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What is better than quilting and cruising?  Not much!

One of my favorite destinations is Alaska, and I will be returning there with Quilt Seminars at Sea in June 2012.  This time, there will be a special opportunity to add a 4 day land package to the beginning of the trip for a truly in-depth Alaskan experience!

We will travel via the Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks to see the majesty of  Denali National Park and Mt. McKinley, America’s tallest peak! Truly an awe-inspiring sight! Then, we will board Holland America Line’s wonderful ship, the ms Statendam.

Wonder about classes?  The quilting classes are held during “at sea” days and every attempt is made to schedule the classes outside of port time.  There are a wide variety of classes from which to choose, I’ll be teaching several classes and will be joined by fellow quilt  teachers; Sue Nickels, Kathy McNeil and Stevii Graves!

There are many options when we are in port, you can play tourist,  choosing your pleasure, whether it be walking, touring, flight-seeing or shopping!  All the ports are right on the water, and there is a lot to see within walking distance!  Or you can just relax on the ship, our floating hotel. Oh yes, did I mention there is a quilt shop at every port?

QuiltWorks Northwest in Bellevue, WA will be bringing new Bernina sewing machines for you to use.  You can even go home with a wonderful buy on a new Bernina.

Some Cruise Highlights
  • Four fantastic quilting  teachers
  • Numerous class choices
  • A fabulous Holland America cruise tour
  • Bernina sewing machines   to use
  • “QuiltWorks Northwest   At Sea” Quilt Shop aboard
  • Autograph party with the   instructors
  • “Welcome Aboard” party
  • Show & Tell at the “farewell”   party
  • Challenge block contest
  • Shopping at quilt shops in  every port
  • Souvenir tote bag
  • Exclusive Quilt Seminars at  Sea Shore Excursion

You can bring a friend, your spouse or your family – non-quilters will get a special discounted rate and are always welcome to join us!  They will feel especially welcome and there is always plenty for them to do while we are quilting!

Here’s the exciting part, if you book between December 8-22, there is a special reduced deposit!  Sounds like a great Christmas gift!

If you have any questions, visit Quilt Seminars at Sea’s website. Tons of information is located there!  You can also call or email Amy, she will be happy to help.

Amy Ross, Group Coordinator



Hope to see you there!

Several weeks ago, at Fall Quilt Market, I met Donna Masaniai, lovely lady, she is the owner of Pahala Quilting and Creative Sewing Center in Pahala, Hawaii.  We were chatting about Hawaii,  mostly, I was telling her how much I loved Hawaii and how lucky she is to live there.

Rick and I visitedHawaii several years ago. We took at week-long cruise and we able to travel between several of the islands. Each island we visited was better than the first and it was hard to pick a favorite. Needless to say, we had a fabulous time and just loved Hawaii!

Oh yes, I think I just mentioned that I love Hawaii. . . okay, back to my conversation with Donna.  While we chatted about quilting and Hawaii, I mentioned that I enjoyed the coffee from Hawaii.  Donna told me about a wonderul coffee;  Ka’u Coffee.

Ka’u coffee has been judged Number One in the U.S. and Top Ten in the world at the 2011 International Coffees of the Year Competition at the Specialty Coffee Association of America Convention.

Donna not only has wonderful quilting fabric at her store, she also sells Ka’u coffee!  She sent me come coffee and this morning I enjoyed my first cup!  It is so smooth and the taste is superb! Oh yes, I’m going to enjoy this lovely coffee and I will be ordering more!

If you love excellent coffee and wish to treat yourself or give it as a gift, you can contact Donna:

Pahala Quilting & Creative Sewing Center

96-3208 Maile Street

Pahala, Hawaii


Thanks, Donna!  Love, love, love the coffee!

I’m leaving tomorrow for Houston and International Quilt Market. . . I’ve been making samples and getting things ready for weeks.  Yesterday was packing day, getting my samples packed into a really big suitcase and getting my computer bag packed. Done!

Now to weigh the big suitcase, I hope it doesn’t weigh  more than 50 pounds. . .

Next on the “to-do” list: print boarding pass, pack second suitcase. . .

Look for the Tweets from the road, starting tomorrow afternoon!

Next week, I’m headed to Houston, Texas for the International Quilt Market. It is always an exciting (and crazy!) time.   I love seeing what is new, connecting with old friends and meeting new ones!  Needless to say, I’m looking forward to it.

I’ll be working in the Troy booth, promoting my new partnership with Troy Corporation. I will also be showing a sneak peek at my new fabric lines for Troy’s Riverwoods Collection. ( Can’t show too much online until it is ready, you just never know what iniquitous person may be looking to steal an idea, yes it has happened to me, more than once, ’nuff said, let’s talk about happier things!)

I’m so pleased with my new partnership with Troy Distributors. I’ve known the owners, Dorothy and Terry Troy for years and they are good people, as are their office staff, their sales reps and their other designers. I can’t wait to unveil my new fabric lines!  I should be able to show them online after the first of the year.

Our booth number is #2326-2339, if you are coming to Market, be sure to stop by and say hello!

Some more fun news. . . I’ll be posting a Twitter feed as we set-up the booth at Market!

Since I don’t have much time to blog while at Market, I thought a Twitter picture feed would work well. . . you will get to see the set-up from start to finish, you can be there with me. . . you just won’t be sweaty, tired  and a bit overwhelmed!

If you follow me on Twitter, just look for my posts.  If you wish to follow me on Twitter, go to!/Karen_Combs and click on “follow.”

You can also follow the feed on this blog, simply look to the left side bar.  You will see a Twitter feed and you can follow our progress there.

Speaking (or typing) about social networking, you can also follow me on my FaceBook page:

Now, back to my packing and last minute prep for Market!!

I’ve just returned from a fantastic cruise with Quilt Seminars at Sea to Venice, Greece and Turkey.  A big thank you to Kim and Amy of Quilt Seminars at Sea for organizing the cruise!

I was joined on the cruise by fellow instructors, Christine Porter and Cindy Walter. We had a wonderful group of quilters and spouses from the U.S. Canada, England and Brazil. It was a pleasure and an honor to share this experience with you!

There are so many memories from this trip. One of the best was meeting with a group of Turkish quilters in Istanbul. I will always remember their friendly faces, lovely hospitality, their creativity and their love of quilting.

On our cruise, we visited Venice, Split Croatia, Athens, Greece, Istanbul, Turkey, Mykonos, Greece, Kusadasi (Ephesus) Turkey, Santorini, Greece, Katakolon (ancient Olympia) Greece. While at sea, we had some wonderful quilt classes.

Here are just a few photos from the trip:

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I’m honored to be featured on the latest Quilter’s Home Magazine blog!

They are featuring my First Light quilt pattern.

In addition, they mention my upcoming cruises.
The Mediterranean Cruise is almost here, coming up at the end of July!
The Alaska Cruise is next June.

I’m looking forward to each cruise.  What could be better? Quilting, cruising, a perfect combination.  I hope you can join us!

As a traveling teacher, packing and unpacking are part of my job. As soon as one trip is over, another is upcoming. For weeks, I’ve been making lists and packing for Spring Market. Everything has been shipped and I have a 6am flight tomorrow morning, so I’m getting down to the wire.

This year, Spring Market will be held in Salt Lake City. I’m looking forward to my visit!

Karen Combs is a internationally known quilt teacher, author and fabric designer. Visit her web site at

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