Waggons West Etsy Shop

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Finished quilt measures : 9″x 8″
Special techniques used : custom printed fabric, quilt as you go
Quilted by : waggonswest
Best Category :  Art quilt, doll/mini quilt, wallhanging

Meet Marty.  He is my entry in the Fall 2012 Bloggers Quilt Festival.

 I've posted about Marty before.  However, he needs to have his own post for the purpose of the Bloggers Quilt Festival. 

Marty is one of a series of quilts I made in an effort to capture the steampunk vibe in fabric.  The image is from Graphics Fairy, a fantastic site hosting hundreds of images in the public domain.  It is an incredible resource and I highly recommend it.  I print images from the Graphics Fairy onto fabric.  I've been using sheets from EQ Printables. The printed images are washed, heat set, blocked and then cut for use in the quilt.  I've been doing these wee quilts using a quilt as you go technique.  A few pieces are pre-assembled, for example the block containing the lettering was stitched separately.  The binding is machine stitched and finished by hand.  

I've done several other photo quilts, one of which you can see here

I would love to hear your thoughts on fabric printing techniques and products. Do you make your own fabric sheets?  Do you use commercially available chemical preps? What type of fabric do you use?  What about freezer paper? Are there any tutorials you would recommend?  

Be sure to check out all of the HUNDREDS of fabulous quilts at the quilt festival.  And Thanks to AMY of Amy's Creative Side for putting the festival together.  It is a great opportunity to get inspired.  

(If blogging is light around here for the next day or so it will be because I am browsing through all of the amazing quilts on display.) 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Craft Fair

Craft Fair Booth*

I don't do a lot of craft shows but I do like to participate in shows at the spuds school.  I figure it gives me a chance to support the cause and try out some new projects.  Last Saturday was one of those occasions.  I had a booth at the school fair to raise funds to support Grad Night.

It was the first time I'd actually spent some time physically setting up my booth prior to the event.  My Mother-in-law, an art show expert, was in town and helped me figure out how to organize things.  That was an enormous help.  Set up was a breeze.  I was able to have the spuds help quite a bit without having to think about what needed to be done. 

I had a couple of glitches with the tablecloths and a table skirt that wouldn't stay attached.  I re-arranged a few things throughout the day.  But for the most part the arrangement was as I intended.

Here is one section with mug rugs and chickens.  A lot of people looked at the mug rugs but none of them sold.  I imagine my prices are a bit high for this economy, however, I'm not willing to give them away.  

Here is a bit of my new banner with one of the teacup bird feeders in the background.  The banner was made using some stretch denim jeans that I was given.  The stretch denim doesn't work as well for badges.  I also used my new bias tape maker.  I love it!  I want one in every size now.  Between that and the binding foot for my sewing machine... wow!

In this last shot you can see the t-shirt and infinity scarves that were hidden by the sunpainted clothes in the first shot.  

I know I need to edit down the number of things that I sell.  I haven't quite figured out how to do that since I don't know what to do with the things I would no longer take to the shows.   Plus, I have to figure out what I want to make the most of.  My sales were scarves, sunpaint shirts and badges.  At any rate, your suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated.  

* My camera is officially in need of work.  The lens is so gunky I can't get a decent picture out of it.  I took a whole bunch of photos of the booth and these are the only ones that are even close to being in focus.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Praying for the best for everyone in the path of the frankenstorm. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Craft Fair

I am looking forward to the Francis Howell Central Craft Fair Saturday Oct 27. (5199 Highway N, Cottleville, MO 63304) It is from 9 - 4pm. Mostly Upcycled badges, scarves and headbands and sunpainted clothing. I will be selling the mug rugs I've been posting. New this year are some sweet upcycled bird feeders. Let me know who you are if you get a chance to stop by!

This is only fair I'm scheduled to do this season.  If you can't come to the show you can always check out my etsy shop or send me a message and let me know what you are interested in.  

Oh My (Random Thoughts)

I have no idea where this week has gone.  Nor am I exactly sure where the summer has gone.  Here is one last look at the lake (admittedly from a couple years ago.) 

