by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter
Header

Brennan’s Room

February 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)
BrennansRoom1

For more than a week, Brennan had a beautiful quilt…in a room that looked like a tornado had gone through it! So we had to do something about that this weekend. His room is now fit for his new quilt and so much more!

(more…)

Bubblegum Square Dance

January 13th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Design | Quilting - (1 Comments)
bubblegumsquaredance1

My entry to Project Quilting Season Four, Challenge 1: Square in a Square…

My inspiration was the two striped fabrics with pink and brown that I had in my stash. I love how making an hourglass block with a stripe forms squares in squares in squares, so that was my only plan! (more…)

Project Quilting Season 4!!

January 6th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)
projectquiltingrecap

Just 10 minutes to the first challenge of Project Quilting Season Four! I’m giddy!

http://www.persimondreams.com/project-quilting/what-is-project-quilting

Get ready and join us!

Zakka Style

August 23rd, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)
zakka_1

One of my favorite parts of getting together with my small group of quilting friends is our show-and-tell! I love the inspiration from seeing their projects, in progress and finished works of art…but we also enjoy sharing our shopping finds. Someone usually brings their newest fabric purchases for us to oooh and aaah over and we pass around books and point out projects we’d like to make.

This was one of those Tricia brought, where everyone was saying “Emma that looks like something you should make”…they were so right! I had to buy the book for myself shortly after that meeting and started making things shortly after it arrived at my house! (more…)

New Pincushion for Retreat

April 19th, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts | Quilting - (0 Comments)
hedgehogpc2

I’m leaving tomorrow for a quilting retreat!!! I’m sooooo excited! I’ve had a very busy work week and even my evenings have been filled with meetings and things to do with my kids, so I am not as prepared as I would like to be…but I don’t care, I’m just going to drop everything, stop working tomorrow, stop worrying about the housework, bring as much as I can and just sew! (more…)

Fabric Boxes

April 16th, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)
fabric boxes2

I found a great tutorial to share with you! At “The Sometimes Crafter” Tutorial :: Fabric Scrap Basket

You may have seen it already, or something like it (the tutorial is dated 2009), but if you haven’t tried it yet…you should! (more…)

Project Quilting 3:4 Barn Quilt

February 26th, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (5 Comments)
barnquilt2

The theme for Project Quilting Challenge 4 of Season 3 is Barn Quilts. I did some research and found some beautiful barn quilt images from Iowa.

Luchsinger/Butler Barn, Dike Iowa

Bernie & Elaine Schnell, Parkersburg Iowa

Robert & Eileen Murra

So my concept started with a red barn sewing machine cover. I recently read that you should cover your machine to keep out dust. I’ve only ever thought of the dust that accumulates while I’m sewing, but I suppose there is just dust that will get in by sitting out too, so now I will keep it covered more while I’m not using it. I only had one good red fabric, so instead of piecing it together, I just quilted the lines for the slats of the barn wood, horizontal for most of it, vertical for the door. I added white windows and trim, like the Luchsinger barn and so many others. And I just happened to have a nice gray shingle-looking fabric for the roof. I constructed it in three pieces, the middle and two sides. The roof has a peltex stiff interfacing inside it that is pretty stiff. That way, the top is straight like a roof and the sides drape down nicely. Otherwise, I think it would have been lumpy and look more like my sewing machine than a barn.

Here are some photos.

Most barn quilts are painted onto plywood and hung as signs on the barns, so that’s how I did my barn quilts too, sort of! I painted white fabric, then sandwiched it into a little quilt and hung that on the side of the barn with some whipstitching. I like how they stand out a little from the barn. The painting was a little tricky and impossible to get totally smooth lines and pointy points. I taped it down, but it was still painting on fabric. But not as tricky as if I had tried to piece a three inch block that complicated!

Overall, I’m very happy with my new sewing machine cover! And I’m proud to have it done before the Sunday morning deadline!

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 15th, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All - (1 Comments)
valentine1

It’s a day late, but I want to wish you, my quilting friends…

a Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love you all!
– Emma

Project Quilting 3:3 Tools

February 12th, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)
mmmmpie1

mmmm PIE

For the Project Quilting Challenge theme of “Tools”, I chose pie-making tools as my subject. Pies are a big deal in my family; my mom is an expert pie-maker. We all love to eat pies on holidays. I have been making them for years and I’m fine at it, but it’s never quite as good as my mom’s pie. This year for Christmas she gave me a few tools of the trade, so maybe someday my pies will come close to the quality of hers!

