Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lula's I Spy Block Tutorial

Here's the tutorial, as promised, for Lula's I Spy Quilt. My directions are for a quilt 45"X45" before borders. You can add those, or not, as desired. I am using 4 inch charms to create 9 inch (finished) blocks. (Note that you will need to trim your standard 5 inch charms to make this version.) This picture is of the quilt in progress......
Let's begin with the fabric requirements and cutting. 

100 - I Spy charms
1.25 yards solid for sashing
Cut sashing into 1.5 inch width of fabric (WOF) strips. 
You will need a total of 23 strips.
Subcut 10 strips into 4 inch pieces. You will need 100 rectangles.
Subcut 13 strips into 5 inch pieces. You will need 100 rectangles. 
Trim charms to 4 inches square.
The drawing below is my doodle for planning Lula's quilt and the placement of the sashing strips. As I was sewing the blocks, I found it helpful to keep the drawing beside my machine to refer to as I constructed each block.  I highly recommend that you make a sketch also, unless you enjoy frog sewing..rippit, rippit! This block can get mixed up easily!
Working with 4 charms at a time,
 lay them out in a pleasing pattern. With 1/4" seams, sew  a four inch strip to the TOP of each of the two squares on the left.
Sew a four inch strip to the BOTTOM of each of the two squares on the right.
I pressed my seams open.
Again, lay out the four charms with the short strips attached.  Using the five inch strips, lay one on the LEFT side of each of the two top charms. Lay one on the RIGHT side of each of the two bottom charms as shown below. Stitch.
After pressing, again lay out the squares.
 Check your diagram to make sure it's correct! Trust me.
Sew together the top two squares and the bottom two, as shown.

After pressing, complete the block by sewing the two sections together 
to make a 9 inch (finished) block.

Repeat to make 25 blocks. Arrange the finished blocks 5 across and 5 down.
Sew the blocks into rows and then join the rows.
Add borders (or not) as desired. Quilt and bind.
Now, go find a young'in  and have fun playing "I Spy with my Little Eye!"
As another option, if you would like to use 5 inch squares to make the quilt, you will need a total of 64 charms to make a quilt top 44" X 44". 
Using 1 yard of sashing fabric, cut 18 strips 1.5 in. wide. Sub cut into 64 five inch strips and 64 six inch strips. Assemble as above to make 16 blocks.
Arrange the blocks four across and four down.
#If you hurry, you can still join in the I Spy charm swap here.


  1. Thank you for creating this pattern and tutorial, Carla! I'm saving it to a special place for later use.

    Your spy squares are great! I'm excited to see what prints we get in our swap. Thanks for coordinating all of it. You're the best!

  2. Very cute, Carla! I'm excited to get my charms and try it.

  3. The most eye pleasing I SPY quilt layout I've ever seen. I just signed up for the swap. Thanks so much!

  4. Hi Carla,
    I made a quilt like that one and showed it on my blog at
    I didn't keep them 4 in a block, but considered each of the 4 as a block unto itself. Then when I put them on the design wall I didn't fret about them all facing the same way and sewed them together keeping their little borders to a standard. I like how it turned out, but yours is much easier to read and play the game!

  5. Cute blocks! I just posted about my i spy fabric choices and linked to this post!

  6. Carla, I LOVE this!!! Can't wait to try one...maybe in the year 2020, when I get my other projects finished. Oh, well, it wouldn't seem normal around here if everything was completed. :o)
    Great job!!

  7. I have always wanted to make an I Spy quilt. I guess it's time to start collecting cute fabric. That elephant block is adorable!

  8. My charm squares for the exchange are going in the mail tomorrow!

  9. It is so cute, I can't wait to get my squares.

  10. Such a wonderful idea! I have no idea how to quilt, but have 2 years to learn so I can make one of these for my itty bitty's 3rd bday! :)

  11. i'm so excited to get started on this! i have tons of 4 inch charms, just have to cut my strips and get to piecing!

  12. My 2 iSpy quilts are done! I added them to your Flickr group today! Thanks for the tutorial! My kids loved the quilts!!!

  13. I just found your's a delight to see all this beautiful creations! thanks for sharing!

  14. Thank you for this pattern tutorial. I used this to make an "I spy" baby quilt for my coworker. She loved it! I would be happy to attach a photo.

  15. Then cutting between the long 1.5 inch strips!