Monday, July 13, 2009

The Making of an I Spy Quilt - Part 1

With a baby on the way, I find that I'm drawn to more children's quilts. Duh, yeah, obvious, I know.

Anyway, I decided to document the process from start to finish for a friend or two, ahem, who might have been saying they want to learn to quilt. No pressure, though. Just some step-by-steps.

First, I love the idea of quilted learning so an I Spy quilt makes perfect sense as a crib-sized quilt. (Although I'm not too fussy on the finished size as long as its in the ballpark.)

Keeping the I Spy idea in the back of my mind, I noticed our LQS (local quilt store) was carrying packs of novelty fabric cut into 8" x 10.5" pieces. Perfect. With 10 in a pack, I picked out two with more masculine fabrics for our baby son.

I cut these down to 8" x 8" and have 20 of them so I can make a quilt of 4 x 5 blocks.

Knowing that I didn't want anything to0 fancy or complex, I started looking for fabric for a simple sashing between the feature fabrics. Digging through my stash, I found a nice brown textured chunk that would work and cut it into 8" x 2.5" pieces. There are 49 of them.

I decided I need some brighter corner pieces so using this orange piece of fabric, also from the stash, I cut it into 2.5" x 2.5" squares. After cutting 30 of them and realizing that I have another piece of orange fabric, I decided to make the corner squares into corner stars.

This means I needed to have 196 little 1.5" x 1.5" squares ready for seaming, too. (Don't be intimidated by the big number. They go pretty fast with a rotary cutter.)

Once finished with these little ones, the cutting process was complete and I was ready to start sewing.

The first step of the seaming process is to attach a 1.5" square to each corner of the 8" x 2.5" brown sashing strips.

The little squares need to be attached diagonally to each of the corners. I just place the fabrics with wrong sides together and sew from one corner of the orange piece to the other. (Feel free to draw a diagonal pencil line, if this is more comfortable for you. You could pin it, too, if that helps.)

I do one after another, after another, as this helps to speed things along, as well as save on thread. It's called chain piecing because you create a long chain of pieces.

Once the first corner of each brown piece has a little orange square attached to it, I did the opposite diagonal corner. So by the time I was finished with this step, each brown piece had been through the machine twice and had two smaller orange squares attached to it.

Okay, that's where we're ending today because that's as far as I've gotten with the steps, and thus the photos. Tune in later this week for more.

And for our furry cuteness intermission, here's Stella giving Sailor a bath.

She sure likes to keep everybody clean, that Stella cat!

Hope you had a crafty weekend! M


quiltmom said...

Very fun project for your baby. I trust you are feeling well and enjoying the time before the baby arrives.
I love the picture of Stella- it is too funny to see her washing your other cats ears.
We used to have a large dog Venus who was totally bossed by our much smaller cat Mars. They had this very fun relationship - Occasionally she would go too far and Venus would give her one big woof and that would be the end of that game. We miss that game..
Be well and enjoy your quilt making.
Warmest regards,

Katharyn said...

You couldn't possibly mean me, could you?

I actually don't have a huge amount of fabric in my stash so I'll see about hitting the craft store next pay check, so I can catch up.

Stella reminds me a Gracie.

Knatolee said...

Love the quilting and your cats are so adorable, not to mention beautiful. How can you not love cats?