I also enjoy making pies because it seems like such an old-fashioned homemaker-thing to do, so I made this quilt a little old-fashioned too with hand-quilting and a little primitive style. Because of all the hand-stitching I planned to do (and to give it a more kitcheny heritage) the quilt sandwich is made with kitchen-towel woven cotton for the batting. That made it a breeze to stitch through, but gave it a nice quilt weight too.

This mini quilt is 16″ x 19″

I gave it some three-dimensional details, such as the braid for the pie crust….I wish I could make pretty fluted crust edges like my mom can do!! The pastry blender has real wires. They are plastic-coated wires so they won’t rust on my quilt! The rolling pin is stuffed to be slightly rounded. The rolling cloth is the same kitchen towel fabric that is inside the quilt. I hemmed it before sewing on the appliqué to make it look more like a kitchen cloth.

One of my favorite features is the bottom border fabric. It is a leftover from the first curtain I made from my very first kitchen!

I hung it in my dining room recently because I had to wash my other cafe curtain. Look at that cute patchwork! It’s so fun to see old fabric like that be put to another good use. I love my new PIE quilt!

See the other Project Quilting entries at www.KimsCraftyApple.blogspot.com or The Project Quilting Flikr Group.

Oh, and I think you should see my mom, Ginny, the master pie-maker that inspired me to make this quilt. Here she is with her grandson. I’m pretty sure there was a pie in the oven when this photo was taken!

Tree of Life Block

February 2nd, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (3 Comments)
treeblock16

It’s my turn for the block of the Tree and House Quilt-along at Kim’s Crafty Apple. Here it is!

It’s a little bit of a pieced block to fit in with the others and a little bit Quilties, but I hope you have fun with it too!

 Download the TreeofLifeBlock PDF pattern.

If you’d rather see the instructions online, keep reading.

Materials Needed:
• Lightweight fusible interfacing
• 12 – 2 ½” squares
• Flower and leave fabric scraps
• Light background fabric 8 ½” x 10 ½”
• Ground strip 8 ½” x 2 ½”
• Water soluble glue stick
• Optional fusible web

Step One: Patchwork Squares Side
Cut a strip of lightweight fusible interfacing 5″ x 15″ and arrange your 2 ½” squares along this strip in two columns.

Line up edge to edge as perfectly as you can, then fuse the squares to the interfacing.


First you will sew the short seams across these squares by folding over the first two right sides together and sewing a ¼” seam from the edge of the interfacing.

Fold the next two and sew the seam and so on, for five short seams.


Trim the seam allowances just a tiny sliver (just enough to cut off the fold) allowing you to press the seams open.

Press open, then fold in half the long way and sew the ¼” long seam. Trim and press open as before.


Step Two: Assemble the Background
Press an 8 ½” x 10 ½” piece of interfacing to the reverse side of your background fabric. Sew the ground strip to the bottom of the interfaced background. Then stitch the side panel to the background/ground unit.


Step Three: Appliqué the Tree of Life
If you prefer to appliqué with fusible web, fuse the web onto several green and floral scraps. Free cut various flowers from floral motif fabrics. Also free cut some simple leaf shapes and 5-6 small strips of brown tree trunk fabric.

Note: I do not use fusible web, it gives it a little fluffier look, the edges will fray more, but I like that. You can decide what will suit your quilt better!

Arrange your tree free-hand, starting with a good tree trunk and branches, adding flowers and leaves until you like the look of your tree. Don’t worry if the flowers are not all from the same fabric, it looks a little more whimsical that way! Use a glue (or the fusible web) to adhere them to the background just enough for quilting.

Step Four: “Quilting” the Tree
At this point, you are not exactly quilting because you have not assembled your sandwich, but you can sew a single line of stitching around the edges of all the appliqué pieces. This will hold the pieces on and can be decorative as well. I added a little texture to the tree trunk and veins in the leaves. Use thread that is either matching all the parts or neutral enough to not stick out. (click the photo to see it bigger and see the stitching.)


That’s it, your “Tree of Life” block is done and I’m sure it’s as unique as you are!
Enjoy the rest of the Quilt-a-Long!
– Emma Thomas-McGinnis

p.s. If you’re a new guest here, please stay a little while and look around my blog. I hope you’ll join me as a friend of Quilties too!