by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter
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Modern Quilt Guild Challenge

February 21st, 2014 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)
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In addition to Project Quilting, I participated in the Modern Quilt Guild’s most recent fabric challenge. The challenge started last fall, when we were given a set of fat eighths of Riley Blake fabrics. The only requirements were that we could use any Riley Blake fabrics including any (but not all) of the ones we were given and any solids to make any kind of quilted project. I could only find a few other Riley Blake fabrics locally to fill out the palette, but here’s what I came up with.

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Project Quilting 5:3 Candy

February 9th, 2014 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)
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This week’s Project Quilting Challenge: Candy!! I have a sweet tooth, yes I do, but for this challenge the first thing that came to my head wasn’t actually candy…it was the game “Candy Crush Saga!” I totally love playing that game on my ipad or iphone whenever I’m waiting in the carpool lane or otherwise away from my studio and need chill time. So I decided to make this project a bag that could carry my stuff AND my ipad when I go out. (more…)

Messenger Bags

October 13th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)
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Spurred on by a Modern Quilt Guild Tote Bag Swap, I made a new product for my Etsy shop….Messenger Bags! (None of these are for my swap partner though, that reveal hasn’t happened yet, so I’m not posting that bag yet!) (more…)

Project Quilting 4:6 Spring!

March 29th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)
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So sad that this is the last challenge of Project Quilting Season 4. I had a busy week in store, including a trip to Minnesota, so I went for a smallish project, something I knew I could get finished in time for the deadline. I based my inspiration on this piece, which just sold from my etsy shop. (I was sad to see it go!) The challenge was simple, “Spring”! (more…)

WIP Wednesday

August 1st, 2012 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (1 Comments)
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Ok, so it’s not really a thing that I usually do “Work-in-progress Wednesday”, but I have a few things in progress to tell you about that won’t be complete stories for quite some time, so it seems like a good idea!

1. Crane Star Pillow…

I saw this on the Patchwork Pottery Blog by Laurraine Yuyama and eagerly awaited the pattern release. I’m not a huge paper-piecing fan, although I’m getting pretty adept in it with all that Farmer’s Wife practice! But I AM a huge origami fan, so this pattern just jumped out at me as something I had to make! I love the way the paper piecing mirrors the folds in a real paper crane! (more…)

Project Quilting 3:3 Tools

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

Strawberry Fields Forever!

January 28th, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)
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Project Quilting 3:2 – be inspired by the title of a song

I had a piano book called “The Most Beautiful Songs Ever” open on my lap and thought that was a good place to choose a title from. There were lots of very cheesy, mucky titles about love and beauty and willow and stars…but then I asked Dave for a “visual” song title and this was his first idea. Brilliant!! I’m so glad I asked him. I wanted to make a totally recognizable “Strawberry Fields” quilt and I think I love it!  I listened to the song at least six times through while working on this.

It’s mostly improvisational. I just cut some rolling hills and arranged them right onto the batting and quilted them together. I didn’t even have the size nailed down when I started. Then I cut out a bunch of little strawberry parts while on the phone with my mom! I arranged them and stitched them on in a deliberatively sketchy way. I practiced that first on a separate piece, because I really loved my hills and didn’t want to wreck them. It almost could have been complete without the strawberries. But when I placed a strawberry on the fields, it made me smile and giggle out loud, so I knew it was right!

Then I had just a small chunk of that perfectly psychedelic binding fabric. So I chose to do a single layer, fused binding cut with a wavy rotary cutter, because I had to make it fit!  The finished quilt is 10.5″ x 18″ I made a challenge to myself that no side could be more than 20″ this time, because last time I started too big! Then I had to trim the sides a little because the binding fabric was too short! But I only used scraps and I’m proud of it!

Ok, so if you aren’t playing along with Project Quilting, I just have to tell you…on a Tuesday night, when usually I would be sitting around watching tv or cleaning the house I decided to start thinking about PQ and launched into this truly wonderful evening of quilting and being creative with time I otherwise wouldn’t have used for myself. It was a real treat, got my creative juices flowing and really energized my whole week!  The one week deadline may sound crazy, but it sure eliminates the UFO problem and I end up really enjoying the process from start to FINISH!

