by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

Messenger Bags

October 13th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)

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…)

Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Show

June 26th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)

The artists’ reception for the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Gallery Show this Sunday was a real treat! I walked in on the tail-end of all the quilters standing in a line in front of an audience and was immediately asked to speak about my quilt…yikes! But really, it was impressive that there was such a nice audience who all seemed genuinely interested in quilting, modern quilts and the pieces we had in the show. We had some nice conversations with the audience and each other! And I really have to say there were some lovely quilts in the show!! (more…)


I’ve been playing in the modern quilter’s world…the piecing that isn’t perfect, just stick it on, sew across and maybe trim…and it’s really, really fun!

From this fabric by Carolyn Gavin called “Spring Street” that had colorful borders…I decided to frame the blocks with a wonky Courthouse Steps.

Which is just a fancy way of saying that I sewed a strip to the top and bottom to each block, then a strip to each side, then to the top and bottom, over and over. I tried to make the strips all different sizes and colors in each block, so they are really fun and interesting to look at.

I only had half as many panels as I need to finish the quilt, so I am making plain courthouse steps for every other block…

So it will look like this:

Another fun block is the Wonky Roman Stripe, from “Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee” (Love this book by the way!!)

Sew strips onto one side of a triangle and then trim into a square.

So, I’ve stayed away from this kind of project for a little longer than necessary, just because I really didn’t like the word “W0nky” to describe it, but improvisational, liberated or modern, whatever you want to call it, it really is fun to just get piecing and not need it to be perfectly straight or matched up.

Have you tried it? What blocks have you made “Wonky?”