A quarterly newsletter from Karen Eckmeier
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Quilted Lizard Tales


Accidental Landscapes, Happy Villages, Wiggles & Waves

Free-form topstitched curves
                             and fabric collage
Thank you for signing up to receive my quarterly newsletter, where I keep you posted on new quilts, give you behind the scenes look at my design process, share some creative tips/ideas and provide an update to my teaching calendar.
Spring has finally arrived to New England!

American Quilter Magazine

ButterfLOGS” article

Recently I made a large Layered Log cabin block called “Into the Light” which looked like a giant butterfly. It was a wonderful accident, but it got me thinking about making some log cabin type butterflies on purpose and so here they are: “ButterfLOGS”

AQS (American Quilter’s Society) published my article in their American Quilter magazine on how to make these cute little topstitched log butterflies. The article is in the current May issue on pages 36-39.

Quilt Finished

“Sunset Strips” 44” x  54”

You saw this piece in process in the Winter 2019 newsletter. Once I stepped back from my design I saw an “Accidental Landscape” forming, so decided to add the silhouette of pines as a focal point. This piece really reminds me of our sunset views, in a very abstract manner, of course!

Thread Painted Pines

I had planned to add the pines with fabric, but the look was too heavy. Plan B was to thread paint the pines for a lighter look.

Here’s how to do it:

Mark the placement and size of the trees with a line of white chalk.


Free-motion quilt along that line with black thread. Go up and down two times, making the base a little thicker to create the trunk.


Machine stitch back and forth horizontally to give the general shape of the tree.

Then fill in with more back and forth stitching to create a thicker healthier pine.

The fabrics in this quilt were made with my sun printed fabric with color tissue paper. If this idea intrigues you, you can view my YouTube video on how to make your own sun-print fabrics.

The instructions to make the "twirls" are in my Wiggles & Waves book.
The layered topstitching concept is in my Accidental Landscapes book.

NEW Happy Village 

Veggieville” 46” x 46”

I woke up laughing from a dream I had about a village made with vegetables and am still grinning ear to ear (pun intended) now that I have finished my “Veggieville.” 

It took me 3 intense months to make - 2.5 months to collage and 2 weeks to quilt…just added the last quilting stitches a few days ago.

Here’s an overview of my Happy Villages collage process, concentrating on the design of Veggieville, which gradates from light in the center to medium values to dark values around the edges:

Light value “step and window shapes” are cut and ready.

Light value shapes collaged directly on the cotton batting on my design wall

Medium values shapes collaged (in background) - dark shapes are ready to be added.

Time to lightly glue baste the base design. This is the ugly duckling phase….it does not look like anything at this point.

The first mouthwatering “roof tops” are added- watermelon, pineapple, lime and orange. This is where the fun begins and the village magically appears.

Adding more and more healthy details - carrot and celery trees, cauliflower and broccoli bushes, a Pineapple Palace in the center, which has organic views over the pumpkin rooftops and onion domes.

Close up of the quilting. The strawberries have tiny yellow heat set crystals for their seeds. More embellishments include beading on the cauliflower and dimensional corn silk on the cobs. There is so much to see, you’ll just have to check it out in person sometime!

Teaching Calendars 2019 - 2020

I hope that one of the workshop dates and venues will work in your schedule so we can meet again or meet for the very first time.

If you are interested in attending one of these workshops, please contact the guild or organization to get prices and registration information. If you need help contacting one of the venues, just let me know and I would be happy to give you the name of my contact person. 

For those of you who like to plan ahead, I have included my teaching schedule for 2020. Most workshops are “To Be Decided”, but the dates and places are definite.

2019 Calendar (what’s left)

* NEW or updated since WINTER 2019 newsletter

Silver City Quilt Guild, Taunton, MA May 20-21 (Wiggles & Waves lecture and Color Twists and Leaves workshop)

Quilter’s Unlimited Show, Chantilly, VA May 31-June 1

May 31: Accidental Landscapes:Mountain Views workshop, 

June 1: Happy Villages workshop  and Happy Villages & Accidental Landscape eve. lecture)

Colonial Quilters Guild of Bethlehem, PA June 11-12 (6/11 EVE: oops! My Edges are Showing and  6/12 Happy Villages workshop)

Quilted Ewe (store), New Hartford, CT June 22 Accidental Landscapes: Mountain Views workshop

Baltimore Heritage Quilt Guild, MD October 8-9 (Happy Villages & Accidental Landscape lecture and Happy Villages workshop)

*Apple Valley Needle Threaders, Berryville, VA Oct. 10 (Wiggles & Waves AM lecture/ Large Logs 3 hour workshop)

Calico Geese Quilters, Liberty, NY October 26 Accidental Landscapes COMBO workshop (NEW class available as full day only: students make a Beach scene in the morning, then switch to a Mountain Views scene in the afternoon)

Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes, DE November 4-5 (lecture and workshop TBD)


2020 Calendar

Melbourne Seaside Peacemakers,  FL Jan 22-23 (lecture and workshop TBD)

Newtown Quilters Guild, Newtown, PA March 17 (lecture and workshop TBD)

Calico Cutters, West Chester, PA April 7-8 (oops! My Edges are Showing lecture/Happy Villages workshop)

Faithful Circle Quilters, Downers Grove, IL April 22-23 ((lecture and workshop TBD)

Ninigret Quilters, Westerly, RI May 12-13 (Wiggles & Waves lecture and Happy Villages workshop)

Savannah Quilt Guild, Savannah, GA June 12-13 (lecture and workshop TBD)

Festival of Quilts, Birmingham UK August 2-8 (tentative)

Hot Springs Village Quilt Guild, Arkansas Sept. 10-11 (lecture and workshop TBD)

AQSWeek - Virginia Beach, VA Sept. 30 – October 3 (workshops TBD)

Sewing Friends Retreat, Lancaster, PA October 20-21 (Trunk Show and Accidental Landscape workshop TBD)

Lighthouse Quilt Guild, Grand Haven, Michigan Nov. 9 (eve. lecture and daytime workshop TBD)


All the best until our creative paths cross again!


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