Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Spy Disappearing 9 Square Baby Quilt

I love when one idea leads to the next. I was planning out a baby quilt with an I Spy motif. My first thought was to just have alternating squares of I Spy fun fabric with one consistent print or solid. Then I looked around at I Spy quilts on Google images and found one quilt by "Dancing Needle" that was a disappearing nine square. It looked great!

I wasn't sure how big to make it. For inspiration, I looked at more images of disappearing nine square quilts. I found a little baby quilt at Connect the Dots Crafts that was only 30" square made up of four disappearing nine square blocks. That seemed like it would be the perfect size.

At one point I stumbled upon the Indian Hatchet quilting pattern. It seemed like a neat way to incorporate two fabrics into one square. I decided to just add the different fabric to one corner instead of two. I think it has a neat effect. Here's one tutorial about it at badskirt.

I decided to make 5.5" squares and 3.5" squares for the little corners. I found a great orange for the opposite squares and a black print with circles for the center square. Perhaps not a true I spy quilt as I have two of each print for matching too.

Nine Square Blocks Before Quartering
At one point I had the nine square blocks sewn together and the next step would be to quarter them. My little one needed me to stop sewing for a bit. I quickly took some pictures of each block. Then using one of my favorite apps, Photo Wall, I virtually cut each block and rotated the ones to be rotated and could get a glimpse into how my quilt would look. Almost instant gratification and I could snuggle my girl at the same time. This collage became my pattern for piecing the quartered blocks back together. It made it much easier than trying to figure it out while I was sewing.

After putting it together, I realized I cut the black print with circles the wrong way and didn't have enough for a big border. I cut a 2" border and then used more of the rainbow stripe for a second 4" border I hadn't planned on using it at all. It was just in my fabric stash. I liked the stripes so much, I decided to change my back to the stripes and fortunately had enough!

For quilting, there are always so many options. Going with simple outlining of the orange seemed to be the way to go here.

I struggled a bit with what fabric to use for the binding too. Because I used stripes for the 4" border and made them all go the same way, having stripes for a binding and then have them not go all the same way seemed like not a good idea. I didn't have enough of the orange or the black. I went back and forth about trying to find a blue that might go well with the stripes or just get more black with circles. Either way, it's a trip back to the store.

Because I don't make quilts all that regularly, I often need to look at instructions for sewing on the binding. The printed instructions I've been using are missing at the moment. I searched for a good tutorial and found a couple. Heather Baily has a great one for continuous binding. My other instructions were more like these at Sew Inspired with the end tucked into the beginning.

What I loved especially about making this quilt is that instead of just finding fun prints to use, I found prints that are symbolic and meaningful to the recipients' family. I hope they love it too!

I can see me making more of these. I love the I spy quilt I made for my third baby. I found all kinds of fabric scraps I had used over the years and made sure to have squares representative of my other children. While her quilt is nice too, using the disappearing nine square is fun and has such nice results.
I Spy Matching Disappearing Nine Square Quilt

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