A quarterly newsletter from Karen Eckmeier
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Quilted Lizard Tales



Free-Form Topstitched Curves
and Fabric Collage

Welcome and thank you for joining me! 

This Summer began with a splash…..a splash of blue paint that is! Fabric painting outside with sun sensitive paints. Although I live among rolling hills, my thoughts were at the beach, so I painted water and sky blues and warm sandy tans. I used some of these fabrics in a new “Accidental Landscape” quilt.
(the ugly fabrics in the front are my clean up fabrics: a little bit of everything!)

Summer Sun Painting

Summer time is the perfect time to try some fabric painting. I use Pebeo Seta Color Transparent paints. They are sun sensitive (heliographic) and water soluble and very easy to use. 

Sky Fabric:

Mix two different blues. Test the colors on a test cloth. My set up begins with a foam board (20” x 30”, a piece of plastic* to cover the board and white fabric** (see photos below)

*I buy a large box of  white 13 gallon trash bags at Costco (warehouse club) and split them in half. After using them, they get recycled.

**either buy PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric or wash the fabric to get rid of sizing, etc. so that the surface is ready to absorb the paint and not repel it! I cut the fabric into pieces approximately 18” x 22”. This size fits nicely on the foam board and is an easy size to work with.

Spray the fabric with water first. Use a foam brush to paint a few lines of blue paint…..leave plenty of white fabric unpainted.  Add white highlights to the clouds with opaque pearl or white paint, applied with a sea sponge.

OR apply the blue paints with sea sponges for the look of soft puffy clouds.  Leave plenty of white fabric. Spray with water again. Take outside and let the clouds evolve. Magic!

NOTE: it’s very windy on my little mountain top, so I need to pin the fabrics to the foam board at all 4 corners. This unfortunately leaves a sun print of 4 little thumb tack circles, but at least it keeps the fabric from blowing away or folding in on itself!


Here are close ups of two of the sand fabrics. 

Brush strokes of metallic gold are applied with a dry brush.

Salt sprinkled on wet painted fabric and placed in sun to dry.

New Quilt

Logs + Landscapes = Logscapes

Two of my favorite things…..Layered Logs and Accidental Landscapes! I’ve been wanting to combine them for the longest time and wasn’t quite sure how to approach the design. My first attempt did not work… I pulled all of my little 3” log cabin blocks off the design wall and started over with a new approach.

Here’s a peek at some of the elements of my new endeavor. As you can see the palette is sky and water blues + sandy tans, combined with seascapes. The little landscapes are truly “accidental”….I simply used the leftover strips from the logs and let the landscapes evolve. 

Now it’s time to baste and then quilt! When it is finished you will see the complete quilt in the Fall newsletter. The size is approximately 52” x 52.”

Note: if you look closely you can see some of my newly painted sky fabric in the scenes. I used my painted fabrics in the layers of the log cabin blocks too, of course!

For more on Accidental Landscapes check out my book of the same name…..

…..and info on “Layered Logs” are in my book Wiggles & Waves.

Kelly’s Cones!

Don’t these look delicious? Kelly from Massachusetts took my Color Twists class this Spring and was inspired to “morph” the Color Twists into ice cream cones and she made it work! I love them. 

Thank you Kelly for sharing this new twist!

Directions for Color Twists are in my book Wiggles & Waves.

New Wearable Waves* Jacket

(*a sweatshirt is the pattern and base!)

You saw this scarf and fabrics in the Winter 2019 newsletter.
The jacket is finished now. Here is the process.

Here’s the sweatshirt opened up flat with the fuzzy side up. Shoulder and armhole seams were opened first and then re-basted by hand to lay flat.

A few “wavelengths” were made (free-form rotary cut curves topstitched together to create a unit I call a wavelength). I added more fabric to these wavelengths, because these were not wide/long enough to cover the area I wanted them to be in.

I usually arrange the wavelengths first and then add the filler fabrics, but since I’ve made quite a few of these jackets, I’ve learned that it is easier to select the larger fabric pieces for the two sleeves, two fronts and back first….. then fill in with the wavelengths.

 I tried to picture myself wearing the scarf with the jacket and auditioned different colors for the front pieces…..hence the layout with the scarf!

Here it is all pinned and ready to be quilted.

A close up of topstitching the wavelengths together... with my wonderful BERNINA 770QE.

Wearing my newly finished jacket at the Quilter’s Unlimited Show in
Chantilly, Virginia
(Photo courtesy of Sheryl Sims)

The jacket design is the
“Wild Woman” found on
pages 54-59 in my Wearable Waves book.

Back to School Fundraiser

The Kent Quilters recently held a Back to School fundraiser for the Kent Social Services from May 24 - July 6. Quilts were on display in over 15 shops in  the town of Kent, Connecticut, where people could come and admire them and make a silent bid.  Money raised is going to help provide school supplies for families in need.

I was asked to make a quilt for the event and thought it would be fun to go with the Back to School theme and make my “Colorific Quilters” (which is #4 in the Circle of Friends pattern series.)  with school children and supplies.

I realize that it dates me to think of chalk boards in the school room, but I found this chalk board fabric, and couldn’t resist the idea of using it as a border that people could write on!

The fabric is easy to use. Simply cut it and sew it like any other fabric, although it is quite a bit thicker. 

To “prime” it for writing, cover it with chalk - rubbing the chalk on its side, in two directions to cover the surface and then wipe it off. I did this outside, because it creates a lot of chalk dust. (see photos below)

To make it easy to draw on the borders, I made a little
holder for two sticks of chalk.

Here is a link to my website page, which has all of the Circle of Friends patterns.

juried into International Quilt Festival 

46” x 46” (May 2019)

The list of finalists was posted online on July 12 and my quilt “Veggieville” has been selected for the “Quilts: A World of Beauty 2019” show to be held in Houston Texas October 31 - November 3, 2019. 

It will be exhibited in the Fantasy/Whimsical category. That’s a perfect fit for my edible village!!

I followed the instructions in my Happy Villages book and used the exact same base pieces we use in a workshop, EXCEPT I took a few whimsical liberties here and there. For example, instead of domes for rooftops, I used eggplants, pumpkins, lemons, limes, apples, pears, watermelon, onions and garlic domes

For trees I planted asparagus, celery, carrots, rhubarb palms and for bushes I used cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, corn cobs…..etc….you get the idea!
Very silly and lots of fun.

Start with the basic shapes in my book
Happy Villages....and let your imagination go wild!

Karen’s YouTube Channel 

If you are new to my work, my YouTube channel is a great way to get acquainted with me, my work, what I do and how I do it!! Please join me!!

Accidental Landscapes, Happy Villages, Sunprint Painting and more!

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. 

There are quite a few new additions to my teaching calendar for 2020,  including a date to tape a show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims on the Quilt Show at their Denver studio.

2019 Calendar

*New or Updated since Spring Newsletter

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


2020 Calendar
*New or Updated since Spring Newsletter

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

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

*The Quilt Show March 29, Denver, CO I will be the featured artist on the QuiltShow with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims on the Sunday morning show. If you are interested in attending the taping of the show, tickets will be available starting January 13, 2020.

(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)

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 SHOW CANCELLED by AQS

*Heartland Quilters’ Guild, North Platte, NE October 1-2 (lecture and workshop 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!



Eye Candy for Quilters!.....I love stripes and dots!!
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