Java House Lectures

Uncommon designs for inspired quilters

Book a lecture with Karen for your guild or event.

“Everyone loved your program tonight. Thanks for all the engaging things you told us about your quilt designing process. Fascinating stuff!”

Quilters By The Sea

“I have received many notes from members who found your presentation, intelligent, interesting, enlightening and motivating. We enjoyed how you broke down the elements and made the information accessible to all.”

Amelia Island Quilt Guild

“The Capital Quilters of Concord NH so enjoyed a virtual lecture by Karen Brow-Meir tonight. It was one of the best presentations we have had for our monthly zoom meetings. Karen’s photos and graphics were very professional, and she made many suggestions for making our projects more interesting with the use of color, humor, and unexpected details. Thank you, Karen!”

Leslie, Memeber of Capital Quilters Guild

“Thank you so very much for your SMUGGLE PRINCIPALS lecture. Our guild members thoroughly enjoyed you, your delivery and
content. It appealed to our new quilters and experienced quilter members as well. In my 3 years of programs chair, I have not heard as many positive comments and praise on any other lecture. You have delivered us a wonderfully enjoyable presentation.”

Adriane, Program Chair Capital Quilters Guild

Lectures and workshops available via Zoom or in-person.

Please click here to download PDFs of pricing, descriptions, and bio information for your guild to review.


The SMUGGLE Principles

Seven design elements which make a quilt “sing!”

-S slight asymmetry
-M movement
-U unexpected technique
-G gentle humor
-G graceful disruption of edges/borders
-L something lovable
-E elegant details

I’d love to share with you techniques which have become a signature of my patterns and their distinct and joyful style. I have some slightly irreverent methods for creating memorable quilts with uniqueness, gentle humor, and movement, and I’ll show you how to incorporate them into your next project. This lectures and slide show is rich with colorful photography of examples and explanations of design elements I’ve honed in over 20 years of pattern writing and joyful quilting.

zoo animals

Capturing Animal Personalities

Are your quilts alive?

Every animal has a distinct silhouette, a recognizable visual signature that uniquely distinguishes it from all others. By including just one animal block you can add joyful personality to your next project. So how do we capture that?

– Can I just use my favorite pet photo?
– How do I make it look like my own much-loved pet?
– Are there less complicated ways to add color, shading,
  and piecing?
– How can easy technology assist us?

This lecture presents examples of animals with personality
and liveliness and the methods and ideas used to create
them. From finding the right image to using your computer or
copier to enhance it, you’ll get new ideas & techniques for
your next project.


Color Osmosis?

What we learn from a beautiful stash

Does our stash do more than just make us happy?

I have noticed over the years that my stash fabrics (particularly batiks) have a way of imprinting their color combinations on my mind. I have created entire quilts only to notice LATER that the exact color palate existed in my stash in the form of a single treasured batik.

This is what I mean by “color osmosis.” We constantly receive impressions and information from the fabrics (and other art) around us, whether or not we realize it at the time. So I believe it’s important to surround ourselves with inspiration.

Beautiful fabrics teach us a lot about color in terms of balance, combinations and seeing palates in nature we can use in our own work. We can learn to “read” a color palate and understand why it works (or not) and how to make sure our quilts avoid common color errors. Even if you’ll never use the fabric in a quilt, if you see something which speaks to you I believe it’s important to “plant” some in your stash. Something beautiful is sure to grow!


Movin' On

The magic of movement in quilts

Why should we worry about creating movement in our compositions?


While color, pattern, and workmanship create beauty, movement creates interest. It’s a guaranteed “wow factor” and adds a certain sophistication.

We can create it using appliqués, adjusting a composition, incorporating asymmetrical shapes and curves, and unique border treatments.

In writing patterns for over 20 years I’ve seen how movement in a composition absolutely draws people in. I’ll show you lots of unique ways to create it often with a bit of humor that
seems to just delight.



Book a hands-on workshop with Karen for your guild or event.
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Book a lecture with Karen for your guild or event.
Learn More


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