A quarterly newsletter from Karen Eckmeier
View this email in your browser

Quilted Lizard Tales




Today let’s focus on
what makes us happy

whether it’s quilting, hiking, reading, baking, cooking, skiing, snowshoeing, making a snowman, etc….whatever it is, let’s do more of it!!

Thank you for your interest in my fabric collage and topstitched curves techniques. I am excited to share  many new quilts and ideas with you in this newsletter!

Let me introduce “Mr. Chunky” in the photo. The snow wouldn’t pack so I made him out of chunks from the
plowed snow piles.

Finished Quilt

“Village Square” 44”x 44”

Fabric Collage + Topstitched Curves

In the FALL 2020 newsletter you saw this quilt in process. I got all of those little pieces glued, added the purple tulle, basted the layers together and finished it with lots of free-motion quilting.

This quilt started backwards…..first came the topstitched wiggly borders from another project many years ago. The glowing color palette of the borders inspired the colors for this new Happy Village


5 Star Hotel at the center of the village with gingko leaf “trees”.

The castle at the top of the village, has flags topped with hand sewn sequin stars and beads for a little bling.

Topstitched wiggly borders.

Happy Villages book

Wiggles & Waves book

Alex’s T-shirt QUILT 

61” x 88” twin size

My granddaughter Alex wanted a t-shirt quilt for her bed. That’s all I needed to hear and I was on a mission! Her collection of shirts/dresses/leggings and pajamas was large for a 7 year old, but the sizes were TINY.

The “accepted” way of stabilizing jersey fabrics is with a woven (or non-woven) fusible interfacing which has way too many steps for my taste. 

I prefer to use a paper backed fusible, such as Heat n’ Bond LITE, which requires ONE easy step! I confess that I actually used freezer paper for Alex’s quilt and it turned out fine.

Cut the shirts up the sides to create a front and back (optional to use the backs - but I do)

Cut the paper backed fusible (or freezer paper) larger than needed.
Press fusible to the back side of shirt.

Cut to the size desired, which is determined by the shirt/item’s logo or size. An acrylic Quilter’s Square is ideal for this step.

The t-shirt blocks stay square and are easy to piece together….although a little heavy and noisy once the quilt grows.

The only tedious part is tearing the paper away from the back once the quilt has been sewn together.

To make the quilt twin size, I used the plain backs of shirts/dresses and then appliquéd different pockets....

and cut out images from other items and secured them with a  blanket stitch.

This is my “design-and-sew-as-I-go” approach. There were so many different sizes that I didn’t know where to begin. The 12” blocks create the “borders.” The rest was cut and trimmed to fit. Very improvisational!

Free-motion quilting of hearts, stars and echo-quilting completed the quilt. 

HINT: reduce the pressure on your presser foot. This makes quilting stretchy fabric so much easier and smoother!

NEW Quilt

“Ripples & Rocks” (being quilted now)

Fabric Collage + Topstitched Curves

I wanted to re-visit the theme of an earlier quilt “River Stones” ( (2015) 48” x 58” Instead of using a grid as I did in "River Stones," this time I wanted to try a more organic and flowing approach.

Inspiration for the new quilt came from two sources:

First, from Qi Gong, a mind/body/spirit practice. This “energy work,” as the words are translated, is a workout for the body in flowing movements.The instructor in my online course often refers to the energy (Qi - pronounced chee) in our bodies as a flowing river, which we must keep moving to be healthy. I identified with the symbolism immediately, and thought it would be nice to create a “meditative” piece for myself when I practiced.

Second inspiration, came from countless walks/hikes along the Housatonic River in Kent, CT, which also happens to be the path the Appalachian Trail takes through our state of Connecticut.

The process started with several layers of free-form cut curvy strips, pressed, pinned and topstitched. Same technique used to make an Accidental Landscape, except that the side edges are purposely uneven.

I’ve decided to call this new creation a “Ripple.”

The next step was decide how to either connect or cover the raw edges on either side of the Ripples. Machine appliqué of rock shapes was the most spontaneous and worked well with the improvisational approach.

The overall design evolved one unit at a time. If I tried to imagine the end design I got overwhelmed. So it was more fun and much easier to simply concentrate on making several “Ripple and Rock units,” and decide later what to do with them!!!

Each small Ripple and Rock unit got topstitched to another unit to make larger units. In the photo I am taking a break “midstream” among the larger Ripple and Rock units trying to decide which one will come next!

Determining the width and length of the piece. Aiming for 40" x 68"

Auditioning borders and side fillers.

Adding the river grasses.

I am in the process of quilting and will show you the finished quilt and details in the Spring newsletter.

“Moon Glow Village” 
(in collage stage now)

(approximate size 30” x 30”)

You never know when inspiration will hit!…Patching my husband’s jeans, reminded me that I had been thinking about a jeans village for a very long time. Why not make a Happy Village with old jeans and my collection of denim colored batiks/cottons? 

