by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter
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Violet Sashiko Round Quilt

July 31st, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

Looks like I took July off from blogging! I didn’t mean too, but I guess it got away from me. Isn’t that how summer goes?!

But I’ve had a fun summer so far. We just got done with Grandma Ginny’s second visit of the summer. Here’s a photo of her with the boys, in front of a lovely fairy tale quilt she made for Brennan a while back. We didn’t get much time to sew together this visit, but we did have a good time.

On my sewing table right now is a small group/guild project, a quilt for a veteran. Here is a not very flattering photo of the work in progress. Each of my small group members made a set of blocks, now I am sewing those into the rows and adding borders.

I’m also making yo yos in any spare moments I’m sitting down with my hands free…so here’s a basket with my progress. I’m half done with the count I need for my yo yo quilt!!  I saw a blogger with a  yo yo sew-along that I considered joining, but hers calls for more than 1,000 yo yos!! I’m thinking 409 is plenty for me for one project. I’m already itching to get stitching them unto a background. But then I have to decide which color the background will be and buy the yardage! I’m a little afraid of making that decision!

Now for the project I previewed in my last post…the Violet Sashiko Round Quilt. I need a good name for it still, obviously. But I designed this fun little circle quilt for my small group’s “Solids Challenge” to use solid fabrics in a project. I broke the rules with the binding…but I think you’ll agree, it was worth it. The binding has a purple and white dotty design that shows off the sashiko stitches fabulously!

I really wish I had a cute little round table to put this on!

The flowers are the Folded Rose from Rebecca Wat’s Book “Fantastic Fabric Folding.

Well, that’s all I have to show you for now, have a great summer Sunday!

 

 

Violets

July 9th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

My violets are constantly multiplying…a chore when they start filling up their pots and need to be divided…

A really messy job Tiny pot from a garage sale Pot that I painted
Pot that Brennan painted! Another pot I painted Beautiful violets!

All those violets were an inspiration to my next art quilt/challenge project. The challenge is from my small group to use exclusively solid colored fabrics in a project. A tough one for all of us, since we love our prints so much! I keep getting tempted to look for some bridging floral print, but I’m resisting the urge and keeping this one simple. I hope it will be elegant in its simplicity…not boring!

I do love the way the solids show off the folding technique!

This was just a sneak peek, finished project yet to come!

UFOs and Yo Yos

July 4th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I’ve been working on two fun projects the last few days. One is an old UFO, I think the oldest one I have, a “Double Irish Chain.” I want to show you some in progress shots, because I think it will be quite a while before I finish either of these two projects.

The second project is yo yos! I’ve been making them whenever I sit outside watching the boys play in the pool, or ride bikes in the cul de sac, at my garage sale, and even a little bit of tv watching. One of the most recent issues of American Patchwork & Quilting has a great pattern I plan to make, where yo yos are appliqued to strips of solid fabric to make a full yo yo quilt. And it looks so cute and like so much fun!I don’t have a background color chosen yet. (The sample is a snappy turquoise, which I might try!) But I’m already up to 110+ yo yos, well on my way to the 409 I will need!

Here’s a peek…

Both of these projects use fabrics that have been in my stash forever, just a little neglected even, the cute and flowery calicoes. They’re a little old fashion and some of them even really clash when they get side-by-side, but I love the scrappy look they have when they get together!

Tiger Quilt

June 30th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (5 Comments)

Just before Father’s Day, I watched the latest episode of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims and was immediately struck by a great project to make for my husband’s gift! Here’s a preview of the episode (#812, June 6, 2011)…

and here’s the project that I just couldn’t resist…the tiger behind him. My husband is a teacher at a school with high school spirit standards and a tiger for a mascot! I knew this would be perfect for him to hang in his large classroom and get a lot of attention!

Photos above by Gregory Case

I ordered the pattern at RobAppell.com and therefore supported the Endangered Species Quilt Project! The pattern came really quickly, so I was able to get started just a few days later!

