You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.

Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes it is hard to remember to look around and really pay attention.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, the color combinations are always inspiring! Here are some of my favorite photos, many of them taken around Tennessee, in our beautiful Smoky Mountains.


Autumn Colors in the Smokies


Fall Colors in the Smoky Mountains


Landscape Fall Color










It is always fun to see quilts from my patterns! Several years ago, I designed a pattern for the magazine, Sew Many Quilts. It is a fun quilt with the illusion of depth.

Vanessa from Middleboro, MA made a quilt from this pattern and sent a photo.


It looks great! Thanks for sharing it, Vanessa!


Thanks so everyone for entering the Quiltermaker’s 100 Blocks from Top Designers contest. We had hundreds on emails entering and enjoyed reading your thoughtful comments!

The winner from my blog is: Linda Broadbent from Iowa.


Our mind is always in the state of thinking. Every event, happening or word has an effect on our mind, which produces thoughts accordingly. Our mind focuses on one subject for a while, then jumps to another subject, then again to another one, restlessly and ceaselessly.


We take the thinking state of our mind for granted, without knowing that we are enslaved by our own thoughts. The nature of our mind is not incessant thinking, but peace and serenity. Recently I came across this article about PEACE OF MIND. It was so good that I had to share it. . .


Do not interfere in others’ business

Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others’ affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic, and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction.

This kind of attitude on our part denies the existence of individuality and consequently the existence of God, for God has created each one of us in a unique way. No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way.  There is God to look after everything. Why are you bothered? Mind your own business and you will have your peace.


Forget and forgive

This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind. We often nurture ill feeling inside our heart for the person who insults or harms us. We forget that the insult or injury was done to us once but by nourishing the grievance we go on excavating the wound forever. Therefore it is essential that we cultivate the art of forgiving and forgetting. Believe in the justice of God. Let Him judge the act of the one who insulted you. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forget, forgive, and march on.


Do not crave for recognition

This world is full of selfish people. They seldom praise anybody without selfish motive. They may praise you today because you are rich and have power but no sooner you are powerless, they will forget your achievement and start criticizing you.

Moreover, no one is perfect. Then why do you value the words of praise of another? Why do you crave for recognition? Believe in yourself. People’s praises do not last long. Do your duties ethically and sincerely and leave the rest to God.


 Do not be jealous

We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind. You know you work harder than your colleagues in the office but they get promotions, you do not. You started a business several years ago but you are not as successful as your neighbor whose business is only one year old. Should you be jealous? No, jealousy will not get you anywhere, but will only give you restlessness.


 Change yourself according to the environment

If you try to change the environment single handedly, the chances are you may fail. Instead, change yourself to suit the environment. As you do this, even the environment, which has remained unfriendly for you, will mysteriously appear to be congenial and harmonious.


 Endure what cannot be cured

This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations and accidents that are beyond our control. We must learn to endure them cheerfully thinking, “God will it so, so be it”. God’s logic is beyond our comprehension. Believe it and you will gain in patience, in inner strength, in will power.


 Do not procrastinate and never regret

Do not waste time in wondering “should I or shouldn’t I?” Days, weeks, months and years may be wasted in that futile mental debating. You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all future happenings. Always remember God has His own plan too. Value your time and do things. It does not matter if you fail the first time. You can rectify your mistakes and succeed the next time. Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing. Learn from your mistakes but do not brood over the past.

Quilt Market is always a hectic and exciting time! Before Market started, I made a visit to Quilter’s Emporium in Stafford, Texas, just 17 miles from the Quilt Market location.

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Rose Ann and her staff are simply wonderful!  From the first time I met them, I felt as if I had known them for years.

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The shop is filled with fabric, projects, patterns and so much more!

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As I looked around, at all the wonderful displays, I spotted some of my new Batik Cascade fabric from Avlyn on their shelf!     How exciting!


After my visit, it was on to Quilt Market and Festival. We had a wonderful Market and my Festival classes were filled with great students!

I had an opportunity to visit some of the quilt exhibit while at Market. I was blown away by one of the displays of Antique Quilts. Here are some of my favorites. . .

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My next stop was to Quilter’s Stash in North Attleboro, MA.

Quilter's Stash






It is a quilter’s heaven, filled with fabric, fabric, fabric.

Quilter's Stash






Sue and her staff are fantastic!

Quilter's Stash








While there, I spotted something wonderful!

Quilter's Stash








A quilt made from my Belle Fleur fabric!

Quilter's Stash








Love it!

My next stop was the Hartfort, CT area. I had a free morning, so I decided to visit the Mark Twain house.

Mark Twain House








Mark Twain house








Throughout his career, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) published more than 30 books,  hundreds of short stories and essays and gave lecture tours around the world. By the end of his life in 1910, Clemens had become known as the quintessential American author having captured in his works the spirit, character and even dialect of a diverse nation. His writing also served to voice his running commentary on American society. Thinly veiled behind the mask of humor and satire, Clemens’ writing often critiqued social morals, politics and human nature, making his literature a unique reflection of the American experience in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

His house in Hartford is defined mostly by the variety and unpredictability of its elements. No two elevations are alike; generally symmetrical gables are, upon closer inspection, subtly different in their decorative treatments: various chimneys and towers rise spontaneously in contrast to the calming, broad sweep of the deep porches and porte cochere. The painted brick diaper pattern seems to strain as it contains the shifting surfaces of the walls and the vigorously projecting bays.

Mark Twain house








A visit to his house was truly inspiring. Even the flowers on the front porch were lovely.

Mark Twain house








Next to the Mark Twain house is the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

Harriet Beecher Stowe







The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center preserves and interprets Stowe’s Hartford home and the Center’s historic collections, promotes vibrant discussion of her life and work, and inspires commitment to social justice and positive change.


Stowe’s best known novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), changed how Americans viewed the institution of slavery.   The book was a runaway best-seller, selling 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week; 300,000 in the first year; and in Great Britain, 1.5 million copies in one year.

My visit to New England was fulled with fun, fabric and food for thought. . .



Keepsake Quilting








My next stop in New England was  . . . Keepsake Quilting!  I know, it is a dream to visit Keepsake and one that I have had for decades. I was finally able to visit and I was not disappointed!

Keepsake Quilting








Even the flowers on the porch were inspiring.

Keepsake Quilting








Hmm, do I see a color combination in these flowers; pink, white, and green?

Once inside, I  was greeted by a spectacular array of thousands of bolts of cotton fabric, Keepsake’s fabric Medleys™, kits, books, patterns and notions. There were also  hundreds of handmade American quilts for sale. The wonderful staff and the shop’s warm and welcoming atmosphere made me feel instantly at home.


Keepsake Quilting









I spent several happy hours looking (and buying) fabric and other goodies. I can’t wait to return!

Since Keepsake Quilting is beautifully situated in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, we had a lovely view of the lake as we left town, and headed for dinner. Whew, we were exhausted, but happy by all the shopping! 

Keepsake Quilting








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

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