by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

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…)

Group Projects at the Quilt Show

October 7th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

In addition to the quilts that I made at the show, I wanted to show you the ones my small group, “Seams Sew Easy,” entered the guild show.

This first one is by Lisa Flyr. She made the applique center and each member of our group made a “round” around that. Lisa then finished it with beautiful quilting, entered the show AND won a third prize ribbon! Yeah us! In case you’re wondering, I did the round with the little embroidered houses in the corners. They are straight off a quiltie design! (You may have to click to open it larger to see those!)

The next one was made by Teresa Coady. She loves wildly colorful things, so we had a lot of fun playing with color on this one! I made the applique hearts, because I love Teresa and our group so much!! Lisa quilted this one as well, she’s our resident quilting expert!

Lastly is the Veteran’s quilt we made together. The Des Moines Area Quilter’s Guild challenged its members to make quilts with patriotic themes to give to the Veterans home in Des Moines. The goal was 150 quilts so that each resident there would have their own quilt. I read at the show that we reached and exceed our goal, with 160+ quilts!

Veronica chose the fabrics, each of us pieced some blocks, I pieced the blocks together with the borders, Lisa quilted it, and I think Dawn sewed on the binding…a true group effort! Not the best pic, because they were draped over the edge of bleachers, but a nice quilt, huh?!

I was just thinking I should share a photo of my group, but realized I don’t have one that is very current. That’ll be my assignment for our next meeting. My small group is amazing!!

Quilt Show Weekend!

October 4th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

I just had the best time at AQS Quilt Show – Des Moines and the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild Annual Show! It was last Wednesday through Saturday. I took lots of photos, which I am really enjoying looking through, now that my feet aren’t sore! I’m sorry I can’t show them all to you though, AQS doesn’t allow the sharing of photos from their shows on the internet.

You can view the winning quilts of the AQS Show here. Hint: if you click on the name of the first quilt (Ambrosia), you can essentially see a slideshow of the best of show quilts by clicking the next arrow!

Instead, I can show you the ones I entered in the Guild show. I had six, five were judged and I won two ribbons!

This is my best, I won second place for this teacups quilt. I made it with the beautiful fat quarters that members of my guild gave me as thank you gifts for designing the newsletter for two years. They were so pretty in a big stack, but I love them even more in this quilt!

You’ll recognize all the others if you’ve been reading my blog…but here they are at the show.

I love quilt shows!!! I feel so lucky that we have one of the big AQS shows right here in our own town! They really do a wonderful job! Don’t forget to go look at the AQS show winners!


Blogs and Quilting and more

September 10th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Inspiration | Quilting | Uncategorized - (3 Comments)

I haven’t been a very good blogger lately, but I have had a few projects saved up to share. But first, I’m excited that my friend Tricia started a blog, so I want to welcome her to blogland!! Tricia, I hope you truly enjoy blogging about all the quilting I know you love! I look forward to reading your posts at…you’ve already got a great start!

And since I noticed her “Small Blog Meet” button, I’m joining in the fun….click the button to be taken to some other “Small Blogs” and maybe you’ll discover somebody new to get to know.
Small Blog Meet

If you’re here from the Small Blog Meet, welcome!! I’m Emma. I’ve been a quilter for I don’t know for sure, but about 12 years. I have a little etsy shop called Quilties, that keeps me making fun little projects. But most of the things I quilt aren’t for the shop, I really just love to quilt. I always have way too many projects going at once. And by that I mean that every time I make my “To Do” list, it’s at least 20 projects deep! Some of them don’t get finished, but most of them eventually do! I blame my project ADD on the fact that I’m squeezing in quilting in the short spare moments I have apart from my 2 boys (10 and 4) and busy husband, my graphic design business and the housework, yard & garden.

I belong to the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild and a small group formed from that and I almost always have something to share at our monthly meetings. Right now we’re all looking forward to our AQS quilt show coming the end of this month! It’s a really awesome national show, which our guild just happens to get to share. I have several quilts that will be in that guild show, but two I have to finish before the deadline, so we’ll see if they get in!

Just last month we had the Iowa State Fair to show quilts in. Here’s what that’s like…

(Go ahead and click the photo to see it bigger, it will open a new window) Mine is the second from the right, the on-point starburst sampler. Yeah, they pack lots in, right?! It was kind of a fun treasure hunt to find your own quilts among the masses. The tiger on the floor is mine.

Exciting too, when we found them with ribbons.

That’s my only ribbon, on the crazy quilt pillow I made for Project Quilting last season. (I love Project Quilting at Kim’s Crafty Apple, by the way, if you don’t know what it is yet, be sure to check it out whenever she starts it up again…very fun weeklong challenges!)

Some of my friends did very well! Veronica got three ribbons on her three entries, including this blue!

My newest quilting friend, Linda (her blog is Flourishing Palms) also got the blues.

Isn’t this one gorgeous?! Don’t think it’s mine, Linda Hungerford made this one too!

And here is Tricia, with her ribbon-winning quilt behind her and cute, funny face!

