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It is something every traveling quilt teacher fears, her quilts will be stolen or lost.  Unfortunately, it has happened to me. I’m heartbroken. . . please share the images and story below.  I hope they will be found.

On March 16, 2012, sometime between midnight and 6am at the Courtyard New Braunfels River Village, my rental car’s driver window was broken and my teaching suitcase was stolen. The hotel is located at 750 IH 35 North in New Braunfels, Texas. The police were called, they stated the break-in looked like the work of a professional.

It was a “smash and grab”. The vandals did not know what they were taking and it will have no value to them.  It means the world to me. . .

Inside the suitcase were the quilts  from my popular Patchwork Illusions class. I also lost all my teaching supplies and step-by-step demos for the class.

If you live in New Braunfels or anywhere in Texas, please check local yard sales, flea markets and pawn shops for the quilts.  Everyone, please   forward this blog posting to every quilter and quilt shop you know and ask them to forward it to everyone they know.

If you find one of my quilts or quilt  blocks, please contact me at

Thank you for all your help,


Patchwork Illusions quilt – BATIK CASCADE RIBBONS

Patchwork Illusions quilt – DUO

Patchwork Illusions quilt – RAINBOW CUBE

Patchwork Illusions quilt – TRIO

Patchwork Illusions quilt top – DARK CRYSTAL STAR

Patchwork Illusions quilt top – LIGHT CRYSTAL STAR

Patchwork Illusions quilt – RIBBON CUBE

Patchwork Illusions quilt blocks

Patchwork Illusions quilt – STACKED AND WRAPPED

Patchwork Illusions quilt top – CUBED

My buddy, Mark Hordyszynski has a new look for his blog.  Mark is a fabric designer( he is the designer of Fairy Frost!),  has his own digital embroidery line, is a writer and a chef.  I could go on and on and on. . . .

I just love reading his blog and wanted to share it with you.


What a wonderful surprise to hear from Darra Williamson yesterday!  I’ve known her forever and am honored to be featured in her new blog: Sew How We Sew!

 Her blot is a collective  endeavor; with her “sister-bloggers” are Laura Nownes, Christie Batterman, and Jennifer Rounds.  It features how to videos and wonderful posts.  Darra will be giving away a copy of Rodale’s Favorite Techniques from the Experts.  Be sure to check it out!

Thanks Darra, loved hearing from you and congratulations on the new blog!

Recently, I had an email from Charlotte Warr Anderson, with her permission, I am sharing it here. Please give it a read, Charlotte has done some wonderful research for all of us in the quilting world.  Thanks, Charlotte!


“I thought I’d give you all a heads up about Frixion Erasable pens. A student showed me hers at Road to California in January. She drew a line, thin but quite black, and then ironed it and the line disappeared. It looked like the coolest thing ever!

So I went in search of these pens, which you can get a Staples. I bought the pack that has three colors in it – black, red and blue. Being quite the skeptic about things that are too good to be true, I read the back of the package. In small print it says: “Do not expose to extreme temperatures (<14 degrees F;> 140 degrees F). If pen is exposed to temperature that reaches 140 degrees F the ink will be colorless when writing. To restore color, cool to at least 14 degrees F and the ink will again write in color.”

Aha! I said to myself. If you iron the ink it’s going to be way over 140 degrees so it’s going to disappear. So I took some fabric and scribbled on it with all three colors. Then I ironed it and, sure enough, all the scribbles disappeared. But then I put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes and all the lines reappeared. I left it for about a week and a half while I went travelling and today I tried to wash the ink out. It didn’t come out with soap and hard scrubbing and not even after I put rubbing alcohol on it. So then I ironed the piece dry and all the lines disappeared and then it went back to the freezer and all the lines reappeared (perhaps just a bit fainter).

This experiment was enough to persuade me that these pens are too good to be true and even sort of creepy – the ink is always there even if you can’t see it. I wouldn’t use them on any fabric or quilt you really cared about.

If I had a blog I would have put this on there,  but since I don’t any of you who want to pass on what I’ve written can feel free to copy and paste this post



Join me on Facebook!   I’ve just set up a new page: Karen Combs Studio Fan Page.  

We already have almost 500 fans and are having so much fun! Right now, we have a lively discussion about our favorite sewing machines.

You can also see photos of my fabric lines, patterns, books and a peek into my sewing studio.  The Fan Page will be the first place I’ll post new patterns, fabric lines, quilt news and other fun stuff. 

Hope to see you there!










I love creating Celtic designs in my quilts.  My book, Celtic Pieced Illusions was the result of that love.





















Recently, I received a wonderful email from Lynne Crowley.  She also loves Celtic designs.  She is creating a Celtic Pieced Illusions quilt of her own.  On her website, she has a intriguing feature – a sew along!  If you would like to follow Lynne as she creates her Celtic Pieced Illusions quilt or would like to make your own as she does, visit her blog at .  It looks like fun!!



appleMy good friend, Ami Simms has begun a new enterprise to help teachers and those looking to hire them network better. rolled out at the beginning of February and is growing steadily.

It is more than just a list of email address and names, Ami’s hope is that it will make like a lot easier for guilds and shops to find teachers that match the needs of their guild members and customers.



Each teacher gets their own web page, and subscribing guilds and shops get access to Teacher Data Sheets which puts a great deal of information all on one page for easy evaluation. No more hunting through web pages to find teacher requirements, classes, fees, contract preferences, lodging likes and dislikes.

I love this idea and was one of the first to sign up!  You can see my page at .

Whether you are a guild, a shop, a program chair, quilt show chair or looking for a quilt teacher, you need this website! If you have not had a chance yet, please look.

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

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