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Welcome to the Quilt GalleryFeatured Artist

Karen Combs
Quilt Artist, Teacher, Author

Karen uses several different kinds of software in quilting and writing. She uses QuiltPro to illustrate teaching brochures and articles. Several of the designs in her book "3-D Fun with Pandora's Box", co-authored with Ms. Jorgenson, were designed in QuiltPro. She has been a guest on Sharlene Jorgenson's "Quilting from the Heartland." Karen's first book "Optical Illusions for Quilter's was published in 1997. 

Karen Says: I began quilting in 1974 while still in high school. I loved quilts, but we did not have any in our home. So I decided to create some of my own. My first attempts were awful! But through lots of reading and trial and error, my efforts got better and better.

Since I began quilting, I have been interested in quilts of illusion. I was drawn to the traditional patterns of Baby Blocks, Storm at Sea, Spider Web and other quilts of illusion. I wanted to learn how to make these quilts and other quilts with illusions, but no book was available to show me how to do this. In 1990, I began designing my own designs and studying art books. I wanted to learn how to create illusions in quilts.

In 1994, I started writing this book, because non-existed. In 1995, the American Quilter's Society offered me a contract to write "Optical Illusions for Quilters." I finished it in 1996 and it was published in 1997.

"Optical Illusions for Quilters" shows quilters how to create quilts with all types of illusions: space, depth, motion, and illusions using color. Masterpiece quilts are used to demonstrate these techniques and traditional quilt blocks are also used.

I began teaching in 1988 and now teach nationwide to guilds and at quilt shows. I teach how to create quilts of illusions, as well as classes on color, designing, perfect machine patchwork and a class of "successful teaching."

In 1996, I was teaching at the International Quilt Festival for the first time. While there, I met Sharlene Jorgenson of "Quilting from the Heartland." She and I started brainstorming about quilts of illusion. We came up with a terrific way to create 3 -D Patchwork Cubes using templates from her template set -Pandora's box. In fact, we co-authored a book "3-D Fun with Pandora's Box" showing this technique. This book was released in 1997. I was a guest on her TV show "Quilting from the Heartland" this fall and the Series 700 is showing now, nationwide.


9 patch sampler I have been invited to participate in many challenges in the last few years. I was invited to design a quilt for the Silver Dollar City Wallhanging Challenge in 1995 and have had quilts in the Hoffman Challenge in 1995 - 1997. Last summer, I was invited to show my work at the Fitton Center for The Arts.



Stairway to the Stars & Perspective Maze I use several different kinds of software in my quilting and writing. I use QuiltPro to illustrate my teaching brochure and articles. Several of the designs in my book "3-D Fun with Pandora's Box" were designed in QuiltPro. I also did all the illustrations for this book in Quilt-Pro. Shar, later redid some of the drawings in Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator. However, all the initial designs were drawn in QuiltPro.


Harlequin Cube
The Electric Quilt and Block Base software helped me write my book, "Optical Illusions for Quilters" as well as the quilt, Christmas Cube. I used BlockBase to look up the traditional quilt designs for the book as   well as for the illustrations in the book. The Electric Quilt helped me design the patterns for the blocks included in the book.

Learn more about Karen at her website at:

Karen Combs, Quilter, Teacher, Author, Designer.

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