Oh, I was going to show you some bags I’ve been working on lately, but it’s getting late! I better save that for the next blog post! But thanks for reading this far, new friends and old…I’d love it if you came back to see, so if you haven’t already,  join up with me or subscribe or even just email me at emma(at) so we can keep in touch!

Take care,

p.s. Here’s what Brennan and I saw on our way to his preschool this morning!

Quilties on Display!

April 24th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts | Quilting - (0 Comments)

Happy Easter!!!

For those who weren’t able to make it, I want to show you my Quilties booth at the Earth Day in the Junction event. It was a big success!! (The weather, not so much, but the display was my first ever and it turned out better even than I imagined!)

I have to thank my husband, Dave, for his handy help building my clothesline stand and setting up on the morning of the show. It was such a great day!

Let me tell you a little bit about the display…

I used a quilt for the table cloth. That was actually Dave’s idea; I was fretting about how to get a tablecloth and he just plainly asked “don’t you have a quilt you can use?” ….duh! I had the perfect one! It even matches my sign and business cards!

Then I raised up the back with some cat litter pans underneath the table cloth for a back level. I used baskets to hold all the little bears, bunnies and zip pouches. I just laid out some of the tote bags. I didn’t come up with a great display for them, but it worked fine. The green, plastic, floral box held quilties in sleeves with cardboard backings so visitors could page through them.

But the best part was the clothesline. The tent sort of obscured it in the harsh morning sun, but I think it drew people in. They were looking behind me at them all day! I knew if I laid quilties out on the table that I would quickly run out of space, so the clothesline was the perfect way to set out more so that those too timid to start leafing through the box would still get to see some of my work. I’m sure it’s not a new idea, but I think my husband did a great job of building it and I was really pleased with how it looked!

I hope I get to do another show or craft sale soon and I hope you can come to it!

Inspiration: Garden Quilts

August 26th, 2010 | Posted by Emma in All | Inspiration | Quilting - (0 Comments)

The Reiman Gardens Garden Quilt Show….We called it the best quilt show we’ve ever been to…not because it had superior quilts or more quilts than any other, but because it combined quilts, gardens, and butterflies all in one lovely afternoon my mom and I spent together August 15.

I didn’t take notes, so I won’t be able to attribute these quilts to their rightful creators or designers, so I just want to show you a little quilters’ eye candy.  This show was amazing!

This photo show the breadth of the show…it was housed in the wide atrium hallway of the entrance building. It was a sunny and beautiful place to view the quilts.

I do remember that this beauty above was by Joann Belling. I love the way the large butterfly jumps out of the edge of the quilt. Click to see the colorful details.

The back room had a collection of wonderful sun leaf prints. Above is a gorgeous quilt made with many multi-colored prints, the blue fern below one was our favorite.

We also really liked the glass bottle sculptures. My mom confessed that she had already been saving blue bottles to make a sculpture for her garden. I think she got some great inspiration from this display!

Out in the gardens we glimpsed some butterflies roaming free, and some of the cute little gnomes that were scattered throughout.

Some were hidden amongst the flowers, but this one was hard to miss!

And last, but definitely not least, we went through the butterfly atrium. It was just amazing how many beautiful butterflies surrounded us there. They were flying all around, landing on flowers, shoes or heads and posing for some great photos!

LHF Quilt Show

October 4th, 2009 | Posted by Emma in All - (0 Comments)

I didn’t get to go to the St. Cloud Heritage Quilters’ Quilt Show this weekend, but at least I did get to see some quilts at the Historic Quilt Show at Living History Farms. It was a cute little show in a beautiful setting.

LHF Church

(Click to see a larger photo in a new window)

In Progress Demonstration Quilt


Pink & Red Stars


Tiny Log Cabins, Big Quilt

There were interesting stories about each quilt and it really made me think of the enduring qualities of quilting. Quilts were from the 1880’s and onward and we’re still in love with quilting today! The blue star one was a demonstration piece, there were quilters from our guild there hand-quilting it. There were some impressive star patterns, lots of intricate hand-quilting, and that log cabin quilt that Lisa is looking at was really cool! Be sure to click on it so you can see how little those logs were!

My First Quilt Showing

October 12th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

This weekend was a big one for me…as it was for many, many quilters. It was the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild and American Quilters Society Quilt Show. I had 4 quilts in the guild show and was thrilled to see them up in public for so many other quilters to see. I also had two exhilarating days of looking at amazing quilts!! (and doing a little shopping!)

This quilt is an original design called “Grandma’s Trip”, because I started with a Trip Around the World pattern, added a Grandma’s Flower Garden Center and livened up a couple of the trips with other traditional blocks. It’s bigger than it looks, I had to stand far in front of it!

This is a miniature quilt. The center medallions were english paper-pieced.

I also displayed the thistle quilt that I posted about, made with paintsticks.

And here I am with my “Sunlight, Moonlight”, the quilt that usually hangs in our living room. I am very fond of it and can’t wait to get it back!
This one, too, is much bigger than it looks.