A quarterly newsletter from Karen Eckmeier
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Quilted Lizard Tales




Winter in Connecticut

Wow! I am so excited to share a real eclectic mix of projects and ideas in this newsletter, ranging from two new YouTube videos, a free lap quilt pattern, how to use metallic foil sheets on fabric, a new T-shirt quilt for my grandson, a new Happy Village collage, and more….
without further ado,
let’s dive right into it!

New Collage

We really do need to “dive” into my most recent Happy Village,
because it is under the sea! 

It all started with this silk fabric that I had painted with sun sensitive paints many years ago. The fabric only measured 14” x 20” so I needed to enlarge it for a large underwater scene.

Two pieces of sun print cotton fabrics were added on either side of the silk fabric. To soften the straight edges of the fabrics and make them blend together, I cut the edges to match the flow of the lines in the silk fabric...

...and added arcs of fabric to blend the colors and continue the circular motion.

Time to add the lost city at the bottom of the sea. Here are the basic shapes I use to begin a Happy Village collage in my book and workshops.

Time to add castle turrets and roof tops and windows.

Ready to audition borders.

Integrated Borders: I extended the water upward with more painted cotton fabrics and went a little deeper underwater with a border of hand-painted sand fabric at the bottom. For the side borders, I used one of the tan batiks used in the “construction” of the citadel.

Before adding the layer of aquamarine tulle (fine netting) I added a few schools of fish! More on those little cuties later.

Below, are some close ups of the quilting and fun details like the scallop shell topped columns.

"Sunken Citadel"
41" x 43"

Using Metallic Transfer Sheets on Fabric

Add Sparkle to your Quilts!

In 2007 I made this wallhanging, “One Fish Gold Fish” (17” x 24”) featured on page 65 of  my Layered Waves book. The quilt combines a watery background of topstitched curves (the technique I use in my Accidental Landscapes and Wiggles and Waves books) with collaged fish. To add sparkle to the little gold fish I used a metallic polyester/jersey-type fabric.

I wanted this same sparkle for the fish in my “Sunken Citadel,” but unfortunately after 15 years I no longer owned that glitzy fabric. Luckily I found some experiments I had done with metallic foil. The perfect new sparkle for the fish tails in my new underwater adventure!

Metallic foil transfer sheets can be used on fabric, paper, wood, glass, leather and ceramics. The brand I use, Jones Tones Foil, is no longer available, but iCraft Deco Foil is recommended by Dharma Trading as being an excellent replacement, just as fun and easy to use and available in a
huge assortment of wild vivid colors.

The foil sheets can transfer foil to images with either a paper backed adhesive or a flexible glue. This is how it works:

Leaf shape example: Place the leaf cut-out from a paper backed adhesive on the fabric. Iron the leaf in place, then remove the paper.

A green foil sheet

Place the green foil sheet, color side UP on top of the leaf area. Place a protective piece of paper on top of the foil. Press with iron to transfer the green foil to the leaf shape.

OR use foil glue to draw shapes on the fabric. Wait for the glue to dry. Since the glue is clear it is extremely hard to see that I have drawn two leaves and placed a few dots of glue. 


Place the foil sheet on top, right side UP, and rub with your fingers until the foil is transferred. Now the leaves and dots appear with the foil.

Using metallic foil for the fish in Sunken Citadel

1 -Simple fish shapes were cut around a metallic foil transfer dot in the fabric. That dot became the eye of the fish. 

2 -A  triangle was cut out of different metallic foil colors to become the tail. 

3 -Tails secured with fabric glue. 

4 -Fish “lips” and more fins were quilted with yellow thread.

NEW YouTube Videos

Rose Twirls

Welcome to my studio where I will show you how to cut, press and topstitch a Rose Twirl. We will go round and round to create a one of a kind rose-like twirl. The curves are cut free-form and topstitched. Make two or four for a placemat or bag, or if you want to make lots of Rose Twirls, try the free lap quilt pattern below.

FREE PATTERN with Rose Twirls
Desert Rose Lap Quilt 40” x 66” 

My quilt is in dusty rose colors, but you can choose ANY color theme that makes you happy! To see more color ideas and projects check out my
Wiggles & Waves: Free-Form Curves book

Quilted Waves Vest Part II 

The time had come to continue the introduction to my Quilted Waves Vest Part 1 video. The first video was intended as a “get ready for workshop” video, but since I received so many requests for the rest of the workshop, I decided to make it happen.

