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Our next tour with our group on our Batiks and Bali quilt cruise with Quilt Seminars at Sea was Bali!

We had a another very special tour planned with our group.  A visit to a Ikat fabric mill!  It was simply fantastic!

 

Yarn being spun

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Design for fabric being set-up

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Fabric design is finished

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Some of the finished fabric, being used in a slip cover and in clothing

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Piles of Ikat fabric!  (At a fabric market. . . which one do I choose?)

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more photos from the fabric  market

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After all that shopping, its time for a lovely lunch!

 

Our lunch was at a beautiful resort

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Beautiful buffet, ready for our group!

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Such a lovely place for lunch with our group!

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After two days in Bali, a perfect way to relax. . . a beautiful sunset.

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(Click here for part 4)

Our next port on our Batiks and Bali quilt cruise with Quilt Seminars at Sea was Semerang.

We were greeted at the port by dancers.

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Boarded our tour bus and had a very special morning!  We spent the morning at a batik mill, learning how the cloth is woven, designed, wax drawn on by hand, or stamped and then dyed.

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fabric being woven on loom

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designs being drawn by hand

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batiks being stamped

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fabric, ready to be dyed

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bowl of cantings (tool used to put wax on the cloth by hand)

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display of fabric, ready for us to purchase

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(Click here for part 3!)

We’ve just returned from a fantastic quilt cruise with Quilt Seminars at Sea to Bali!

Our group traveled to Singapore, where we boarded Holland America’s Vista catagory ship, the Volendam. We spent 14 days, sailing around Indonesia, searching for (and buying!) batiks!

We decided to arrive in Singapore a day early and enjoyed walking around Chinatown as well as the Marina.

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Sights around Chinatown

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Merlion of Singapore, Marina Bay area

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Beautiful art as we walked around the city

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Beautiful skyline and harbor

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After walking around for awhile, it was time to board our ship and sail into our adventure.

After a day of sailing, we arrived at the port of Jakarta.

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After leaving the ship, we boarded our tour bus and our first stop was the largest fabric market in Asia! (Floors and floors and floors of fabric!) We “parked” ourselves in the cotton/batik floor.

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What do I pick first?

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A few members of our group, buying some fabrics

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After lots of fabric buying and a lovely lunch, we had one more stop of our tour, a beautiful department store.  We headed to the 3rd floor, which was filled with fabric, clothing and other items. . .  all batiks

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Fabric and clothing for sale.  (Love the lamp shades!)

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(Click here for part 2!)

 

 

 

 

 

Ever wonder what happens when you are on a quilting cruise?  

Here’s a little peek at our classes, open sewing time, show and tell, ports of call and going through the Canal from our latest cruise with Quilt Seminars at Sea.

We had a fantastic time with a wonderful group!  Can’t wait to be with them again.

Enjoy the little video.

Quilt seminars at sea logo

In many of my classes or lectures, people are always interested in exactly what happens on a quilting cruise.  I’ve listed some of the questions I’ve been asked with answers below.

 

Q:  When are quilting classes held?  

Classes are held during sea days.  This is when we are traveling at sea.  These days are usually “lazy” days with people enjoying different activities around the ship, reading or simply taking it easy.   We use these days to do our favorite thing, quilting!  Classes are scheduled when we are “at sea”, with a nice break during lunch time.

Get-togethers, parties with other quilters, lectures are also scheduled when we are “at sea” or after we’ve left a port.

Q:  Will you have free time?  

Absolutely!  We have lots of free time when we are at a port, in the evenings or even on sea days.  Some people sign up for just one class and relax the other days.  Other people take all the classes they can.  This will be totally up to you.

Q:  What happens when we are at a port?

Classes are not held when we are at a port.  You can spend this time as you wish, wandering the port on your own, take in the sights, or schedule a shore excursions through the ship.  Again, how you spend your time when we are at port is totally up to you.

Sometimes we will schedule a special  excursion for the quilters (and their friends and family) can attend.  Sometimes it is a “shop-hop”, or a visit to a quilt show.

Several years ago, when we traveled to the Mediterranean, we all visited a quilt shop in Istanbul, visited The Grand Bazaar and had a special meal at the spice market.  A very special treat was meeting with members of the Istanbul quilt guild as we visited the quilt shop.  That was a very special treat!

Q:  What if I want to bring a friend or family member?

We often have people bring friends, spouses or family members.  When you are in class, there are plenty of things for them to do on the ship.  You can meet them for lunch, if you wish.  One of my husband’s favorite activity was a ship tour he attended when I was in class.

Q: What classes will be offered?  Do I need to bring my sewing machine?  What about supplies for my class?

