Waggons West Etsy Shop

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Math Problems

My life has become that math problem. 

You know.  The one where boy  A has car 1.  Boy 2 has car X.  Dad is in another state.  How does boy C get home from school. 

Or something like that. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Green Beer

I was in the process of making more green beer patches, when I received an email letting me know that this little patch was included in an Etsy Treasury of Green beer by shop owner Tubbilicious.  Who knew there were so many variations of green beer out there.  I was particularly amazed to see the number of what appear to be commercial fabrics with green beer on them. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Little Quilt Sew Vote Swap!

 Just look at what came in the mail today!  The most beautiful little quilt you can imagine.  It is called "Flirting in Church".  It was made by SewGentle.  It is truly a work of art.  When I first saw it in the Little Quilt Sew Vote Swap flickr page I studied it and studied it.  I thought I had a clue about how a cathedral window quilt would go together.  But this one is different.  Seeing it up close and personal, I am still not sure how it works.  In her note, Karen says she 'bucked' her teacher and added fabric so the petals wouldn't be gray.  Nothing like a quilt rebel to come up with an entirely new look! 

You can see a little better how it looks.  It is just beautiful.  My very first choice.  I was so happy to see it land in my mailbox today. 

And she added some lovely extras.  A notepad that will quickly become well used and an adorable tissue holder.  THANK YOU.  Sew Gentle.  This is a treat that will be treasured! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Project Quilting 4:4 Seeing Stars

This week's entry in the Project Quilting: Seeing Stars challenge.

This is made using the tutorial  by Janice from Better off Thread at Sew Mama Sew.   The directions in the tutorial are clear and simple. The piece went together easily.  I didn't cut half square triangles for the stars.  I just laid scraps across the blocks, made sure they would cover and stitched them down.  It was easiest to square up when I left the entire background block intact before trimming.  However, that left a little more bulk in the seam.  Not really a problem except in a couple of spots where I had to iron against the bulk in order to get the seams to nest.  I left the last bit of the smallest star as a strip rather than separate blocks.  There are a couple other places where that would work and I would probably do that if I was going to us the block for a larger quilt.

I tried this pattern because I have been working out some different designs with blocks of different sizes in my head and I wanted to see how these fit together.  I think I have a handle on the strategy and will be trying some of those ideas in the future. 

The quilting is wonky stitches with pearl cotton.  It probably needs more quilting.  However, it really needs to have beads or buttons and I don't have the correct type of either at the moment.  

The Details: 
The block measures 20 x 20 inches.  It is made from a dark blue (navy?) Kona and scraps from my stash. The backing is muslin.  It is hand quilted with #12 Pearl cotton.  There are no hanging devices on the back as yet. 

I still have to get a decent picture of it.  Here is a slightly different angle with a closer view of the stitching.

I will post more details and pictures tomorrow when the sun is out.  Unfortunately that won't be until after the PQ deadline of noon.  Thus, a quick shot. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stitching away

Trying to finish my Seeing Stars Challenge in time. 

I really don't like it when a project with a tight deadline decides it wants to be hand quilted. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In the Q

Lots of snow here today and another snow day already called for tomorrow.  We'll try to have a Cardboard Classic sled race in the afternoon!

In the meantime, I have a LOT of work to do on my PQ project for this week.  I've got almost nothing done. 

(Q is the name given to this winter storm.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Time Enough for Love

Finally the time has come that I can share the little quilty I made for my first entry into the Little Quilt Sew Vote Swap swap on Flickr.  This is actually the third quilt I started and the first I finished for this swap.  I started one for the December swap but got hung up on it.  Time ran out for that swap.  I am still hung up on it.  I didn't do something right and I can't figure out how to get past it.  The second idea wasn't much better.  It is a cute wee quilt (even the LQS lady thought so and she is pretty tough).   But  I need to rip out and re-do some part but I can't decide which one.  So it is awaiting and not revealing on the off chance I enter it in the next round.  Time to move on.

The deadline for this round was the 15th.  Time was short.  As I sat staring at my stash on the evening of the 13th, It finally occurred to me.  I was going to make a bright happy pieced and appliqued quilt with a boat or a village on it.  Yep.  Hot pink, lime green, turquoise!  All the brightest.  I could see the whole thing mapped out in my mind.  As I pulled out all of my cream and beige text prints.

