Monday, November 18, 2013

"I Spy" fun quilts for kids

Parker's I Spy Quilt
   Every year I do what I call my "January Project". This year I decided it was a good opportunity to make a baby quilt for my first grand niece, Haylie. Her brother Parker got a crazy I-Spy quilt so I wanted hers to be an I Spy also but different and more "girlie".  I have enjoyed the X Marks the Spot block so decided to do it all pastels. So I dug into the novelty fabric box and pulled out all the pastels and pulled out all the strips of pastels and went to town.
     For Christmas I got a goodie box full of beautiful fabrics. One of them seemed perfect for this project so it will be the border. I decided it was kind of nice to have a border in mind before I started so I cut a couple strips of the border fabric and made it a "rule" to have one piece of this fabric in each block.
               If you look in the center of Parker's quilt you can see the I Spy poem to go with the quilt. I thought I would share how I do this. I use the same rhythm and style of the I Spy books and I often include a book with the quilt as a gift. After making several of these quilts I have finally come up with a pretty good way of doing this. As soon as I have finished all the blocks I go through them one at a time and make a list of everything I "spy". Just like in the books it is important to include fun adjectives and phrases to describe the objects so the list includes things like "pigs that fly" and a birdhouse might rhyme better as "a house for a bird". I match up words that rhyme that I can use at the end of the lines and then I go to work to make 4 or 5 verses listing everything. I love fabrics that have words on them so if there is a word it is included with quotes. Looking for fun fabrics with words has become my new quest lately.
       Here's an example of a verse from one of my I Spy quilts: You can see it is possible to squeeze in 13 objects in one verse!
I spy a puppy, pink elephant, and cats
A bowl of rice, pumpkins, and #1 fire hat
Paint spatters, birdhouse, 4 pigs, jelly beans
"Catch and release", apples, and M&M that's green.
     In case you are curious as to how I get the verse on the fabric, it is actually pretty easy. You can buy computer fabric or you can make your own. I make my own with white fabric which I press onto freezer paper and cut to 8 1/2" x 11". You can then just run it through the inkjet printer. After it is finished it is important to press again to heat set. Do not use steam or water in the iron because it takes a little time for the ink to set and you might ruin it. (been there done that). I have it on good authority that after it is set you can wash the quilt and it won't wash out.
      This post has been in the draft phase forever and this week I finally finished it except for the binding and the poem. I plan to finish it for Christmas.

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