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I’m so excited about this cruise!  As you may remember, I’ve been working with Quilt Seminars at Sea for the past few years and we have gone on some faboulous cruises and fantastic places.

Kim, Amy and I have been working on this cruise for some time and we are very excited to share it with you.  We have some wonderful experiences planned for you. . . . and be sure to bring an empty suitcase!  When you return home, it will be filled with amazing batiks.

The flyer and details about the cruise are below.

(You can also click here to see complete details.)

Space is limited, so I hope you can join us!

Batiks of Bali (Indonesia)Quilt Seminar at Sea

14 Days • January 5 – 19, 2016
Experience Bali’s rich cultural heritage, scenic beauty and exotic wildlife with fellow quilt enthusiasts and award-winning instructor, Karen Combs.
Indonesia Quilt Cruise

Dear quilters and friends,

2016 brings a unique opportunity to experience the fabric haven of Indonesia! This exclusive cruise and tour will sail on Holland America’s ms Volendam and be led by instructor, author and fabric maker, Karen Combs.

Discover the rich traditions of Bali

This 14-day cruise of a lifetime begins and ends in Singapore. Visit the Indonesian ports of Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya, Probolinggo, Lombok, Komodo Island and overnight on board ship in magical Bali. Tour along the way in ports that will show you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Indonesian fabric industry.

batik_2  batik_1

We will visit the biggest textile market in South East Asia, Tanah Abang Market, on Jakarta. While on Java, we will not only visit traditional markets, but observe the process of making batiks. Once you’ve observed, step in and learn from a batik expert as they guide you through designing and creating your own hand-made batik to bring home! While in Bali, visit the center of Balinese hand-woven fabric, and find the unique Kamben Grinsing (flaming cloth), which villagers believe protect its wearer from evil.

Round out the cruise with a tour to Komodo Island where you can visit the amazing Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat. With lectures, shopping time and surprises along the way, this will be an unforgettable trip of a lifetime! To know the exact schedule and route of the cruise, view the detailed itinerary.

Cruise and learn with Karen Combs

Karen is an internationally known quilter, teacher, author and fabric designer. She is fascinated with optical illusions, these are the subjects of many of her workshops. Designing fabrics for the quilt industry since 2001, Karen is known for her beautiful fabric designs, both batiks and quilting cotton.

Troy Corp

Karen has found a home designing fabrics for Riverwoods Collection for Troy Corporation. During this fantastic cruise, Karen will share information about fabric design, production and some of the secrets of creating batiks.

Best wishes,
Karen Combs
Teacher, Author, Instructor

Amy Ross and Kim Hedges
Group Coordinators
Quilt Seminars at Sea


Schedule of Events

On this unique and exciting itinerary you will automatically be included in all of our fabulous tours and lectures. There is no need to sign up for them along the way! This is not your typical Quilt Seminar at Sea, but instead an exclusive and inclusive look into the fabric industry of Indonesia. Bring a hand-work item from home if you would like to work on a project, but there will be no classes along the way.

You will be included in lectures, special tours on and off the ship, “sewcial” opportunities, special meals, and parties!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016Singapore

Event Name
Welcome & Orientation

Wednesday, January 6, 2016At Sea

Event Name
Learn from Karen: Creative Fabric – Batik Production!

Thursday, January 7, 2016Tanjung Priok, Jakarta, Indonesia

Event Name
Included Exclusive Tour: Tanah Abang Market

Friday, January 8, 2016Semarang, Java, Indonesia

Event Name
A Batik Course on Semarang

Saturday, January 9, 2016At Sea

Exclusive on board events for our group, including a private kitchen tour and a backstage tour!

Sunday, January 10, 2016Probolinggo, Java, Indonesia

Enjoy the sights of Probolinggo on your own!

Monday, January 11, 2016Benoa (Denpasar), Bali, Indonesia, OVERNIGHT

Event Name
Included Tour: Exclusive Tour of Bali Batiks Full Day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016Benoa (Denpasar), Bali, Indonesia

Enjoy the beautiful island of Bali on your own!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016Lembar, Lombok, Indonesia

Enjoy the sights of Lembar on your own!

