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I’m thrilled to be included in Volume 5 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks From Today’s Top designers!     (Love seeing my block included on the cover!)

QMMS 120022 COVER shadow 500 Next Week: Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Blog Tour

My block, COMPASS POINT, was inspired by a compass rose and my love of half-square triangles.

The block features Serendipity, my new fabric line for Troy Corp’s Riverwoods Collection.

I love this new collection!  It features a gradated tone-on-tone texture that gradates from light to medium to dark and back again. A sneak peek at the fabric is below.

Here’s another sneak peek at the ad, featuring Serendipity. LOVE, love, love all the colorways!

The Compass Pointes block has perfect placement for the light, medium and dark values in the Serendipity colorway.

It has been so much fun to play with this block and try out different colorways:

 Blue and gold combination

 Different value placement, dark on outer edge

As I played with the different colors, I wondered how the blocks would look it a quilt. . . I suspected the angles in the block would create the illusion of curves.

I first placed the lighter blue/gold combination side by side. . . yes!  Beautiful illusions of curves!

Now to try alternating the light blue and darker blue blocks.  Oh, love this too!

Next to play with the multi-colored block and light blue block.  Lovely!

How about the multi-colored block set side-by-side?  I also rotated the same colors to the center and love the illusion of curves and the illusion of transparency that is created.

This block has so many possibilities!

Now here’s some exciting news!  One lucky blog reader will win a copy of the newest issue of Quiltmakers’ 100 Blocks, Vol. 5!    To enter, today, on May 4th, please email me at .  Be sure to include your shipping information.  On May 5th, I will reveal the winner, here!

Good luck and thanks for visiting my blog!




Congratulations to Candy Crain of San Juan Capistrano, CA! !

She is the winner of the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks, Vol 5!


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

My buddy, Mark Hordyszynski has a new look for his blog.  Mark is a fabric designer( he is the designer of Fairy Frost!),  has his own digital embroidery line, is a writer and a chef.  I could go on and on and on. . . .

I just love reading his blog and wanted to share it with you.


What a wonderful surprise to hear from Darra Williamson yesterday!  I’ve known her forever and am honored to be featured in her new blog: Sew How We Sew!

 Her blot is a collective  endeavor; with her “sister-bloggers” are Laura Nownes, Christie Batterman, and Jennifer Rounds.  It features how to videos and wonderful posts.  Darra will be giving away a copy of Rodale’s Favorite Techniques from the Experts.  Be sure to check it out!

Thanks Darra, loved hearing from you and congratulations on the new blog!

Recently, I had an email from Charlotte Warr Anderson, with her permission, I am sharing it here. Please give it a read, Charlotte has done some wonderful research for all of us in the quilting world.  Thanks, Charlotte!


“I thought I’d give you all a heads up about Frixion Erasable pens. A student showed me hers at Road to California in January. She drew a line, thin but quite black, and then ironed it and the line disappeared. It looked like the coolest thing ever!

So I went in search of these pens, which you can get a Staples. I bought the pack that has three colors in it – black, red and blue. Being quite the skeptic about things that are too good to be true, I read the back of the package. In small print it says: “Do not expose to extreme temperatures (<14 degrees F;> 140 degrees F). If pen is exposed to temperature that reaches 140 degrees F the ink will be colorless when writing. To restore color, cool to at least 14 degrees F and the ink will again write in color.”

Aha! I said to myself. If you iron the ink it’s going to be way over 140 degrees so it’s going to disappear. So I took some fabric and scribbled on it with all three colors. Then I ironed it and, sure enough, all the scribbles disappeared. But then I put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes and all the lines reappeared. I left it for about a week and a half while I went travelling and today I tried to wash the ink out. It didn’t come out with soap and hard scrubbing and not even after I put rubbing alcohol on it. So then I ironed the piece dry and all the lines disappeared and then it went back to the freezer and all the lines reappeared (perhaps just a bit fainter).

This experiment was enough to persuade me that these pens are too good to be true and even sort of creepy – the ink is always there even if you can’t see it. I wouldn’t use them on any fabric or quilt you really cared about.

If I had a blog I would have put this on there,  but since I don’t any of you who want to pass on what I’ve written can feel free to copy and paste this post



Join me on Facebook!   I’ve just set up a new page: Karen Combs Studio Fan Page.  

We already have almost 500 fans and are having so much fun! Right now, we have a lively discussion about our favorite sewing machines.

You can also see photos of my fabric lines, patterns, books and a peek into my sewing studio.  The Fan Page will be the first place I’ll post new patterns, fabric lines, quilt news and other fun stuff. 

Hope to see you there!

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

Twitter Update

  • I've been away for a few days, it's time to post another Inspiration photo! You may see some this color palette... 6 hours ago
  • Inspiration photo: sea turtle 3 days ago
  • The sample yardage, from my new Batik line, JAVA JEWELS IV just arrived! Off to sew Market Samples. So yummy! Now, what to make first? 6 days ago
  • Quilt Market booth has been packed and shipped - check All supplies for my Quilt Festival classes packed and... 1 week ago
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