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Just received a wonderful email!

Hi Karen,
I thought you might like to see a quilt I made using your pattern that was published in the May 2007 Quiltmaker Magazine. . . . . I continued the angles on the Celtic design and designed a ribbon border to complete the quilt. The finished size went from 48″ X 48″ to 96″ X 96″. This quilt took the Top Sponsor’s Ribbon at the Quilt Round Up Show, 2009, held in Payson AZ. It was also held and considered for the Laurence Sinnema Award for  Exemplary Workmanship at the Arizona Quilter’s Show, 2010, in Phoenix Arizona.
Thanks so much for being a great inspiration to me and thousands of other quilters.
Marque Jacob

Marque, thanks for sharing your wonderful quilt with me and allowing me to share it on the blog.  Well done!


Believe it or not, all my quilts in my Celtic Pieced Illusions book are done with only two blocks, a Connector Block and a Nine-Patch Block! 

Connector Block


I started by laying out the Nine-Patch blocks into a grid.


The magic happens when the Connector Blocks are added.


Twisting the connector blocks around can create different designs.

The possibilities are endless and oh, so easy! Just two examples below, believe it or not, still using only the two blocks.

celtic-rose-webCeltic Rose Window

celtic-vision---nami Celtic Vision


Last weekend, powerful thunderstorms drenched Tennessee almost 20 inches of rain on the region in two days. Creeks, lakes and rivers swelled with the rainwater, overflowing their banks, washing away roads, and causing the deaths of at least 24 people so far. 

Most of the damage occured in Middle Tennessee. 

Figure 2: Climatic Divisions 

I wanted to share just some of the stories of the flooding. . . on Thurday, our friend Bobby went to lend a hand cleaning up in Bellevue, one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in west Nashville where some of his friends live. Entire neighborhoods were flooded, and all the houses were totaled. The water had receded, but the waterline still shows on the drywall. In some places, it was 8 feet deep. 

Bobby told of about his friend, Betty. She and her husband of 1 week, live about 60 yards from the Harpeth River. On Sunday afternoon, they looked out their window and the water was just over the bank of the river, in a field, across from their home. Within 15 minutes, the water was at their door. They only had time to grab a ladder from the garage, grab their dogs and climb to the roof of their home. In the panic of the rising water, their lost one of they beloved pets, swept away in the flood waters. They still hope to find the dog. 

The waters were over 4′ deep in their home and they lost everything.  This is their deck, in a neighbor’s yard, several houses away.


Bobby told us about the heart-warming stories he witnessed while helping with the clean-up. People from everywhere were came by to lend a hand. Someone would drive up, drop off water to thel helpers. Someone else drive-up and help with the clean-up.  Local resturants were cooking for the clean-up crews.  

Here is a small video that shows just a bit of the clean-up. 

While Nashville is getting most of the news coverage, the devastration is wide-spread. On Saturday, about 8 of us traveled to Centerville, Tennessee, about an hour from our home in Columbia to help with some of the cleanup.  

Centerville and the surrounding area was hard-hit by the storm. The river was so high and covered so many roads that the city was cut-off for several days. No electricity, no phones, no water from Saturday until the Thursday or Friday for most of the people in the area. 

We went to the Twomey church of Christ to help with clean-up.  They had about a foot of water in their building and everything needed to be removed.  The building was demolished, right down to the studs. 

It is dirty, smelly and back-breaking work. . . not to mention, heart-breaking. 



As we helped, you could see the weariness on the faces of the members of the church. 




Later in the afternoon, we moved to an area that not only had flood damage, but tornado damage. As we drove through the area, we could not believe the destruction.





We talked to the owner of this house. They had 5 minutes warning before the tornado hit. They were okay, but as you can see, their place is a mess, with damage to their house and trees down. It took 11 men with chain saws an entire day, just to cut up the trees, so the driveway could be cleared.

The rain not only flooded the area, it also washed out roads. This is  Highway 7 between Columbia and Centerville.



So much damage, much more than anyone can comprend. In so many cases, people do not have flood insurance and they have lost everything.

