EDIT - I have created a printer friendly version now. It can be found for free here
Please be kind. Please do not use this tutorial or pattern for personal gain and give me proper credit when sharing a link to this tutorial. Thanks :)
First some shopping - Here is a list of what you are gonna need :) It might take a while to gather up all your I Spy Blocks, no worries, it took me a year :)
Picture Blocks - Scraps or get a 6" Cut - 98 Blocks Total
12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Yellow Backgrounds
12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Red Backgrounds
12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Blue Backgrounds
12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Purple Backgrounds
12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Orange Backgrounds
12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Green Backgrounds
26 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With White Backgrounds
Solid Outline Blocks - 1/4 Yard of Each Color
28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Yellow
28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Red
28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Blue
28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Purple
28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Orange
28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Green
Solid Black - 1 3/4 Yards
100 Squares 3" x 3"
8 Strips 4" x 44" - Sew Two's Together to Make 4 Strips - Trim Excess Solid (or small print)
Solid White - 1 Yard
96 Squares 3" x 3"
8 Strips 1 1/2" x 44" - Sew Two's Together to Make 4 Strips - Trim Excess
Rainbow Print - 1 Yard
28 Squares 3" x 3"
8 Strips 2 1/2" x 44" - Sew Two's Together to Make 4 Strips - Trim Excess
Excess yardage to allow for square up of vertical / horizantal pattern
Backing - 5 Yards (2 Pieces 2/12 Yards) Black and White Print
Binding - 25 inches (10 2 1/2" Strips) Black and White Print
And once you have all of your supplies rounded up and cut you are ready to start sewing :) Here is the layout for this quilt.
So basically, this entire quilt is made up of 49 blocks that each have 2 Picture Blocks and 2 Four-Patch blocks. So, all you have to know to make this quilt is how to make that block, and then repeat 49 times :) So here is how to make that block. We are going to be making the block that is located at Row 2 Block 5. (Kind of like battleship, tee hee hee). So try and find it in the big quilt pattern above! It should look like this.
Did you find it all right? If not, look again and try to pay attention to the dark outlines around the blocks, they show where the blocks are formed. I know it can be a little confusing as you would think you are sewing the 4 I spy blocks together, but alas, you are not. Okay, so now we know how to find the blocks, lets get onto sewing them.
Grab your pieces needed for this block and lay them out according to the block grid. Like this.
We start with attaching the the rows for the 4 Patch blocks together. Lay your left block in each of the 4 Patch rows onto the right block. Pin along the edge where the center seam will be formed.
Once you have finished stitching, cut the threads in between each set of blocks and press your seams open.
Your layout should now look like this. Now you are ready to complete the Four Patch Blocks.
Lay the top row onto the bottom row of each Four patch Blocks. Make sure to align the center seam and pin along the edge where the center seam will be formed.
Chain Stitch your 2 blocks using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Cut the threads between your 2 blocks and press the seams open on each block.
You should now have a layout like this. Now you can attach the picture blocks to the Four Patch Blocks. Oh, and this is a good time to make sure that, if needed, your I Spy blocks are right side up. Notice how I spun the Red Snail from the last picture to make it right side up :) (You don't want upside down pictures unless the print is a random print and it will be upside down regardless.)
Lay the left block in each row onto the right block on each row. Pin along the edge where the center seam will be formed.
Chain stitch your two rows using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Clip the threads between your two rows and press your seams open.
And now your layout should look like this. And you are ready to complete the final step of assembling your block.
Lay your top row onto your bottom row. Make sure to match your center seam. Pin along the edge where your center seam will be formed.
Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.
Press your seams open.
And Ta Da!! Your block is completed.
So from here on out its all graph pictures. Sorry, I made this quilt several years ago and while I was happy to use some old scraps to show making this block, I am not ready to make a whole new quilt :) But no worries, it isn't that hard :)
So go ahead and start on Row 1 Block 1. Put it all together using your block instructions above. Then move onto Row 1 Block 2. You get the idea. Keep going until you get to Row 7 Block 7 and you have a stack of 49 blocks :) *** A side note, When I made this I attempted several times to do this in an assembly type fashion. Each time I ended up creating confusion, getting frustrated, and just went back to one block at a time. That is not to say you can't do it assembly line, I just found one block at a time to be less of a headache and more enjoyable.
Once you have your 49 blocks finished you are ready to put your rows together. This is pretty easy as long as you keep it simple. I just started by sewing Row 1 Block 1 to Row 1 Block 2. Lay Block 2 onto Block 1 and pin along the edge where your center seam will be formed. Make sure to match up all of your seams. Sew your 1/4" seam and press. It should now look like this. *** Once again, a side note, If you like you can do this in more of an assembly line fashion. I just found doing it one block at a time to be easier :)
Now move onto to the next block. Lay Block 3 onto your now pieced together Block 1 and 2 and pin along the edge where your center seam will be formed making sure to line up your seams and then sew your 1/4" seam and press. It should look like this.
You get the idea right. Just keep adding one block at a time until your whole row is complete and looks like this.
Now repeat the process for all 7 rows. Take your time :) It is more important to keep nice straight seams and corners that match up nicely than to finish fast :) Okay, so once you have all 7 rows completed you are ready to start sewing them together. This is pretty much the same process, just on a longer scale :)
Now that you are done making the rows you can put them together. Take Row 1 and lay it on Row 2. Pin along the edge where your center seam will be formed. Make sure to match all of your seams. There are 20 seams to match so pin those first and then ease out any bubbles. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. Your 2 rows should look like this.
Continue adding on one row at a time until all 7 rows are sewn together. It should look like this :)
Now you just have to add your borders. Easy enough. Lay a Rainbow border on your quilt top right sides together along the 2 sides of your quilt. Pin the edge where your seam will be sewn. Sew a 1/4" seam along both sides and press. Your quilt now looks like this.
Now you can add the top and bottom rainbow border. Do this the same way. Lay your rainbow border on top of your quilt top right sides together. Pin along the edge where your seam will be formed. Sew a 1/4" seam along the pin line and press. Now your top looks like this :)
Now just keep adding borders. Add the white border next using the same directions you just used. Your quilt top now looks like this.
Now add the final black border using the same directions as before. Your quilt top is now done and should look like this :)
So now it is time to turn that finished quilt top into a finished Quilt ;) Time to Baste It, Quilt It, and Bind It!!! Which is a whole lot in one little sentence. If you are new to quilting, you can see my Finishing Your Quilt Series of video tutorials that will walk you through Basting, Quilting, and Binding step by step ;)
Then when you are all finished, bring out the kids and let them play :) It measures 83" x 83" so it is perfect for a picnic or playing on the family room floor ;) I hope your family loves your I Spy quilt as much as ours has :)
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own I Spy Quilt I would love to see it!! You can email me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org or add it to my flickr group here or post it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc ;) I can't wait to see your I Spy Quilts!!!