by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter

More Christmas Sewing

December 15th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (0 Comments)

Handmade Wool Felt Santa Pillow

Originally uploaded by Quilties

This handmade wool felt santa pillow design came from Better Homes and Gardens Publication: Holiday Crafts 2008. It was on the cover and I just had to make it! I even started a whole new drawer dedicated to wool felt and launched into the world of wool because of this very project!!

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.

Christmas Sewing

November 22nd, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts | Quilting - (0 Comments)

I’m in the Christmas spirit with my sewing!!

Decorator Fabric Fun

November 18th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

I have had a drawer of decorator fabric swatches and scraps for many years…but haven’t paid them much attention. Now I need the drawer space for other stuff! I found a project in a BHG publication for a floor cushion and my friend Lisa brought up the idea of sensory quilts for Alzheimer’s patients…so I think I’m going to finally put those scraps to good use!!

They’re kind of ugly, and widely varied, so I hope my projects turn out ok!! Here are some photos of my table full of them! What do you think: a nice scrappy look or a mish mash?? The magazine example is a beautifully coordinated piece, that I know mine will not be, but I think it will be fun!

The floor cushion is from Better Homes and Gardens Creative Collection: Fast & Fabulous Quilting Ideas 2008, a compilation from American Patchwork & Quilting, so you may find it there too. More details on the sensory quilts when we get to that project in February.

Fabric Scrap Notecards

October 26th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (0 Comments)

Hey, do you have any fabric scraps?! Well, my scrap bin was getting too full…so I made a few notecards yesterday. I don’t think I made a dent in the scrap pile, but I did have a blast! Maybe I’ll make a little tutorial on this, it was a really fun and easy project. And aren’t they pretty?!

Felted Wool

October 24th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (0 Comments)

I’ve ventured into a new land…the land of felted wool! It’s a natural fit, as I’ve been saving and using fabric scraps from old clothing forever, but this is a new thing for me. It started with a few cute holiday projects in a craft magazine I bought at the airport! Now, I found Betz White’s book “Warm Fuzzies” and have a new respect for felted wool! Here is the project I started with:

I made a blue and red robin one for my son too, but he’s been carting it around the house so much I couldn’t find it for the photoshoot!

If you have any interest in felted wool you’ve got to check out this book! It has the cutest projects, great instructions and really inspiring photography! Usually I pick up a book to see what I could do to make the projects my own…this one, I want to make everything just like she did, they are so well done!! Check her out: She has a blog too, I just discovered. I’m going to go read more there, it looks fun!

Oh, and I have to thank my mom for when I told her I was interested in felted wool, she brought me a bag of goodies, including the stunning little wings on this birdie! What a sweetie!


August 25th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)
Go to to see this one for sale!

Go to to see this one for sale!

I got out paintsticks again. These were a gift from my mom for my birthday! The next two photos are going to be put together into an art quilt.

And here is another paintstick painted and pieced top. The borders are from a single piece of Japanese fabric my mom gave me quite some time ago. I had saved it for something really special and I think this was a good choice!

Earth Day

April 24th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Crafts - (0 Comments)

Did you do something nice for the earth on April 22?! I hope so!! If not, there’s still time…make it Earth Day everyday. Here’s a picture of my project.

My small mission for the earth is to reduce the waste of plastic shopping bags. I made this reusable tote using six plastic shopping bags, ironed together until fused. They made a heavier plastic, with a feel more like nylon. I could then sew it into a sturdier, reusable tote bag. Link to Etsy Tutorial.

My other favorite kind of reusable tote bags are the Mors Bags. I’ve made probably twenty of those out of sheets and old curtains and use them for most of my grocery shopping, those that I haven’t given away. Please visit:

Free-motion Embroidery Art Quilt

April 18th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in Quilting - (0 Comments)

I finished a UFO from a couple years ago today. It was packed away, and when I rediscovered it, it made sense what I needed to do next!! It was a light bulb moment…and right during Brennan’s naptime. So I worked as fast and furious as I could to finish it!

This was made with free motion embroidery on my sewing machine. There are only three thread colors and one background fabric. It is a subtle geometric design, with some botanical elements. I had a lot of fun playing with filling patterns in the border. I do enjoy the traditional stipple, but this was a way to break out of that (on a small scale). Hmmm. Maybe I should try those stitches on a larger scale!


April 11th, 2008 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (0 Comments)

I finished this Grandma’s Flower Garden quilt. It turned out a perfect size for a 12″ x 12″ shadow-box style frame. I’m very pleased with the results. Usually I display quilts, even small ones, by just hanging them on the wall…but this is a lesson in the difference a frame can make!

Click the thumbnail for a photo where you can see the stitches better.