Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Quilted Lizard: designs by Karen Eckmeier

In 1996 Karen Eckmeier of Connecticut started making art quilts, which were very well received in national and international shows. Her hobby officially became her business in 2002 when she opened her business, The Quilted Lizard.

Tiny Town, 17 x 17", by Karen Eckmeier at The Quilted Lizard

Wouldn't it be fun to live in this adorable village with its brilliant hues?  Tiny Town is a collage of small overlapping fabric pieces cut into rectangles, triangles, stair steps, window and door shapes. Want to know more about how to make this fun quilt?  On Monday,  Oct. 22, 2012,  Karen will be on television on The Quilt Show, Episode #1109 . Karen will explain her techniques for creating these miniature villages to hosts Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, on location from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Stay tuned for Karen's excellent presentation !

Turquoise Turtles, 25 x 25" by Karen Eckmeier at The Quilted Lizard

When we first saw this quilt, we felt as if we had been transported to a fabulous beach in Hawaii. Look at all the happy sea life here! Among the turtles are gold starfish,  bright pink shells, pastel aqua tropical fish, purple seahorses,  and our favorites, the red lobsters that dance around the outside with their arms outstretched. If you wish, you could use a black background for a dramatic effect.  This is such a cheerful, eye-catching quilt, that you can't help but smile as you construct it using the fusible applique method.

Lakes, approx. 10" x 8", in the Accidental Landscapes"  by Karen Eckmeier at The Quilted Lizard

Make a small quilt of a lovely serene lake and you'll have treated yourself to a virtual mini-vacation. Karen's "Lakes" patterns are part of her very pretty "Accidental Landscapes" designs. In this series of patterns, Karen shows you how to create a landscape scene of your choice by layering strips of colors in different shapes from nature. You can cut and topstitch mountains, lakes, deserts, grasslands- you name it.  All of the cutting is done free form, not from templates, so you can achieve maximum creativity.

Mola Lizard, 17 x 23", in the Lucky Lizard series by Karen Eckmeier at The Quilted Lizard

Karen writes, "Lizards make me laugh.They're tiny and cute and scurry around with amazing speed. ...When it came time to name my company, I wanted a mascot that would make people smile."   This lizard looks like one of the happiest creatures ever, as he appears to be dancing joyfully against a backdrop of stained glass pieces.   Karen based this eye-catching design on the art of the Kuna Indians of Panama. They are known for their brightly colored "Molas",  in which vivid designs are derived from reverse applique patterns.

Moon in NYC, approx 6" x 9" (not including borders), in City Skylines by Karen Eckmeier at The Quilted Lizard

The "City Skylines" pattern is another one of Karen's "Accidental Landscape " series, in which she provides dozens of ideas and examples for a mini art quilt with an urban theme.  You can create a skyline of your hometown or your favorite city of the world by layering and topstitching fabrics, just as you do for landscape quilts.  What a great way to use small pieces of color-saturated fabric from your stash ! Start your imagination......

Books by Karen Eckmeier as seen at

Karen's books on her innovative and fascinating techniques have received wonderful reviews for her easy-to-understand, conversational writing style. For more information, please visit her books and patterns page at The Quilted Lizard.

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Karen Eckmeier.


  1. I love, love, love Karen's work. Wish I could produce something like that, but I don't think I have it in me. Thanks for showcasing it for us!

  2. I had just orderd the happy villiages book this morning and then saw her work on your site....
    Ment to be you think?

  3. Oh... I lover her work! I have the Happy Villages quilt and have even made one (go to Will try to catch her show...


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