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Another beautiful day in Portland, Oregon, so I decided to walk to the Convention Center. Along the way, I spotted this art installation in the lobby of a building. I don’t remember the name of the building, but I certainly remembered this artwork.   .    .   interesting inspiration for a quilt!


Once in the booth, we had a few minutes to say hello to each other and get ready for our day. Here is our Vice-President, Jeremy Jeffries with two of our sales reps, Kathy Hewitt and Cathy McLees. My buddy (and AMAZING sales rep) Cheryl Aldrich is sitting in the table in the background.


During a break, I visied the Handi Quilter booth. This is the creator of the first portable home machine quilting frame, and these are amazing quilting machines.

I had to try my hand at it!!

Headed back to the booth, I ran into this lovely shop owner and was admiring her shirt. She was kind enough to pose for a photo.

I don’t know about you, but I see a very cool optical illusion quilt in this shirt!!


During lunch, I spotted this arrangement on a table outside Starbucks.  (Okay, I didn’t eat lunch that day, I had a latta!)

I thought it was interesting and took a close-up.

After three days of Quilt Market, my mind is full of inspiration and my heart is full with the new (and old) friends I’ve been with. Back at the hotel, I noticed this stained glass in one of the restaurants.

Now it is time to pack and head back home, I can’t wait to get into my studio!






Quilt Market started on Friday. The weather was perfect and the skies were clear. From our hotel, we had a beautiful view of Mt. St. Helen AND Mt. Hood. It is rare to see both so well. It was a good start for Market.

Mt. St. Helen


 Mt. Hood


Since the weather was so perfect, I decided to walk to and from the Convention Center, about a 4-5 block walk. As I walked, I took note of the scenery.


The fence and the trees created a nice perspective view. On closer look, the flowers made an interesting scene, against the wrought iron fence.


A few blocks away, the spire of the Oregon Convention Center.

A close-up.


 Once on the Show floor, I was able to meet many shop owners and Vendors.

Janet Rice-Bredin from Bontanical Art Quilts was only a few booths away from our booth. We noticed her beautiful booth and her friendly personality at once. (You can read her blog at

We loved her patterns and her placement of color.


She loved my fabrics and used Gilded Greenery and  Essence  in of her patterns.


Gilded Greenery by Karen Combs



Essence by Karen Combs

More Market news tomorrow!

I’ve just returned from Spring Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon. This Market is like every Market I’ve ever attended:  exciting, inspiring and exhausting! There is nothing like it!  I plan to post photos and thoughts over the next few days.  .  .

I left for Portland last Tuesday. Alarm was set for 2:45am in order to make a 6am flight. There is just something WRONG with getting up for the day at 2:45am!!

After flying most of the morning and a significant time change, I arrived in Portland at 1pm. Due to misplaced luggage and and meeting up with the other members of the group, it was 3pm before we arrived at the hotel. I could not wait to get into my room, unpack, freshen up and get something to eat!

The view from my room was beautiful. It was a “city” view.


 We spent the remaining few hours getting ready for set-up the next day and I could not wait to get some sleep!

On Wednesday, we set-up the booth and prepared for Sample Spree and Schoolhouse. This is a photo of the booth after many hours of set-up!


Thursday or Schoolhouse/Sample Spree day is always a long, but exciting. We finished setting up the booth during the morning, presented four Schoolhouse presentations during afternoon and set-up and worked Sample Spree during the evening. By last count, it was an 18 hour work day!

 Here we have people coming in for my “Creating Illusions in Quilts” Schoolhouse.

I showed a slide show and a trunk show at this Schoolhouse.

 I just LOVE being with quilters! They are the best! Just look at these smiles! (For all of you in my Schoolhouse – I TOLD you that you would be in my Blog!)  🙂

 I enjoyed all of our Schoolhouse presentations and met many wonderful people.

After cleaning up from Schoolhouse and hauling many, many boxes to Sample Spree, we set up our tables.

 It is hard to picture, but this HUGE room is filled with tables and right after this photo was taken was filled with shop owners –  ready to buy! Sample Spree is open from 8-10pm.

Back at the hotel, it is midnight and we finished setting up the booth, Schoolhouse and Sample Spree. Tomorrow, the show opens and I can’t wait.


 More Market news and photos tomorrow!

I’ve been working like crazy, getting ready for Market and my upcoming trips in June. This afternoon, I decided to take a break and sit on our front porch.

 The weather was perfect, some sun, some clouds and 75 degrees. We just had rain, so everything was green and the air was crystal clear. As I looked into the distance, it view was beautiful.


While sitting and reading, I snapped this photo of the ferns. I love the play of light and dark in the palm fronds.

This week, I planted some lavender in our front flower boxes. They smell great. They must be happy, I see some flowers.


Again, I love the play of color lavender and green with the white fence and the play of shapes; lavender against the straight fence.


 On the back porch, I have pots of herbs; sage, thyme, basal, dill and rosemary. Two tomato plants are waiting to be planted in our small garden on the hill.  After 5″ of rain two days ago, the ground is still a bit muddy. . .perhaps in a day or so.

I love having these herbs right off the kitchen. There is nothing like fresh basal with garden tomatoes, fresh rosemary with salmon, baby carrots with a hint of dill. . .yum!

Interesting where a cold, gray day can lead! 

I started this quilt several months ago when it was cold, wet and dreary outside. I wished for summer and let that inspiration lead me. The quilt, Summer Dream was the result. (Posted in “gloomy outside, cheery inside”  and  “the quilt glows“)

I just got the quilt back from my Terry, my Long-Arm quilter and she did a fantastic job!  (Terry Dramstad from Quilts, Ink. in Cooperstown, North Dakota)


I used my Shade Cascade™ fabrics for perfect shading from light to dark. The shading gives the quilt a beautiful illusion of depth and movement. The colors I used are Sky, Glow and Pansy.




The pattern is now on my website. . . You never know where inspiration will lead. I wonder what is next?

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day in Tennessee. We decided to spend Sunday afternoon riding with friends. Who could resist the call of the road, the sunny weather and the Tennessee landscape!


Rick and our friend Ross, getting ready to roll!

We took off, Rick and I are at the back of the pack. Perfect for seeing the open road, taking pictures and seeing our friends in front of us!

Our part of Tennessee is filled with rolling hills with beautiful overlooks,

hidden lakes,

fields ready to be planted (you can see the some of our hills in the distance)


and lovely creeks.

Yesterday was just the break we needed. . .now it is back to work!

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

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