A quarterly newsletter from Karen Eckmeier
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Quilted Lizard Tales




Welcome to my Summer Newsletter!
which has an unintentional Tree Theme!
From weaving fabric strips on a Tree Loom to a new Tree Town fabric collage to a hiking circle of friends
under the trees….
it is evident that I’m happy to be outside in nature and that trees inspire my quilts!


In 2017 I set up of my “tree loom,” which is my outdoor tree version of the Earth Loom created by Susan Barrett Merill, the author of “Zati: The Art of Weaving” 

I have continued to weave each season, adding different elements from nature (more photos and construction info in the 2017 Fall and 2018 Summer Newsletters). 

It has been a few years since I have re-warped the tree loom, so it was time to replace a few nylon cords. The weft is created with leftover bindings and 2” strips of fabric.

Some years I plan a design or color scheme. This year I decided to simply pick up strips of fabric and weave them randomly. It was a wonderful trip down quilt memory lane of quilts made in the past years!! Weaving a strip of fabric with a Halloween Village cobweb fabric next to a Star Wars theme black, followed by a delicate pink floral print from a Rose Twirl and then suddenly a purple unicorn from a T-shirt quilt!!! Quite the eclectic mix!


It’s ironic that I started a tree quilt during tree allergy season. I’m allergic to tree pollen for just 4 weeks of the year, so while I was staying inside I collaged a fabric oak tree without having any allergic reactions.

The general shape of the tree is based on a photograph that my husband took of the over 500 year old white oak tree in Bedford New York (photo above).

I made a simplified tracing of the trunk and branches and used my printer to transfer the image to an overhead transparency sheet.

Yes, I still use an overhead projector - sew retro!!

I traced the projected lines with pencil on the batting pinned to the design wall.

Then collaged the trunk and branches with elongated strips
of black/silver/gray prints. 

Then came the Happy Village “step shapes” in greens.

As I started this, I asked myself the question of “Why am I using step shapes, when organic leaf shapes would have been more logical and organic?” Well, that was my answer! I did not want organic, I wanted architectural shapes in order to build my little houses in the tree. Plus, it’s more of a challenge for me to create an abstract fun image.

The four photos above show some fun details before quilting.

The colorful rope ladder to access the branches.

Prayer flags hanging from the top rooftops.

Swings and a rope bridge (hand rails to be completed with stitching)

Bird house and swing. Striped balconies with flowers.

Many more details to share with you in the
Fall newsletter when Tree Town is finished.


Sun printed fabrics with color tissue paper, created several years ago were the inspiration for the color palette of the houses in Tree Town. 

Here is a link to my YouTube video on painting with sun sensitive paints and color tissue paper. What is not included in the video is something I discovered after making the video: cutting the strips of tissue paper with either a scallop blade or a pinking blade or with pinking shears and then layering. 

Place the cut tissue paper strips on wet fabric

I use Pebeo Setacolor Light Fabric Paints (transparent, NOT opaque) - made for heliographic painting (sun printing)

Place fabric in the sun to dry, then peel off the tissue paper strips... reveal the color surprises!

Splattered paint on dry fabric creates my “flowers” for Tree Town (see previous photos with swing and bird house). No instructions needed here. Simply go wild with a paint brush. Dip a small bristle brush in paint and fling it at dry fabric.  Use several paint colors and even a splash of metallic paint. This is a real tension releaser, plus you have a beautiful fabric afterwards!!

Note: best done outside in old clothes!

THE INTREPIDS (2019) 11" x 11"

“The Intrepids” has been juried into the miniature category of the International Quilt Festival's premiere Judged Show in Houston, October 28 - 31, 2021!

It had been juried into a National Quilt Show last year, but sadly that show was cancelled due to the pandemic. 

This miniature quilt is a tribute to my hiking friends. We are dressed in our typical colorful outfits and hiking packs.

"The Intrepids" is a miniature version of  of Colorific Quilters  #4 in my Circle of Friends pattern series which measures 25” x 25”. Instead of using the quilting theme in the pattern, I changed the theme to hiking and reduced the scale to 11” x 11”. 

Over the years I have changed the theme of my pattern
to reflect different interests: 

Yoga for Kids (Spring 2020 newsletter), 

Back to School (Spring 2019 newsletter) 

Hiking and Workout (Winter 2019 newsletter) 

Girl Scouts by Sandra Norman (Fall 2018 newsletter)

Here is our hiking group next to a Chinkapin Oak in Sharon, CT which shows the size of this majestic tree.

You can also see what a colorful group we are!

My typical hiking outfit includes lime and turquoise, not visible since I'm taking the photo


Click here which will direct you to the home page of my website. Click on the envelope icon and then you will see the list of my recent quarterly newsletters listed by year and season.


Two new Happy Villages, “Village Square” (2020) and “Moonlight Village” (2021) have been juried into the TACTILE ARCHITECTURE special exhibit at the International Quilt Festival's premiere Judged Show in Houston,
October 28 - 31, 2021. 

This special exhibit will also travel to
other national quilt shows until Summer 2022.


This is truly a Happy Village collage and the first time I have seen selvage edges in a village! “Some Little Place” by Pamela Rosenberger from Maryland, incorporates the names from the fabric selvage edges on her buildings. I love the Japanese restaurant in the upper right corner with the “made in Japan” label. The use of a misty woods print for the background is the perfect setting for her folk birds to fly over the Folk Birds building. So many details to explore, take a closer look!

Thank you for sharing Pamela! Your creativity is inspirational and 
your village makes me smile!

Happy Villages book


Would you like to take my Happy Villages workshop or see an Accidental Landscapes demo in the comfort of your own home AND when the time is convenient for you? Here is that opportunity.

This special LINK is for my Quilted Lizard Tale subscribers (and your friends!) to access the Meander Guild, an International online quilt guild. 

In order to view my workshops you will need to join the guild. Monthly membership ($19) is a great way to check out the amazing curriculum offered!! Yearly membership is $190 (2 months free).

     Once you join:

     Go to View Programs

     Select “Appliqué Workshops,” then “Collage Quilting” to find my
     Happy Villages workshop

     Select “Piecing Workshops” for my “Accidental Landscapes Demo


No need to join the guild to check out this
Click here to register and view

Teaching Calendar

2021 Calendar
*new or updated since SPRING 2021 newsletter

Here is my teaching calendar for the rest of 2021. I will be teaching in-person at the View: Center for Arts & Culture in the Adirondacks in October, all other lectures and workshops will be virtual for the Fall.

*Calico Cutters, West Chester, PA July 14 (ZOOM 7/14 oops! My Edges are Showing lecture)

*Annapolis Quilt Guild, MD September 13 (ZOOM Large Logs AM workshop, ZOOM Wiggles & Waves PM lecture )

Calvert County Quilt Guild, Prince Frederick, MD Sept. 14 & 15 (ZOOM Accidental Landscapes & Happy Villages lecture and Happy Villages workshop)

Newtown Quilters Guild, Newtown, PA Sept. 21 & 25 (9/21 ZOOM oops! My Edges are Showing lecture and 9/25 Happy Villages workshop)

*View: Center for Arts & Culture, Old Forge, NY October 18-21 (IN PERSON Oct. 19 Happy Villages workshop/ EVE Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture)

Thank you for reading my newsletter. Happy Quilting!


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 © 2021 The Quilted Lizard Fiber Art Studio, All rights reserved.

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