your patterns with you.

If you choose to bring your own fabric, please bring it precut and ready as we do not allow time for cutting during class. You will find the cutting instructions in each pattern that can be ordered here: Kaffe Castaway, Beyond Labadee, Star Studded Ladies.

A complete supply list will be sent to you 90 days prior to departure.


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Day 1

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale lies along the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the New River, 25 miles north of Miami. Its warm tropical weather attracts many people throughout the year. For sun-worshippers, the city has six miles of beaches. There are also many recreational waterways with extensive boating facilities, access to every conceivable watersport, a variety of fascinating museums and trendy restaurants, and an array of entertainment venues.

People have been flocking to Fort Lauderdale's beaches for decades. And with good reason. Fort Lauderdale Beach is a two-mile strip of beautiful beach featuring the recently renovated Promenade, which offers all sorts of bars, restaurants and shops.

Day 2

Nassau, Bahamas

For a city now known for its warming sun and balmy breezes, Nassau has a tumultuous past. First settled by the English, the area was contested by England, France and Spain. For many years, Nassau was a home base for notorious pirates, and it was burned to the ground by the Spanish three different times. Since 1740, however, visitors from all over the world in search of both relaxation and adventure have made Nassau their favorite destination.

Note: Due to only two cruising days on this itinerary, we will have class starting at 12:00 on this day.

Day 3


Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 4

Cozumel, Mexico

The Conquistadors first saw Mexico from the shores of Cozumel while searching for gold. Today, visitors to the island continue to seek out gold and silver jewelry in the shops of San Miguel while having a great time in its many local bars and restaurants. Plus, the waters around Cozumel's sheltered coral reefs make this one of the best snorkeling areas in the world. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Tulúm, majestically perched above the turquoise Caribbean. The site was occupied as far back as 600 A.D. However, it was most densely populated around 1200 A.D. You will be struck by the pyramid-shaped El Castillo, which dominates the city from atop a forty-foot cliff. The nearby Temple of the Descending God provides equally excellent insight into the architecture of the Mayan people, who gained considerable achievements in the arts and sciences, only to decline and vanish for no apparent reason.

Day 5

Roatan, Honduras

Roatán Island is the largest and most developed of the three Bay Islands of Honduras and lies not far off the northern coast. The majority of the population of Roatán originated from the Cayman Islands. The growth of tourism and travel awards has put Honduras squarely on the map. Today, the beautiful Caribbean island is a mecca for divers and snorkelers. Commercial fishing is one of the main economic drivers in Roatán and is home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the Western Caribbean. Visit the Caribbean’s largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Lying just offshore, it's a favorite spot for divers and snorkelers to see colorful corals and an amazing array of marine life.


Day 6

Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya, once a trading post for the Mayan Empire, is located in the Mexican Caribbean and is best known for its jungles, beaches, lagoons and Mayan ruins. Recent development and modern port facilities are making Costa Maya the perfect port of call. With so many activities, it will be hard to decide what to do first.


Day 7


Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 8

Ft. Lauderdale, Flordia

Return to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The Ship

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The Ship

Allure of the Seas

Winner of the Best Overall Cruise Ship award for two years running, Allure of the Seas is a captivating adventure unlike any other. Explore seven distinct neighborhoods filled with awesome new features – like the first Starbucks® at sea, dance and jive with Broadway hit musical Mamma Mia! and enjoy favorite moments with Shrek, Po the panda, and more friends in the DreamWorks Experience. Spice up your sailing with Mexican-fare favorites atSabor, or with prime cuts straight from the skewer at Samba Grill Brazilian Steakhouse. And there's still plenty more Oasis-class WOWs to be had, from the classic carousel on the Boardwalk®, to aerial acrobats in the AquaTheaterFlowRider® surf simulators, plus zip line views over Central Park®—a meandering garden lined with shops and fine restaurants.


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Staterooms are as follows:

Room Type


Interior Stateroom


Oceanview Stateroom


Oceanview w/Balcony Stateroom


*Non-sewing guests will receive a $250 discount. 
Port charges, taxes & fees of $338.93 are not included.

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy.

There is a $350 per person deposit due at registration which will secure your price and availability.

This fee includes your cruise fare PLUS all fees to the teachers, a Bernina sewing machine for the entire cruise, all associated class activities, and classroom support. Fabric kits are not included. You may purchase our precut Sail n Sew kit (supplies are limited) or you are welcome to bring your own precut fabric.

Group travel allows us to provide special touches that are not available on an individual reservation. And unfortunately, discounts from Royal Caribbean are not allowed through our group program. In order to take full benefit from everything Stitchin Heaven offers on our cruises, you must register through Stitchin Heaven Travel. If you have questions or need assistance in changing your individual reservation to a group reservation through Stitchin' Heaven Travel, please let us know.

Travel Information

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Travel Information


With so much to do onboard, chances are really good that you will just use your cabin for changing and sleeping, but it's nice to know that if you want to spend more time there, you will indeed be comfortable. All standard staterooms are attractively decorated in soft tones with fine light woods and two pieces of artwork on the walls. Each stateroom has two beds that convert to queen-size, a private bath, phone, interactive flat-screen TV, mini-bar, hair dryers and air conditioning/heat controls. Bathrooms are on the small side, but functional, and showers have those wonderful, half-round sliding doors as opposed to clingy curtains. Soap and shampoo are also provided.

Travel to and from Destination

You will be responsible for getting to and from the ship in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.


During the day, dress is casual. Evenings are either casual, smart casual or formal. On casual nights, suggested attire is sports shirts and slacks for men and sundresses or pants for women. On smart casual evenings, men should don jackets and tie, with women wearing dresses or pantsuits. On the one or two formal nights per cruise, men can choose from tuxedos or suits and ties, while woman usually wear cocktail dresses.


Gratuities are a part of your cruise expense and total $13.50 per day. This fee covers everyone who serves you while you are onboard including all onboard staff, dining staff, and your cabin steward.  Because of our group status, Stitchin' Heaven Travel pays these gratuities for our entire group prior to sailing.  Therefore, you will be charged for them at the time of final payment. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar tabs.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is not included, but is available for your protection from Royal Caribbean in the form of their Travel Protection Program. It is $109 per person and both cabinmates must purchase it separately. In the event insurance is used please be aware that it covers the cost of the cruise only. Sewing package fees are not refunded.
**Insurance fee will be added to your reservation total


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