Being well aware that a baby spends a lot of time on the floor in their first year I wanted to have lots of bright, soft and interesting quilts for Lil Miss P to play on and lie on.
One of the designs I was really keen to put together was an I-Spy quilt. I loved the idea of having a playmat/quilt with lots of different images and shapes and patterns for her to look at while spending time on the floor.
Plus an I-Spy quilt isn’t just a lovely thing to look at, it’s also an educational quilt as children learn to identify patterns, animals, numbers, letters, colours and so on. There’s something special about the idea of helping them to learn to articulate what they’re seeing in a fun way with something hand made with love.
So, with my mission in hand, off I went to the monster online catalogue of craft ideas – Pinterest.
I searched I-Spy quilts and found quite a few ideas.
Originally I wanted to make an I-Spy quilt pattern that looks like lots of little polaroids on a back ground. But I wanted to have more squares of different objects than that pattern lent itself to, so I changed a few things around came up with a plan.
I have to say that my plan involved a lot of shopping around and more money than is probably sensible to spend on a quilt.
Don’t tell my husband ; )
With the design I decided on I needed 120 x 4.5″ squares fussy cut from fabrics with obvious characters, objects, shapes or numbers and letters.
Getting to 120 different squares involved having to buy minimum cuts, some of which were up to half a meter (!), in a whole range of fabrics. Luckily with some of the fabrics I chose I was able to get multiple squares of different items from one purchase so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
(My other saving grace was that I ended up selling a lot of the left over fabric as fat quarters or fat eights online to make my money back.)
Once I had all the fabrics I got busy cutting. Cutting that many 4.5″ squares was a little tedious to say the least, especially as I couldn’t save any cutting by using the edges.
When I had my 120 squares I then had to figure out where I wanted each one. As is usual with most of my quilts, there was a fair bit of shuffling around of the squares, making sure there was a nice even spread of the different kinds of patterns etc and nothing doubled up or clashed or was too similar to the square next to it.
With the layout sorted I then sewed sashing between the squares vertically horizontally and then, finally, sewed all those strips together.
When the top was all done I chose my backing and binding and got busy putting it all together. I decided on straight line quilting within the borders of the sashing, so as not to take away from the images in the feature squares. Plus I love straight line quilting the best : )
The binding went on, completed by hand stitching it on the back and Lil Miss P’s I-Spy quilt was complete!
This quilt has definitely become a firm favourite with Lil Miss P. Even now, at two years old, she sits on it and practices going through each square trying to name each item. It’s been so rewarding and fun watching her slowly develop her language abilities and be able to name more and more of the characters, shapes or patterns. Just as I hoped.
And the dog even loves it!
It’s probably a bit odd that I’m already excited about that idea!