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The first challenge of the season ended this Sunday, so here’s how it turned out…

There were more entries than ever before! Click the collage image at the bottom of the post to be brought to the Flickr Gallery and see them all. The only real direction given was to be inspired by Architecture. So my inspiration came from architecture close to home…the tiles on the Iowa State Capitol floor. I thought they were beautiful when I visited the capitol a few years ago and took lots of photos, because I knew I wanted to make a quilt from them someday. This challenge was the perfect opportunity! I almost copied the design, using a photo as a reference and enlarging the pattern at a copy shop. But I changed the colors a bit, to include a shiny gold lamé, to symbolize our favorite part of the state capitol, the gold dome. My boys love “the Shiny Place” as they call the capitol and Brennan helped me pick out the shiniest fabric we could find at Joann. (We didn’t consider what a pain in the butt it would be to use!)  The rest of the fabric had to come from my stash, but I seemed to have the perfect mix of marbley batiks and prints that had stonelike textures. The yellow even has metallic gold spots.

The Finished Size is 29″ square…don’t ask me why I made it so big! I was asking myself that all week!

I didn’t bother cropping out Conal’s head and hands, because I wanted to give you an idea of how big I made it! I guess I just got too excited that I could get an enlargement at the copy shop and went crazy with it! But thankfully it was smaller than the width of fabric!

Here are some photos of my inspiration!

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Lil Monsters

November 5th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (3 Comments)
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I’m working on a super-fun project and I’ve been dying to show you my progress, but I had to wait for my replacement camera cord to arrive in the mail. It did just 10 minutes ago!! Here’s what I’ve been working on!

There! Those were the most fun pics! Before you start thinking I’m that clever, know that Kellie of “Don’t Look Now” is the author of this very fun pattern called “Lil Monsters” here’s her blog post about it. Please click the link to see the whole quilt pattern, it’s pretty great!

Here’s a few in progress pics, which I had hoped to show you last weekend.

I used my fiskars circle cutter to cut a whole lot of freezer paper circles.

See!

I had fun making striped fabric out of plain fabrics.This will be cut into triangles for the border.

The most fun, of course, are the monsters!

I’m loving Lite Steam a Seam 2 fusible web. I’ll have to write a post about that later, but it is the best stuff for making fusible applique easy!

Hope you’re liking it too, Paxton’s Mommy!

Violet Sashiko Round Quilt

July 31st, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

Looks like I took July off from blogging! I didn’t mean too, but I guess it got away from me. Isn’t that how summer goes?!

But I’ve had a fun summer so far. We just got done with Grandma Ginny’s second visit of the summer. Here’s a photo of her with the boys, in front of a lovely fairy tale quilt she made for Brennan a while back. We didn’t get much time to sew together this visit, but we did have a good time.

On my sewing table right now is a small group/guild project, a quilt for a veteran. Here is a not very flattering photo of the work in progress. Each of my small group members made a set of blocks, now I am sewing those into the rows and adding borders.

I’m also making yo yos in any spare moments I’m sitting down with my hands free…so here’s a basket with my progress. I’m half done with the count I need for my yo yo quilt!!  I saw a blogger with a  yo yo sew-along that I considered joining, but hers calls for more than 1,000 yo yos!! I’m thinking 409 is plenty for me for one project. I’m already itching to get stitching them unto a background. But then I have to decide which color the background will be and buy the yardage! I’m a little afraid of making that decision!

Now for the project I previewed in my last post…the Violet Sashiko Round Quilt. I need a good name for it still, obviously. But I designed this fun little circle quilt for my small group’s “Solids Challenge” to use solid fabrics in a project. I broke the rules with the binding…but I think you’ll agree, it was worth it. The binding has a purple and white dotty design that shows off the sashiko stitches fabulously!

I really wish I had a cute little round table to put this on!

The flowers are the Folded Rose from Rebecca Wat’s Book “Fantastic Fabric Folding.

Well, that’s all I have to show you for now, have a great summer Sunday!