by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter
Header

Valentine’s Day Project

February 8th, 2014 | Posted by Emma in Quilting | Tutorials | Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
heartziptut7

Need a quick project to make this weekend? You might go to Pinterest and look around, perhaps search “tutorial” and hope to find some good quick instructions? I like to do that! But I hate it when the “tutorial” is just a picture…or in another language…or a bunch of ads and not what you clicked at all! Ever happened to you?

So here’s a tutorial for a pin I’ve been thinking of making for a while, but really had to figure out how to do myself. Yeah, you could probably figure it out with just the photos, but you didn’t really want that much work, did you?! Just follow me… (more…)

Cat Tent

March 11th, 2013 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts | Tutorials - (1 Comments)
charlie1

I made a project a while back that I should show you! It’s super cute, not as useful as I hoped, but super cute!

It’s a Cat Tent! (more…)

Zakka Style

August 23rd, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)
zakka_1

One of my favorite parts of getting together with my small group of quilting friends is our show-and-tell! I love the inspiration from seeing their projects, in progress and finished works of art…but we also enjoy sharing our shopping finds. Someone usually brings their newest fabric purchases for us to oooh and aaah over and we pass around books and point out projects we’d like to make.

This was one of those Tricia brought, where everyone was saying “Emma that looks like something you should make”…they were so right! I had to buy the book for myself shortly after that meeting and started making things shortly after it arrived at my house! (more…)

More Christmas Gifts to Share

January 4th, 2012 | Posted by Emma in Crafts | Quilting | Uncategorized - (3 Comments)
veronicasgifts2

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.

Fall Placemats

November 6th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (1 Comments)
FallttPlacemats10

I just finished a whirlwind of inspiration that ended with a few really pretty fall placemats; perfect for Thanksgiving! Before I go back to it and finish enough for our family meal, I had to tell my quilting friends about this idea!! Maybe you’d like to whip a few up for your fancy dinner. Seriously, I thought of this at 11 a.m. this morning and I’m already made three and wrote this post, they’re that quick!

Here’s where my inspiration started…my beautiful fall fabric stash!

I cut them up into little pieces. Ranging from 1″ – 2″ in various squares and rectangles, done with a scissors for a little imperfection and a lot more fun for me.

Then I made a simple placemat out of linen. (I got a big nice stash of it at a garage sale this summer!)

I cut two linens 11.5″ x 16.5″, one batting the same size — sandwiched, pinned and sewed around the edge leaving an opening for turning. Turned it inside out and topstitched the edges; twice just to look special.

Lastly, the fun step…I stitched on the little pieces. I just used a straight stitch close to the edge (1/8″ I think.)

Snip the threads and it’s done!

I didn’t cover the whole placemat, just the one side, so it will be better for putting a plate on and it looks a little modern being asymmetrical!

You could call them “Ticker Tape” placemats, because the technique has been done before. I think Amanda Jean of “Crazy Mom Quilts” started it. Here’s her great story about it. And Sew Mama Sew did a cute doll quilt with it. I just looked at the dates of those posts and they’re pretty old, so I guess I’m behind the times, but the technique is really fun and was a great way to dress up my linens with some beautiful fall colors!

Now, how many for dinner, Mom?!

Magyk Robe

October 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Emma in Crafts | Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

Halloween is on its way!! Here is my favorite pumpkin photo of all time.

So, of course, I’ve been working on a costume! Actually, I was put on a very tight deadline this year to have it done by yesterday, because Conal needed his costume for school project first. It just happens to work for Halloween as well. Thank goodness, too, because I splurged on both supplies and effort to make this the coolest Magyk robe I could make! The costume is for a character called the Apprentice from the book Magyk. It’s made of a green stretched crushed velvet and lined with satin. The fabrics were difficult to work with to say the least, but well worth the effort when you see how it flows and swishes and catches the light magically!!

These next two photos, I have to share because my boys are just so funny. Conal didn’t want to have his picture taken, he was a bear about it and wouldn’t let me straighten the robes or pose him at all. But Brennan wanted to be in all of the pictures! Here’s what happened….

And here’s how he reacted when he couldn’t be in the picture!

I only get to make one costume this year. Brennan really hasn’t considered being anything else but Mario, with his costume from last year. He loves that costume so much he’s been wearing it all year for play! It’s so nice when your work is that appreciated!

