by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

Project Quilting 4:6 Spring!

March 29th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

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…)

UFO: Sashiko

February 10th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)

I recently finished a long-time UFO! Yippee!  I received a pre-printed sashiko panel and supplies from my good friend Teresa for my birthday not long after I met her. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise and I was grateful for it. I worked on the panel for a while, getting about half-way through the stitching when I set it aside in a UFO basket not to be touched again for a few years. Sad!! (more…)

Shamrock Medallion

January 27th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Project Quilting Challenge Entry 4:2, the theme: “My Favorite Color,” the challenge: to use only one color and white in your project.

I fell in love with this embroidery pattern on Sunday morning and couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather spend the week working on. So I literally worked on it all week…when I was picking the boys up from school, while watching tv in the evenings and even a little in my lunch breaks. It took a bit longer than I thought it would, but I still really love the design and how it turned out! (more…)

Project Quilting 3:3 Tools

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

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 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!

Valentine’s Day Quilties

January 22nd, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)

I love hearts, I love pink, I love flowers and roses and all things Valentine’s Day!!!! I just love it! Here’s a few of the fun things I’ve made for this fabulous holiday!

This first heart wreath quiltie sold the day after I posted it. Sad to see it go so fast. I love that border fabric!

This next one is available to purchase at my etsy shop and so are these fun sets of heart sachets (click the photos to go to the listings).

UPDATE: If you would like to make some of these cute little sachets, look above to the links bar and see Projects…I made up a pdf pattern for you! It’s not a step-by-step tutorial, because it’s really simple, and I like patterns that can print in only one page. If you make some, let me know, I’d love to hear about it!

I noticed that my roses quiltie had been in a few treasuries and favorites, so I decided to make another one. Love this border fabric too, it’s a little funky, a little vintagey and really pink!

Then you might not have noticed some of my zip pouches from earlier in January, they would be great for Valentine’s Day!

Can’t wait for Heart Day!

Christmas Quilties

December 30th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I had a special custom order this holiday season, for a good friend of mine who wanted ornaments for her family. I was given suggestions as to the interest of each family member and came up with a little embroidery design for each. With a printed greeting on the back, I made mini quilt blocks for the front and back and turned them all into Christmas tree ornaments.

I didn’t make new ornaments for my shop this year, so this project filled that void…but I was very tempted to make more. Next year I hope to have more orders for ornaments like these, they were very fun! I think the customization made them even more special. I’m not sure if the photos do them justice, it is pretty fun to hold these tiny quilts!

Fall Quilties & Antiques

September 11th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Inspiration | Quilting | Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

It felt like summer today…even too hot to mow, yet I was pretending it was Autumn. Because it’s on the way you know!

I worked on some new stuff for Halloween and fall. The most fun was altering the Easter bunny pattern to be some cute little ghosties! What do you think? They’re very huggable. I wish photos could show you how squishy they are! I may have to get one of my boys to do some posing with them.

I also drew a new Halloween quiltie design and a Thanksgiving one (still in progress).

Spooky works in both white on black and black on orange. Conal says he wants one with a lime green border, with orange on black, that sounds like it would be fun too!

I really had fun with that patchwork border on the orange one…to make the best use of that vintage Halloween print fabric by Moda.

Anyway, not all of them are listed in my shop yet, but some are and more will be soon, along with some oldies but goodies brought out for fall! Gotta love this Jack O’ Lantern, don’t you?

Also fitting in with the fall colors is this beautiful basket/trunk I bought for $5 at the Antique Show my boys and I went to in Valley Junction this morning. I can always get them to go to events in Valley Junction by just reminding them that Nan’s Nummies (their favorite candy store ever) is there!

I really should have thought to use this trunk as a prop in my photo shoot of products this afternoon! I’m sure I will for the next one, pretty isn’t it?!

Project Quilting 2:3

February 13th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

The challenge: “Be My Valentine” using a color scheme other than red or pink as the dominant colors and not using the word “Valentine” on the piece…

My interpretation is a vintage valentine crazy quilt. I love crazy quilts and the Victorian romantic images of cupids, couples and roses just called me to make something really pretty! My color scheme is mostly neutrals, taupe, cream, brown, tan, with a little rose and pink and some light green and lavender. Of course, for a crazy quilt it had to be somewhat colorful!

I printed the images on white cotton fabric early in the week. Then I made crazy quilt blocks with my little stash of fancy fabrics (which is quickly dwindling now) adding in some pretty floral cottons to fill it out and get the color scheme right. I did the hand embroidery every evening this week and a little on Saturday afternoon, watching TV. I really love sitting down to do handwork, it’s so relaxing!

Part of the point of Project Quilting is to push your creative limits, so I learned a new skill for this project: PIPING! A fancy pillow really needed a fancy edge, so I just got out a book about edgings and finishes and there it was. I didn’t have the right cord, but a few strands of cotton yarn twisted together worked pretty well. I like the soft rounded corner the piping created too.

Here are some details…

Here’s the piping edge.

And I have had this square of upholstery fabric set aside for something wonderful, I was excited to get it out of the drawer and find that it was perfect for the back!

Yeah, another project COMPLETED in a week! Project Quilting is an amazing motivation!

Doodle Stitching 2

January 30th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All - (2 Comments)

I just wanted to quick show you what I did with my cute little doodle stitches after I made two more!

First, I actually considered (and this is almost a first for me!) what I should do with them!! I mean, I wondered what room I could display them in and in what way! I decided that they really needed to be in my sewing studio, BUT I don’t have any wall space for three little quilties, and there’s no bed or comfy seating for pillows, so I decided they should be little sachets that hang because I have lots of little doorknobs and hooks that they could live on! I filled them with a little lavendar and stuffing and…perfect, little sachets to brighten my dreary old drawers! (At least until the boys claim them, Conal really wants the mushroom one, but I said they should stay together) I think maybe there are some Mario sachets in my future….but that would be too funny!!

Happy Stitching!

And thanks again Aimee Ray!! All three of these cute designs were from the book  “Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection.”

Doodle Stitch Along

January 29th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All - (1 Comments)

Did you happen to see Aimee Ray’s “Doodle Stitch Along” at She has free patterns from her new book “Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection” and a flickr site so you can show off what you’ve done! Here are the cute kids I sewed…

Then, the best part is, there was a giveaway and I WON!!! I got the new book in the mail a couple days ago! I love it! It came with a few needles, a beautiful assortment of green floss and two cute little embroidery hoops! Lucky me!!

I love the project ideas that Aimee Ray comes up with! They’re such creative ways to use embroidery, not just in a hoop on the wall…but all her designs are so cute they would look adorable just in a hoop too! In fact, I’m having a really tough time deciding which to stitch next!

I’ve been a fan of Aimee’s since the first book, “Doodle Stitching: Fresh & Fun Embroidery for Beginners “. I have it in my library and love looking at it. But I got it after I started designing quilties, so I really didn’t use the patterns because I was too busy coming up with new designs of my own! (Yes, I guess I’m an Aimee Ray wanna be!) But I think now I can have some fun with these cute patterns AND come up with some more of my own…I love embroidering enough to go around!