Thursday, January 14, 2016Komodo Island, Indonesia

Event Name
Included tour: Komodo Island Trek

Friday, January 15, 2016At Sea

Event Name
Learn from Karen: Creative fabric – Creating cottons for the Quilter!

Saturday, January 16, 2016Surabaya, Indonesia

Enjoy the sights of Surabaya on your own!

Sunday, January 17, 2016At Sea

Autograph & show and tell party!

Monday, January 18, 2016Singapore

Event Name
Included Exclusive Tour: Singapore Lights

Tuesday, January 19, 2016Singapore


Itinerary map

For more details, click here.

I love using my Serendipity gradated fabric line to create intriguing quilts of illusions.  





I also love seeing quilts other quilters have made using Serendipity.  One of my favorite designs is Cheryl Phillips from Phillips Fiber Arts. She is such a lovely person and  I just love her rulers and her patterns!

Recently, at Quilt Market, we discussed the Serendipity fabric line.  She also fell in love with it.  She has been using it to create some amazing quilts!

Here is one stunning design, Split Ten Sunshine, using two colors of Serendipity and using her uses the Two Piece Ten degree tool.

Here’s a link to the quilt is here. 



Here’s another quilt using Serendipity, perfect for February or a beautiful spring table runner.

February Diamond Runner

Link is here.
One of my favorite patterns is Cheryl’s Bargello ColorWheel quilt.  In the quilt below, she uses four colors of Serendipity to create a simply stunning quilt.

Serendipity  paprika

Serendipity Fabric line!

I’ve had so much fun with my Serendipity fabric line!  Serendipity is a graduated fabric collection with a lovely batik-like texture.  It graduates from light to medium to dark and back again.  Each value yields approximate 14″ of a value, from selvage to selvage. It is perfect for applique, when you need to shade something within a color family.  I love it for piecing as well.  No more looking for the “light” fabric that matches the “medium” or “dark” fabric. It is all on one piece of fabric.    It really is a “work horse” fabric!

The texture is lovely! It is available in 22 colorways – click here to see it.


But wait, we have some exciting news!  We’ve added 6 new colors to the Serendipity fabric line!  Our new colors include Sky Blue, Cardinal Red, Evergreen, Willow, Spice and Ink. 

Sky Blue

Serendipity Fabric - Sky Blue

Cardinal Red

Serendipity Fabric - Cardinal Red


Serendipity Fabric - Evergreen


Serendipity Fabric - Willow


Serendipity Fabric - Spice


Serendipity Fabric - Ink

 click here to see it

Newsletter and social media

I’m currently working on a newsletter, it will probably go out by the end of the week.  If you would like to sign up for my Quilts of Illusion newsletter, please visit my webpage at, you will see a box on the left side of the webpage.  To receive the newsletter, you can simply add your name and email address to this box.  You will be automatically added.  Don’t worry, you won’t be swamped with newsletters, we only send them out a few times a year.

If you are a member of Facebook, please “like” my Karen Combs’ Studio Face Book page.  I try to post on my FB page every few days.  It is the best place to see what is new, as soon as I can share it.  You can access my public FB page here:

As shown in my Market notes in the previous blogs, I have several new fabric lines.

Napa Balis is my newest batik collection. It is an elegant collection, inspired by the landscapes around Napa, California. The collection features intense colors of violet, red-violet, deep green, rich browns and beautiful textures of grapes,  trellis, leaves and a batik spray textures.

Napa Balis  work perfect with Napa Cottons by Pearl Louise for Troy’s Riverwoods Collections.  We worked together to create a coordinated batik/print line with  perfectly matched colors and elegant textures.

The Napa Balis Batik collection can be seen below:


















Here are some photos of Napa being used in my booth at Market. I’m so pleased with the fabrics, they are a pleasure to use and the colors turned out so lovely.

I enjoy being part of the “Troy Team”!  It is a pleasure to be designing fabrics for them!

We had a busy Market, but I made sure to take some photos of my booth and the entire Troy booth.

Here’s the entire booth, just before Market opened. On the right side, the sales team and on the left side, the Troy’s Riverwoods Collection designers


Owners of Troy Corporation are Terry and Dorothy Troy.  They distribute many different fabrics from different companies.  They also have their own in-house designs, Riverwoods Collections.

