by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

Creative Postcard Club

May 2nd, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Design - (0 Comments)

The Creative Postcard Club is “a group of professional designers, illustrators, design students and creatives alike from around the world who enjoy corresponding through our own postcard creations.” I have participated in many “rounds” of creating a postcard based on an assignment. Here’s the latest.

The assignment was to design a magazine cover. We were given a choice of three titles, but that was it. The rest of the content was up to the participants. If you’d like to see what the other members come up with, they’ll be posted later in May. (See the link in the blogroll.)

If you’re a graphic designer, be sure to check it out. It’s a really fun way to keep those creative juices flowing! Us quilters and craftspeople know that we hone our skills through practice, but I seldom think about doing that for my job. But really I should! Practice and self-made challenges are great ways to learn new skills, push boundaries and play in new directions…things that aren’t always possible in the parameters of the day-to-day business projects. That’s my two-cents…go out and challenge yourself!!

Wallpaper Design

April 30th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Design - (0 Comments)

I just completed a fun graphic design project for a current client. If you know me, you will laugh, because I’m not a racing fan at all, but with this project, hmmmm….. My sons really liked watching me work on it! I took some photos supplied by the client, added their logos and created 6 wallpaper designs for fans of Michael Annett. They are currently available at

Here’s a sneak peek:

Earth Day

April 24th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (0 Comments)

Did you do something nice for the earth on April 22?! I hope so!! If not, there’s still time…make it Earth Day everyday. Here’s a picture of my project.

My small mission for the earth is to reduce the waste of plastic shopping bags. I made this reusable tote using six plastic shopping bags, ironed together until fused. They made a heavier plastic, with a feel more like nylon. I could then sew it into a sturdier, reusable tote bag. Link to Etsy Tutorial.

My other favorite kind of reusable tote bags are the Mors Bags. I’ve made probably twenty of those out of sheets and old curtains and use them for most of my grocery shopping, those that I haven’t given away. Please visit:

Free-motion Embroidery Art Quilt

April 18th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in Quilting - (0 Comments)

I finished a UFO from a couple years ago today. It was packed away, and when I rediscovered it, it made sense what I needed to do next!! It was a light bulb moment…and right during Brennan’s naptime. So I worked as fast and furious as I could to finish it!

This was made with free motion embroidery on my sewing machine. There are only three thread colors and one background fabric. It is a subtle geometric design, with some botanical elements. I had a lot of fun playing with filling patterns in the border. I do enjoy the traditional stipple, but this was a way to break out of that (on a small scale). Hmmm. Maybe I should try those stitches on a larger scale!

Floral Hand Embroidery

April 18th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in Crafts - (0 Comments)

I like to do hand work when I’d rather be out in the living room with the rest of the family than in my studio. So, this is my latest little project.

I just purchased the book “The Embroiderer’s Floral” by Janet Haigh. It is a beautiful book, full of examples, patterns and ideas for projects. It’s my kind of book, too, lots of inspiration and little space devoted to instructions that I don’t need. I made a little list of projects that came to mind when paging through the book. It was tough to limit the list to the top 10!!
So, I have to decide what to do with this little treasure now.


April 11th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

I finished this Grandma’s Flower Garden quilt. It turned out a perfect size for a 12″ x 12″ shadow-box style frame. I’m very pleased with the results. Usually I display quilts, even small ones, by just hanging them on the wall…but this is a lesson in the difference a frame can make!

Click the thumbnail for a photo where you can see the stitches better.

Sid the Freshman

April 9th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All - (0 Comments)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed my Blogroll on the side bar. If not, I’d like you to look over there. I have a website about my graphic design business, my Quilties shop link AND a new one…my husband’s website. That’s right, David McGinnis is a talented cartoonist and he’s posted his comic strip, Sid the Freshman, on a geocities website. I hope you take a few minutes to read some of his strips. They are very fun!
Sid the Freshman

At My Sewing Machine

April 7th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All - (0 Comments)

After completing that baby blanket, I can get back into the creative mode. I sometimes only let myself “play” when there’s nothing else I “must” do. This project just made it back at my sewing machine, so I thought I’d share a work-in-progress.

This is a new attempt at quilt designing, using my computer. I started with a pile of coordinating fabrics. Then I used Adobe Illustrator (I don’t have a quilting program, yet!) to draft a few things, until I settled on the final design.
I like the “Trip around the world” pattern, so that was my start. Then I played with some of the rounds, altering and adding to them. You can still see the “trips” in my final, but I think it’s way more interesting!
I also had just discovered how much I enjoy paper-piecing, so I added the “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” appliqué in the center to start out the rounds.

I hope you enjoy seeing a little of my process. I look forward to revealing my finished piece!

Baby Gift

April 7th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All - (0 Comments)

I usually have one or more projects going that are “spoken for,” whether they are Christmas presents, other gifts or (now) inventory for sale. I love these projects and love giving handmade gifts, but it really is a relief when one is complete. I just finished this baby quilt for my niece-in-law’s new little girl.


March 27th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

I’ve added a projects section to my blog! I like teaching and writing instructions, so I will share some of them with you in the projects section. See the link under pages. Right now please check out the paper-piecing instructions. I have had a lot of fun with this technique recently, I think maybe you could too!