You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.


Rick and I are cruising the Western Caribbean and the Panama Canal for the next few days.  We are sailing with Quilt Seminars at Sea and many excited quilters!

Photos when we return home!


I’m finishing up the details and packing for the quilting cruise. I’m very excited and can’t wait until tomorrow morning. . . although setting the alarm for 2:45am is a bit terrifying!

Over 100 excited quilters will be joining us. I can’t wait to get started.

I love the ocean and I love the Caribbean. The colors of the water are like none I’ve seen.


I’ve always wondered why the colors are such a beautiful blue/green. From the research I’ve done, I’ve discovered several reasons.

#1: The color and depth of the sea floor. The Caribbean is very shallow compared to the Atlantic ocean, and it has very white or light-colored sand, which reflects the sunlight back up better. The combination makes the water a distinct blue color.

#2:  There is less iron in the Caribbean waters. Algae grows with iron in the water. Also, the colder water creates more iron to release into the ocean.

#3:  The answer is scientific: Light absorption colors the water. Sunlight, composed of electro-magnetic radiation ranging in color from red to blue, is scattered by particles suspended in the water. The shorter blue wavelengths scatter more effectively and are absorbed less rapidly than the longer red and orange wavelengths. Seawater appears blue for about 100 feet under the surface, then becomes black with the absence of light. In essence, sunlight performs a tango on the water to account for the brightly colored Caribbean Sea. (By contrast, the Red Sea is red because it contains algae that release reddish-brown pigments; the Yellow Sea is yellow because rivers fill it with mud; and the Black Sea is black because it is essentially landlocked, resulting in little oxygen except near the surface and a bottom filled with hydrogen sulfide.)

Whatever the reason, the blue of the Caribbean is hard to describe. The blue is an almost mystically lucid blue, the blue of watercolors.

I’m often asked, where do I get my inspiration?  It is all around me!  The color of the caribbean has inspired several of my fabric collections:

NL002505  Shade Cascade

I’m often asked, where do I get my inspiration?  It is all around me!  The color of the Caribbean has inspired several of my fabric collections:

   2008-3  Essence by Karen Combs

It has even influenced some of my quilts!

Celtic Vision by Karen Combs

Celtic Vision by Karen Combs, from book, Celtic Pieced Illusions by Karen Combs.

appleMy good friend, Ami Simms has begun a new enterprise to help teachers and those looking to hire them network better. rolled out at the beginning of February and is growing steadily.

It is more than just a list of email address and names, Ami’s hope is that it will make like a lot easier for guilds and shops to find teachers that match the needs of their guild members and customers.



Each teacher gets their own web page, and subscribing guilds and shops get access to Teacher Data Sheets which puts a great deal of information all on one page for easy evaluation. No more hunting through web pages to find teacher requirements, classes, fees, contract preferences, lodging likes and dislikes.

I love this idea and was one of the first to sign up!  You can see my page at .

Whether you are a guild, a shop, a program chair, quilt show chair or looking for a quilt teacher, you need this website! If you have not had a chance yet, please look.


I’m so excited to announce my next quilt cruise with Quilt Seminars at Sea!

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

I’ll be teaching three classes:

Patchwork Illusions – create amazing 3-D cubes with a simple technique!



Transparency – learn the tricks to creating the illusion of transparency in traditional quilt blocks!



Crystal Star – create a 3-D star with a simple technique!



To see details about this cruise, visit their website at Quilt Seminars at Sea.

Hope to see you there!

I’m looking forward to my upcoming class at the Batting Brigade Quilt Guild!

I’ll be teaching my Patchwork Illusions class. I know we will have a fantastic time!

celebration pattern by Karen Combs

See you soon!

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

Karen's Instagram Update

There was an error retrieving images from Instagram. An attempt will be remade in a few minutes.

Follow me on Twitter