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A few more stops and we are back in Singapore, after an amazing 2 week “Batiks” cruise!

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Sailing into Singapore at dawn


A few favorite scenes from our trip, before we fly home. . .

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A big thank you to our group for joining us and to Quilt Seminars at Sea for making this amazing tour possible!




A visit to Komodo Island, home of  Komodo Dragons!

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We took school supplies to a local school and were greeted with lots of smiles!

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Our next stops were Lombok and Bali.  Beautiful scene as we sail into Lombok

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Watching a weaving demonstration


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Our welcome party in Bali

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A visit to the Monkey Forest in Ubud

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Sunset and dinner on a beach in Bali


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A beautiful sunrise, our second day in Bali


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A visit to a batik mill, learning about stamped batiks


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And lots of shopping!


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Looks like a painting, but it is a lovely scene at our lunch stop


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Two very full and amazing days in Bali . . .we were blessed with this amazing sunset to send us on our way.






I’ve just returned from our Bali and Batiks quilting cruise with Quilt Seminars at Sea.  We had a fantastic time with our group.  Here are a few photos from our trip.

A few scenes from Singapore, before our cruise

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Year of the Dog, we were visiting just a day or so before Chinese New Year.  Decorations everywhere!


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Beautiful street artist!


First stop –  lots of fabric shopping and a lovely lunch!

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Our next stop was a try at canting and beautiful scenery

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I’m honored to be featured in the newest post of the Quilt Inspiration blog!

It is a beautiful blog, filled with information and inspiration. I know I’ll be returning to this wonderful blog time and time again!


I am so excited!  I’m in the newest  Keepsake Quilting Catalog!!

My pattern, Cascading Stars is featured on page 21. 

 Cascading Stars pattern

Description from the catalog: Thank the fabrics in the Shade Cascade™ Medley shown for this 55″ x 55″ quilt of illusion made from just one repeating pieced square.

In addition, my Shade Cascade™ fabrics are featured on page 20.

Shade Cascade - Pumpkin Pumpkin

Shade Cascade - Blossom Blossom

Shade Cascade - sage Sage

Shade Cascade - Sapphire Sapphire

The Keepsake Quilting catalog is an amazing catalog and it is a honor to be included in it.  If you have never received one, please sign up!  It is like getting a quilt show in your mailbox, several times a year. As soon as mine arrives, I settle with a cup of tea, spend some time looking at each page and making out my wish list!


My husband Rick and I have been working on some video clips for our web page and for You-Tube. He is my resident “geek” and helped me put everything together.  (Actually, he did most of it!)  Currently, we have three clips on our web page.

Piecing tips and illusion tricks from my book: Celtic Pieced Illusions.   Click here to view on YouTube!



More Illusion tricks and piecing tips from my book:  3-D Fun with Pandora’s Box.  Click here to view on YouTube!


Piecing tips and the Illusion of Transparency from my pattern: Transparent Stars .  View on our website.



As a traveling teacher, packing and unpacking are part of my job. As soon as one trip is over, another is upcoming. For the few weeks, I’ve been making lists and packing for Spring Market. Everything has to be shipped tomorrow, so I’m getting down to the wire.

This year Spring Market will be held in Portland, Oregon. It is a beautiful city.  It has a population of over 2 million residents. The city covers 130 miles and is listed as the cleanest city in the U.S. Companies such as Nike, Adidas and Intel fuel the local economy.  Portland is located an hour from the Pacific Ocean and is close to Mount Hood. (Check out the link for the Mount Hood web cam!)

There is always lots to do, to prepare for Market. I’ll be doing two Schoolhouse Sessions: Secrets of the Selvage and Creating Quilts of Illusion.

I will debut new colors in my Gilded Greenery collection.


And my new collection called Nami will also debut.


Often I am asked, “How do you design fabric?” Sometimes I am inspired by a concept, sometimes a texture, sometimes by a need I see as a quilter. Many different things inspire my fabric and quilt designs.

For Nami, I was inspired by antique and traditional Asian textures. To give the collection a clean, yet traditional feel, I used the combinations of indigo/white, black/white, red/white and red/black.

In order to have designs that worked well together, I selected curvilinear designs and geometric designs. These play well off each other and can be used together in a quilt.

The three curvilinear designs are:


The floral designs are inspired from traditional Asian textures. The wave design is inspired from an antique kimono texture.

The three linear designs are:


Each of these designs were directly inspired by traditional Sashiko quilting patterns. In the third design, the stitching lines show.

What is Sashiko?
Early 18th Century, the wives of Japanese farmers, fishermen and lumberjacks made warm garments by stitching     two pieces of heavy fabric together. They used fine running stitches throughout the entire garment. At first, the    stitching was used for reinforcing and repairing damaged fabrics but later became more decorative. The cotton fabric was dyed very dark blue with the root of a native plant. We know this color as indigo.

By the end of the century, this particular style of stitchery was known as “SASHIKO”. Around the late 19th Century, sashiko appeared in cities. The style was adopted for warmth but the stitching designs became more elaborate.

I created this kimono quilt as a free project giveaway for this collection. Be sure to ask for your shops to order Nami and ask for the free project sheet.


 I also played with Nami and Gilded Greenery in this quilt, Celtic Vision from my book, Celtic Pieced Illusions.

 I used the Cinnamon and Saffron colorways from Gilded Greenery and three textures Nami in this quilt. I think it is an amazing combination!

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

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