“I Spy” Quilt Activity, Two!

Recently, our church quilting group completed an “I Spy” quilt for one of our beloved families who had just adopted their second daughter.  Playing with so many fun and quirky prints inspired me to start another one for my nephew and his wife, who are expecting their first in April of this year.  When I learned of my sister-in-law’s plan to combine a baby shower with our early January Christmas get-together, I had little time to spare.

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Who can resist this charming gentlefrog and his violin?

I have been collecting these fun novelty prints for over twenty years.  I probably have enough fabric to make 100 or more of these quilts, and I’ve even thought of putting together some kits for sale.  (If you’d be interested in something like that, would you please let me know in the comments?)

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Don’t you just love this cheeky, mustached lobster?

It’s been years since I’ve made an “I Spy” quilt, (and have now made two in as many months), but I can see that I’ll be making more of these in the near future.  I have a lot of blocks already cut and organized, and constructing the top goes fairly quickly using the chain-piecing method.

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My nephew and his wife are using lavender in their nursery, so I thought I’d use that color as the corner triangles.  One of the great things about this quilt is that you can pretty much use any color you desire.  Over the years, I’ve used red, yellow, orange, royal blue, fuchsia, and a few others I can’t remember right now.  This is the first time I’ve used a more pastel background color, and I really like the way it makes the novelty blocks “pop!”

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Aren’t they the cutest?  We know they’re going to be GREAT parents!

To finish this quilt top, I added a skinny border of a white-on-white floral print, and a wider border of a deeper periwinkle blue with tiny dots that shimmer in the light.  I forgot to photograph the back, but I found a cotton paisley print at Jo-Ann Fabrics that was a mixture of lavender, periwinkle, seafoam green, purple, pink, and chartreuse.  Perfect!

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Here is the completed top before the borders were added.  Which block is your favorite?

I used basting spray (my new favorite product!) to temporarily bond my three layers together, then machine-quilted on both sides of all the diagonal seams, extending the quilting to the outer edges of the borders.  I used the same lavender that I used for the triangles as the binding.  To bind straight-edged quilts, I cut 2 1/2″ strips on the straight grain, then fold in half and press.  Stitch to the front with 1/4″ seam, then turn the folded edge to the back and hand sew.  Always, ALWAYS, hand-sew.  You’ll get a neater finish this way.

I would say this is a good intermediate or advanced beginner project.  It does take some time to mark and cut out the hexagons, but if you take the time to prep multiples at the same time, making your second or third “I Spy” quilt will be much faster!  And you probably will want to keep making them…they are addicting!

Do you think you might try this?  Let me know in the comments…

Thanks for stopping by the Hollow!

Kristine Zerby

 

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