You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2008.


The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) is an Internet-driven, grassroots, totally volunteer effort to raise awareness and fund research through art. Founded by Ami Simms in January 2006 because her mother has Alzheimer’s disease. All profit is donated to Alzheimer’s research. Since the AAQI began they have raised more than $157,000 for Alzheimer’s research. 

The first quilts are ready for purchase right now in the AAQI’s “You Snooze, You Lose” Reverse Auction . See a quilt you like? Buy it on the spot. Wait a day and the price goes DOWN! But if you wait too long, somebody else might buy it first! It’s lots of fun and all the profit will fund Alzheimer’s research! Come back often — the page will be updated with new quilts all the time! Details here!


I try to exercise 5 to 6 days a week. Most mornings, you will find me walking 2-3 miles before 8am. When it is rainy or snowy, I ride our exercise bike or use our mini tramp. (On that note, why I don’t weight 98 pounds is beyond me, but that is a topic for another day!)

To pass the time, I listen to my iPod Nano.

iPod Nano

So now to the question, what’s on my iPod?

I have a workout playlist, featuring high octane performances by Christine Aguilera ( Fighter ), Kelly Clarkson ( Since U Been Gone ), Chris Daughtry ( “Over You“, “It’s Not Over” )

Lately, however, I’ve been listening to Podcasts. 45 minutes passes in an flash.  I just love multi-tasking!

My current fav Podcasts:

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.


The Offical Lost Podcast


And The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack

Some lingering Lost questions (and why I keep watching!)

  •  Where is the island?
  • What is the smoke monster?
  • What is the healing force of the island?
  • Who is Darma. . .really?
  • Who build the four-toed monument?
  • How did the Black Rock end up in the jungle?
  • Who is Jacob?

I have tons of songs on my iPod as well. Some of favorites.  .  . 


I’ve enjoyed my few weeks at home, but it’s time to get back on the road. In April, I have 4 trips scheduled.

The first one is to the Colonial Piecemaker’s in Williamsburg, Virginia. (One of my favorite places!) I’m looking forward to my visit with them. 

Williamsburg, VA

Williamsburg, VA

Next is the Araphoe County Quilters and the Columbine Quilt Guild in the Denver, Colorado area. Can’t wait to visit them!

Denver, Colorado

 The final trip for April is to the Somewhere Quilting quilt shop in Johnson City, Tennessee. Love eastern Tennessee and looking forward to this visit as well.

Johnson City, Tennessee

 As with any trip, there is always lots of planning. This week, I spent several days printing and packaging handouts, sorting quilts for my classes and lectures and packing class supplies.

 For each trip, I unusually plan on 2 or 3 days of concentrated prep time, not to mention the months of planning with the program chairs of each guild. Kudos to these hard working people who plan workshops and lectures!


As you can see, Cocoa is helping as I sort quilts in to “workshop” and “lecture” piles for each guild.


Whew! The first round is printed, collated, sorted, packed and ready for shipping. Round two will be next week!

I’ve just gotten my sample cuts from my new fabric collection, Nami.  For Spring Market, I’ve also added new colors to my Gilded Greenery collection. These sample cuts have also just arrived.

I’m so pleased with both collections! In the past few days, I’ve been working on quilts and samples for Spring Market and my Schoolhouse presentations.

studio Here’s a look into my sewing studio. You can see the infamous “fabric closet” on the back wall of the studio. This is the one I cleaned out this weekend.

I usually spread out when I work. I have two different cutting stations. This one is on my Koala sewing cabinet. I have the Koala Quilt Mate III. I’ve had it for about four years, don’t know what I did before I had it!

studio I’m working on the blocks for one of the Market quilts. If you look closely, you will see my constant companion, Cocoa in his bed, under the table.

Cocoa- snow

Several weeks ago, he enjoyed playing in the snow!

 I have some of my favorite notions out while I’m working.

Clover .07mm mechanical pencil I LOVE the new .07mm mechanical pencil by Clover. It is a fine tailor’s chalk and is perfect for marking.

Ewesful pin cushion I also love my wool Ewesful  pincushion. The lanolin in the wool keeps my pins sharp and I never have to worry about the pins rusting.

studioHere’s a look at my other cutting station and my Block Butler design wall. The quilt on the wall is in progress and uses two textures from the new Nami collection and two new colors from Gilded Greenery.

