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Tomorrow, I head for Long Island, New York to teach at the Eastern Long Island Quilter’s and at the Long Island Quilters Society.  I’m looking forward to it!

At Eastern Long Island, I’ll be teaching my Patchwork Illusions class.

At the Long Island Quilters Society, I’ll be teaching two classes:

Celtic Pieced Illusions


This class is based on my book, Celtic Pieced Illusions.

Here are some other quilts from the book.

 Celtic Rings

Celtic Vision

I’ll also be teaching my class, Sweethearts



Last week, while we visited Michigan, we went “back home” to our home town, Grand Ledge.  

I grew up in GL and so did my husband, Rick. We met in high school and were high school sweethearts.  We continued to live there after we were married, until we moved to Tennessee in 1990. While we were excited about our new lives in Tennessee, it was hard to leave GL.

Grand Ledge is a picturesque town, settled on the banks of the Grand River. The town’s name, inspired by the impressive ledges of rock, carved by the flow of the Grand River. It was incorporated as a village in 1871.

I believe my love of Victorian homes started as a child, living here and seeing all the beautiful Victorian homes along it’s wide streets.

In Victorian times, the town was renowned for its Health Spas and Hotels.  One of the first, and best known, hotels in the area was the Island House Hotel, which was established on the second of Grand Ledge’s seven islands, around 1878.  Three boats, the ‘Island Queen’ and the steamers ‘Lanota’ and ‘Swallow’, plied the waters of the Grand River, offering views of the beautiful Ledges and relief from the summer heat.  A wonderful Summer Amusement Park prided itself for a roller-coaster that spanned two of the seven islands in the Grand River.  Grand Ledge was one of “The” towns to visit in Michigan if one was inclined to travel during the summer months to cooler locations for a bit of fun.

None of the Island hotels survive, but the Grand Ledge Opera House was restored in recent years.

As a teenager, my first job was as a “popcorn girl” at the Sun Theater. All the popcorn I could eat!

Later, I worked at the Grand Ledge Library. My love of books and reading started as a young child. It was a perfect job for me!

The town has a wonderful artistic spirit and encourages its artists. It also have several festivals each year: Island Art Festival, Victorian Days. Color Cruise and Island Art Festival, Holiday Home Tours.

I love viewing the beautiful homes during the Holiday Home Tours.


The detail of this window would make a good quilt pattern.

I know my past has influenced my life now: my love of reading, interest in Victorian homes, art and nature all come from my life in Grand Ledge. It was fun to go back home, even for a few days.



Being born and raised in Michigan, I love the beauty of the Great Lakes. While I love living in Tennessee, I do miss the “big lakes.” While in Michigan, Rick and I spent several days sight-seeing.

Our first stop was Grand Haven, a lovely town on Lake Michigan. While the weather was cloudy, it was warm with a pleasant, cool breeze. We enjoyed our walk to the lighthouse.

Our next visit was to South Haven, on the shores of Lake Michigan. The skies cleared, but the weather was still warm with a cool breeze. . .simply heaven.

South Haven is filled with quaint shops, sand dunes and beautiful harbor.

As we walked around, we spotted a charter fishing boat coming in from Lake Michigan. Looks like they had a good trip.

 I love the different colors of these fish.

Whimsy – I love this shop! The landscaping is so creative.

Rick found a “Combs” Barber Shop.

A lovely day at Lake Michigan!

While you can’t go home again, you can visit from time to time. Our visit to Michigan has allowed to to visit friends and family. My husband, Rick was raised in the country, in a 100 year old farm house. His mother and father still live in his childhood home in mid-Michigan.

 My mother-in-law has an amazing green thumb and has a glorious garden.

Everywhere I look is a riot of color, shape and texture.

The play of green leaves against the red out-building is a play of color compliments.

The line of the garden is a play of perspective.





I’m in Michigan, having a wonderful time with the Log Cabin Quilters in Kalamazoo. The guild meeting was Tuesday evening. It is a great guild, so friendly and talented.

Show and Tell was inspiring. A beautiful log cabin quilt.

A  inspiring scrap quilt.


Keith, from my Quilt University class visited and brought his class project.


The guild has several small groups that meeting during the month. One small group has been working on Mariner Compass blocks from Judy Matherson’s, book: Mariner’s Compass, a New Direction . Many of them have used my Shade Cascade fabrics. The blocks look amazing!




On Wednesday, I held my Patchwork Illusions class. We had a full class and had a wonderful time.

Linda Cook was in my class and brought some of her marvelous quilts to show me. She loves illusion quilts as much as I do!

Her More Patchwork Illusions quilt.


An intriguing 3-D ribbon quilt.

An fascinating room divider, drawn in perspective.


Her version of my Amazing Attic Windows quilt.

Soon I’m headed to the Log Cabin Quilters in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This is a very active guild, filled with very talented people. I’m looking forward to my visit!

While there, I’ll present my lecture, Quilts of Illusion. I’ll be showing tons of quilts!


The workshop, the following day, is Patchwork Illusions.

For this trip, Rick will be going with me. We plan to visit family who live near Lansing for a few days.

If possible, we will make a quick visit to Lake Michigan before my visit with the Log Cabin Quilters.

I’m home for a few days before I head to the Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters in Michigan.  I’m looking forward to my visit with them.

Between packing for my upcoming trip and my normal hours sent in my office, I plan to spend some time in my studio. I’ve been playing in my EQ6 software and have some great designs that NEED to become quilts.

I’ve been working on some designs already. Here are two of them, in progress on my design wall.

Last night, I started on another design that I hope to finish piecing in the next few days. Here’s a sneak peak. . .

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

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