A quarterly newsletter from Karen Eckmeier
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Quilted Lizard Tales

FALL 2019


Free-Form Topstitched Curves
and Fabric Collage

Thank you for joining me! 

and allowing me to share my quilting adventures with you,
which include two new quilts, one is topstitched with curvy lines and the
other is collaged with couched yarns.

Fall in northwestern Connecticut is beautiful. Here I am on a favorite hike that includes a beautiful view of nearby Lake Waramaug. When I am not quilting I am usually hiking or playing in the garden. Mother Nature always
inspires me with her beauty.


(2019) 51” x 51”

You saw this quilt in-process in the Summer 2019 newsletter made with my freshly painted sun print fabrics… Layered Logs + Accidental Landscapes = Logscapes. It is made using my topstitch piecing technique.

The addition of lace to the layers gives movement to the waves in the little scenes and allows the water to “flow” out of the scene's borders into the surrounding blocks.

Wiggles & Waves book for the Layered Logs and
Accidental Landscapes for similar scenes

Ojo de Dios (God’s Eye)

Inspiration for a New Quilt!

This Summer I made Ojos de Dios with my daughter and grandchildren (ages 6, 9, 12 and 13). We took over the living room with piles of yarn and sticks gathered from the woods. Notice that there are already eight completed creations on the table!!!

Making God’s Eyes is a simple craft that many of us have learned in Summer camp or art class. If it is new to you, it starts out with two popsicle sticks criss-crossed to create an “X” . Yarn is secured in the center of the sticks, then wound round and round, changing the colors to create striking designs.

The history and symbolism of the Ojo de Dios is fascinating. Check it out online.

God’s Eyes are so easy and lots of fun to make for all ages, we couldn’t just stop with one….we each made several! It was really quite relaxing.

My daughter Juli decided to add an extra stick and make a much
LARGER creation.

As a quilter, my first thought of course was to figure out how to translate this process into fabric. My first attempt was to stay close to the original idea of the craft and substitute the yarn with strips of fabric wrapped around the sticks. The strips of fabric twisted and just looked messy.

My second attempt was to piece fabric strips on the sewing machine, but that was too labor intensive and NOT fun. Although I’m still working on a simplified topstitched version of strips that has possibilities.

Success came when I finally tried a collage approach. I cut three different size squares from three different colors and collaged them on top of each other (a dot of fabric glue to hold them together).

Along each of the edges I glued some yarns in contrasting colors....staying in the same general color palette of orange, lime, turquoise and white. That really brought the little blocks to life.

(photos: 2" squares collaged and 2" collaged squares with yarn added)

When I used striped fabrics, I had to cut them into quarters and re-sew them back together to create a square, so the striped lines would be oriented correctly. That is the only time I used the sewing machine during the process, except for quilting. Everything is collaged, with the raw edges couched with yarn.

After making the little 2” squares, I put them up on my design wall and it reminded me of colorful Millefiori (Italian for one thousand flowers -
a decorative glass technique, which I love!)

I made 4” squares and 8” squares to complete the design.
Here they are BEFORE quilting.

Here they are AFTER quilting. The quilting lines continue the millefiori theme with the tiny flowers, circles and abstract designs.


(2019) 45” x 45”
The finished quilt...and now you know how it got its name!

Inspiration for Accidental Landscapes

Fall in the Canadian Rockies 

The words awesome and magnificent barely describe the landscape in Banff, Yoho and Jasper National Parks. If you have been there, you know what I mean! 

Here are a few shots from our September adventure so you can see the intense colors of the glacial lakes and the majestic mountains. Photos include Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Larch Valley Hike, Plain of 6 Glaciers Hike, Emerald Lake, Athabasca Falls, Spirit Island (Maligne Lake).

Definitely inspiration for Accidental Landscapes!

From now on when I teach the Mountain Views workshop, I will suggest  the option of the green or turquoise lakes of the Canadian Rockies!

Teaching Calendars 2019-2021

Last month I taught a Layered Large Logs workshop in Berryville, Virginia with the Apple Valley Needle Threaders. 

Here is our happy group. Themes for the blocks ranged from pumpkins to jellyfish. As you can see we had a great time! No rulers, no measuring, no straight lines.....freedom to cut and sew free-form topstitched curves!

If you live close to northwestern Connecticut, a new workshop has been added for November 16….it’s a Happy Villages collage workshop at the Quilted Ewe in New Hartford, CT.

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. 


2019 Calendar

*new or updated since Summer 2019 newsletter

Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes, DE Nov. 4-5 Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture and Happy Villages workshop

*Quilted Ewe (store) New Hartford, CT Nov. 16 Happy Villages workshop


2020 Calendar

*new or updated since Summer 2019 newsletter

*Melbourne Seaside Peacemakers,  FL Jan 22-23 (Jan 22 AM:Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture, Jan. 22 PM: Color Twists & Leaves workshop, Jan 23 Happy Villages workshop.)

*Valley Forge Homestead Quilters, King of Prussia, PA Feb. 22 (lecture and Happy Villages workshop)

*Newtown Quilters Guild, Newtown, PA March 17 (oops! My Edges are Showing lecture and Happy Villages workshop)

*The, March 29, Dallas, TX (changed from Denver, CO)I will be the featured artist on the QuiltShow with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims on the Sunday morning show. (In 2012 I appeared on the QuiltShow, Episode #1109 “Fabulous Fabric Landscapes…By Accident”)

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 (Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture, Accidental Landscapes COMBO workshop)

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

Pieced Together Quilters, Bridgewater, NJ May 27 (Large Logs workshop/Wiggles & Waves eve. lecture)

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

Quilt Wyoming 2020, Rock Springs June 26-27 (6/26 eve Wiggles & Waves lecture , 6/26 Large Logs workshop, 6/27 Color Twists & Leaves workshop)

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

*Heartland Quilters’ Guild, North Platte, NE October 1-2 (Wiggles & Waves lecture, Color Twists & Leaves workshop) 

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)


2021 Calendar

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

Narragansett 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)

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

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


All the best until our creative paths cross again!


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