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Well, this is just as exciting as it can be, in 2014, I will be teaching on a cruise around the islands of Tahiti with Quilt Seminars at Sea!

No only sailing around the islands, but doing it on the  m/s Paul Gauguin, an intimate and ultra-luxurious vessel, AND have the opportunity to attend the 14th annual Salon du Tifaifai Quilt Festival!

I’m so excited that I could not wait to share the news!

Want details??     Visit Quilt Seminars at Sea’s website

Hoping you can join us!

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!

I love quilt cruises.  Combine quilting (our favorite passion) and cruising, what could be better??

February 3-13, 2010, we will be cruising the Southern Caribbean with ports of call at St. Maartin, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique and the Bahamas. Other teachers on the cruise include: Mary Sorensen, Karen Kay Buckley, Barbara Randle & Janet Jones Worley. 

Now the bad news, it is sold out!

Here is the good news!  My next quilt cruise will be in August 2011. . . to the Mediterranean!

We will be cruising to fabulous ports in Italy, Croatia and the Greek Isles. Other teachers on the cruise include John Flynn, Elly Sienkiewicz, Cindy Walter and Christine Porter.

Details will be posted soon at Quilt Seminars at Sea. 

If you would like information immediately, please contact Kim or Amy at 866-573-6351.

One of our stores while on the cruise was to go through the Panama Canal. I’ve visited the Canal while on land and watched ships travel through the canal, however it is different being the one on the ship!

The Panama Canal Locks lift ships up to 85 feet, to the main elevation of the Panama Canal. The total length of the locks structure, including approach walls is nearly 2 miles.

Our approach, to the Gatun Lake locks, looking at the locks from our balcony on the deck 7.

panama canal

 Usually there is a North-South lane and a South-North lane. This morning, both lanes were North-South. You can see the second lane next to us in this photo.


A huge freighter was just ahead of us. Clearance of just over 2′ on each side!


As we passed next to the freighter, we looked down from the deck 10.


A tug boat tagged along and went through the locks after  freighter.

panama canal

The lock chamber closing.


Each lock chamber requires 26.7 million U.S. gallons to fill it from the lowered position to raised; the same amount of water must be drained from the chamber to lower it again.  Embedded in the side and centre walls are three large water culverts, which are used to carry water from the lake into the chambers to raise them, and from each chamber down to the next, or to the sea, to lower them.

The water is moved by gravity, and is controlled by huge valves in the culverts; each cross culvert is independently controlled. A lock chamber can be filled in as little as eight minutes; there is significant turbulence in the lock chamber during this process.


From the beginning Mules have guided the ships through the lock chambers. The mules run on rack tracks. With as little as 2′ of space on each side of a ship, considerable skill is required on the part of the mule operators.

In February, I’ll be teaching on a cruise to the Panama Canal and Costa Rica. It is a fabulous cruise with I’ll be joined by Paula Nadelstern, Mary Sorensen, Charlotte Warr Andersen, Sharon Pederson and Mary Lou Weidman. I know we will have a fantastic time!

The cruise has sold out quickly and there are only a few spots left. If you would like to join us on the cruise, don’t hesitate! Visit their website or give them a call at

Debbee Nelson at Quilt Seminars at Sea
     Phone: TOLL FREE (866) 573-6351
     Fax: (208) 667-1248

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

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