Uh Huh!  a bright pink and red pieced heart would be perfect on  this background.  Of course that Madrona Road print just had to stick itself to the heart pattern.  All it needed was a bit of brightly colored ribbon to set it off.  Perhaps the wide purple?  The lime green?  Aah, the white eyelet.  Absolutely!  Thus the too short beige crocheted lace.  But I would use buttons.  Bright Red Buttons.  That would make it perfect.  Bright and Cheerful all the way.  Yep!  Nothing like a muted baby blue button placed just so. Now the binding, that was going to be easy.  I have a lovely, already cut, stitched and ironed piece of contrasting text just waiting to be set aside for the uncut blue.  Exactly the way I pictured it right from the start! 

Yep.  Nothing but the brightest cheeriest prints for my low volume ode to Valentine's Day.  Can you tell I was watching the Maker and the follow on video about the glass blower?  OK probably not, but go watch it.  Then you'll understand.  And the name too.

The details:  12 x 14.5 inches.  Made from low volume quilter's cotton.   Machine pieced and quilted.  Embellished with antique crocheted lace and an assortment of vintage buttons.  It has fast finish triangles on the back for hanging. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

This is NOT a Recipe: Strawberries and Cream Dip

This is NOT a recipe.  It can't be a recipe because I have no real idea what I did to make it.  But I am going to write down what I think I did before I forget so that I can try to make it again and tell you what it really is.

I needed to take a snack to a committee meeting this evening.  I didn't have time, only 10 minutes.  I had a bag of brownie crisps from Costco.  They are crispy brownie-like crackers with chocolate chips in them.  All by themselves they are pretty much sugar chocolate overload.  I really am pretty much constitutionally incapable of showing up with a purchased snack.  So I had to make something to go with them. 

A quick look in the fridge turned up a jar of lingonberries and a block of cream cheese.  OK.  Good. I'll whip of the cheese, stir in the lingonberries and be set to go.  Except that the cream cheese wasn't soft and I now had 8 minutes to departure.  

Back to the fridge...  Sour cream.  OK.  Super.  Dump in some sour cream.  Probably about a 1/2 cup.  Ooops.  Too much.  Now it is runny and lumpy and sour creamy.   Hmmm.  To the pantry.  Brown Sugar.  What the heck.  Dump some in...  probably about 1/4 cup.  Mixer going full blast.  Lumps getting smaller.  Great cheesecake base.  Eggs won't cook in the remaining 5 minutes.  Hmmmm...  back to fridge.  Strawberries.  Mixer still going.  Chop strawberries.  Probably about 1/3 cup.  Need to make it a LOT more next time.  Stop mixer.  Mix in berries.  Spoon into dish.  Cover and head for door.  

The dip itself is a bit much.  Not too sweet, tasty but needs something.  The amazing thing is that dipping the brownies into the dip with a chunk of strawberry is sublime.  I can't recall a time when I've made a dip that worked so perfectly with the dipper that I never want to eat either alone or with anything else again.  Very interesting.

So, this isn't a recipe. It is a reminder.  Something I need to deconstruct, reconstruct and measure so that I can share it with you.  But if you do try it, let me know how it goes.  And be sure to share your suggestions in the comments.  

***  As a special note, do not add the strawberries in if you are not going to us it right away or if you plan to store the leftovers.  Between the fresh berries and the sour cream, something decided to ferment after a day in the fridge.  To be perfectly honest, it tasted great, but a bubbling, foaming, fermenting dip is probably not what you really want to serve your typical guests. 

Happy President's Day

It was a long weekend of traveling for me.  WaggonsWest went East to do the Flying Monkey show in Huntsville.  We tried out the new smaller table display.  I made a fitted skirt for the 4 foot table so the Mr can take just badges when he is in town.   This is a really fun show to do.  The community is fantastic.  The traffic is good.  We have fun at this one. 

 Travel to H'ville means that I get to take a break in Paducah.  Found a few pieces on the remnant table to fill in for projects for some friends.

And I got a few basics and another piece of the Fairy Tale Friends line.   The navy Kona's will probably go into a bigger version of the drunkard's path.  The brown didn't photograph well, but it is an absolutely gorgeous rich shot cotton.  I've got a few ideas for that one!  And another piece of black Kona since I've been ripping through my stash of that (literally)!

Now I have a few badge orders to make and ship and I've got to figure out how I am going to interpret this week's Project Quilting Challenge :  Wish upon a Star.  As I have been saying all season, my goal is to improve my technical skills.  The last challenge was a new technique, but not a lot of technical accuracy.  I am torn between doing something wild and taking on one of those "never see the light of day on my bucket list" projects with y-seams and crazy angles.  I dunno. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Kudos to Violet Craft

Violet Craft is the designer behind the Madrona Road line of fabric for Michael Miller and the reason for all of the Madrona road quilts and pics all over the blogo-twitto-instasphere.  Over 250 quilts were entered into the contest.  (If the St Louis Modern Quilt Guild is anything to by there were a LOT more projects created, they just didn't hit the official deadline.) 