Much help is needed. .  . if you live in Middle Tennessee, please consider lending a hand in the clean-up. If you live outside of Tennessee, please consider helping in other ways:

Ways to help:

  • Text ’REDCROSS’ to 90999 to donate $10 to disaster relief — or visit to donate. 

  • Check out the Nashvillest blog, with a section called “So Nashville Is Flooded…How Can I Help?” 

  • Hands on Nashville has a number of volunteer efforts going on in Nashville and Williamson County.  Please visit their website for more information.

  • The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is working directly with Mayor Dean and Governor Bredesen on city and state emergency response efforts. 

  • If you’re in or near Nashville, The American Red Cross is operating a number of shelters around the area and will be in need of volunteers this weekend to help distribute items.  More information here.

    Yup, I know most of the time, my blog is about my life as a quilter, quilt author, teacher and my quilting travels. However, it is also about my life at home,   and life in general.

    For the past few days, I’ve been posting about the flooding in Tennessee. . .right now, I  just can’t seem to focus on creating or quilting at the moment, too many people need help in Middle Tennessee. 

    To keep everyone updated, the clean-up has started and will continue for months.

    In a press conference, we heard that the lower floors of the Opry Hotel filled with 10″ of water.

    The Opryland hotel is staring clean-up and repairs, it hopes to open by the end of the year.

    The Grand Ole Opry surrounded by flood water

    The Grand Ole Opry building was filled with water, but cleaning has started. As Brad Paisley stated, “The Opry is a show, not a place. The show will go on.”

    As the flood waters recede, the power of the water shows itself:

    Railroad bridge that was washed off its foundations when floodwaters swelled the creek that leads to the Lebanon square, Lebanon, Tennessee on Sunday, May 2, 2010

    This deck was originally attached to a home across the street.

    The clean-up has started. . .

    Ways to help:

  • Text ’REDCROSS’ to 90999 to donate $10 to disaster relief — or visit to donate. 
  • Check out the Nashvillest blog, with a section called “So Nashville Is Flooded…How Can I Help?” 
  • Hands on Nashville has a number of volunteer efforts going on in Nashville and Williamson County.  Please visit their website for more information.

  • The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is working directly with Mayor Dean and Governor Bredesen on city and state emergency response efforts. 
  • If you’re in or near Nashville, The American Red Cross is operating a number of shelters around the area and will be in need of volunteers this weekend to help distribute items.  More information here.
  • Why I love living in middle Tennessee and the Nashville area!



    Patten Fuqua

    Published: May 4, 2010

    We Are Nashville

    Allow me a moment to step away from the usual voice of this website.

    What I am about to write has absolutely nothing to do with hockey.

    If you live outside of Nashville, you may not be aware, but our city was hit by a 500-year flood over the last few days. The national news coverage gave us 15 minutes, but went back to focusing on a failed car bomb and an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While both are clearly important stories, was that any reason to ignore our story? It may not be as terror-sexy as a failed car bomb or as eco-sexy as an oil spill, but that’s no reason to be ignored.

    The Cumberland River crested at its highest level in over 80 years. Nashville had its highest rainfall totals since records began. People drowned. Billions of dollars in damage occurred. It is the single largest disaster to hit Middle Tennessee since the Civil War. And yet…no one knows about it.

    Does it really matter? Eventually, it will…as I mentioned, there are billions of dollars in damage. It seems bizarre that no one seems to be aware that we just experienced what is quite possibly the costliest non-hurricane disaster in American history. The funds to rebuild will have to come from somewhere, which is why people need to know. It’s hard to believe that we will receive much relief if there isn’t a perception that we need it.

    But let’s look at the other side of the coin for a moment. A large part of the reason that we are being ignored is because of who we are. Think about that for just a second. Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No…you didn’t. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No…we didn’t loot. Our biggest warning was, “Don’t play in the floodwater.” When you think about it…that speaks a lot for our city. A large portion of why we were being ignored was that we weren’t doing anything to draw attention to ourselves. We were handling it on our own.