I wanted to show your work-in-progress shots but it went together so quickly, I didn’t take many photos, I just kept working! It’s raw-edge fusible applique. The designs came full-sized, ready to trace onto fusible web, fuse to fabric and cut out. It was a lot of pieces, but that part was really fun. The most difficult part was laying out all those pieces. There was a numbered diagram to follow, but it felt a lot like drawing, seeing where everything aligned by eye.

Ok, I can’t type any more, I just can’t wait to put in the finished photo RIGHT NOW!!!
Be sure to click it to see a larger view!

Notice that I didn’t follow Rob’s quilting suggestions. I looked at photos of tigers online and free-motion quilted lines to indicate tiger fur and give it dimension and a little realism. It was really fun to do, but did take quite a bit of time!

The main thing is that Dave LOVES it! But it was also fun to bring it to my guild meeting last night and get lots of compliments! I love having a guild meeting as an incentive to getting projects finished. I was binding in front of my computer yesterday, but I got it finished. Without the guild meeting to keep me going, I might not have finished it until September!

If I can get permission from the owner, I’ll enter it in the Iowa State Fair! He will be out of town during the fair anyway, so maybe he won’t mind. That would sure be fun!

Thanks for looking and please leave me a comment if you like it.

Whew! I almost missed this…

Here’s another chance to surf through lots of amazing quilts all in one easy set of links. Amy’s Creative Side is the hostess with the mostest. Go check out all beautiful quilts (and maybe find a few favorite new bloggers to follow.)

For any guests who have found me from the festival…WELCOME!! I hope you enjoy this one quilt and even have a little extra time to browse the rest of my blog. Please leave a comment or join me with facebook or google friend connect to let me know you’re here. Happy Quilting!!

My quilt is called “Buttonwillow.” It is an original-design, small, quilted wall-hanging I  made it as part of Project Quilting (at Kim’s Crafty Apple). The challenge was to make a quilt with the same name as a city. Buttonwillow, CA was the city name that I chose and the piece is a pretty literal interpretation of that…but in itself is also just a really nice piece. I love that it is still a nice quilt even if you know nothing about the challenge. I even sold it in my Etsy shop, so I kind of miss it, but am happy to know that it is being enjoyed by someone out there!

I especially like the three-dimensional details of this quilt and learned that audiences really do too. It won first place in the contest and got lots of great feedback from people who loved the buttons (who doesn’t love buttons?! the more the better!), the way the leaves come out of the border and even off the edge of the quilt and the frayed edges of the inner background. I also really like the hanging tabs, something I think I’d like to try on other mini quilts I make in the future. Previously I had only used them for curtains, you know!

Thanks for visiting! And thank you, Amy, for the fun, quilty festival! Click the button above to see the rest of the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival.

ELTM Quilt

May 17th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

Everlasting, Lantana, Mermaid Water Dance, Traditional…and an original design quilt.

See this post if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

“Everlasting Tulips”

This is an original block design, with curved piecing down the center and appliquéd flowers and leaves.

This shows the binding, where I tried a new technique my Mom just taught me. “Faux-piping binding” gave the edge of the quilt a little more dimension and color without adding to the borders or size in any way. I really liked the technique, I think I will try it again sometime, but it will take practice to get it looking really nice. Here’s a tutorial I just found online. It’s the same method I used, so I won’t go into detail describing it here.

So, I didn’t get it done in time for the Project Quilting Challenge, but I did get to bring it to my small group meeting and it is just a very happy quilt that I’m glad I made!

Oh wait, here’s another flower photo…mostly for my Mom. Thanks for showing me the cool binding trick, thank you for the lilac and happy spring!

Initials/Colors Challenge

May 3rd, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)

Progress report…this is a really fun project!!

Step 1: Go to paint store and marvel at all the pretty colors! DONE!

Step 2: Try not to draw too much attention to yourself grabbing almost every swatch…too bad they don’t place all the swatches in the holders with their names showing. Anyway, DONE.

Step 3: Find all the color names that start with my initials. I’m working with Emma Lea Thomas-McGinnis. E L T M.

