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Well, this is just as exciting as it can be, in 2014, I will be teaching on a cruise around the islands of Tahiti with Quilt Seminars at Sea!

No only sailing around the islands, but doing it on the  m/s Paul Gauguin, an intimate and ultra-luxurious vessel, AND have the opportunity to attend the 14th annual Salon du Tifaifai Quilt Festival!

I’m so excited that I could not wait to share the news!

Want details??     Visit Quilt Seminars at Sea’s website

Hoping you can join us!


Hello to all,

I can’t express in words my thanks to everyone who emailed, posted, shared the news of my stolen quilts and teaching bag, and prayed on my behalf. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

There is no word or sign of the quilts. . . much to my dismay.  I still remain hopeful that they will be found. Please continue to keep an eye out  when you are at a flea market, yard sale, re-sale shop or even at a Good Will store.  They could be anywhere.

In the meantime, I’m remaking my teaching samples, “re-tooling” my teaching bag, and starting to remake the quilts.  While they will never be the same as the original, I will remake them as beautiful as possible and will continue to share them to the quilt world. . . through my class, Patchwork Illusions, in patterns and in my lectures.

If there is any positive word, I will share it here first.  Even if they are not found, that can never change the kind words and love shown to me in this sad situation.  Again, I thank you all.

I’ve always said that quilters are special. . . they really are!

It is something every traveling quilt teacher fears, her quilts will be stolen or lost.  Unfortunately, it has happened to me. I’m heartbroken. . . please share the images and story below.  I hope they will be found.

On March 16, 2012, sometime between midnight and 6am at the Courtyard New Braunfels River Village, my rental car’s driver window was broken and my teaching suitcase was stolen. The hotel is located at 750 IH 35 North in New Braunfels, Texas. The police were called, they stated the break-in looked like the work of a professional.

It was a “smash and grab”. The vandals did not know what they were taking and it will have no value to them.  It means the world to me. . .

Inside the suitcase were the quilts  from my popular Patchwork Illusions class. I also lost all my teaching supplies and step-by-step demos for the class.

If you live in New Braunfels or anywhere in Texas, please check local yard sales, flea markets and pawn shops for the quilts.  Everyone, please   forward this blog posting to every quilter and quilt shop you know and ask them to forward it to everyone they know.

If you find one of my quilts or quilt  blocks, please contact me at

Thank you for all your help,


Patchwork Illusions quilt – BATIK CASCADE RIBBONS

Patchwork Illusions quilt – DUO

Patchwork Illusions quilt – RAINBOW CUBE

Patchwork Illusions quilt – TRIO

Patchwork Illusions quilt top – DARK CRYSTAL STAR

Patchwork Illusions quilt top – LIGHT CRYSTAL STAR

Patchwork Illusions quilt – RIBBON CUBE

Patchwork Illusions quilt blocks

Patchwork Illusions quilt – STACKED AND WRAPPED

Patchwork Illusions quilt top – CUBED

Western Caribbean
February 10 – 17, 2013

Beat the winter blues and take a short break from everyday life. Visit some of the most beautiful ports in the Caribbean

In 2013, I’m returning to the fabulous Caribbean with Quilt Seminars at Sea!  We’ll sail on Holland America Line’s beautiful ms Nieuw Amsterdam, round trip out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

We will visit some of the Western Caribbean’s most beautiful ports; Grand Cayman,  Mahogany Bay, Costa Maya and Holland America’s award-winning private island, Half Moon Cay! What a great way to beat the winter blues and take a short break from everyday life while enjoying 5 star service and the company of fellow quilters!

From turtles to stingrays, submarines to snorkeling, there’s something wonderful awaiting you in every port of call! Onboard ship you will have the opportunity to perfect your quilting skills with many class choices, as well as myriad opportunities for “SEWCIALIZING” with other people who all share your love of quilting!

You will have new Bernina sewing machines for your use during class!  You can even go home  with a wonderful buy on a new Bernina!  Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue, Washington  is making this possible for us.  They will also be operating our quilt shop on board the ms Nieuw Amsterdam for your shopping convenience during the quilt seminar at sea.

This trip will sell out fast, so book early! There are a list of quilters 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!  They have many activities to pursue while you are in class!

