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I’m a reader, always have been and always will be. Ever since I could read, I’ve had my nose in a book and always have a stack of books by my bed. Recently Emilie Richardson contacted me and offered to send me her newest book, Sister’s Choice.

Now, I have to admit, I’ve never read any of Emilie’s books, so I jumped at the chance.  I found the book delightful. Each of Emilie’s books in the Shenandoah Album Series has a title drawn from the name of a certain pattern of a quilt square.

As in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Sophia and Celie take fragments of torn clothes and curtains and piece them together creating the “Sister’s Choice” quilt square pattern. The strength of their relationship is comparable to that of the main characters in Sister’s Choice. In the same style, stories related to other quilt patterns make up this series of excellent books.

If you enjoy Jennifer Chiaverini’s “Elm Creek Quilt” series, you will love these books! I could not put it down.

Emilie also writes project books to go along with her novels. The “Quilt Along” series features quilts from the novels with complete and easy diagrams, beautiful illustrations and are very well done.


These books are available at Emilie’s website, your favorite bookstore, and online at Amazon or Barne’s and Noble.  A perfect gift for yourself or for your favorite quilting “bud”.


Recently, I was in New York City to work on my new additions to Shade Cascade™.

I’m adding more colors for Fall Market. They look great and I can’t wait to show them this fall!

I love going into the City,it has an energy that I feel nowhere else. Just walking around is amazing.


When I got to the Garment District, the Empire State Building overtakes the skyline. I have to remind myself to look up and see what is in the sky.

 Sometimes when I look up, I am surprised by the details of the buildings or the surprises I see. It looks like a party is happening on the top of this building

The party is complete with palm trees!

 While in the City, I met a friend. We went to the play, Wicked. What is it about? 

Well.  .  .

Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. Wicked follows these two unlikely friends and college roomates grow into very different women: The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. 

My favorite song: Defying Gravity

We did some damage at the show!

Look at all Karen’s bags!

Cheryl did some damage as well!

 After seeing this amazing play, we were too excited to go to our hotel, so we visited Times Square. Another place filled with energy and at night, it is filled with lights!

Karen at Times Square!

 As we walked back to our hotel, I looked in the distance and spotted the Chrysler Building.

The next day, we met another friend for a working breakfast and then walked around Greenwich Village.

It is a beautiful part of the city, filled with lovely Brownstones. Inspiration was everywhere, like this beautiful mosaic masquerading as a doorway.

 Inside a resturant, I noticed this floor mosaic. This would make an amzing quilt!

 Surprising details everywhere.  These gargoyles look menacing.

While in the Village, we stopped at the Magnolia Bakery.

The bakery has been featured in movies and on TV. It is is credited with starting the “cupcake craze.”

Across the street from the Bakery, I spotted this shop, and loved the detail above the awing.

 Everywhere I look, I see amazing sights. This building seems to disappear into the sky.

As I flew home at dusk, I was able to take a photo of the City and Central Park.

 Flying into Nashville, the sky was gradated and was beautiful!

I’ve been home for a few days and it is time to repack the suitcase and go back on the road!

I’m looking forward to my visit to the Quilter’s Guild of East Texas.  They are located in Tyler, Texas and are a fantastic guild!

While I’m there, I’ll present my Quilts of Illusion lecture.

I’ll also hold my Christmas Cube class.

See all of you soon!!

Travel is always interesting. Often, when I am the Nashville airport, I see musicians. Many times, they are carrying their guitars, keyboards and other instruments. Sometimes I recognize them, other times I do not. This group had caught my attention. If you look closely, you will see their instruments gathered at their feet.


On my recent trip, I saw something different.  .  .Abraham Lincoln!

I had a wonderful time with the Eastern Long Island guild. They are so friendly and fun!  Their guild is located on the North Fork of Long Islandand is simply beautiful. The area is filled with farms, fresh flower and vegetable stands, the ocean, dunes and beaches.

Before the guild meeting, I visited the Horton’s Point Lighthouse.

 I loved the detail on the top of the lighthouse.

 The plantings and garden around the lighthouse were beautiful.

The tiger lilies were stunning.

The coy were curious!

I also visited  Long Island Quilters Society. What a great guild! We had a wonderful time in the classes and at the lecture.

This morning, I’m headed from Long Island into Manhattan. I was going home this morning, but I got a call to look over my newest colors of Shade Cascade.

I’ve been working on them for months and the samples from the mill is ready for my approval. I’m excited to see them.

These new colors will be ready in time for the Fall Quilt Market in Houston in October.

After my visit to the office, I’ll be meeting my friend, Cheryl, in the Garment District.


We have decided to spend a few days together, enjoying the city. On Tuesday evening, we will be going to the play, Wicked at the Gershwin Theater.

It is the story of OZ, before Dorothy drops in:

Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. Wicked follows these two unlikely friends and college roomates grow into very different women: The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.

Often, I am asked, “What are your favorite tools?” From time to time, I’ll blog about some of my “can’t live without” quilting tools.

My Omnigrid rulers would fall into that category. I love them! They are the first rulers I reach for whenever I am rotary cutting.

My favorite sizes are 6″ x 14″ rectangle, 12 1/2″ square and 6 1/2″ square.

I’ve discovered a new size, a 20″ x 20″ square. I love it! It is perfect for sizing up larger blocks.

 I’ve also discovered a perfect cutting resource on the Omnigrid webpage.

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

Karen's Instagram Update

It’s #quilttuesday. Showing my Magic Cubes quilt using my Serendipity fabric line. #quilts #quiltsofinstagram #quiltersofinstagram  #piecing #quiltsofillusion #makersgonnamake #karencombs #karencombsstudio

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