by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

Crafty Morning

March 31st, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts | Tutorials - (2 Comments)

Brennan frequently wants to go into the studio and make a project…regardless of the time of day. Before I even had my coffee finished this morning he wanted to start! I guess it’s my fault for making our bedtime reading a Family Fun magazine full of craft projects!

Oh but spring projects are soooo fun!!
Do you want to see what we made? (more…)

Angry Birds Christmas

December 27th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Crafts | Quilting | Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

My boys love Angry Birds this year…what kid doesn’t, huh? Well, I made them a few accessories to fill their requests for Angry Bird stuff.

By far the best was these hats!!

We had seen some knitted angry bird hats at a gas station and thought I could do a better job with fleece. I think I did!

Except that as you can see in the pic, Brennan’s was too small. I wanted them to be a surprise, so I couldn’t try them on the kids. I just measured from one of their current hats. But when constructing, forgot to orient the grain of the fleece so as to stretch AROUND their heads, so I did have to rip a few seams and reconstruct them once. Aw well. It was only too bad that I had made it fully-lined and top-stitched before realizing my error!!

The next thing I made was really my son Conal’s idea. He wanted a “Pig Fortress Building Kit.” His idea was to use foam or boxes to make bricks for building pig houses. I bought a sheet of 3″ thick foam and covered them with brick patterned fabric like you would a baby block. The roof is a sheet of heavy-weight plastic canvas covered in fabric and batting.

This was the tote bag and sign for storing the game.

Here’s a pig in his fortress!

And here’s the fortress after launching a bird at it! This makes me very glad they have a big basement room to go throwing around their toys in!!

Here’s a funny action shot of Conal trying out his angry bird hat and pig fortress on Christmas morning (hence the mess all around!)

I think I took enough photos of the process that I could write a quick tutorial, let me know if you’re interested.

Christmas Crafts

December 26th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Crafts | Inspiration | Quilting | Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Ok, before I tell you about my marathon of Christmas gifts, I have to say that I was still crafting today after making no less than 16 unique gifts this season! I just wanted to be back in my studio making stuff, so that’s what I did.

That and my friend Sherri’s suggestion to check out Pinterest was a good one. I had this inspiring pin board to get me crafting!

So I went to this tutorial at Retro Mama and made these little houses with Christmas fabrics. I have to say I like her fabric choices a lot better, but I started them with my Christmas bin of fabrics and they just turned out.

For Conal:

For Brennan:

For Dave (with Woodstock in the window):

And for me (yes, I wanted one too!):

They were really addicting and easy to make multiples of. I had to stop myself from sewing more of them and go play with my boys a bit!

If you want to get into Pinterest too or have already discovered the wonders…

Follow Me on Pinterest

Here’s another quickie project I did…by watching a video. They are just 4-strand braids in a ball, I’m going to add ribbons and make them into ornaments.

It’s still Christmas and the boys are happily playing with their new toys, I think I’ll go back to the studio! (Maybe I should clean up rather than making something this time, though!)

Project Journal

January 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All - (0 Comments)

This morning I sat down at my computer to print a couple photos of the projects I had finished recently to put into my Project Journal. Little did I know that it would be a full day of work, my book was sooooo far behind! I’m still not “caught up,” but I do have a lot more complete scrapbook of the projects I’ve made in the last few years. Want to peek?

I hate it when I realize that I have forgotten to take photos of something I’ve given as a gift. I missed almost everything from this Christmas. I think I may have to ask a few people to take photos of their gifts from me! Lisa did that when I came to her house the other day using the purse she gave me!!

Do you have a Project Journal or Quilt Journal? I think most of my quilting friends do. It’s good to have a record of what you’ve done, especially those that you give away. I love leafing through mine and remembering those projects I enjoyed so much!

I made my blank journal pages into a pdf… if you’d like to use them, you are welcome to! Download here.

Quiltie Bear Workshop

January 10th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (0 Comments)

This was my Sunday, a Quiltie Bear Workshop! I made six!

The plan: to make some Valentiney bears for my Quilties shop…

I built them assembly-line style. Conal helped with some of the tracing!

The actual result: a bear for each of my boys, THEN quilties bears!

Here is Brennan loving his bear. When I started taking photos of the other bears, he insisted on getting his picture taken…Mario costume and all. (Yes, he likes to wear his Halloween costume still, just for play! he he he)

Go to Quilties to see the finished bears… a little later today. Teddy Bears make great Valentine’s Day gifts!! (hint hint)

A Tote Bag Giveaway!

December 20th, 2010 | Posted by Emma in All - (8 Comments)

I’m pretty joyful today! It’s almost Christmas and I’ve had a lot of fun making presents and packages…the Christmas tree is right by my desk sparkling and looking pretty…so I’d like to try my first blog giveaway and have an excuse to send another package!