While creating a line of fabric and inspiring the creation of amazing quilts is kudos-worthy, it is Violet's charming response that is most meritorious.  Just today, she showed up on my wee blog with a polite comment about my quilt.  It takes a lot of time to come up with something nice to say about literally hundreds of  quilty projects.  So many thanks to her for taking the time to let us know that she really has personally looked at every one. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sssshhh It's a Secret

I have just finished two quilts, but they are both have to stay a secret.  So I will have to leave you with this wintery picture from a few years ago.  I must note that not only have my jonquils been above ground since the beginning of January, but the little short sprouts have giant buds on them today.  I had assumed with the cold, we'd have a late Spring.  I might be wrong about that. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

By the Numbers

I have some quilty ideas running around my head and some recipes to share but I have more numbers to make first. Fortunately I am finished with the Robot numbers.  One of the fabrics was a real pain and the last couple sets are not perfect.  I spent all day yesterday, picking stitches out of one piece.  Only to end up boofing it again.  Luckily the second boof wasn't as bad as the first and the numbers could be used.  I offered to restitch if they sent me more fabric but they seem happy enough with it.  I do think what I see as HUGE, GINORMOUS flaws probably won't show when the bot is running.  I guess that is the equivalent of the galloping horse rule. 

This project is for 3 inch patches.  That is a lot bigger than my usual 2 inch patch.  The customer also wants individual numbers for each player.  We worked for quite awhile to come up with something that would suit her project.  After much conversation we decided to go with the smaller orange number and a blue surround.  These badges will go to a basketball team as an end of the season treat.  
One of the things I like the most about custom work is that I end up learning new things about digitizing and about my machine. 

Monday, February 11, 2013


I am sitting here trying to compose my thoughts.  So many things going on around me.  So much to be done.  And then some very sad news.  A family with a great gaping hole.  A life cut off too soon.  Not close but close enough to leave a lasting ache.  Understanding the magnitude of emotion but unable to process their future.  Unable to process the reality.  Unable to process. Too far away to lend a hand or a hug.  So I will hold those close to me and pray. 

There but for the grace of God... 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Side Tracked.

Spud 3 is pretty quiet and self-contained.  He goes about his business without a lot of fanfare.  Every now and then he pops up with a request.  They are so few and far between that it is pretty hard to turn them down.  This time he sidled into the conversation... well, actually he called me from the robot work room which was pretty much a clue something was up. 

"So mom, your machine can stitch numbers can't it?"
"Yes, it can.  Why do you ask?"
"Well...  we'd like to have the numbers stitched on the robot bumpers instead of using decals."
"OK, but you are going to have to help!"

So here we are with a newly digitized set of numbers stitching out onto 7 of the 8 sides of the robot bumpers.  He is doing a fantastic job of lining things up and hooping them.  Now I know who to call the next time I have to get it exactly right! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Project Quilting 4:3 Emergence

Emergence of beauty and light.  A tribute to the strength of a creative spirit and an amazing ability to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles to satisfy an artistic urge. 
This week on Project Quilting we are asked to draw our inspiration from the work of Annie Young.  In her own words, she is a challenged artist who uses texture to paint from an inner vision.  You should spend some time looking at her work.  Then recall that she is blind. 

Looking through her work I came across these images that struck a chord with me.   (Go look.  I'll be here when you get back.  You really need to see her work.)  These images are probably the least graphic of those published on her blog.  But they made sense to me.  

Any quilt made from this source of inspiration needed to have lots of texture.  It needs to be a tactile quilt.  I decided to try a chenille technique.  Annie's paintings are full of color an movement.  Color is another essential piece of the inspiration.  Finally, there had to be a sense of darkness to show the incredible challenges she faces in creating her work. 

Thus Emergence.  A hand cut, quilted chenille piece inspired by Annie Young.

This quilt is 11 x 12 inches.  It is made from quilter's cotton yardage and scraps.  It is machine quilted with a hand stitched binding.  It has fast finish triangles for easy hanging.  

And one more bonus from this project.  In pursuit of the right colors to use, I had to organize all my scraps.  I now have bits, strings, strips, chunks and orphan blocks all in their own containers! 

