A quarterly newsletter from Karen Eckmeier
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Quilted Lizard Tales




Sweet Summertime is here! 

The gardens are in full bloom and many people are taking the opportunity to travel again. I’m happy to stay home this Summer to
hike, quilt, bike and garden!

In this newsletter you will find out how to integrate a family photo into an Accidental Landscape to capture a long overdue vacation or family reunion.

Recently I tried something totally out of my comfort zone…..a self-portrait in fabric.
Good grief! What a challenge!

“Tree Town” 

Honorable Mention

AQSQuiltWeek Show, Paducah, KY April 27-30

When I didn’t see my name on the list of winners for the American Quilters’ Society show this past Spring, I understood that the competition was fierce and was simply happy to be juried into such a competitive show. You can imagine my surprise when I opened the box with my returned quilt to discover an Honorable Mention ribbon inside!

“Tree Town” is part of my series of Happy Villages collages. Instead of starting with 6.5” squares as I do in the book, I started with 3” squares to get a better scale for the tree. Size: 57” x 38”

Happy Villages book

Two Quilts Juried
Two of my Happy Village quilts, "Tree Town" (see above) and "Sunken Citadel"(see below) have been juried into the International Quilt Festival Judged Show Houston, Texas. October 30 - November 5, 2022

“Sunken Citadel” (2022) 41” x 43”

Self-Portrait Challenge

My quilting friend Barbara Marcone and I were intrigued by the idea of making a self-portrait, but were hesitant to start such an intimidating project on our own.We figured the best way to get motivated was to make it an official challenge to each other. We gave ourselves a 3 month deadline. 

We both agreed that it was really, really difficult to decide how we wanted to portray ourselves. After many frustrating false starts, we finally came to terms with how we wanted to create our self-portraits.

Barbara’s Self-Portrait in her own words:

“Here is the story of me:

    I was an interior designer, so I am in front of  floral stripe wallpaper.  The flowers in the wallpaper are my "signature" flowers. I use that shape petal and flower in all my appliqué quilts.  Because I almost, always do hand appliqué the wallpaper flowers are hand appliquéd.  

There are flowers in my hair because I was a hippie and will always
have a bit of hippie in me.

There is a blue bird on my head because I always put a blue bird
in my appliqué quilts.  

   My hair is white, well...because I am gray. I used a fabric that had a tape measure design because quilters measure all the time and again, I was an interior designer.

    My glasses are blue, because... my glasses are blue.  

   And, I wear gray a lot. So this gray, collar like thing.

   I found that I tilt my head just like my mother did. 

   And it wasn't till I quilted it that I got this deer in the headlights wide open eyes.  My eyes are more squinty.”

Size: 15”x 13”

Karen’s Self-Portrait:

I didn’t like any of the drawings I did of myself, so I decided to go for a cartoon simplification of my face - less wrinkles that way! I’m wearing my usual teal color top and my hiking turquoise earrings, surrounded by
my favorite flowers - daisies! 

I love to build rock cairns in my gardens, which are represented in the quilt in the colors of the chakras amidst more of
my favorites in nature; ferns, birds, flowers and leaves.

Many lizards scurry around the outer circle, representing my business The Quilted Lizard and spools of thread to represent my passion for quilting. 

Techniques used: Fabric collage with a layer of tulle, machine quilted. Embellished with yarn and heat set crystals.

Size: 21” x 21”

Accidental Landscapes 

with Family Photos

Photographs of favorite destinations with our loved ones are a treasure. Let’s keep these moments alive in a special quilted keepsake. Karen shows you the secret of integrating photos of family into an Accidental Landscape. The easiest scenes to do are beach and lake scenes where the background layers are simple strips of blue and sand. Check out the video to see how it is done.

 YouTube Video

Accidental Landscapes Book

Quilter in the Spotlight

Kenzie Preston
 Clarksville, MD


“City with Construction Equipment”

(aka my “Grandson’s Delight”)

Here is the description of this very creative spin off of my Happy Villages, in Kenzie’s own words:

“I took your Happy Villages class at Faithful Circle Quilters in Columbia MD a few years ago. I entitled that quilt "It Takes a Village on Xenon.”