If you’d like to win one of my reusable shopping bags, here’s what you can do:

1. Make a comment on this post about anything you like in my Quilties Shop.

2. Like Quilties on Facebook and then leave a comment here that you did. Look in the right sidebar for a link.

3. Join this Site with Google Friend Connect and leave a comment on this post to let me know you did.

That’s three chances to win.

I’ll close comments on December 26, and draw the winner on December 27. Then after all the gift giving is over, there will still be one more in the mail for the lucky winner!

Gift Bag Tutorial

I also decided to make a quick little tutorial for the holiday gift bags I had so much fun making and wrapping gifts in. They’re really easy and you can have lots of fun mixing and matching festive fabrics and picking out a big perfect button.

See the projects tab on top for a link or click here.

Handmade Christmas Part 1

December 12th, 2010 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (0 Comments)

I LOVE making Christmas presents! There is nothing as fun as spending the whole day playing “Santa’s Workshop” and making as many presents as I can. I remember my mom trapping herself in the “sewing room” (a very small laundry room off the kitchen) and not letting anyone in while she was playing “Santa’s Workshop” so I know I’m not the only one who loves this. I have a very big list to get through and I hope I can do it in time for Christmas. I’ll show you a few of my creations as I am able…and I’ve also found quite a few ideas online to share with you.

The DIY Basic Bag…

The first thing I did was this pretty handbag. I made it from the DIY Dish’s “Basic Bag” tutorial. It’s super easy and fun, but I think it looks complicated and fancy, not basic at all. Check it out here. It’s really neat that you need 2 yards of coordinating fabric, how easy is that for shopping?! Although, you’ll see that with mine, I had trouble finding full yards in my stash, so I used a jelly roll to first make a yard of striped fabric, then make the bag.

Aren’t they pretty fabrics?! The jelly roll was a really nice one I received from Lisa at my quilting small group’s Christmas part last year…everyone loved the fabrics so much and passed them around, I knew they would like something made from it! So this was the gift I brought to this year’s gift exchange!

The Zippered Pouch…

Another perfect little gift is the zippered pouch. I made a few for my etsy shop and I may be giving away a few for Christmas! They’re fun to make and easy to customize for whatever style you think your recipient might like. Make it the right size for a handheld video game, phone or other gadget and it’s sure to be a hit!

This is the tutorial I used and loved, by “Make It Perfect.”

Repurposed UFO!

November 9th, 2010 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (1 Comments)

Funny story, I used to knit…I was never really “a knitter”, but I do know how and have done a few projects. A stuffed pig and dolphin were two of my very first projects, I also did a few slippers, hats and a nice backpack. Never a sweater. Never a finished sweater anyway! I did start one for Conal when he was about 2 years old. I bought yarn store denim yarn that was soft and wonderful and started a pretty simple pattern. BUT there was a big problem with the yarn I bought, and even though I checked the dye lot numbers, the color was still very different from one ball to the next and made a big ugly line down the front of the sweater. Sooooo, the yarn shop apologized, gave me free yarn replacements AND I started again. But I had really lost steam, Conal grew quickly AND I lost the book that the pattern was from! So it sat in my UFO basket high on a shelf in my studio for years!

I just looked at the beautiful half-finished sweater this year again and decided it needed to be completed. But without the pattern or a little boy small enough for it, it had to become something new.

Here’s what I did!

Fabric-lover that I am, I had to use some quilter’s cotton for the lining. I used the beautiful floral that I loved when making Assi’s quilt.

With my hand in the photo maybe you can tell size. It was a perfect fit, using the whole back of the sweater, folded lengthwise, including the nice ribbing for the top. Then I added the flap, with a magnetic closure and a decorative button. I finished it with an i-cord strap, not pictured, which I did have to knit this year. It was a pleasant way to pass the time at a soccer game, and I was surprised I could still knit without really looking! Yeah! (I couldn’t look away from the game too much or what kind of mom would I be?!)

So, if you don’t like that UFO you’ve got packed away, maybe you could turn it into something you do like!!

Non-colorfast Floss

January 6th, 2009 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)

So, if your hand-dyed embroidery floss says that it is not colorfast, it is REALLY not colorfast!! That is the moral of the story.

This pretty variegated floss was really fun to stitch with and made a beautiful little honeysuckle, but the fun ended there. I spritzed with cold water, as usual, to remove the water-erasable marking pen I used to draw on my design. The next day, this is what turned out.


So sad, but I should have known really.
At least I know I like the new design and I’ll just have to try it again with some tried and true DMC floss.

More Christmas Sewing

December 15th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (0 Comments)

Handmade Wool Felt Santa Pillow

Originally uploaded by Quilties

This handmade wool felt santa pillow design came from Better Homes and Gardens Publication: Holiday Crafts 2008. It was on the cover and I just had to make it! I even started a whole new drawer dedicated to wool felt and launched into the world of wool because of this very project!!