In this video you will learn how to create a Layered Waves fabric with free form curves and angles. The curves are so easy when they are topstitched! A sweatshirt is the surprising base for this vest pattern. The same basic instructions apply to jackets also. 

This video is a companion to my Wearable Waves book.


Over the years I have accumulated a handsome stash of horse theme fabrics. It was time to play with them! This past Fall I made 12 baby quilts in one month…here are two of them with the horse fabrics. You can use ANY large image fabric for these quilts.

Quilt #1 Layered Logs 

When I want to make a quick baby quilt or lap quilt, I usually turn to my stash of strips and combine them with a large image print to make Layered Log cabin quilts. The curvy logs are cut free-form with the rotary cutter and topstitched. Finished size: 36” x 36”

When part of the image “escapes” from the block, continue the line of that part in quilting. Here is an example of extending the horse's mane and tail into the surrounding logs.

Instructions on how to make Layered Log quilts are in in my
Wiggles & Waves book

Quilt #2
Squares +
Large Print Fabric

I also have a nice stash of 6.5” squares. Once again, begin with a large image print, this will be the “back” of the quilt. Piece the squares together for the front of the quilt.

Quilt from the large image print side, by outlining the main images. In this example, quilting is done around the horses.

This is what the quilting looks like on the side with the squares. A nice surprise!

T-Shirt Quilt Tradition

My family’s favorite quilts are the ones I have made with their t-shirts. 
A nice trip down memory lane!
Here is a t-shirt quilt I made for my daughter Juli in 2000. Overall, it looks OK until you see that two of the blocks literally fell apart and some have faded completely!

 If you look closely you can see the woven fusible that stabilized the t-shirts, the stabilizer stayed intact, however the t-shirt did not! Also, I totally forgot the fact that I used a polartec backing and no batting. Still cozy and comfy after all of these years.

To fix the gaping hole, I just happened to be able to replace the shirt with a matching shirt that I had. My pocket piece had dabs of paint, because it was my painting t-shirt, but my daughter didn’t mind. Here it is pinned and ready to be sewn.

Here is the label. I thought it would be fun to add the mending date 21 years later. By the way, there were several seams and holes I had to mend, but now the quilt can be loved and used again without fear of it disintegrating!

In January 2022, my grandson Trevor (my daughter Juli’s son) celebrated his 16th birthday. Time for a t-shirt quilt. 

Here are his shirts.

Great shirt!

Unlike the random arrangement of different size blocks in my daughter Juli’s t-shirt quilt, I made all of the blocks 14.5” square for my grandson. 

I added 2” strips (cut from the back of the shirt) to the smaller shirts on two sides to increase the size to 14.5”. If the shirts were really small I cut them into 4-5” squares and machine appliquéd them to a larger block. 

This quilt has batting and a flannel backing

Finished size 42” x 84” (made to fit a bunk bed)

A New Quilter!

My granddaughter Alex made her first Nine-Patch!!
Look how proud she is and her Dad too (my son Glenn)!! The Brother XM1010 is perfect for her beginning endeavors. It is very user friendly plus the purple design makes it love at first sight for any 8 year old girl! 

Do you remember the “Everyone Loves Toby” dog collage featured in the FALL 2021 newsletter? If you look closely you will see part of it hanging in the hallway in the background.

Teaching Calendar

2022 Calendar
*New or updated since FALL 2021 newsletter

NOTE: Workshops and lectures will continue virtually via Zoom until it is safe for us to gather again. I’m hoping to teach in-person at the Mid-Appalachian Quilters Seminar this Summer. Time will tell!

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)

*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….possible ZOOM workshop in April TBD)

*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 (ZOOM Happy Villages workshop tentative)

*Mid-Appalachian Quilters Seminar, Gettysburg, PA July 14-17.
IN-PERSON 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)

Sewing Friends Retreat, Lancaster, PA October 18-19 (IN-PERSON10/18 eve Trunk Show and 10/19 workshop TBD)



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


Thank you for joining me!

I hope that some of the ideas in this newsletter have inspired your creativity.
Copyright © 2022 The Quilted Lizard Fiber Art Studio, All rights reserved.

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