This week I finished my second one and thought you might like to see a picture.  I am calling it "Grandson's Delight."  I incorporated some of the things that give him joy - construction equipment, dinosaurs, cars, trucks, and a camp ground and lake, in addition to the buildings.  I made a couple trucks for him to drive on the quilt since it's probably not compatible with Hot Wheels.  There's a pocket on the back for truck storage. :)

Thanks for teaching a fun technique.” 

Thank YOU Kenzie for sharing your wonderful village.
I bet your Grandson will have so much fun with it!!


Zoom Workshops

I am available to visit your quilt guild or a group of quilting friends* virtually for a presentation or workshop any time. 

Virtual visits are so much easier for me, because I have the perfect teaching set up in my studio, plus the benefit of eliminating travel stress and time wasted on the road or in the air!

Presentation (1 hour) - $400
Half day workshop (3 hours) - $450 
Full day workshop (6 hours) - $750

Maximum 24 students for workshops
Maximum 100 for presentations

Send me an email at to request your workshop. Payment by PayPal or US$ check only.

*your quilting friends can live anywhere in the USA or internationally.

Half day virtual workshops usually run from 9:00am-12pm EST and full day workshops run from 9:00- 3:00pm EST. Times are flexible and can be easily adapted to fit your time zone.

Teaching Calendar

2022 Calendar
*New or updated since SPRING2022 newsletter

RAFA - Rochester Area Fiber Artists, NY January 6 (ZOOM AM) Accidental Landscapes: Mountain Views workshop)

Icknield Quilters, North Herfordshire, UK January 10  2:30pm EST (ZOOM Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture)

Hudson River Piecemakers, Lake Luzerne, NY January 15 (ZOOM AM Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture)

CT Piecemakers’ Quilt Guild, Trumbull, CT February 14 & 15 (ZOOM Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture and Accidental Landscapes:Beaches workshop)

Bay of Quinte Modern Quilt Guild, Ontario, CANADA Feb. 28 2:00pm EST (ZOOM Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture)

SLO Quilters Guild, San Luis Obispo, CA March 14 (ZOOM oops! My Edges are Showing lecture)

Main Line Quilters, Wayne, PA March 18 (ZOOM Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture, Accidental Landscapes: Mountain Views PM workshop)

Smithtown Stitchers, NY March 21 (ZOOM Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture)

Icknield Quilters, North Herfordshire, UK March 26 (ZOOM Happy Villages workshop) 10:00am - 4:00pm UTC (5:00am-11:00am EST)

Glendale Quilt Guild, CA May 14 & 21 (ZOOM Happy Villages workshop in TWO HALF DAY sessions)

Smithtown Stitchers, NY June 11 (ZOOM Happy Villages workshop)

Mid-Appalachian Quilters Seminar, Gettysburg, PA July 14-17. 


7/15 Accidental Landscapes: Mountain Views, 7/16 Happy Villages, 7/17 Large Logs

Westside Quilters of Los Angeles, CA Sept. 10 (ZOOM Accidental Landscapes:Beaches AM 3hour)

Shoreline Modern Quilt Guild “RETREAT” at Willoughby Wallace Library, Branford, CT, Sept. 30-October 1 (IN-PERSON 2 day Happy Villages workshop)

*Sewing Friends Retreat, Lancaster, PA October 18-19 

(IN-PERSON Oct. 18 eve Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture (includes mini-trunk show) and Oct.19 - 6 hour Happy Villages workshop)


2023 Calendar

*New or updated since SPRING 2022 newsletter

Boundary Bay Quilters Guild, Delta, BC CANADA January 17 (ZOOM Happy Villages and Accidental Landscapes lecture 6:30pmPST/9:30pmEST)

*Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild, Ontario, CANADA February 15, Wednesday (ZOOM Wiggles & Waves lecture 7:00pm EST)

*Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild, Ontario, CANADA February 25, Saturday (ZOOM Accidental Landscapes: Beaches 6 hour workshop)

?Maine Quilts, Augusta, ME July 27-29 (IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS - tentative - teaching proposal submitted)


Thank you for your interest in my work!


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

“Karen with a Cairn” 

This tower of rocks marks the peak of Mount Race in Massachusetts on the Appalachian Trail


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