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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!

International Quilt Market is held every spring and fall.   Fall Quilt Market is always held in Houston, usually around the middle to the end of October.  Spring Quilt Market is usually held in May and it moves around the country.

This year’s Spring Quilt Market will be held in Minneapolis and it is just around the corner!

It is always exciting to attend Quilt Market, see all the new items being released, seeing old friends, making new ones.

For those of us with booths, it is extra exciting.  The booth needs to be planned, curtains and table coverings made.  Quilts designed and made to showcase new fabric lines and patterns available.  Props and goodies prepared for the booth.  Handouts written and printed.  Patterns designed, illustrated, and printed.  Lots to do, usually in a short time.

The count down has begun! My booth has been packed and shipped.  I will see everything again,  next week during set-up.  I’m working on the last few quilts and will hand carry them with me.  I can’t wait to share them with you.

I will have new fabric collections to share!  I will post photos on my Facebook page while I’m at Market Once I get home, I will share photos here.  If you are going to Market, please stop by my booth #2046 and say hello.

Looking forward to seeing some of you at Market and sharing photos with everyone very soon!

Southern Caribbean and the Panama Canal

November 9-20, 2015

 

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

In 2015, I’m returning to the fabulous Caribbean with Quilt Seminars at Sea!  We’ll sail on Holland America Line’s beautiful ms Zuiderdam, round trip out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

We will visit some beautiful ports in the Caribbean, Central and South America; Curacao, Aruba, Cartagena, Colon, Holland America’s award-winning private island, Half Moon Cay.  In addition, you will also be privileged to see one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels with a partial transit of the Panama Canal! It’s an amazing accomplishment and sure to take your breath away. What a great way to take a break from everyday life while enjoying 5-star service and the company of fellow quilters.

There’s something wonderful awaiting you in every port of call, whether it be the diverse wildlife, amazing views or exotic cultures! . Onboard you can take a wide variety of quilt classes taught by myself as well as Gyleen X. Fitzgerald, Kimberly Einmo and Kathy McNeil!

Sewing machines will be provided for your use, and you will also have the chance to purchase a new machine at a great price. Seize the opportunity to perfect your quilting skills and “sewcialize” with other people who share your love of quilting. You may arrive as strangers but you will leave with many new friends!

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.

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

1-866-573-6351

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

Disembark.

Itinerary map

For more details, click here.

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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Evening garden #flowersofinstagram #gazingball  #garden

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