The weather has certainly turned colder around here.  When I went to the Post Office at 4 pm,  (to send out Christmas Coal...) it was 82 degrees.  When I got in the car to take Spud 3 to scouts it was 48 degrees. 

It has been so warm around here for so long that I am right out of the habit of cooking.  Sandwiches and salad don't heat up the kitchen much.  Nor do they create much in the way of dishes.  However, I think I am about ready for some variety.

The annual chili cook-off and pumpkin carving is at our church this weekend.  The cold weather is making the idea of cooking chili much more appealing than it was a couple days ago. I have to decide if I'm going traditional this year or if I continue my streak of entering odd-ball chili recipes.  

We don't have any pumpkins yet.  I'll have to see if the spud wants to carve one or if he just wants to hang out help the younger ones.  I haven't even managed to decorate for Halloween.  I think that at this point decorations are highly unlikely.

I had the opportunity to join with a group of people from around the country at the Mississippi River Network meetings this week.  It is so exciting to meet them and to learn all about the amazing things they are doing to protect the Mississippi River Watershed, otherwise known as the Louisiana Purchase.  The first thing we did, by way of introduction was to tell of our first experience with the river; to answer the question, what draws you to the river.  Let's just say there was an awful lot of wading, swimming, caving, climbing, catching and general mucking about when mom wasn't looking going on.  It certainly renewed my belief in the need to bring as many people as possible to the river. 

The meeting was also another opportunity to catch up with the Quapaw Canoe Compay crew.  While I have still not met John Ruskey in person (I'm beginning to think he is an imaginary, no legendary figure!) I did get a chance to catch up with some of the guys.  Here is a picture of the mighty Quapaw in the Junebug, a canoe they built, taking some folks out on the river at the Race for the Rivers Festival this summer.  You really should check out the fine work they are doing down in Clarksville on the river and in their community.

I am making my last few preparations for a craft show on Saturday.  This is the first time I've actually set up my booth space ahead of the show.  I've taken some time to not only map out the space but to physically place the items and displays on the tables.  I've chosen to go with black tablecloths as they won't stain and they won't compete with the bright colors of the sunpaint fabrics.  I even managed to make a banner this time.  I still have to make some signs and either find or re-print my cards so I need to get busy.  I'll try to remember to take pictures and post them when I get a chance. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mister Moon

I'm not sure what possessed me to put Mister Moon on this wild orange fabric.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  I had to applique him rather than sew him into a block because I placed my images just a smidge too close together when printing.  (He is another image from Graphics Fairy.)  I also thought the turquoise binding was OK.  I think the fabrics work together but I'm not sure Mr Moon is used to his best advantage.  Perhaps that is what he is scowling about.  More importantly, I used a fluffier polyester batting for what is essentially a whole cloth quilt.  The puffiness made it shift around in funny ways and made it generally much harder to work with.  I will stick with the thinner cotton batting for these projects in the future. 

Monday, October 22, 2012


One more wacky quilt as you go mug rug.  This one using a remnant from one of the Hawthorne Threads scrap packs I bought.  I almost think I shouldn't share that link because they go fast when they are on sale.  And I love them.  You get two yards of fabric strips and pieces.  None of it is too small to use.  I think they say that the smallest they will send out is 2 inches, but I've never gotten anything that small.  What I do get is a great assortment of fabulous fabrics, things that I might not otherwise buy or even notice on the bolt.  Some of the best surprises include a good sized piece of space invaders fabric and a snippet of a frog prince fabric I'd been admiring for ages.  The only sad thing is that sometimes I get a really great fabric and when I look to see if I can find more, it is unavailable.  At any rate, if you want to add a variety of great modern fabrics to your stash, you should check out the scrap packs. 

I guess this is a product endorsement so I should probably say that my only connection to Hawthorne Threads is as a random and small scale customer.  No one asked me my opinion. I'm just providing it to you for what it is worth. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mini Trifle

 I found these adorable little cordial or stemmed shot glasses at the charity shop.  There were only 7 of them so they were a bargain.  I took one look at them and immediately thought Trifle Bowl!  OK maybe I thought of my sour cherry liqueur first.. but then it was all trifle. 

