by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

Project Quilting 2:5

March 27th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (3 Comments)

Flying Geese Challenge

So, very sadly, I missed Challenge 5 because we had to go out of town on Thursday and I just couldn’t get this project done in time. But I had started it on the Sunday of the challenge and tried really hard to get it done in time, so I decided I just had to finish it as soon as I finished Challenge 6. Besides, I promised this one to Brennan, so I couldn’t leave it unfinished forever.

The challenge was to use the traditional flying geese quilt block in some way AND to use a complementary color scheme.

So, instead of just using the block, I decided that “Flying Geese” would be the WHOLE story behind my project. I took those flying geese triangles and turned them into REAL little flying birds in a mobile!!

Each triangle was given a beak and stuffed lightly to be a stylized goose.

For the top of the mobile,  I made a quilted circle of flying geese using paper-piecing. (I think it’s the same pattern that Dashasel used in the winning piece, although I didn’t know that at the time I was making it!!)

So, I made that circle of flying geese, sandwiched it like a real quilt, with peltex stiff interfacing to make it stiff. Then I wrapped a wooden embroidery hoop with blue satin ribbon, to really reinforce the circle and ensure it stayed stiff. I hot glued the quilted circle to the hoop. Here you can see the hanging. It was a windy day this morning, so you can’t tell, but it really hangs straight!

This photo shows how much Brennan really loves it!! I think we’ll hang it down in the play room in the basement…but he wants in the living room so we can see it “ALL THE TIME”, isn’t that sweet?!

I’m sad that I didn’t get to enter the Project Quilting contest for this round, but at least I got this great project done because of it!! Project Quilting is so great!!

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 2

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

I came across a tutorial this morning that was one of those things that I had to go make right that minute….do you know what I mean?? Sometimes I come across ideas I think are clever or look fun to make and I bookmark them for later, or save a pic/pdf in a folder on my computer, and sometimes I get around to digging through those folders and bookmarks…but this one just couldn’t wait!

Paper Christmas Tree Ornament by Elsie Marley

Here’s what I did with them. I started by fusing fabrics to cardstock, because I can’t pass up a chance to use fabrics. I had a lovely selection of green, holiday prints.

Then I started assembling the cute little trees. The first one wasn’t that successful, because the tension was off for paper and it didn’t seem very sturdy the way the two tiny threads were holding the whole thing together. So then I decided to overlap the strips just a bit.

Here are some more successful ones. See the cute one on the left with the overlaps in the right direction like branches of an evergreen! I love them!

And they were so fun to make, I did several more!

I’m going to write to and from on the backs and use them as gift tags, I think. It was a great hour or so this morning, playing with these little trees anyway! Thanks Elsie!!

And just for fun, here’s a photo of the view while I was making these. Winter has finally made it here!

We went shopping for snowpants and boots this afternoon!! (Boys grow too fast, that’s all I have to say!)

Happy Winter!

Making Shades

January 25th, 2010 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)

The window blinds in my studio have been breaking one by one. It’s a sunroom, so there are 6 of them to go! I’m taking it as an interesting challenge to come up with some homemade curtains!

So far I have two ideas, one is from Kaffe Fassett‘s book “Passionate Patchwork”. It’s a shabby chic pastel patchwork curtain which I’ve already started. Here’s a peek.

As you can see, I’ve got three rows done, well actually now it’s four, but this is the photo I took yesterday. I love the way the sun shines through and makes an extra pattern of squares. (click on the first image to see what I mean!) The squares are purposely a little rough and raw edges are all exposed, but that’s why I say “shabby chic”, it will fit in well in my place of work!  But I’m afraid a whole wall of all these little squares would be a little overwhelming, so I think I better just do one window…then something else on the other windows. Maybe solids with borders or valances made of those squares. What do you think?

The second idea is a curtain with some pockets for small lightweight storage. (needlebook, tape measure,  spools of thread, little scissors, etc.) I saw the idea on, but I don’t want it to LOOK anything like their version, which is primary blocks of color. So I’m still working this idea out. Any suggestions?

Learning to Faux Batik

March 2nd, 2009 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)

I was fortunate enough to take a class from Dawn Cavanaugh last week and I have to tell you I had so much fun!! I learned technique I had never tried before. We stamped fabric with foam stamps and water soluble resist, then dyed it by painting on thickened dyes.

Besides a really fun morning spent with friends from the Des Moines Area Quilter’s Guild, I also got 6 really great fat quarters of batiked fabric (and two not so good, but that’s ok).
Here they are (you can click to see a larger view):

dyepurple fuschia golden purple2 red green

Aren’t the colors luscious?! I was surprised at how brilliant they turned out! The square within a square stamp is one I made from foam tape! The rest were from Dawn’s collection. She had so many to choose from, that was almost the best part! Washing the fabric was the worst part…very time consuming.

Dawn really wants to see us make our dyes into quilts and show her photos…so you should see these fabrics again, in a quilt or two!! Hmmm. Any suggestions?

Oh, I have to say that Dawn was an amazing teacher! She was enthusiastic about the project, fun to listen to and really clear in explaining how to do each step. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to go to her class in Background Quilting, because she is known for her amazing machine quilting…but this dyeing project was no disappointment. THANKS SO MUCH, DAWN!!

Fabric Scrap Notecards

October 26th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (0 Comments)

Hey, do you have any fabric scraps?! Well, my scrap bin was getting too full…so I made a few notecards yesterday. I don’t think I made a dent in the scrap pile, but I did have a blast! Maybe I’ll make a little tutorial on this, it was a really fun and easy project. And aren’t they pretty?!