Maine Slow Sewing & Quilting Cruise

Book Your Trip
Dates Price
September 25 - 28, 2019 w/ Rhea Butler $842
September 30 - October 3, 2020 w/ Rhea Butler $867

All prices are listed per person and include lodging, meals, and shore excursions. 

Sew away on a Maine quilting cruise

What better gifts could you give yourself than time to work on your favorite hobby and memories that will last a lifetime? The Slow Sewing Cruise aboard the Schooner J&E Riggin is a terrific opportunity to do both!

Join Melinda Stanton, hand-chosen and taught by Rhea Butler of Alewives Fabrics, as she teaches experienced quilters and novices alike the extremely popular and always enchanting “Lucy Boston” block, or feel free to bring your own slow sewing project. The Lucy Boston block is easy to learn and although it may look complicated, it’s just clever “fussy cutting” of the fabric and simple hand stitching that makes this block twinkle and sparkle like a beautiful jewel or a blooming flower. Whether you’re making the Lucy Boston block or working on your own slow sewing project, you’re sure to pick up tricks and tips that will serve you well in all your quilting endeavors.

We are excited to have Melinda joining us as this year’s instructor. You may have seen Rhea’s posts on social media, due to an illness she will be unable to teach this year’s trip. She will however have an Alewives pop-up shop on the boat where you will be able to pick-up last-minute items.

Every morning while the Riggin is still anchored, Melinda will present a lesson designed to further improve your skills in English paper piecing and fussy cutting. You can choose to partake in the morning lesson or follow your own agenda. After the day’s lesson, the Riggin will set sail and students have the rest of the day to spend however they would like. Then you can find yourself a comfy spot on deck to chat with friends as the Maine coast passes by, stitch away on your Lucy Boston block, hang downstairs in the galley with Chef Annie as she prepares our next meal, find yourself a comfy spot to wrap up in a quilt and take a nap, or help the crew on deck as we sail the coast. Before you know it, it will be time for a hearty lunch (sewing and sailing can make you quite hungry, you know!). As the day winds down, we’ll anchor in a quiet cozy cove or even dock at a nearby town. We may even have an opportunity to leave the ship and stretch our legs before returning for appetizers and more free time to stitch and chat. We’ll enjoy a delicious dinner, and as evening approaches join Melinda downstairs for an evening sewing session in the galley where the lamps are bright, the wood stove is warm, and the conversation is lively. Captains Jon and Annie may even play guitar and sing for us! At the end of the night, you’ll retreat to your cozy cabin and enjoy a good night’s rest, because tomorrow we’ll get to do it all over again!

Non-sewing spouses and friends are warmly invited to join us on the Slow Sewing Cruise… there is plenty for anyone to do, see and eat aboard the J&E Riggin! Your meals will be prepared, real life will be “on hold” and the only thing on the agenda is to eat, relax, laugh, and quilt.

About Rhea Butler

Rhea Butler lives with her husband Oliver and their little boy Bert in Damariscotta Mills.  She has been working at Alewives Fabrics since she was 19 years old and has been a part owner of Alewives Fabrics for the last decade. Rhea graduated from the Butera School of Art in Boston with a certificate in Graphic Design in 2007.  Known for her infectious love of color and pattern, Rhea teaches various quilting techniques through Alewives Fabrics and other venues across New England. 

To learn more about Alewives Fabric visit their website

About Melinda

Melinda Stanton, Award-winning quilter, Silsbee Texas

Melinda Stanton started sewing and doing needlework at a very young age. Years later, she saw the beautiful quilts of a Facebook friend and began to feel the itch to create rise up once again—and it went wild once she gave in! From her first Jelly Roll Race baby quilt to her award-winning applique and pieced show quilt, she’s loved them all. Melinda learned the Lucy Boston/Slow Sewing/English Paper Piecing method from Rhea at her shop and then on one of the Slow Sewing/Quilting trips aboard the Riggin. She became an instant fan and started teaching at her local shop, The Vintage Owl in Silsbee, Texas. Her goal as a teacher is to teach not just a project, but skills and techniques that students can take away and use in their own creative work.


Heard on the Docks…

“I’ve sailed on the J&E Riggin a dozen times now. The Slow Sewing with Rhea Butler of Alewives Fabric, ranks near or at the top of my trips. The boat rang with laughter and fun and passengers went home with gorgeous projects started and many new friends were made.”

~ Louisa E., Maine