by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

Project Quilting 1:1

May 13th, 2010 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)

Yes, this is my third Project Quilting project, but they’re now calling this one Season 1, Challenge 1. I got third place last round, so I decided to keep up the momentum and try again. I made another successful project in just three days! The first day all I did was think about it. The second day I designed the blocks, cut them out and started piecing them. The third day I figured out a good way to present them all in one quilt….

So, the challenge is this: Cut 50 3″ x 5″ rectangles of any fabric and add up to 2 half-yard cuts to those for the entire quilt, including the backing and binding. You can manipulate, cut, or sew those rectangles in any way (including throwing parts out), you just need to start with those rectangles.

I chose my fabric first, some pretty batiks and a Floragrafix print. I chose 2 darks and two lights for the rectangles and two multicolor medium for the borders, backing and binding.

Then I designed my block. I turned under a 3/8″ seam allowance and folded the darks into prairie points which I decided to use for pinwheels. Then I made blocks around them with the light rectangles. After playing around a while, I decided to use the Floragrafix print for some of the light rectangles in the blocks to add interest and depth to the blocks.  I had to trim the rectangle pairs into squares before assembling, then I lined them up like a rail fence.

So now I just had the one mottled multicolor for all the backing/binding/borders, which I thought would work well, but I still cut it into two half-yard cuts to follow the challenge rules. I experimented with lots of arrangements of these four blocks. But I was somewhat stumped by the 1/2 yard pieces for the back/binding. That’s really not much fabric, and it’s long and skinny! So I decided to go with the flow and line them up on that 1/2 yard. They fit just perfectly!

I did screw it up a little by adding triangles to the end, but I really wanted it to look complete and well-finished as a table-runner. So I pieced the back to make it a little longer, added some borders to show off that multicolor batik and then sandwiched it Quiltie-style, sewing around the edges and turning it. That way I didn’t have to find enough fabric for binding strips!

I got all that done with a whole evening left to do the quilting, so I had some fun with free-motion, creating swirly wind around the pinwheels. (Click to see it bigger)

Finished piece is 48″ x 12″

Thistle Quilt

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

As promised, I’m sharing my completed thistle quilt. This was really just a practice piece to learn the paintstick technique, but that didn’t stop me from making it into a pretty quilt! I entered this in the Des Moines Area Quilter’s Guild Show in October.

See my March 2008 post for more details about the paint technique and design inspiration.