A quarterly newsletter from Karen Eckmeier
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Quilted Lizard Tales

Summer 2020



Welcome to my Summer newsletter,
where life is “relatively stable” here in our rural part of Connecticut. 

We saw this sign at a farm in New York many years ago

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a stable world full of “Happy Villages?” where everyone lives in love, peace, and perfect health? We can make that dream a partial reality, by creating a fabric collage village, where everyone lives in harmony.

Here are a few villages that were made by quilters recently using my collage technique from my book. They make me smile. I hope they brighten your day too.

Happy Village by Patty Howell

“I just wanted to say thanks for your fun and instructional Happy Villages book and the video demonstrating the technique! I’ve had the book for quite a while, and finally got around to making one while we were (and still are somewhat) in Stay at Home mode. It was so much fun! What a delight to see the village come to life as you add the rooftops, windows, etc.! Now I’m hooked and want to do more…..So I just wanted to say thank you for your fun instructional style and the inspiration you provide to be creative! As this was my first attempt, I learned a lot, so I’m looking forward to doing more! "             
                                                                      Patty Howell, Snohomish, WA

Spielberg 2012 by Becky Weiland, King of Prussia, PA pays tribute to an old town in Germany that has since merged with another town. This is her magical version.

“Bermuda” by Chris Cooper made to commemorate the seven years she enjoyed living in Bermuda.

Instructions on how to make your own “Happy Village” are in Karen’s book of the same name.

GOOD NEWS! It’s a boy!

Our 6th grandchild - a little boy was born in June. Family and big sister (age 7) are doing fine in Germany. They are getting prepared to move back to the U.S. in August. Yippee!! Only when you are young can you manage a new baby, new job, international house move and the issues of travel during a pandemic. Good grief, I get stressed just thinking about it!

I was a good quilting grandmother (they call me Omi - German for grandmother) and was all ready with the quilt when “JD” arrived.

My “go-to” quilt is a Large Layered Log cabin quilt featuring a fun fabric print and topstitched curves. Since I knew ahead a time that they were expecting a boy, I picked out this colorful animal fabric and got out my bins of pre-cut fabric strips. 

These Layered Logs go together so quickly - no measuring, no matching of points, no straight lines, just plain fun! 

I hope he enjoys his quilt and has fun finding all of the animals. It will be nice to meet him in person soon and finally hold him.

Layered Logs is one of my favorite workshops to teach, but since workshops aren’t happening soon, you can make one on your own with the book Wiggles & Waves.


45” x 45”

During the last couple of months I have kept busy by making fabric masks, Twirl blocks, Layered Leaf blocks and Bee blocks. You saw the beginning of this quilt in the Spring 2020 newsletter. 

The title has many meanings at this point. The obvious is the Beatles song “Let it Be,” but on a working level, I simply could not let this quilt “be.” I was constantly taking it apart and re-doing sections several times.

The original plan for the blocks was an Amish design layout called Sunshine & Shadow. I actually got all the blocks sewn together and thought it was dreadfully boring, so I took it all apart! That’s when I decided I wanted to try featuring my square Twirl blocks in a circle (this is an idea I had many years ago, but had not acted upon yet). I liked the look, so this is what I did to all of the Twirl blocks.

Dots of fabric glue hold the circle cut-out on top of the Twirl until it is machine blanket stitched in a variegated green.

Before quilting, I auditioned different thread colors and adjusted the tension on the sewing machine. Different threads and fabrics require that the tension be changed slightly for a perfect stitch. I make notes on my practice “sandwich” (fabric/batting/fabric) for reference.

My thread of choice is Superior Thread’s King Tut line of variegated cotton thread 40 wt/3-ply Extra -long staple Egyptian 100% cotton.

You may recall that in the Spring newsletter, I referred to my little Bee Blocks as flying bandaids? Well, later they started looking like old television sets with antennas. They needed a lot more work, but I finally got them to look cute. This is what I did to perk them up. 

An old collar had the perfect embroidered “wings!” I carefully cut them out and stitched them to my little bees, to create 3-D wings. I also rounded out their little bodies with black thread.

People call me “creative,” which is another term for not giving up easily. I love a good challenge and am willing to go through many trials and errors to reach my destination. I don’t always arrive where I had planned, but that’s part of being creative too!

I don’t think I have ever done so much piecing on a quilt before. It must be the extra time at home. 

