I always drooled over I SPY quilts and waited forever to make one for our family! I waited and waited because I just didn’t think that I had enough pieces of fabric to make the quilt! I didn’t want the quilt to familiar like it had pieces of every single other quilt I had made in it. Which I actually think now is a charming idea because my children can look at pieces of the I SPY fabric and actually remember other quilts made with the same fabric. Well it took me a long time to collect enough novelty pieces for the I SPY quilt that I was day dreaming to make. I did eventually get this quilt off my quilting day dreaming bucket list!
I stuffed all the obscure novelty prints in a squished plastic shoe box and often I would pull the pieces out to count them and see if I was close to collecting enough pieces that could work for the quilt. Disappointed after counting, I would shove those pieces back into their plastic bin determined to keep collecting! But one day I went through the count and holy cow I finally thought I had enough of a diverse variety to start the process of making the quilt.
I was so excited and my biggest admirer of my quilts was my darling son, Nick, so I immediately showed him that I had enough pieces. I so vividly remember Nick and I, sitting cramped against my sewing room wall examining and counting each piece. The pieces stuffed in that plastic box for years were now crumpled up odd pieces of fabric! They were really crumpled! I quickly grabbed a cutting board with rotary cutter and placed it on the floor next to us along with an iron and tiny ironing pad to start it right away. My son, in fourth grade at the time, and I sat so awkwardly against the wall with him just as excited about the project as me. We had bought so many I SPY books through the years and loved reading those. Maybe these I SPY quilts remind of my days as a child sitting in the doctor’s office going through Highlights magazines searching the hidden pictures! I guess I figured this quilt could be something like a permanent huge Highlight magazine hidden picture. No one in those days other than family practice offices had those Highlight magazines back then.
Well my sweet Nick would iron each of the crumpled ODD shaped fabrics and I was sitting on Nick’s left side fussy cutting away these pieces to work with the pattern I had in mind! It was a big task ahead of us and I have no idea why we didn’t do this process on a table. I know my back starting hurting crunched over to make these perfect cuts. Sweet Nick would iron each one and hand it to me and I would cut away. With excitement we examined each piece of fabric together to decide which image would be fussy cut and then BAM I felt this HOT searing feeling on my arm. Nick and I were sitting so close together watching what each other was doing that when handing me another pressed piece of fabric the iron hit my arm and I had one heck of a burn! Nick felt so bad but we just kept working away. I had a scar from that iron burn for the longest time but it represented a sweet memories of the two of us finally accomplishing something we daydreamed about.
I have no idea why I made the quilt in the pattern I did with all those hexagons! Being thrilled to finally have the resources to make this quilt, I got it put together quickly! Through the years, our family has cherished the quilt with the memories of playing I SPY and interacting with each other. I can only imagine the years and years of fun we will continue to have with this quilt with grandchildren and more! What an heirloom! I embroidered all around the border of the quilt different things to search for to start the challenge and interaction.
I have found some fabulous ideas for different I SPY quilt patterns! You may already have a pattern in mind. I have a Pinterest I SPY Quilt Board and would love if you pinned ideas or post them with #ISPYQUILT and I will find them! I will summarize my favorites in a blog.
At Stitches Quilting when I had a store front, we always had a basket that people could trade novelty square pieces of fabric for the pieces in the basket. It was fun and I still have that same basket today! You can mail me some of your extra novelty fabrics and I will mail you back the same number of pieces from the basket. Let’s keep that I SPY basket of fun swapping away. Click the following link to see 20 piece – 5 inch I SPY charm packs and 10 inch layer cakes for sale in the Stitches Quilting Shoppe! Let us know if you would like some! Many of the prints in the basket are out of print and no longer available so you will be getting a very unique collection and of course if you have a particular interest in girl, boy, fish, holiday etc. prints just let me KNOW!
Share the quilts that you waited and waited to get just those perfect fabrics that took forever and then you finally had it perfectly right to then assemble! What fabrics did you stash away for that perfect quilt? Post photos on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #quiltybucketlist #quiltfabricstashaway or #stichesquilting to share with each other what you are daydreaming about or have accomplished! I can’t wait to see your things and read your comments! Where you ever quilting with a family member or friend that developed into a first aid experience and memories? Tell us your stories!