Jeans are my everyday uniform. Over the years I have made several jeans & denim blue jackets. 

Here is my fabric stash of leftover batiks, cottons and old jeans (photo below)

Wearing one of my jeans jackets from my Wearable Waves book  Note that the jacket has actual jean pockets and that I’m preparing to make another jacket in the photo below.

More to follow in the Spring Newsletter! There definitely will be a little teeny tiny village on that crescent moon AND I’m thinking a glitter tulle may be the right finishing touch. We will see…

Quilter Spotlight

“Roses in a Vase” (17” x 24”)

Susan combined what she learned from my Wiggles & Waves book to create this original composition with her own vase (not in book). She rounded out the roses and added the wonderful wavy print vase. Perfect!

Quote from Susan Surfleet:

…Attached is a photo of a quilt I made using the instructions for Rose Twirls in your book, Wiggles and Waves.  The photographs and instructions were great - I could really see what I was aiming for.  The layout and extra notes really helped too.  I have put Layered Logs on my to do list.  I love all the ideas you put in your books….I wish I could tell you in person how much I like this book and your topstitch piecing method.”

Thank YOU Susan! We can all see how much fun you are having. Thanks for sharing!

To be inspired by more creations made by quilters, check out the Student Gallery Wiggles & Waves


Any 4 patterns for $20 and FREE SHIPPING 

Choose from any of these pattern series: 

Accidental Landscapes, Lucky Lizards and Circle of Friends 

It’s OK to mix your choice of patterns from the different series. For example, you could order 1 Lucky Lizard pattern, 2 Accidental Landscapes,1 Circle of Friends. Any combination works.

Scroll to be the middle of the page to find the
Pattern Special  details.

Teaching Calendar

All lectures and workshops will be via zoom for 2021.

Please note that virtual Zoom lectures and workshops are for guild members only. 

Please contact the quilt guild to find out their guest policy. If you are interested in “attending,” I can supply the name of my guild contact for you to get more information.

2021 Calendar

*new/updated/re-scheduled/or changed to Zoom format since FALL 2020 newsletter

All AQSweek shows have been cancelled for 2021

*Southford Falls Quilt Guild, Middlebury, CT Feb. 5& 6 (ZOOM  2/5 lecture: oops! My Edges are Showingeve 2/5 lecture, 2/6  AM Color Twists & Leaves workshop)

*Pax River Quilters, Lexington Park, MD Feb. 8 (ZOOM evening Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture)

Pieced Together Quilters, Bridgewater, NJ February 24 (ZOOM Happy Villages workshop/oops! My Edges are Showing! eve. lecture)

*Q.U.I.L.T.S. Schenectady, NY March 4 & 6 (ZOOM 3/4 Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture, 3/6 Accidental Landscape -Mountain Viewsworkshop)

*Berry Basket Quilters, Medford, NJ March 10 & 13 (ZOOM 3/10Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture, 3/13 Happy Villages workshop)

*Naragansett Bay Quilters,  RI March 18-19 (ZOOM Wiggles & Waves lecture and AM Color Twists & Leaves AM workshop)

Carquinez Strait Stitchers, CA March 20 (ZOOM 3 hour workshop: Accidental Landscape -Mountain Views)

*Birmingham Quilters Guild, AL April 12-14 (ZOOM 4/12 AM Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture, 4/13 Half day PMAccidental Landscape Mountain Views workshop, 4/14 Half Day PM Color Twists & Leaves workshop)

*Island Quilters Guild, Galveston, TX April 15 (ZOOM Wiggles & Waves lecture)

*Tompkins County Quilt Guild, Ithaca, NY May 11, 15 &16 (ZOOM, 5/11 lecture and 5/15 and 5/16 workshops TBD)

*Faithful Circle Quilters, Downers Grove, IL May 26&27 (ZOOM 5/26 Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture, 5/27Accidental Landscape Mountain Views workshop)

*Ninigret Quilters, Westerly, RI June 8&9 (ZOOM oops! My Edges are Showing lecture and Color Twists & Leaves workshop)

*Greenville Modern Quilt Guild, SC June 5 (tentative ZOOM AM workshop TBD, PM Wiggles & Waves lecture)

*Calico Cutters, West Chester, PA July 13&14 (ZOOM 7/14 oops! My Edges are Showing lecture, 7/13 Happy Villages workshop)

*Salt Creek Guild, Hinsdale, IL Sept. 10 & 11 (tentatvie…two half day workshops TBD)

*Annapolis Quilt Guild, MD September 13 (ZOOM Wiggles & Waves lecture and Large Logs workshop)

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

Newtown Quilters Guild, Newtown, PA Sept. 21 (tentative ZOOM oops! My Edges are Showing lecture and Happy Villages workshop)

Thank you for joining me.

Be well and stay safe!


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

“Quilting” in the snow with snowshoes by Karen Eckmeier

Copyright © 2021 The Quilted Lizard Fiber Art Studio, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp