Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Feature Artist - Martha Walker

Jean here, with a few words.  I am so pleased to feature not only a fantastic artist, but a friend and neighbor.  Martha and I met through a mutual friend who has also appeared on this blog, Ingrid Vient. We are also mutual friends with Carolyn Addie, another Featured artist from our Blog.  I am blessed to be surrounded by so many talented and inspiring people. It brings joy to see their varied creations and enjoy their friendship.  And with that..........Meet Martha.....

Martha Walker 
owner of Wagons West Designs.
I always enjoyed drawing in grade school, but the thought of becoming an artist as a vocation first popped into my head on a trip to New Orleans in the Fall of my 4th grade year. Around the courtyard of the St. Louis cathedral were artists with their paintings hanging on the wrought iron fence surround. That looked like fun! I proclaimed my newfound goal of becoming an artist to my parents, who took that to heart, and for my next birthday they gave to me an easel, oil paints and a canvas pad. They also found a woman who taught oil painting to students in her basement, and I began going to her home once a week after school to learn all about mixing oil paints and painting on canvas.
In middle school and high school I took every art class that was offered. At the same time that I was working at improving my drawing and painting skills, I was also intrigued with sewing and embroidery. My mother signed me up for a dressmaking class when I was 12, and I was off and running after that, making most of my own clothes, from dresses to bathing suits, tailored jackets to lingerie.

When I began college I was so excited to major in fine art. But after a few years, I began to have misgivings about my major. It was the late 70's, and the economy was very depressed. I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to make a living as an artist, and regretfully changed my major to business, and changed art to a minor.  But the dream of making a living as an artist always lingered, and in 2007 I launched my business, Wagons West Designs, with the publication of Vintage Christmas, a pattern book for projects such as quilts, punch needle, wool appliqué and Christmas ornaments.

My "Glitter Bird Clips" are one of the ornament projects included in Vintage Christmas, made with fabric, paint and mica slivers. Also from Vintage Christmas is the "Santa in cone", made with paper clay, gesso and paint, fabric and yarn.
Since Vintage Christmas, I have written two more books: Be Merry: Quilts and Projects for Your Holiday Home, published by Kansas City Star Books, and Annie's Scrapbag.  My work has been featured in magazines such as Quiltmaker, Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine, Quiltmania, Simply Vintage, Quilt Country, Magic Patch, and Quilter's Newsletter Magazine.

The last two years I have had the great pleasure to work with Studio e Fabrics and Henry Glass Fabrics in designing two fabric lines: Elementary for Studio e Fabrics, which was released in 2013, and Sentimental Stitches for Henry Glass & Co., which was released this year, and is scheduled to be delivered to quilt shops this month! Designing a fabric line involves two things I love best - drawing and quiltmaking!

You may find some supplies for making similar projects here.....
paper mache cones


  1. Lovely to meet you Martha!
    Your Santa in a cone and Bird on a clip are so sweet- thanks for sharing here today! ")

  2. Such lovely work! Such a pleasure to meet you! Thanks for sharing your work with us!

  3. Thanks for sharing Martha and so nice to meet you! The Santa in a cone is my favorite!

  4. Martha, you are so very talented, and I enjoyed reading all about your creative journey. Thank you for sharing your beautiful works with us, and I, too, am so happy to meet you!

  5. So glad to show you off! What a joy to see your work!

  6. Thank you for sharing your lovely art with us!

  7. I enjoyed meeting you and I like both the bird and the cone♥

  8. Looking forward to your creations, Martha!