Yes, you read that right, this post is about the I Spy Quilt - wahoo!
But look - I actually finished it! I thought it would be perfect for taking to all those outdoor things - mainly, my son's flag football games, so the other kids could have a place to sit and be entertained all at once. We're well into the season, so I almost didn't make it, but I can still tote it along to the final 2 games.
So a quick rundown - - if you are a real quilter, you might want to avert your eyes......
First off, I participated in 2 different swaps. I cut a bunch of the same fabric into squares, then mailed them off and the swap host puts everyones fabric into a big pile then divys it out, so I got back a bunch of different fabric squares. Perfect - except for that the 2 swaps I signed up for were different sized squares - whoops.
So what I did was laid out the squares into larger square pods. Each larger square had 2 big squares and 6 small squares inside of it. I sewed those 8 squares together into their pod. Some I Spy quilts have plain fabric between each square, but I liked the look of them all touching, jumbled together (make it tougher on those kiddos!) I placed everything out, but of course lost track while I was moving piles from one place to another, so the quilt looks nothing like this pre-layout:
Since I wanted an outdoor blanket, I knew I was backing it with denium. For durability, and because I have a huge pile of discarded overalls from my uncle (he knew I couldn't say no to trash clothing). Since I wanted to back it with denium, I didn't think I could quilt it very well - sounded too thick to swirl around, etc. So I just took my pod things, put a piece of batting under them, and quilted them individually. There's a name for this type of quilting, without the back on - I don't know what it is.
Did you notice that I tacked up Kimbo's letter right by my sewing machine - it's been there a couple of months - it's like she's heckling me every time I sew something other than my I Spy quilt :)
A view of the wonky back - I just claim that "wonky" was the look I was going for:
The original plan was to embroider a whole list of all the things to find on the quilt - sounded very long and involved and I just wasn't looking forward to it. Then Kim said she was going to make cards for hers - I thought that was genius and quickly stole the idea. I cut off the front pocket from the overalls and just zig zagged it right on the back of the quilt - it has snaps and everything, so it's perfect to hold the cards in.
I borrowed a laminator from a friend to make the cards durable - and it was awesome. I think I need that machine!
A view of most of the front (quilts are so hard to take pictures of!):
In this picture you can see I sewed in a couple of ties when I put the binding on:
That way when I'm traipsing onto the football field with 3 kids in tow and dragging various chairs, jackets, etc, it'll be easily transportable - I can hand it to a kid to carry and if they drop it, it won't come unfolded or anything. All tied up:
And of course, the fun of playing with it - - it's been a huge hit so far. The younger kids can point out things and name what they see, etc. The older kids can read the cards and hunt around.
I love my I Spy Quilt - - you should make one! Underneath it all, it's just sewing straight lines - you can do it!
Along those lines, I have extra squares I'll sell for $20, including shipping, if anyone wants them - just email me, mandybeez at gmail. They are the ones I didn't use because they weren't my taste, they were duplicates (whether exactly or in theme, like there were several owl fabrics), or I just ran out of room - I didn't want a huge quilt.
My quilt: 40 large squares (6 inches) and 120 small squares (4 inches)
The leftovers for sale: 59 large squares and 82 small squares (if I counted right!)