Monday, January 31, 2011

I Spy Quilt

This quilt is proof positive that ignorance is bliss!  

I wanted to make a meaningful gift for Elle's second birthday... something that she would have for a long time to come, something handmade by her Mommy, and something we could enjoy together. An I Spy quilt fit the bill perfectly! I didn't even consider that it may be too much to tackle for my very first quilt and one of my very first sewing projects ever.

I started by collecting fun fabrics.  I asked for scraps from my friends who sewed, I bought strips of fabric as narrow as Jo-Anns would sell them to me, I even begged Etsy shop owners, who had fabric I couldn't find, to send me their scraps (some of them actually obliged... dear sweet Etsians!).  Once I had gathered all my I spy fabrics I bought a kit that came with two plexiglass pieces, a hexagon & a triangle.  Then I started cutting and cutting and cutting and piecing. 

Once all the hexagons & triangles were pieced together, I cut the strips for the green border, picked the font for the embroidery, and printed a bunch of templates of the words I considered embroidering along the border.  I layed all the words out along the border strips until I got just the right combination.  It says "I spy... cherries, gators, hippo, cupcakes, fish, sushi, bones, icecream, rainbow, flamingo, guitar, horse, treasure, kiwi, glasses, turtle, shells, flip flops, and..."  Then I embroidered and embroidered, and embroidered, and sewed. 

Then came the pink border, a fun fabric for the back, and the binding to match

If I knew then what I know now about sewing and quilting, I never would've tackled that project.  I was so proud of myself  that it all came together in the end, but I'm even more proud of myself now that I know what an accomplishment getting all those hexagons and triangles to match up just so, not screwing up all those embroidered words, and getting everything facing the right direction is! 

Last but not least, I have to mention that I never posted about this project because it was unfinished for so long. I did all the piecing, quilting, and sewed on the binding, but I fused the binding down & in my opinion, hand sewing the binding is really the only way to go. If you've been following this blog, you know I ABHOR hand sewing! I was really stubborn about finishing this quilt all on my own, until it didn't get finished for 3 years.  I finally asked my good friend Ann, quilter and blogger extroidanaire, if she would have pity on me and sew the binding.  She graciously agreed and waalaa a big fat check on my 2011 to do list! 

Thank you Ann, I feel so fortunate to have you as a friend and quilt mentor!



Lissa (The Wedding Bistro at Bellenza) said...

This is so wonderful! Three years in the making or have made a priceless treasure for your daughter.

Mary said...

Sooo beutiful! I love it! But how did you do the letters like that?? How does that get done?

Stacey - Elle Belle said...

Thanks Lissa!

Mary, I machine embroidered the words onto the strips of green fabric that make up that border. I have the Babylock Elegante... it's a wonderful sewing and embroidery machine. I used a software computer program that creates files that my machine can read to make all the words individual files, downloaded them to my machine, marked all the spacing out on the green strip of fabric and then embroidered away.

Mary said...

OOOoo...So interesting, I feel so out of the loop when it comes to this & I need to get my hands on something like that! Thanks for sharing :) Muchas gracias!!!!!

DeniseAngela said...

What a work of love! So beautiful!

Brandy said...

This is stunning! My kids are REALLY into I-spy books, games, etc. right now. They just love them! I made I-spy bags recently that are dry-erase ones and they loved them. This would be such a fun project...that would last!


Unknown said...

Love this quilt. Especially the embroidered words around the edge. I know what you mean about not getting something finished for awhile. I still haven't finished my son's 3rd Birthday quilt and he's 4.5 y/o.

Anyway, hope you don't mind that I linked to this post here:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful quilt! I have a similar pieces with hexagons and triangles. I am trying to figure out the best way to piece these shapes together. Any hints?!

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