You can pick your class from the list of classes offered each day.  Most of the cruises have 3 or 4 teachers, so you will have a variety of classes to pick from.

If the class needs a sewing machine, it will be supplied.

Many of the classes will have a kit, so you don’t need to bring a suitcase full of supplies.  You will be given a small supply list, once you sign up for the class, so you will know just what to bring.

Q:  Why do you love cruising so much?

I fell in love with cruising from my very first cruise.  I love unpacking just once, yet, I get to travel to many different ports.

I love that I don’t have to cook and I will always have a choice for my meals.  I can go to dinner in the main dining room, I can order room service (anytime I wish), I can go to many of the smaller restaurants or even have a casual meal on the Lido deck.

I love the quilting classes, our get-togethers with other quilters in the evenings.  I enjoy spending time in the library in a comfy chair watching the ocean go by. Of course, with some handwork or a good book!  I really love the coffee bar in the library, so I can get my favorite latte whenever I wish.

I love that I have an option for the cabin I want to purchase.  I can save money for more fabric purchases by booking an inside cabin or a cabin with a ocean view.  Or I can splurge and book a cabin with a balcony.  I’ve done both and I’ve enjoyed all the cabins I’ve had.

One of my favorite ocean view room was on an Alaska cruise.  I could lay in bed and watch the water go by.  We sailed on the Inside Passage and the water was as smooth as glass.  One afternoon, I looked out the window and saw a Killer Whale pod swim right by us.  What a treat!

I love all the different places we’ve traveled to and I look forward to many more!

 

 

 

I’m so excited about this new cruise!!!!

August 14 – 28, 2016, we will be returning to Europe for a fabulous cruise to England, Scotland, Norway and Iceland! We’ll sail on Holland America Line’s beautiful new ship, the ms Koningsdam, departing from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

As usual, we have fantastic quilt classes and I will be joined by fellow teachers Paula Nadelstern and Cindy Walter! There are plenty of opportunities to “sewcialize” with other people who share our love for quilting, too. Who knows? You may arrive as strangers, but leave with many new friends!

A break from everyday life – enjoy 5-star service!

Holland America’s brand new ship, the ms Koningsdam, is a mix of something contemporary and something classic. You’ll discover soaring spaces such as the multi-story atrium, a magnificent art and antiques collection, and the attention of superb staff. The ship features an elegant, two-tiered dining room, the intimate reservations-only Pinnacle Grill, two outdoor swimming pools, The Greenhouse Spa, library, shopping arcade and more! Holland America Line offers over fifty scheduled shipboard activities and many choices of shore excursions in each port. Prepare to be inspired and pampered!

The Northern Isles

We will explore some unique stops along the way:

  • England – The 2,000 year-old historic city of Newcastle is a story all its own.
  • Scotland – Experience the history of Edinburgh and the beautiful highlands.
  • Iceland – Marvel at volcanic activity, visit the busy fishing port of Isafjordur and take in the vibrant music scene of Reykjavik.
  • Norway – Sail the Fjords and explore the quaint fishing villages.

There’s something wonderful awaiting you in every port of call. To know the exact schedule and route of the cruise, view the detailed itinerary.  You may also call 1-866-573-6351.

This trip will sell out fast, so book early! A list of dedicated quilters were interested in booking this trip even before it was organized. Bring a friend, your spouse or your family – non-quilters are always welcome to join us and will have many activities to pursue while you are in class.

We can’t wait to see you on board the brand new ms Koningsdam!

I often get questions about my daily schedule or if I piece/quilt all day everyday.

Well, not exactly. . .. as the owner of a small business, everyday is different, but everyday is full.

I thought it would be interesting to everyone to see a sample day when I am home. . . just a day in the life of a traveling quilt instructor/author/pattern/fabric designer.

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Hang on, here goes:

6AM

  • Grab iPad and check email and online class before getting out of bed.  Answer questions, delete spam emails, answer a few quick emails.
  • By  7am, walk dog, feed dog, feed and pet neighbor’s cat who likes to live part-time on our front porch, water ferns, flowers, herbs on front and back porch, sweep porches, unload dishwasher, clean counters, throw in a load of clothes into washer.

