“I Spy” Quilt Activity

Our church has a small group of women who meet once a month to work on various quilting projects.  When we are blessed to welcome a new baby into our church family, a baby quilt becomes the project-at-hand.

For our most recent arrival, I suggested we make an “I Spy” quilt.


About twenty years ago, I came across the quilting book, “P.S. I Love You, Two!” , that contained the pattern that began the popular and recognizable “I Spy” quilt trend.  The authors’ idea was to create a quilt that was not only functional, but FUN, as well, so that children could use the quilt for the game of “I Spy.”

I began collecting novelty fabrics as soon as I found this pattern.  It wasn’t long until I had a sampling of everything that was available at my local fabric store…and sadly, we didn’t have any other quilt stores locally.  Happily, it was the early days of the internet, and I was pleasantly surprised to find many fabric stores online, (even though it was painfully slow to load the fabric-swatch pages with our dial-up service.)  Over the next few years, as my budget allowed, I built up a very nice stash of novelty fabrics, most of which are no longer available.

Thankfully, new novelty prints are continually being produced, so I should always have fresh designs to add to my ever-changing stash.



The original quilt called for 200 hexagons, “fussy-cut” from various novelty fabrics.

“Fussy-cutting” means that a plastic template is placed on the fabric, with the desired image centered within the shape; the template is traced around, then cut out.

It is a time-consuming process, but the results are so-o-o worth the effort…

Our church quilt group recently created this colorful “I Spy” for a lovely couple who just adopted their second daughter.  We hope that it will be a fun activity for the girls to spend time doing together.  It was gifted in November, 2016.


For a time, I was disciplined about marking, cutting out, and organizing my hexagons as I purchased fabric.  Eventually I got behind.  So, now I have a large bin filled with “possibilities,” as I like to think of it.  It will wait for me, and as long as friends and family members continue having babies, I’ll continue making these fun and functional fabric hugs.

Do you have a favorite sewn baby gift that you always give?  Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by the Hollow!

Kristine Zerby


The Tale of Two Toe-Dresses (say that fast!)

dsc_4006 My three-year-old niece loves toe-dresses!

What are toe-dresses, you ask?

Dresses that go to her toes, of course!

So, on our last visit, we went shopping at their local Jo-Ann Fabrics and chose these two quilting cottons to make her a few dresses for Christmas.


At home, I pulled out several patterns from my stash and Mom thought Simplicity 9492 was perfect.  (This pattern is now out-of-print, but possibly available on Etsy or Ebay.)

Comparing my niece’s measurements, (including the length to her TOES!), to the pattern measurements, I had a few minor pattern alterations to make.  Once the fabric was washed and dried, we were ready to cut out and assemble.


On the butterfly dress, we used a coordinating pink floral print for the collar and ruffle. This pink quilting cotton, also from Jo-Ann’s, has metallic gold details and is very pretty!  I cut 9″ wide strips of fabric for the ruffle, which I folded in half, gathered, and attached to the skirt hem, right sides together.  I finished the seam on my serger, then pressed the seam allowance upwards toward the skirt and topstitched 1/8″ from the seam to keep everything securely in place.


On the flying birds dress, I used wide eyelet trim for the collar and ruffle.  The pattern piece for the lace collar was a rectangle, and I wasn’t sure how that would work around the curved neckline; but once the edge of the collar was gently gathered, it fell into place nicely.  Because this heavy eyelet trim was finished on both edges, I decided to hem this dress first, then attach the gathered trim to the right side of bottom edge.  I attached it with two rows of stitching for extra stability.


And, here’s my niece wearing one of the dresses!  Isn’t she beautiful?

Her mom added the lavender ribbon sash which is the perfect finishing touch!

Project Details:

We bought 1 1/2 yards of each 45″ wide quilting cotton which was just enough to cut out the size 3 dresses.  (I did add several inches to the skirt length.)  Making the long sleeve version would definitely require more fabric.

The butterfly dress required approximately 2/3 yard contrasting fabric for the collar and hem ruffle.

The flying-bird dress took 3 1/2-4 yards (I didn’t measure) of double-edged eyelet trim for the collar and hem ruffle.

Both dresses took zippers, interfacing, and bias tape, which I had on hand.

I love sewing for little girls!  Have you made anything for a sweet little person in your life recently?  Tell me in the comments…

Thanks for stopping by the Hollow…


Kristine Zerby