The key element to an I Spy quilt is lots of different patterns of fabric to grab a child’s attention, to play “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…”. Both big and small prints work, and using both adds extra interest to the quilt.
This I Spy design, with a band of plain fabric between the patterned blocks, stops the quilt being too busy. It also unifies all the different blocks together. It’s a relatively easy construction for beginners. The challenge for advanced quilters is to do the quilting along the bands as words that tell a story, personalized if it’s a quilt for someone you know, and quilt the words of the objects depicted in the blocks.
The quilt is made from 49 blocks (each 4.5”x4.5”) with 2” bands in between. To make the quilt larger or smaller, increase/decrease the number of blocks you use. Alternatively, increase decrease the size of the blocks/strip or make the border wider/leave it off.
You will need:
- 49 blocks of novelty fabric, each 4.5×4.5”. (Why are my blocks 4.5”? Simply because that’s the size of the plastic template I’ve got.)
- Not quite a metre of plain fabric for the strips of 2” (easiest cut with a ruler and rotary cutter). If you get a metre, then you should have plenty for doing the binding too.
- Two long quarters for the border.
- Backing fabric
- Stitch up seven rows of seven blocks with a band of plain fabric in between each block.
- Sew these rows together with a band of plain fabric in between each.
- Add a plain band around the outside of the blocks.
- Add a border if desired.
- Sandwich, quilt, and bind.
More detailed instructions, with photos, can be found on Marion’s blog, here:
http://madcatartstudio.wordpress.com/quilt-tutorials/i-spy-quilt-instructions/ (Sorry, but it’s a large .pdf with eight pages, suitable only for broadband connections.)