Nami and Gilded GreeneryAnother sneak peek at two textures in my new Nami line as well as two new colors in my Gilded Greenery collection.  Gilded Greenery Saffron and Cinnamon – I LOVE the rich colors of these new colorways. (There are more colors, but I’ll show those later.)

Gilded Greenery - Danube A close-up of the Gilded Greenery texture.

If you look in the corner of the photo above, you will see a basket with work in progress. Here another sneak peak at a 3-D cube in a 4th dimension. I’m playing around with this and hope to have more time to dedicate to this concept later.


All the warm weather has put me in the mood for some spring cleaning! My fabric closet in my sewing studio was a mess! I could not find anything and I was getting pretty cranky about it.

This weekend, I decided to tackel my sewing studio. After about 15 hours of cleaning, sorting and weeding out, I finally finished! What a beautiful sight!

fabric closetHere is the closet, all sorted and beautiful!

shelf of Gilded GreeneryThis shelf holds my Gilded Greenery and Essence collections. Now, I can find the colors I need, as I design quilts for these collection.

Gilded Greenery - Danube Gilded Greenery – color Danube

Essence - Arctic Essence – Arctic

Sewing StudioThe next shelf holds my blue, green, black and white fabrics.  (Hmm, looks like I need a few more blacks and whites!)

sewing studioThe third shelf holds my teal, yellow and orange fabrics.

sewing studioOn the top shelf, I have my hand painted, sun screen and hand dyed fabrics. I decided to store these fabrics in these see through bins. It makes the fabrics easy to find and keeps them neat.

sewing studioOn the side of the closet, I’ve stored my previous fabric collections. I try to keep some of each fabric, so I always have a reference. I also have batting at the top of the closet.

sewing fairy, guarding the fabricNotice the “sewing fairy”, she is guarding the fabric. Don’t mess with her!

I also sorted my Koala notions cabinet. I can finally find all my stuff!

sewing studioThe thread drawer.

sewing studioNotions drawer – all organized!

sewing studioThe rest of my closet has also been cleaned out. I love to use baskets to keep things sorted. The stuffed animals are for fun!

sewing fairyAnother sewing fairy guards this side of the closet!

 I’ve also been working on quilts for my new fabric collection, NAMI.

Here is a sneak peak. We will be debuting this collection at Spring Market. As we get closer to the release, I’ll show more of the textures and colors.

Be sure to ask your local quilt shop for Nami, designed by Karen Combs.

Nami - indigoNami is a oriental inspired collection. This is the wave design, inspired by an antique Japanese texture. This is the indigo and white colorway.

Nami - white Nami in the black and white colorway.

Nami - black and red colorwayNami in the red and black colorway.

I read this recently and wanted to share it:

1.  Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Aware winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of Word Series winners.

NOW answer these questions:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people who you enjoy spending time with.

 Which list of questions did you have the most trouble answering? My guess, it was the first list.

What is the point?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

Here is to all of those people on the second list!

Yesterday afternoon, Rick and I decided to meet our son, Josh in Nashville and go to the Nashville Auto Show.

On the way, we made a detour to Wild Oats, my favorite market!

Wild Oats market

Well, I went into the Market, Rick decided to go next-door and visit the electronics store!

 Heading into Wild Oats is a sensory treat with all the colors and wonderful smells.


Look! Three kinds of asparagus!


The floral department is a treat. Look at this unusual flower.  .  . a kangaroo paw.

Kangaroo Paws

I love the cheese department and picked up some of my favorite cheeses.

Wild Oats cheese department

The chocolate aisle is fantastic. Love the emergency chocolate!


After leaving the market, we headed into Nashville. The view from the sky-walk into the convention center is beautiful.

Downtown Nashville, Tennessee

The convention center is right across the street from the historic Ryman Auditorium.  The tall building is the A T & T building, but everyone calls it “The Batman Building”. Can you see why?

Ryman Auditorium

As we were walking along the sky-walk, I spotted some beautiful carpet, three floors down. Love it and love the lights!


After looking down, I looked up and saw this amazing sight.


After entering the car show, I lost track of Rick and Josh. Oh here they are.  .  .can’t get them away from the Corvettes!


Looks like Rick has found one he likes!


Oh my, this Saturn Sky is cute!


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

Follow me on Twitter