A large portion of the backing is pieced, because I ran out of fabric and the quilt stores were closed.

Notice the happy accident of the quilted bees on the backing, showing up as if I had planned it! 

Both the binding and the label are pieced.

Time to let it be finished and move on to something new!!!

Twirls and Layered Leaf blocks are in my book Wiggles & Waves book.

Teaching Calendar 2020 - 2022

It’s so sad! The last workshop I taught was February 29, 2020 right before the shut down due to the pandemic. The rest of my teaching calendar had to be cancelled and/or re-scheduled. 

I miss you all so much! It’s great to have lots of time at home in the studio, but not this much time!!

Here’s what my teaching calendar looks like for 2020-2022. Since I can’t be on the road teaching workshops, I’m going to pursue Zoom workshops, perhaps even Zoom lectures for guilds. Once I figure it all out, you all will be the first to know!

2020 Calendar

*new/updated/re-scheduled since SPRING 2020 newsletter

*Zoom Workshop available in August

This past week I recorded an Accidental Landscapes workshop. More details and info will be sent in a special e-news blast.

Here’s a photo of my studio with over 100 of my Accidental Landscapes as I got prepared to write the new workshop demonstration.

2021 Calendar
*new/updated/re-scheduled since SPRING 2020 newsletter

*Southford Falls Quilt Guild, Middlebury, CT Feb. 5-6 Wiggles & Waves eve 2/5 lecture, Color Twists & Leaves workshop on 2/6)

Pieced Together Quilters, Bridgewater, NJ February 24 (Happy Villages workshop/oops! My Edges are Showing! eve. lecture)

Berry Basket Quilters, Medford, NJ March 10 (lecture and workshop TBD)

Naragansett Bay Quilters,  RI March 18-19 (lecture and workshop TBD)

AQSWeek, Paducah, KY April 21-24 (lecture and workshops TBD)

Tompkins County Quilt Guild, Ithaca, NY May 14-16 (lecture and workshops TBD)

Faithful Circle Quilters, Downers Grove, IL May 26-27 (Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture, Accidental Landscapes COMBO workshop)

Ninigret Quilters, Westerly, RI June 8-9 (oops! My Edges are Showing lecture and Color Twists & Leaves workshop)

Western North Carolina Quilt Guild,  Hendersonville, NC June 17-18 (lecture and workshops TBD)

Calico Cutters, West Chester, PA July 13/14 (oops! My Edges are Showing lecture/Happy Villages workshop)

*The, August 27-31, DALLAS, TX 

Demo with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.

Re-scheduled once again. Exact date in August is yet to be decided. Show will be taped with a live studio audience and tickets will be available closer to the date. 

(In 2012 I appeared on the QuiltShow, Episode #1109 “Fabulous Fabric Landscapes…By Accident”)

Annapolis Quilt Guild, MD September 13 (lecture and workshop TBD)

Calvert County Quilt Guild, Prince Frederick, MD Sept. 14 (lecture and workshop TBD)

Pax River Quilters, Lexington Park, MD Sept. 15 (evening lecture TBD/possibility of workshop during day)

Newtown Quilters Guild, Newtown, PA Sept. 21 (oops! My Edges are Showing lecture and Happy Villages workshop)

*Sewing Friends Retreat, Lancaster, PA October 19-20 (Trunk Show (Tues Eve) and Accidental Landscape workshop (Wed) TBD)

Martin County Quilter’s, Inc, Stuart, FL Nov. 11-12 (Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture and Happy Villages workshop)

2022 Calendar

*Hot Springs Village Quilt Guild, Inc, Arkansas 2022 dates TBD  (Wiggles & Waves lecture, Color Twists & Leaves workshop

*Q.U.I.L.T.S. Schenectady, NY Oct. 6-7 (lecture and workshop TBD)

Some "masked sightings" in in Connecticut and New York!

In Kent, Connecticut we are lucky to live with the sculptures of world famous artist Joy Brown who lives in our town. To see more of her work check out her website.

I took this photo on a recent bicycle ride. Well said and done!

Be safe and stay well!



Accidental Landscapes™: Surprisingly Simple Quilted Scenes

Wiggles & Waves: Free-Form Curves

Happy Villages™: Step into a Fabric Collage Adventure!

Wearable Waves: Delightful Designs for Quilted Jackets and Vests

Copyright © 2020 The Quilted Lizard Fiber Art Studio, All rights reserved.

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