I made a cheater version for a meeting last night.

I started with a tiny angel food cake.  The one I bought was cream filled which was not my intention.  I was able to cut the cake from around the outside.  I brushed the cubed pieces with some orange liqueur.  

I put a small amount of pudding (true confessions... it was pre-made lunch pack vanilla pudding.  I wasn't going to make an entire batch of pudding for 7 shot glasses!)  The cake was layered on top.  Finish up with more pudding and a raspberry. 

After the first one, I started cutting the cake into smaller cubes.  The tiny cubes of cake fit into the glasses better and were easier to consume with the tiny spoons.  I also put a half a raspberry in the middle to give it some more flavor. 

For future reference.  I'd use a quality pudding.  The cake and liqueur worked well.  Raspberries are the perfect size for these little trifles.  Chopped strawberries would be tasty, but maybe not a pretty.  These trifles would work well in shot glasses. 

Now for the question.  Does anyone have any idea what the pattern is for these little glasses?  They are 2 1/4 inches tall and just over 1 1/2 inch in diameter.  They are similar to the Karin pattern produced by Dansk.  However, I can't find any image of this specific size and shape.  Leave your leads in the comments. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bird Next to Wire

* I have an irrational fear of birds.  I can squish spiders.  I have a healthy respect for snakes but they don't terrorize me.  But birds... no way.  Not going near them.  I love to watch them.  I love it even more when there is a sheet of glass separating us.  I am fascinated by the ever-changing variety of birds I see living under the North American flyway.  I drag the spuds out to go eagle watching and to look for pelicans every winter.  But I.  Don't. Like. Birds.  Not up close and personal.  I will flee my home, rather than confront the poor confused starling that fell down the chimney.  I will cower in fear if I discover one flying around the far off ceiling of a big box store.  I will run in terror from one on a perch in a store.  I don't like birds. 

Therefore, I have no idea why I would use up a precious snippet of my printable fabric on a bird graphic (graphics fairy).  Nor do I really understand why I purchase chicken wire fabric every time I see it in a shop.  But I did.  Print the bird.  Buy the chicken wire.  And now they are together. 

Another in my ongoing attempt to define steam punk in a mug rug.  This one is about 8 inches on its longest side (I'd go measure it to be accurate but then I'd have to get near the bird again.  And why would I choose to do that?  It is quilt as you go and finished off with a hand sewn binding. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012


This one was just plain trouble.  Looked fantastic until I discovered I didn't catch the image in the seam.  Then I did the same thing on the binding.  Ugh!  But all fixed now.

(Spud 3 has the good camera.) 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Flying Fish Car

Yes, more steampunk attempts.  These are very simple mug rugs and are unembellished, quilt-as-you-go. I love this flying fish car guy.  The little fairy just makes him extra special. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Umbrella man

After a conversation with Annie of Annie's Musings  (Freeze Frame) almost as long ago as the barn quilt challenge, I have been pondering how to make a steam punk quilt. I keep looking at the images of steampunk costumes and retrofits trying to decide how a quilt would fit in.  The notion of attaching gears and watch parts contrasts too much with the cozy notion of a quilt.  Seeing the lush use of materials, beautiful wood, brass, leather; I imagine the ideal steampunk quilt would be a lovely silk and velvet crazy quilt.

Given that my collection doesn't extend to lush silk and velvet fabrics, I wanted to come up with a more practical approach.  After scouting around a bit, I decided to use old images. I found a rich source of them at the Graphics Fairy.  In fact there are so many there I can hardly decide which ones to print.  I have been printing them on fabric and combining them with some improvisational piecing to make small quilts.

