Saturday, December 24, 2011

Snips and Snails Crib Quilt for James

This is a quilt that I started in October for our friend's baby boy James.  It's another design from Debbi Mumm (like Silly Safari) that I just couldn't pass up.  I love the little turtles, frogs and snails. Perfect for a little boy's quilt!  This was my first attempt at using some of the new free motion designs that I have been learning on an actual quilt. Transitioning from a little sample square to a full quilt (even just crib size like this one) was a challenge in it self because of all the extra fabric that you have to wrestle with. It was definably frustrating at times, but I learned a lot making this quilt and oh was it so worth it in the end!  I can't imagine going back to making quilts without adding the beautiful stitching on top.

Enjoy the pictures and feel free to leave comments at the bottom!

I tried to chose bright and cheery colors for this quilt.  I'm always frustrated with everything baby being pastel.  Kids and babies love color.  Gotta stimulate the synapses!!

Here is the back of the quilt.  It's a little easier to see some of the quilting designs by looking at the back of the quilt because it is all one fabric.

I used the "Echo Rainbow" design on each nine patch blocks.
Echo Rainbow Nine Patch from the back.
Here is the sample square that I posted of Echo Rainbow design as part of the 365 Project.
On the background of each animal block I used the "Brain Coral" design by basically creating a coral shape,
then echoing that shape before starting the next shape.

Here is a close up of the "Brain Coral" design from the back.
By choosing the Brain Coral design, a very dense design, for the background of each animal block  I was able to make each animal pop out from the quilt.  The dense stitching flattens that part of the quilt making other areas, like the animals themselves, seem fluffier and more three dimensional.
Here is the sample square that I posted of Brain Coral design as part of the 365 Project.

For each animal, I stitched eyes, mouths, and some sort of design.

The frogs were fairly simple, just stitch in the ditch around the body and stomach. 

For the turtles, I stitched a rectangle/square around each letter on their shells.

And for the snails I decided that they needed to have a spirally shell.


For the borders, I chose a small green accent border, then a larger patched
border with echoing curves stitched on top, a blue striped outside border
and an orange binding.
In keeping with the rounded theme, a stitched spirals in three of the corners....

...and added a signature in the forth corner: 
Snips & Snails
Made by
Ashlea Tenner
December 2011

James with his new quilt.  I think he liked it!

All of the fabrics used for this quilt are from The Quilt Loft, several of the quilting designs are inspired by the Free Motion Quilting Project, and the quilt pattern was designed by Debbie Mumm

Thursday, November 10, 2011

365 Project: Days 15-21

This week I started with a spider web design, very appropriate for the time of year since Halloween was only a few weeks ago.  After a couple squares, I realized that I was unintentionally quilting squares that were fall themed, so I decided to make the whole week themed for October (even though it is November now). Because I wanted to keep with the theme, I looked for designs that had a Halloween/Fall feel from and I even added a new design of my own (Friendly Ghosts). Enjoy!

Day 15: Spider Web
This design was really fun to sew, despite my arachnophobia (notice the
lack of a spider in the web).  It felt very fluid and filled the space quickly.
This would be great on a Halloween quilt or a bug quilt.
I decided to take a photo of the square before I added the concave lines
that create the spider web. The curvy lines meeting in the center of the
square create a nice pattern by themselves.

Day 16: Trailing Leaves
This design was my most difficult design this week.  It involves a lot of
traveling over previous stitches which is something I am still trying to
feel comfortable with.  However, this design definitely helped me get
over any anxiety about traveling I had before I started.
Day 17: Pumpkin Patch
I thought a pumpkin patch design would be fun to go along with the
Fall./Halloween theme this week. Also, it is very easily adjustable to any
area that you need to fill.
Day 18: Pine Needles

I don't have much to say about Pine Needles.  It actually took a little longer
than I thought it would to complete, but I think it fills the space well and
creates a nice pattern. 
Day 19: Friendly Ghosts
This was my fist attempt, during this project, at stitching a design that was
not on I decided that I needed
some ghosts this week, with the Halloween theme and all.  Definitely needs
some work but it was fun to try something new.

