by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

English Paper-piecing

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

November 20, 2007, Sharon Meisenheimer gave a presentation to the Des Moines Area Quilter’s Guild Newcomers group on the topic of English paper-piecing. She was wonderful and the quilts she showed were truly amazing! I had fun with the little project we tried and have done a few more English paper-pieced projects since.

The first project was one for the center of a larger quilt. The hexagons were 1 1/2″.


Then I tried a smaller version, which I will finish as a small framed piece, like in Quilt magazine April/May 2008 called “Nana’s Flower Patch”. These hexagons were only 3/4″, but I don’t think it was significantly faster!


Website Redesign

March 17th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Design - (0 Comments)

You may have noticed that my website changed a little. I kept the same graphics and feel, but I’ve recreated it for better search engine optimization. (So I hope!) This means that there is now more text, as text, and fewer images that contain text. That way the search engines can read my site and catalog it.

I expanded the table a bit, as I’m thinking people have bigger screens these days. I know, lots of you are on laptops, but, my brother just got a 24″ screen Mac, so I know some folks out there are upgrading!! (Lucky you!) I also updated my nav bar and changed the background color from black to a softer gray.

Original Homepage
Original Website

Redesigned Site

Website Redesign
Search engine optimization is a complex topic and I have just begun to research it. I found a couple good articles, but have lost the links! When I find them again, I will post. is one good place to start reading, if you’re interested.

A portfolio in a portfolio

March 10th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

It occurred to me that if you’re interested in seeing some of my artworks, you may not think to go to my professional portfolio. But I have a section on my design website dedicated to my fine arts. Here’s a link.

I have sections there for quilting, computer art & photography, creative postcards and other 2D art.
I need to update them, but I hope you enjoy what I have there!

Baby on Quilt

March 7th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)

I promise this won’t be a blog all about my kids…but I just have to post this adorable photo of my youngest on a quilt. The quilt has been a UFO for a couple years because I hand-quilted it, but I bound it last night! Baby is proud of his mommy for this one, look!

Brennie on Quilt

Paintsticks on Fabric

March 6th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)

My mom came for a visit and brought a new art medium to show me and let me try: Shiva paintsticks on fabric. I had to choose a stencil design. I used an applique pattern, then traced it onto freezer paper and cut out all the pieces carefully with an Xacto knife.
Paintstick Stencil
I chose fabric and ironed the freezer paper parts onto it, putting all back together except for one color area. I used a stiff stencil brush and slowly built up the paint color in thin layers, rubbing from the paper onto the fabric and around in little circles. That’s why the paper in the photo looks painted.
When the first color was finished, I ironed those pieces of paper back over the paint and removed the next color area pieces. After getting used to the process, I tried blended two colors to make a nice pink to purple blend.
One Painted Applique
The finished piece had a translucent painterly quality. I really like the effect! You can reuse the freezer paper stencils, so I made a four-patch.
Four-patch painted thistle
Now I need to decide how to make it into a finished piece!
Hopefully, I’ll publish that soon, too.

Credits: Ginny Thomas showed me this technique, Nancy Kazlauckas taught Ginny, The design came from Piece O’ Cake Designs’ Book: Flowering Favorites.

Quiltie Ideas

February 29th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

Trying to decide what others would like for a quiltie is a fun job! I’m thinking about what rooms they may put them in, what things my make a collector want one, or what occasion someone might give one for….
So far occasions have been holidays: St. Patrick’s Day, Easter
Rooms: Kitchen, Baby’s Room

Yesterday I walked by the greeting card aisle and thought that would be a great place to go for inspiration…but it was getting close to an hour trip with both kids, so I’ll have to plan on that for another time!

Feel free to submit ideas for me!!


February 26th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

I’ve embarked on two new adventures all at once…and this blog got swallowed by the other one, until now. I’ve also opened an etsy shop. Here’s the story:
Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday, after Christmas, so I always try to do a little something nice and unexpected for friends and family. This year I bought a doodlebat called “Lovey Dovey” with cute little birdies snuggling and sending out hearts. I blew them up, printed them up and stitched them with a stem-stitch, like redwork. They were so cute I built little quilts around each one.
Valentine Quiltie
My son Conal loved them and called them “Quilties.” Thus, the name of the shop!
I haven’t received permission to use the fonts for quilties that I sell, so I’ve been busy sketching up my own designs. That’s a challenge for me, but a fun and satisfying one. Each little quiltie is truly my creation.
More about quilties to come.

Welcome to my blog!

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

I hope you’ll have a pleasant visit here on my blog. My writings will focus on various art and design projects…quilts, art projects, graphic design, mail art, nature photography & digital artwork…we’ll see!