    Some will be quick to find fault in the way rescue operations were handled, but the fact of the matter is that the catastrophe could not have been prevented and it is simply ignorant beyond all reason to suggest otherwise. It is a flood. It was caused by rain. You can try to find a face to stick this tragedy to, but you’ll be wrong.

    Parts of Nashville that could never even conceivably be underwater, were underwater. Some of them still are. Opry Mills and the Opryland Hotel are, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. People died sitting in standstill traffic on the Interstate. We saw boats going down West End. And, of course, we all saw the surreal image of the portable building from Lighthouse Christian floating into traffic and being destroyed when cars were knocked into it. I’m still having trouble comprehending all of it.

    And yet…life will go on. We’ll go back to work, to school, to our lives…and we’ll carry on. In a little over a month, I’ll be on this website talking about the draft. In October, we’ll be discussing the new Predators’ season with nary a thought of these past few days. But in a way, they changed everyone in this town. We now know that it can happen to us…but also know that we can handle it.

    Because we are Nashville.


    WSMV-TV Channel 4 will broadcast Working 4 You: Flood Relief with Vince Gill & Friends on Thursday, May 6, in prime time from 7 to 10 p.m. The telethon will also be streamed live on

    Nashville and the surrounding middle Tennessee communities have been devastated by floodwaters after the area received 15 inches of rain within a 48-hour time period. Thousands of middle Tennesseans have been evacuated from their homes with many losing everything to the flood. Many of the victims do not have flood insurance, and the demands on relief agencies are stretched to the limit.

    “These are our friends and family; we always take care of our friends and family,” said Meredith Senior Vice President and WSMV-TV General Manager Elden Hale Jr. “It’s unfortunate that we’re called upon to do this again for our neighbors, but we are very proud to have the ability to reach out to so many people with Nashville’s flood relief telethon.”

    All proceeds from Working 4 You: Flood Relief with Vince Gill & Friends will benefit The Salvation Army, The Red Cross and The Second Harvest Food Bank.

    Others involved include Naomi Judd, Phil Vassar and Bo Bice.

      I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to Spokane, Washington and a visit with the Washington State Guild in Spokane. What a great group!  




      As I was traveling home, I had a call from my family. They called to describe torrents of rain and some flooding. Since we often have lots of rain in Tennessee, I did not think much about it. However, when I changed planes in California, we were informed of massive flooding in Tennessee, highways being closed and the possibility of my flight being canceled.   



    As it turned out Southwest cancelled all their flights in and out of Nashville on Sunday. . . now what to do? I was in San Diego, my luggage was nowhere to be seen (we think it went to Oakland) and the Nashville Airport was closed.  
    I was able to get a wonderful hotel room, right on the bay and quickly found a drug store to purchase a toothbrush and some other necessities.  If I had to be stranded, this was a beautiful place to be!    

    Free Stock Photo of San Diego Bay 3    

    I was finally able to get home by Monday evening. Flying over Nashville as we approached the airport was . . . well, the only word is terrible. Massive flooding, entire neighborhoods covered in brown, muddy river water, the Opryland Hotel covered in water, Opry Mills surround in water, roads covered in water, it was hard to see and hard to describe.   



    Best estimate, middle Tennessee received over 20″ of rain in two days. Downtown Nashville, around lower Broadway was flooded as were many outlying areas. Gov. Phil Bredesen declared 52 of Tennessee’s 95 counties as disaster areas.      

    Massive Rainstorms Wreak Havoc On Nashville      

    Death toll rises as river crests, floods Nashville       

    Cumberland River   

    The Tennessean has a slideshow of Nashville landmarks/concert venues that are flooded.    

    More important is the residential areas. Bellevue, Goodlettsville, and Antioch are hurting badly. Historic downtown Franklin and Lebanon are completely underwater. Cities are lakes and streets are rivers.      


    Thanks to everyone who has called or emailed to ask if we were okay. We are fine and our family is fine.    

    However, there are many people hurting in middle Tennessee. If you would like to help, click on the link for some places to help: Where to help     


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

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