by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

Project Quilting 5:3 Candy

February 9th, 2014 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

This week’s Project Quilting Challenge: Candy!! I have a sweet tooth, yes I do, but for this challenge the first thing that came to my head wasn’t actually candy…it was the game “Candy Crush Saga!” I totally love playing that game on my ipad or iphone whenever I’m waiting in the carpool lane or otherwise away from my studio and need chill time. So I decided to make this project a bag that could carry my stuff AND my ipad when I go out. (more…)

More Christmas Gifts to Share

January 4th, 2012 | Posted by Emma in Crafts | Quilting | Uncategorized - (3 Comments)

Ok, so I had a very productive holiday season of homemade gift-giving! Here are a few more I wanted to show you before moving on… (oh and stay tuned for a wrap-up of the gifts my husband made this year, with a little help from his wife!)

This is a package of three little gifts I gave to my small group secret santa, Veronica. Using a fabric line I knew she’d love, I made a button bag zipper tote, a pin cushion and a fancy twisted drawstring pouch.

Then I made a big quilted tote bag for my sister in law who loves to knit. It’s big enough to put a lot of yarn and a sweater in, I’m sure! I used a charm pack called “Cherish Nature”, that I totally love! I was actually starting to think I should keep the bag halfway through, because I loved those fabrics so much. But my generosity won out because it was Christmas and I wanted Jennifer’s gift to be great!

I loved the quilting on this! I used my favorite free motion pattern and it really looked nice…look at those beautiful fabrics!

Two big pockets inside and one on the outside, along with really big, sturdy handles, make this a really useful bag!

And this might have been the most fun project for me, because I truly love making stuffed toys…and I don’t have many girly gifts to give in my family!

Doesn’t look like much yet, but open it up…

it’s a dolly slumber party!

Here’s my hand holding a dolly, so you can see the fun little size they are.

The pattern came from one of my favorite stuffed toy books “Wee Wonderfuls” by Hilary Lang.

Sidetrack: Button Bag

June 6th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Ever see a project you just have to make…so much that you abandon all your other works-in-progress to just start and finish all at once?! That’s what I did this weekend with this silly little “Button Bag.”

I saw the pattern when I was on a business meeting at the Quilt Block. They had a sample made up that was so cute even Brennan loved it and wanted to take it home. I told him we couldn’t do that, but that I could buy the pattern and make one for us. But I admit, when I started making it, I didn’t think of making it for him. I really just wanted to use some of my charm packs. I have several charm packs and a shoebox size tote full of hand-cut and swapped charms in my stash. They are just such a fun size to collect!! It’s just big enough to see the pattern of most fabrics and small enough to cut lots from scraps.

Anyway, this is the pattern. And this is my start….

I used the charm pack called Hideaway by Moda. Just that, no scrap matching, just pulling it right out of that charm pack so I could get stitching. It was actually pretty fun that way! BUT I didn’t like it as I was stitching it together…it looked like a multi-colored mess, too wild and kiddish for me. (The color in the photo above is not very accurate, but it was pretty wild!) UNTIL…

It was turned into a bag. Then, it was actually really cute! (color above is much more true)

Maybe it’s because you can only see half at once, or maybe it’s because those multi-colored fabrics are a part of something in a cute and fun-to-hold shape…but I love it!

Oh, it has a zipper inside too. Not a great construction method, though, because the zipper was to be sewed in by hand and it was really difficult to do. If I make this bag again, I’ll try to figure out a better way.

Anyway, fun sidetrack weekend! Plus, we got a whole bunch of yard work done, the floors washed & vacuumed and laundry done…a very good weekend! Hope you had a good weekend too!

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!!