Sashiko Round Take 2

October 16th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (2 Comments)
sashikoround_3

As soon as I finished the purple and blue “Violet Sashiko” quilt (or probably even before I was done), I knew I wanted to make another in a different colorway! It was so much fun to make and I could just see the possibilities before me.

So here is the next version!

With yo yos and an appliqué instead of folded flowers, it’s a little different, but still alot of fun, I think!

Here was the first version, in case you missed it.

I’m working on writing the pattern for it. I hope to share it with you soon!!

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!

Hardware CHALLENGE!

February 28th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

I just finished another Project Quilting weekend…and it was a toughy! I’ve had trouble with this one from the very beginning. I started thoughts on about three different projects and when I had a great idea…it still didn’t go very smoothly! BUT, the results were really worth it!! So, oh well, better luck next time!

Here’s the finished quilt.
The voting is up here.

and the story…

Why does spray paint come in such basic colors? That’s the thought I had in the hardware store looking at the rows of red, yellow, blue, and white. Moving a little further down the aisle, yes, there are the paint chips that offer a wider rainbow of colors…but still, I started thinking about my stash of fabric and the wide range of possibilities there in comparison to that aisle of spray paint!! How lucky are quilters?!

This quilt is 45″ x 33″. It is all pieced. There is a clear vinyl pocket on the bottom, holding real paint swatches from the hardware store (who can resist grabbing those as you walk by?!) The 1″ inner blue border is the exact blue of painter’s tape (the third item from the challenge).

Here are some other photos. The inspiration:

Here are some of the working stages. I started with the center, an abstracted version of the spray paint cans on the shelves of the hardware store. I sketched it unto a big piece of brown paper and then started to piece it. It was basically free-style piecing…making stripes and then laying them down on the sketch and trimming to the right size.

Then I wanted to incorporate the paint swatches from the hardware store and I wanted to include the actual swatches, they were just so beautiful. At the hardware store they are stored in clear slots so they make a beautiful visual impact, so I did the same thing with a vinyl pocket!

The painter’s tape border was pretty fun! I needed some tape for quilt-sandwiching anyway, so I picked some up at the hardware store and held it up at the fabric store until I found the perfect blue. The size is 1″, because that was the most common size tape to buy at the hardware store!

Lastly the outer border was to be a wide array of quilting fabric. I started just trimming the size I wanted out of all my scraps and laying them out in a nice sequence. Before you know it I had a rainbow going and started to get obsessive about making it a continuous rainbow around the quilt!! This ended up taking the most time and I was really feeling crazy while working on it. But now I know that it really made the quilt spectacular!

You could say that I was really crazy when I went to my computer and drafted the corner pieces for paper-piecing so that they would turn around so nicely! But I think that was worth it for the wow factor too!

I don’t know why I can’t just think of quick and easy projects! Next challenge, my extra challenge to myself will be to come up with something so clever and brilliant because of it’s simplicity and ease of construction, not necessarily the coolest idea.

’til then, I’m proud of what I accomplished last week!

Go see the other entries and vote for your favorite too.
Kim's Crafty Apple

Project Quilting 2:3

February 13th, 2011 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

The challenge: “Be My Valentine” using a color scheme other than red or pink as the dominant colors and not using the word “Valentine” on the piece…

My interpretation is a vintage valentine crazy quilt. I love crazy quilts and the Victorian romantic images of cupids, couples and roses just called me to make something really pretty! My color scheme is mostly neutrals, taupe, cream, brown, tan, with a little rose and pink and some light green and lavender. Of course, for a crazy quilt it had to be somewhat colorful!

I printed the images on white cotton fabric early in the week. Then I made crazy quilt blocks with my little stash of fancy fabrics (which is quickly dwindling now) adding in some pretty floral cottons to fill it out and get the color scheme right. I did the hand embroidery every evening this week and a little on Saturday afternoon, watching TV. I really love sitting down to do handwork, it’s so relaxing!

Part of the point of Project Quilting is to push your creative limits, so I learned a new skill for this project: PIPING! A fancy pillow really needed a fancy edge, so I just got out a book about edgings and finishes and there it was. I didn’t have the right cord, but a few strands of cotton yarn twisted together worked pretty well. I like the soft rounded corner the piping created too.

Here are some details…

Here’s the piping edge.

And I have had this square of upholstery fabric set aside for something wonderful, I was excited to get it out of the drawer and find that it was perfect for the back!

Yeah, another project COMPLETED in a week! Project Quilting is an amazing motivation!