Day 20: Broken Glass
I love this design. It's basically just squares and triangles overlapping
each other with a few odd shapes thrown in to keep it interesting.  Easy, fun
and fast. I can't wait to find a way to use this design on a quilt!
Day 21: Frankenstein Stitches
And, of course, we have to have some Frankenstein Stitches this week.
This design was great to practice traveling but I think it would be difficult
to use this design as a filler on a quilt.  Maybe best used
when drawing actual stitches.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

365 Project: Days 8-14

I am having so much fun with this 365 Project.  Some of the designs are definitely harder than others but who doesn't like a good challenge?  I can already see how some of these designs would work beautifully on a quilt. I can't wait to use a few of them on a children's quilt top that I just finished. I will post some photos when I finish it.  

For now, here are my week 2 squares:

Day 8: Cursive F's

I don't think they look much like cursive f's but the design is nice and
would probably look better in a single line on a border somewhere.

Day 9: Flowing Glass

Day 10: Checker Board

I really liked this design.  It was very simple and filled the space
quickly,  Plus I think it would work really well on a a variety of quilts.

Day 11: Brain Coral


Here is a close up picture of Brain Coral that shows the texture.
Quilting is less about the lines that the thread creates and more
about the spaces that are in between the lines. This square is a great example
of that, because the white thread almost disappears on the
yellow/orange fabric, showing off the texture/raised sections
instead of the stitches.


Day 12: Spiral Chain

This reminds me of jungle vines.  Again I think it would look best on a
border.  But it could be cool in a jungle scene or you could turn it sideways
and use it on a beach landscape quilt.

Day 13: Double Pebble

This was by far the most difficult design this week.  I think it turned
out pretty well for my first try, but I might practice this one a few
more times before attempting to use it on a quilt top.

Day 14: Matrix

Design tutorials found at:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

365 Project: Day 1-7

I came across a free motion quilting site recently that really peaked my interest.  It's called  The woman who started the site did a project that she called the 365 project.  She devoted a little time everyday to quilt a different pattern on a 6"x6" square block. This helped her explore different patterns and improve her free motion quilting skills.

This site has become a most visited on my list of bookmarks, so I decided to follow her steps and challenge myself to do a 365 project of my own.  Free motion quilting has been something I have been interested in since I first started quilting but for a long time I didn't think I could do it without a long arm machine.  I started practicing a few months ago on my home machine with smaller pieces and then came across the day style designs website and learned that you can use a smaller machine even on larger quilts.

My goal is to quilt 365 6"x6" squares using the patterns on the Day Style Designs website and adding in a few of my own designs as I go along. As I improve my skills with each design, I plan to start using a larger variety of patterns in my full size quilts and maybe even doing a whole quilt or wall hanging with just free motion quilting and no piecing.

I will post my squares here each week for you to see.

Here are my squares for week 1:

Day 1: Shadow Waves

Day 2: Etch-A-Sketch

Day 3: Gentle Flames

Day 4: Basic Spiral

Day 5: Echo Shell

Day 6: Echo Rainbow 

Day 7: Fern and Stem

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Silly Safari Quilt for Clayton

I found a quilting book by Debbie Mumm that has a lot of super cute kids quilts in it and couldn't pass it up on the shelf.  My friend Nancy and her husband Dean were pregnant with their first child, a little boy, so I decided to make them a Silly Safari crib quilt and wall hanging.  It was so fun, I had to add in a lion pillow too!

This project was a great learning experience as well. I was able to gain experience with applique, buttons, and free motion quilting on a large scale with this project.

Here is the wall hanging:


Silly Safari Crib Quilt:

 Here are some close ups of the quilting on the crib quilt. I just did a random loopy pattern on the whole quilt.

And the Lion Pillow:

Oh...I almost forgot, I found this really cute plush giraff to go with the set.  I didn't make him myself but he just fit so perfectly I had to include him.

Clayton was born May 30, 2011.