These are all quilt as you go projects.  It seemed the easiest to do as I am figuring out what I like and how to put the pieces together.  The neat thing is that when I am done piecing the block, it is all ready for the binding.  I don't have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to quilt it.  More importantly, i am not tempted to spend months fiddling with hand quilting. Now I just need to figure out how I can machine stitch the binding.  (That is a a disaster I will leave for another post... after I haved recovered from the trauma of ripping out decorative stitches in four layers of fabric plus batting.)

I'll be posting more of them over the next few days. 

Freemotion by the River Linky Tuesday button  Linked at Connie's Freemotion by the River.  It looks like I have a lot to catch up with! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

YUM Carnitas

I followed the recipe provided by Smitten Kitchen  for Homesick Texan Carnitas...

...Well sort of.  I squeezed orange juice but used premixed Margaritas for the lime.  I didn't add enough garlic or cumin and it is a bit too sweet.  It really needs the lime juice.  But the technique was fantastic.  I haven't actually served them yet, I've just been testing the seasoning for the past half hour.  They are amazing.   I will look into adding more heat for the next round.  I'll try to get a decent picture posted soon. (Spud 3 is using the good camera for a project.) 

Barn Quilt. Finally!

 You may recall this detail from my barn quilt, started months ago in response to a challenge at Kim's Crafty Apple
 Well, it is finally finished.  I used a bandana print for the binding.  I'm not too sure that I like it but it is finished. 

Here is a picture of the back including the fast finish triangles for hanging it. 

The quilt is made from quilter's cotton and some hand dyed fabric.  It is machine pieced and hand quilted using various threads.  It measures 10.5 x 12.5 inches. 

I think I will put it up for sale in my shop. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tutorial: Fast Finish Triangles

(Or how to do that thing I always forget to do until it is almost too late.)

Mini quilts can be very useful as mug rugs, coasters or as my friend Miss A says, "modern doilies".  But some of them are just too pretty to use to soak up your diet soda and cookie crumbs.  Those should hang on the wall.  AAQI recommends putting fast finish triangles on the back of art quilts submitted for their auction.  It is a simple matter to add them to your quilt... if you remember in time.

  A small piece of binding can be used to make them. 
 Square off the end of the binding.  Fold it up at 90 degrees to make a triangle. 
 Cut the binding along the edge of the folded piece.
 Leaving you with a right triangle with the fold on the long side and the raw edges on the short sides.
 Place the triangle with the raw edges toward the edge of your quilt.  Make sure you are placing them on the upper corners of your quilt so that it will hang right side up.  (Don't ask.)

Now if you are organized and thinking ahead, you will flip your quilt to the front and stitch on the binding using whatever cool tricks you use to attach it.  Your Fast Finish Triangle will be sew in with the quarter inch seam and you can finish your quilt as usual. 

If, however, you can never remember to put the triangles on at all, let alone before you stitch on the binding, never fear.  All is not lost.  Make you triangles as above.  Position them on the back and sew them on.  Just be sure to use a smaller seam allowance than your binding.

  Oh, and make sure that the little fold that flips over to the back to finish your corner is up and out of the way so that you don't stitch it down with FFT.  (Again, don't ask.)

No matter which way you add the triangles, once they and the binding are stitched securely, you simply finish the binding as you usually would.  I imagine if you are a supremely confident sewist, you can hand stitch the triangles in after the fact.  But them if you are a supremely confident sewist you probably thought to include them in the first round.

To hang your wee quilt using the FFT's you simply tuck a small stick, or straw or pencil into each pocket and rest the stick on you nail or hanger or push pin.  Ta. Da.  Easy to hang quilt. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Amaretto Punch

One of our guests brought a couple batches of leftover punch to the potluck last night.  Both were amazingly simple.  At least the instructions were.  The proportions may have to be adjusted to suit your needs but I don't think you can go wrong any way you mix it up.

Amaretto Punch

1 Carton orange juice
2 Cartons lemonade
enough Amaretto to make you happy
1 box orange sherbert.

It tasted like a dreamsickle or an Orange Julius.

Chocolate Mocha Punch

Chocolate milk
Vanilla ice cream

*You could add Kahlua or brandy or something if you wanted to give this one a kick.

(Crossposted at randp.)