BEFORE NOON

  • answer emails for schedule requests in my upcoming calendar (which leads to some tentative schedule, have to check on that before answering about possible open dates in calendar
  • Send requests for teaching packets
  • Print out, add into QuickBooks and pack orders that came in over-night, print out postage, walk to mailbox and give the dog an extra lap around the block
  • Notice neighbor’s cat (who is still on our front porch) seems hungry, feed her, a bit more petting while she purrs and coos to me.
  • Back in office, while packing orders, notice we are low on one pattern.  Contact printer, email file, request patterns printed.  Add into calendar to pick up from printer.
  • Contact landscapers (who should have been here by 8am to trim landscape, remove and replant a few bushes that didn’t make it through the winter.  Rain has delayed them, they aren’t coming until next week, correct in calendar
  • Need to meet Gail, to pick up fabric she has cut and packaged for classes.  (Before leaving house, gather up garbage and recycling, will drop off on the way to get fabric.)
  • Stop at Dump/recycling center, meet Gail and get fabric packets.  Stop at grocery story and for a much needed stop at Dunkin’ Donuts. Drive home, unpack groceries, put clothes into dryer.
  • Sort fabric packets into colors and put into our storage area.
  • While putting fabric away,, notice we are low on a few colors of fabric for the webstore.  Make note to call and order fabric.
  • Grab a quick bite of lunch, and text husband about the landscapers

AFTERNOON

  • Check email, distributor order came in.  Reply back with shipping date, pack order, back to QuickBooks, print postage.  Walk back out to mailbox, another lap for the dog.
  • My FB message notification goes off, can I donate a quilt for an my upcoming class reunion?   I can, make a note in calendar to decide which quilt to donate, when to send description and photo graph.
  • Plans have shifted, since landscapers are not coming.  I can shift some work that needs concentration to this afternoon.
  • Pull out schedule for next week, teaching at conference, look at supply list and pack patterns, handouts, fabric packets for the kits for class.  Print out handouts for one class, collate and staple.  Print out “trip check-list” note class handouts and kits have been packed.  Pull travel details and contract for this trip from file, add to growing stack for “next trip”.  Prepare invoice, add to stack.
  • While printing handouts, notice toner and I-Units for laser printer are low.  Go online and order printer supplies.
  • While checking printing supplies, double-check paper supply. We are fine, bought paper two weeks ago, no need for more at this time.
  • While checking paper supply, check store notions, make sure we have supplies for upcoming classes.  Make note of areas that are low, add to “to-do” list for ordering next week.
  • Check calendar to make sure I’m up to date on all flight and hotel reservations for upcoming trips.  Add note to calendar when next hotel reservation needs to be made.
  • Check email, question about my new fabric line, research answer and reply
  • Run upstairs to laundry room, pull shirts to finish drying so no ironing is needed, finish drying rest of clothes.  Notice the dog has slopped food on the floor, near his food dish.  Grab steam mop, do a quick clean-up
  • Notice UPS has pulled up to the house.  Totes and boxes from booth at Spring Market is being delivered.  Carry 3 totes and several large boxes downstairs, unpack quilts, re-organize booth supplies for next Market, put booth supplies into storage totes
  • Back down to office, pull notes for new pattern for the latest fabric line.  Pattern is due in a few weeks, must start rough draft.  Turn off radio, all SM notifications so no distractions.  Write first draft of pattern, using notes I made while making quilt and double checking measurements with actual quilt.  This takes several hours.  On another day, I will need to format, check spelling, double or triple check the math, add illustrations and start cover graphics. (One pattern down, two more to go)
  • Check email, request for fabric for block challenge for an upcoming trip I will be teaching at.  Check on availability and possibility. .  . it is affirmative.  Get mailing address and prepare to mail.
  • Make notes for next fabric line, ideas/concept/color, add deadline to turn in to calendar.
  • Check to-do list and deadlines.  Magazine article is due shortly.  First and second draft of article have been completed.    Give a quick read-through, make notes in red to changes needed.  Will finish next week, add deadline to calendar.
  • Check email again, questions about fabric line that has been discontinued 5 years ago, reply and give options for finding out-of-print fabric lines.

LATE AFTERNOON/EVENING

  • Think about dinner, text husband about his ETA,   dash to kitchen fix salad and prepare meat for grill.    We eat, clean up kitchen, chat for a few minutes and back to work.
  • Check online class, answer questions, check email, answer what needs to be done, check calendar/deadlines.  Text daughter, meeting her tomorrow, plan meeting and plan work before I meet her.
  • Write first draft of next online newsletter,  write draft of next blog post.
  • Brisk walk with dog and husband, walk around yard and discuss landscaping.
  • Make notes of a new quilt design that popped in my head while walking the dog.
  • One more check of email/class/Social Media, starting to get tired. . . winding down. . . . and off to bed

This is a pretty good example of a sample day when I’m home, between teaching trips.  Helps to be organized and helps to multi-task.  Some days, I actually make it into my sewing studio!

Karen Combs is a internationally known quilt teacher, author and fabric designer. Visit her web site at http://www.karencombs.com

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