by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter
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Strawberry Fields Forever!

January 28th, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)
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Project Quilting 3:2 – be inspired by the title of a song

I had a piano book called “The Most Beautiful Songs Ever” open on my lap and thought that was a good place to choose a title from. There were lots of very cheesy, mucky titles about love and beauty and willow and stars…but then I asked Dave for a “visual” song title and this was his first idea. Brilliant!! I’m so glad I asked him. I wanted to make a totally recognizable “Strawberry Fields” quilt and I think I love it!  I listened to the song at least six times through while working on this.

It’s mostly improvisational. I just cut some rolling hills and arranged them right onto the batting and quilted them together. I didn’t even have the size nailed down when I started. Then I cut out a bunch of little strawberry parts while on the phone with my mom! I arranged them and stitched them on in a deliberatively sketchy way. I practiced that first on a separate piece, because I really loved my hills and didn’t want to wreck them. It almost could have been complete without the strawberries. But when I placed a strawberry on the fields, it made me smile and giggle out loud, so I knew it was right!

Then I had just a small chunk of that perfectly psychedelic binding fabric. So I chose to do a single layer, fused binding cut with a wavy rotary cutter, because I had to make it fit!  The finished quilt is 10.5″ x 18″ I made a challenge to myself that no side could be more than 20″ this time, because last time I started too big! Then I had to trim the sides a little because the binding fabric was too short! But I only used scraps and I’m proud of it!

Ok, so if you aren’t playing along with Project Quilting, I just have to tell you…on a Tuesday night, when usually I would be sitting around watching tv or cleaning the house I decided to start thinking about PQ and launched into this truly wonderful evening of quilting and being creative with time I otherwise wouldn’t have used for myself. It was a real treat, got my creative juices flowing and really energized my whole week!  The one week deadline may sound crazy, but it sure eliminates the UFO problem and I end up really enjoying the process from start to FINISH!

Valentine’s Day Quilties

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

Sew Sweet

June 22nd, 2010 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

HomespunIreland just made a beautiful treasury of all things pink and sew-y. I think you’ll love it, so go take a look!

Project Quilting 1:3

June 18th, 2010 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)

Ok, ok, it seems like the only thing I’m finding to write about is the Project Quilting Challenges, but at least I have that!

Here’s what happened last weekend…

The Challenge: 1. The front, back, borders, binding and embellishments should all be made from materials that have had a previous life as something else.
2. You may use new thread and batting.
3. Your project should include at least 3 different materials used as embellishments.

My source of “previous life” materials was a bag of old clothing slated to go to Goodwill. One of which was a green flowered suit jacket that I could hardly part with! It was so cute, but never fit me right. (Teresa, it was Ruthie’s, recognize it?!) Anyway, I decided that making a quilt out of it, instead of giving it away would let me keep it around! (I know, selfish, huh?!) Here’s the stash:

I decided to work small because the pink and yellow fabrics looked like good dolly quilt material, so I cut 2.5″ squares and arranged them in a trip around the world. Then I fussy cut some of those fabulous pink flowers from the jacket and roughly machine appliquéd them on. I counted the appliqué as the first embellishment.

Next, I found an assortment of pearly white buttons…they are pretty easy to find on clothing! And the third embellishment was the silk leaves. They made the center appliques look like a nice wreath. That’s it!

The fabrics gave me some special challenges that made me appreciate quilter’s cotton. They were all stretchy twill, which was thick AND stretchy. It didn’t press well because it would just bounce back, but I was able to press the seams open and even pin the seam allowances flat a few times. I used a quick straight stitch to add on the appliqués, because the fabric didn’t fray much and I wanted it to look pretty casual and handmade, even a little rough due to its recycled nature. I had to use pants legs to get a long binding piece, so it became pink. And I did it single layered, because it would have been too bulky folded in the traditional way. But I like the raw edges on that too, keeping with the appliqués.

Please click on this last photo to really see it. It was a horrible rainy day when I finished it so the photo is dark, but I am really pleased with the finished quilt.

Sorry, voting is closed. I waited too long to post this story to get any votes from my friends…but that’s ok, I’m just happy to quilting, I don’t need to win anything!
You can still go to Kim’sCraftyApple to see the other entries, though. There are some beautiful ones, as usual!

Happy Quilting!!

Shabby Chic Girly Quilt

December 6th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

In progress: this abstract rose quilt is a slightly modified version of a quilt in the Quilt Pink magazine (Better Homes and Gardens Creative Collection 2007).


Anyway, I chose fun and funky pinks, peaches and lavendars for the flowers and backgrounds. I backed it with a peach polar fleece, so I had to modify the process a little. I put together the backgrounds first, then sandwiched and pin-basted it. Then I quilted stitch-in-the-ditch method to hold it all in place. Then I layered on the roses. I pinned them on loosely, then stitched around the edges 1/4 inch in. The directions said to use a smaller stitch length because the edges will fray. After I get the binding on, I will wash it and it will have the fluffy, chabby chic look from the frayed edges. I can’t wait to see it that way!! I think I will loosely stipple quilt the border though, so there are a few more steps before washing.

Click on this picture, so you can see it bigger…it shows my process.