I can’t say enough good things about their fabric line, Riverwoods.  The hand is fantastic, the colors are beautiful and the line is a dream to work with.  The Troy’s do not skimp on the quality of their fabrics and it shows.

Riverwoods has several different designers, creating their fabric lines. Some of the designers were at Quilt Market and here are some of their booths.

Pearl Louis always has a lovely booth!  Here she is, in a beautiful booth, just filled with quilts!  Here new lines; Blizzard Bunch  and Napa.  Napa is a collection that Pearl and I worked on together.  More about that below.


I always enjoy seeing Pearl’s fabrics and her patterns. They are always so pretty!

You can see more of her patterns here and her fabric lines here.

Kimberly Rado, from Starry Night Hollow has a fantastic creative flair and is just fun to be around!  Her booth was so striking and I just love her new lines; Les Meowserables and Graffetti


The Blue Underground is another new designer for Troy’s Riverwoods!  The Blue Underground Studio is a company started by Amy Walsh and Janine Burke. I love their modern and fun designs, just so creative!  You can see more about The Blue Underground here.


Their new line; Xanadu is beautiful, so colorful and just fun!

My booth is pictured here.  Click on the photo, to see an enlarged photo.


I love the booth!  You know, as you prepare for Market and plan out a booth. . . you just never know how it will turn out.  You plan and plan, make samples creative displays and hope it all comes together.  Well, everything just fell into place and I couldn’t be happier with the booth!

Here’s a bit of a close-up of the booth and a look at my Go Team fabric line.  


In another blog post, I will show each new fabric line in more detail, but here’s a sneak peek:

We’ve added 6 new colors to the Serendipity line!  A sky blue, cardinal red, evergreen, willow, spice and ink!


Napa is my newest batik line!  The colors are so pretty!


This is the fabric line that Pearl and I worked on together.  She created the beautiful cotton prints in this line and I created the batiks.  You can see the entire line here.   The colors and prints flow together flawlessly.  They can be used separately or together.

I just love my Midnight Blue fabric line. It’s been so popular and we’ve had so many good comments about it.


While at Market, I had the opportunity to chat with Abby, from Annie’s crafts. They have a lovely catalog and several of my quilts are in it. Midnight Blue Star is one of them and it is a favorite of mine.


As I talking to Abby, it hit me. . . many of you who read this blog, may not know the quilt pattern and/or kit is available from Annie’s and may be interested to know about it.


Over the next few weeks, I will mention some thoughts from Market and also mention different quilt items available in different catalogs.

The Midnight Blue Star quilt is lovely, but very quick quilt!  While it looks very hard, the surprising part. .  . NO set-in seams!  Just fun piecing with a lovely quilt when you are finished.

You can see more information about the quilt by clicking here.

To see more images from the Midnight Blue fabric line, you can click here.

I’ve just returned from Quilt Market and Festival in Houston. While preparing for Market and my Festival classes is always hectic, I enjoy them both so much. I always enjoy my Festival classes, so much fun to see returning quilters who have taken my classes before and meet new friends.

I also love Market, the excitement about new items, the inspiration of the quilt show and re-connecting with so many of my friends. It seems in every aisle, I run into someone I know, hugs are exchanged and the latest news is shared about family, and what’s new in their quilting life. I think that is one of the best part of Market, running into old friends. I left Market and Festival tired, but extremely happy and re-charged!

One friend I ran into was Eileen Fowler. She is the associate editor of Quiltmaker magazine. She shared with me some fun news. Quiltmaker used some of my Java Jewels batiks and my Serendipity fabric line in one of their videos.

Java Jewels – click here to see more


Serendipity – click here to see more

Serendipity  paprika

It was so much fun to see my fabric lines in the video and I loved the block they created/demonstrated! Great video, Eileen!

You can see the video here.

Interested in learning more about the video, Quiltmaker or the 100 Blocks magazine?  Information is below. Enjoy!

untitledQMLearn how to use up your collection of pre-cuts to make fun, scrappy blocks. Eileen Fowler shows how pre-cut 2-1/2″ strips, 5″ charms and 10″ squares can all be used to make Boxed In, a block designed by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts, for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 2. You’ll also see how simple changes to the block can make exciting new versions. This block is available: 200 Blocks book and My EQ Boutique.

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

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