Nothing better cruisin’ and quiltin’!  For more details, visit Quilt Seminar at Sea’s website or call Amy at 1-866-573-6351.

What is better than quilting and cruising?  Not much!

One of my favorite destinations is Alaska, and I will be returning there with Quilt Seminars at Sea in June 2012.  This time, there will be a special opportunity to add a 4 day land package to the beginning of the trip for a truly in-depth Alaskan experience!

We will travel via the Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks to see the majesty of  Denali National Park and Mt. McKinley, America’s tallest peak! Truly an awe-inspiring sight! Then, we will board Holland America Line’s wonderful ship, the ms Statendam.

Wonder about classes?  The quilting classes are held during “at sea” days and every attempt is made to schedule the classes outside of port time.  There are a wide variety of classes from which to choose, I’ll be teaching several classes and will be joined by fellow quilt  teachers; Sue Nickels, Kathy McNeil and Stevii Graves!

There are many options when we are in port, you can play tourist,  choosing your pleasure, whether it be walking, touring, flight-seeing or shopping!  All the ports are right on the water, and there is a lot to see within walking distance!  Or you can just relax on the ship, our floating hotel. Oh yes, did I mention there is a quilt shop at every port?

QuiltWorks Northwest in Bellevue, WA will be bringing new Bernina sewing machines for you to use.  You can even go home with a wonderful buy on a new Bernina.

Some Cruise Highlights
  • Four fantastic quilting  teachers
  • Numerous class choices
  • A fabulous Holland America cruise tour
  • Bernina sewing machines   to use
  • “QuiltWorks Northwest   At Sea” Quilt Shop aboard
  • Autograph party with the   instructors
  • “Welcome Aboard” party
  • Show & Tell at the “farewell”   party
  • Challenge block contest
  • Shopping at quilt shops in  every port
  • Souvenir tote bag
  • Exclusive Quilt Seminars at  Sea Shore Excursion

You can bring a friend, your spouse or your family – non-quilters will get a special discounted rate and are always welcome to join us!  They will feel especially welcome and there is always plenty for them to do while we are quilting!

Here’s the exciting part, if you book between December 8-22, there is a special reduced deposit!  Sounds like a great Christmas gift!

If you have any questions, visit Quilt Seminars at Sea’s website. Tons of information is located there!  You can also call or email Amy, she will be happy to help.

Amy Ross, Group Coordinator



Hope to see you there!

Several weeks ago, at Fall Quilt Market, I met Donna Masaniai, lovely lady, she is the owner of Pahala Quilting and Creative Sewing Center in Pahala, Hawaii.  We were chatting about Hawaii,  mostly, I was telling her how much I loved Hawaii and how lucky she is to live there.

Rick and I visitedHawaii several years ago. We took at week-long cruise and we able to travel between several of the islands. Each island we visited was better than the first and it was hard to pick a favorite. Needless to say, we had a fabulous time and just loved Hawaii!

Oh yes, I think I just mentioned that I love Hawaii. . . okay, back to my conversation with Donna.  While we chatted about quilting and Hawaii, I mentioned that I enjoyed the coffee from Hawaii.  Donna told me about a wonderul coffee;  Ka’u Coffee.

Ka’u coffee has been judged Number One in the U.S. and Top Ten in the world at the 2011 International Coffees of the Year Competition at the Specialty Coffee Association of America Convention.

Donna not only has wonderful quilting fabric at her store, she also sells Ka’u coffee!  She sent me come coffee and this morning I enjoyed my first cup!  It is so smooth and the taste is superb! Oh yes, I’m going to enjoy this lovely coffee and I will be ordering more!

If you love excellent coffee and wish to treat yourself or give it as a gift, you can contact Donna:

Pahala Quilting & Creative Sewing Center

96-3208 Maile Street

Pahala, Hawaii


Thanks, Donna!  Love, love, love the coffee!

I’m leaving tomorrow for Houston and International Quilt Market. . . I’ve been making samples and getting things ready for weeks.  Yesterday was packing day, getting my samples packed into a really big suitcase and getting my computer bag packed. Done!

Now to weigh the big suitcase, I hope it doesn’t weigh  more than 50 pounds. . .

Next on the “to-do” list: print boarding pass, pack second suitcase. . .

Look for the Tweets from the road, starting tomorrow afternoon!

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

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