Step 4: Start looking at color combinations. Then start matching the swatches to my fabrics and finding combinations of fabrics I already have. (Can’t do another trip to JoAnn today, so I have to find the right fabrics here!)

I actually found way more close matches than I thought I would!!

Making combinations with only one of each initial was tricky. (I really wanted to use Mermaid Water Dance AND Monet Lily at the same time, but that wouldn’t fit the challenge!)

Picking names I liked was almost as much fun as picking colors. Some of my favorites…

Elephant Skin
Lullaby Green
Tropical Lagoon
Medieval Forest
Mirage Lake

but those were the ones I didn’t have fabrics for. Twilight chimes, egg yolk, maple leaf and Maine Lobster were pretty good too!

The chosen color scheme was finalized when I saw this perfect complementary floral, a great blender for all the colors.

So, Everlasting, Lantana, Mermaid Water Dance, Traditional it is.
And here’s the pattern I’m designing…

I’m not sure now, if the sashing fabric will give it enough contrast with the blocks. It might all match too well, if you know what I mean!! Maybe I’ll have to add some kind of embellishment. It’s also a pretty straightforward design and a little traditional. Something I haven’t done in a while with other Project Quilting projects, so it’s refreshing and new in that way. Should be pleasing and pretty.

Weird that the teal is not showing up in the photos as green as I see it. It really pops in real life. I can’t decide yet if the blocks need one or two leaves.

But there’s my progress. Hope to show you a completed quilt soon!

Happy Spring!

oh, almost forgot Step 5: Enjoy spring with some real life lavender-colored flowers! (and a sweet boy!)

101 Patchwork Projects

May 2nd, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

You may have already heard the news, but I don’t know what has taken me so long to blog about this….I’ve been published! I have a pattern in the great big Quilting Arts special issue “101 Patchwork Projects.” I even brought it to my guild meeting before posting it here. They gave me the warmest, most enthusiastic applause I have ever received at just a show and tell. I think they were proud of me!

Anyway, here’s the project that gave me the honor of sharing my craft with the quilting world.

And here it is in a magazine!

And here is where it says my name, in a magazine!

Oh, I know, maybe someday having something in a magazine will seem just as exciting as my everyday job, I hope anyway…but right now I’m basking in the newness and excitement of it.

I’ve made three of those “Tree of Life” wall-hangings since that first, just to make sure I could do it again. I had the magazine open and pretended to be someone else, just following the directions in a book! I had to really concentrate on reading each step before just rolling ahead and doing it, but it was fun that way!

Here’s one of the others. (I still have to photograph all of them.)

I’m sure I’ll be offering them on Etsy, so if you’re interested, stay tuned (or convo me on etsy and get the listing up!) BUT better yet, go get the magazine and make your own!! I do hope I get to see what some other quilters do with the pattern. So, if you’re going to make it, be sure to show me you finished quilt!

By the way, the project is super-fun! It’s made in a fun and easy method that really allows you to play with the design before stitching it all down.

Here’s the cover of the magazine and the link for you to purchase your own copy. It’s a really great book. I made a pretty big list of projects in it that I want to do someday soon. I’m sure there are a few more blog posts about it to come! Bracelets, slippers, a headband, vases, placemats, a few simple quilts, and lots more.

Thank you Interweave and Quilting Arts, for the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful project. I am so honored!

– Emma

 

Butterfly Beauty

April 18th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Inspiration | Quilting - (1 Comments)

I want to share a project that was made by my mom, Ginny Thomas, and featured on a blog recently! Congrats, Mom, for your mention. I am so proud of you and your beautiful quilts!

Paintstik butterflies by Ginny Thomas
Be sure to visit this link to read about the challenge that brought about this beautiful quilt! I love challenges for bringing out our creative thinking!!

http://cedarcanyontextiles.com/crossing-borders-with-divas/

She used wonderful, creative techniques to make this quilt really special, the words are thread calligraphy and the butterflies use Shiva Paintstiks and notice her beautiful free-motion quilting!!

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!!