Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Spy Baby Quilt in a Day!

This project is do able in a day if you are committed, start early in the day, not nursing a babe and have no interruptions. If that isn't your case, and you're about as ADD as I am then perhaps this will take you a couple of my case two afternoons during nap time :)

I've seen I Spy Quilts in craft fairs before and spotted one I fell in love with a few years ago at the Atomic Craft Bazaar, before I had my second babe. I had no need for it at the time and wasn't about to spend $90 on a blanket.

Then came along Little Bean and I once again remembered the I went in search of one....once again unwilling to pay so much for one and then put the desire out of mind. Until last weekend.

My sister came into town and her and my brother in law took my big boy for the weekend, my hubs was sick in bed and the little bean was asleep all I went through scraps of fabric in my closet and figured I would go for it. Worst case I threw it all in the trash.

So here's what you need:
  • One package of craft batting 
  • 8"x8" quilting square template, or you can make your own guide for cutting
  • Large cutting mat
  • 20 assorted pieces of fabric with shapes, colors and patterns
  • 1 yard of fabric for the backing
  • Rotary cutter
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • A TON of pins
  • More patience than Job :)
Let's begin.......
First thing I did was lay out the craft batting and use my square guide to determine how many square to cut. I went with 4 across and 5 down. Then I pulled out fabrics and laid them out on the batting.
Then I cut out the 8x8 square and ironed them flat....laid them out on the batting in the order I wanted them sewn....
Now let's start sewing......Take the first two squares in a row, line them up with right sides touching and be sure the raw edges are flush. Sew them together with a 1/2" SA. Then add the third and fourth pieces until you have the entire row sewn together.

Once you have the row sewn you want to take it to the iron and press your seams flush on the wrong side.
Here are un-pressed seams....
Here are pressed seams....
Sew each of the 5 rows across and them lay them out on the batting again....
Now you are going to repeat the same process but you will be sewing the entire rows together. Place row 1 and row 2 together with right sides touching and edges flush, pin in place if necessary and sew. Repeat this for each row until you have all the rows sewn and one big piece of fabric.
Now flip it wrong side up and press all the seams flat again.....
The TOP piece of your quilt is done!!!! Hooray! We're getting there!

Now line up your top piece with the batting on two sides, you are going to have excess on two of the sides. Pin together the top and the batting and cut off the excess batting.

Now take your backing piece of fabric and iron it out. Place the backing of the quilt right side down and then layer your batting on top and then layer your TOP quilt piece right side up. You should see both patterns on your fabric with the batting in the middle.

Here I lined up the batting and TOP piece to two edges of my backing fabric and used a gazillion of pins all over the quilt to pin everything into place. Be careful not to have wrinkles or bubbles in your fabrics. Take your time and do this slowly, it will pay off in the end.
(On quilting sites I read that many people use safety pins...I just used sewing pins and it worked okay.)

Next thing I did was test out the stitches on my machine. Some machines have a free quilting stitch and a quilting foot. Mine isn't that fancy, but I do have this fun swirl stitch so I took a piece of fabric and some batting and made a small sandwich like my big quilt and tested out the stitch....I did it with the white thread showing and then with the bobbin thread showing....I preferred the bobbin thread to show on the main part of my quilt.
So I used my craft ruler and my chalk marker and measured out 2" sections and marked them with chalk onto the backing of my quilt.
Then I used my swirl stitch and stitched down each one of those lines as my guide.
(This step was the most tedious process, and it did poke my fingers with all those pins everywhere. Now I know why safety pins were used instead!)

When the "quilting" was all done....I trimmed off the excess backing piece and I had a 97% complete quilt.....I read about bias tape, but didn't have enough fabric or patience to make my own so I stopped and went to Wal-Mart and bought 2 packages of white  Double Fold Bias Tape Quilt Binding.
Then added the binding and did an extra swirl stitch on the binding to make it all blend together.                                      
Add a baby..... 


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