Be sure to head over to the Project Quilting Flickr page and check out all of the other quilts this week. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sneak Peek

Here is a quick look at my PQ 4:3 quilt.  I'll post the whole thing when the light is better tomorrow. 


I'm trying something new for the third challenge in Project Quilting.   After getting a little further along I can definitely say that it is straight lines for the win.  And while they are technically quilting lines that isn't the real technique here.  I should have some progress to show you later today.  For now, I'll leave you to guess what I am doing. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Guest Post: Project Quilting.

Project Quilting Season 3 Barn Quilt Challenge.  My better late than never entry.
If you have been following me for the last month or so, you know that I have been playing in the Project Quilting sandbox.  Kim's Mother-in-Law dreams up a theme, adds in some rules and gives us a week to make a completed quilt.  The last two rounds have have over 50 entries each!  that is a lot of quilts to be made in just two weeks.  Naturally most of the quilts are small (although some over-achievers make huge projects). 

Project Quilting suits my work style.  I have to think about what to make that will fit the challenge.  I have a short deadline.  I can make any size quilt I choose.  I really enjoy it.   I was hooked in season three with the barn quilt challenge.  It actually took me months to finish.  I set a goal for myself to finish one challenge on time in season 4.  So far, I've managed to keep up. 

Kim has added a new challenge this season. I will let her tell you about it.

Hello everyone! This is Kim from Persimon Dreams, www.PersimonDreams.com, and I’m so happy to be here sharing some exciting Project QUILTING news with you. We are currently in the midst of Season 4. The first two challenges inspired over 100 quilts to be created – so amazing! The third challenge went up on Sunday, February 3rd and I can’t wait to see what comes from it (still time for you to join in!)
I personally love Project QUILTING because it has been extremely inspirational to me in my quilting journey. I know I only have a week for the projects but it’s a great opportunity to give ideas in my mind a try – see what happens, try new techniques. If it works…maybe I’ll do a bigger project that takes more time.
Project QUILTING - Architectural Elements Challenge - Barn Bones
For instance – I tried out free form quilting for the first time in Season 3 of Project QUILTING to create ‘Barn Bones’.  I LOVED it…so later when I undertook a Scrap Challenge I created this…

Amazing Tehcnicolor Dream
Scrap Quilt
The Amazing Technicolor Dream Quilt
Project QUILTING has me creating pieces I never imagined before and the Project QUILTING community has been such an inspiration and support.
I have heard from many that they love watching along with Project QUILTING and the projects created from the challenges but they just can’t fit making a quilt in just one week. That’s what my exciting news is all about today – a new *Bonus* Project QUILTING Challenge. I’ve teamed up with a fabulous online fabric store – The Fat Quarter Shop to bring you all the ‘Fat Quarter Shop Bundle Challenge – Tradition Times Three’.
Diane outlines what is required for this particular challenge. You must go to the Fat Quarter Shop to by the fabric bundle in order to participate in the challenge BUT the twist is – you have until May 30th, 2013 to submit your challenge! At that point, one of my girls will randomly draw a winner of $75 to use at the Fat Quarter Shop.
I also wanted to share with you a few ways you can save on your fabric bundle. First – head over to my blog and enter in the giveaway I posted today: Bundle Giveaway!
OR if you want to save 20% off your entire purchase of fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop check out this blog post to find the special code – good through February 10th.
Thanks for having me and I hope to see you all with a quilt in one or more Project QUILTING Challenges. Have a great rest of your week!
~Kim Lapacek

Thanks Kim for hosting such a fun set of challenges.  Thanks Diane for coming up with such challenging inspirations.  Thanks to all the participants for setting such a high bar. 

Now, I have to go and figure out what I can possibly do for the challenge 3!


The wintery weather has been perfect for baking.  Fortunately the church is providing a meal for a group this week.

So I can bake to my heart's content and send it all off for the benefit of some one else. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What's for Dinner Mom?

It is a good day when you tell the spud what is for dinner and he says "awesome". 

Light Snow

This was the scene out my front door at 11 pm last night.  It was actually quite dark in a bright, snowstorm kind of way.  The digital camera compensated. 

We ended up with 4 inches of snow.  Not bad for a forecast of light snow. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

I've Venn Thinking

I've been pondering the difference between art and craft.  What is it that makes one person an artist and another a craftsman?   I can see the overlap.  But what are the distinctions?  Particularly when it comes to quilting.  What is an art quilt and what is just a quilt?  I have some ideas but I thought I'd ask the question of you first. 


Oh, my!  Look at all that lint on my presser foot.  Funny what shows up in pictures. 


That is all.