I Spy Quilt

I was asked recently to share some hints on a quilt commonly known as the “I Spy” quilt. These quilts are often made using squares or other shapes, but I like using a hexagon, and I was thrilled to find that the new Marti Michell rulers included a set of rulers perfect for this quilt – called “Hexagons and 60º Triangle”.

As I have said before – the right tool really does make all the difference. The 60º triangle ruler is designed to go with the hexagons perfectly (so I suggest making certain you store them together once they are out of the package). Depending on the size of hexagon ruler you choose, you will line your triangle up on the edge or the first or second lines on the inside of the triangle. But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

1. Select the fabric(s) you will use – if this is going to be a true “I Spy” quilt, you will want several very different images for the quilt. Then you will ask the child to find or match the horse blocks, or the two cars, or whatever.
2. Using your hexagon ruler, you will ‘fussy cut’ the image you want out of each of the fabrics. The term “fussy cut” is when you take a ruler and instead of just cutting straight across the fabric like in strip quilting, you move the ruler around on your fabric until you have centered a design on your fabric in the center of your ruler. As an example in this picture we have decided to center the horses in the center. (Seam allowance is included in the ruler proportions, see the dotted line on the ruler.)

For this quilt, I used the largest of the hexagons. It gives me more flexibility for centering the images I want on each block, and will be more fun for the child to use when the quilt is completed.
3. The next step is to use the triangle ruler to cut two blue corners to sew on your hexagon. Since this is the large hexagon you would use the 3” or largest triangle. For each hexagon you will need two triangles. The first triangle is sewn to the upper left hand corner, then you sew the next triangle to the opposite corner.

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4. After you have sewn the two triangles onto all of your blocks, you will begin to assemble the blocks together.

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5. As you are sewing the blocks together, you will create strips, and those strips will be sewn together. (More on how to finish this quilt type in tomorrow’s post).

As the strips are sewn together, you will see that a star effect is being created throughout the quilt top. Can you see the six-pointed star centered in this picture?

And below are pictures of the finished quilt – click on them for a closer view.

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Be sure to check back tomorrow – I’ll show you how to finish quilts of this type!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Sheila

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7 Responses

  1. I too have just cut hexagons using the Marti Michell templates and love them. I will keep checking back to see how you are getting on. I have one week to finish a quilt—haha, have 78 hexagons cut and now need to put them together. How are you going to quilt it? I am puzzled as to what to do with that.
    thanks for the info
    suzi

  2. Suzi,
    I have a long arm quilting machine and did an all over quilting design. You could do a stitch in the ditch – that would make the designs pop out. Good Luck! If it is for a gift – I bet they will love it.
    Sheila

  3. How many hexagons do you need for each size quilt? I plan to use the largest hexagon in the package.

    • Karen, this always depends on the final look you want for your quilt. Since the largest hexagon (in the package I purchased) is 3” across on each flat side, that means the full ‘diameter’ of the hexagon is 6” across from point to point, or 5¼” across from flat to flat. So, depending on how you lay the blocks, and what type of borders you use, you can have a very different finished result.
      With a ¼” seam allowance, this means that if the blocks are laying touching point to point across the width of the quilt it will take 12 hexagons to make the width of a twin quilt, and 16 to make the length – if they are touching flat to flat, it will take 14 hexagons to make the width and 19 to make the length. So it depends completely on what your final quilt will look like.
      ~ Heather

  4. Can’t wait to do a “I Spy Quilt” for 1 of my grandsons!
    Have to finish a Sponge Bob for 1 of my granddaughters!

  5. Sheila, thanks to you for sharing, and the comments that were made. I am now confident that I will finish this adorable quilt by next Sunday. That is if we’re still here, we’ll know in eleven minutes (it’s 5:49, 5/21/11).
    Dianna

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