Friday, July 19, 2013

Scrappy I-Spy Quilt

There is something wonderful about a handmade quilt. I might be a little biased, but when I see one I know that hours of work and love went into making it. It's meant to be used while reading a good book, snuggling with loved ones, or to keep warm on a cool night. Every quilt comes with a story of the person who made it and the person who it belongs to. They are one of the best gifts ever. 

I was recently asked to make an I-spy quilt for an 8 year old boy named Andrew. I am so grateful that his mother trusted me with making a quilt that would cover his twin sized bed, but also give him the fun fabrics found in the I-spy. And since he's eight, he needed a quilt that a growing boy wouldn't think is too babyish.

I tend to make my I-spy quilts with a hexagon based pattern and with nearly two hundred different fabrics. It's ends up being crib sized--perfect for a little one to play on or cuddle under. I needed something that I could make bigger, but still use the same fun fabrics. I had a hard time figuring out a way to do a twin sized quilt without it being super time consuming and expensive for Andrew's mother. 

Then I realized how easy it would be to turn a Scrappy Trip quilt into an I-spy. The pattern would repeat and this could be fun with some of the older boy themed fabrics. To make it sweeter, I read on Katy Jones's blog that she made a Scrappy Trip with 3.5 inch squares instead of 2.5. That inch would mean a greater amount of the picture used.

One month and many late nights later I had this:

I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. I played with the layout quite a bit and loved the zig-zag pattern once I realized I wouldn't have to turn very many of the "pictures" on their sides. I quilted it diagonally to match the zig-zag with red thread. 

Andrew's mom sent me a list of his interests and I found some fun fabrics to match. Finding the fabrics is my favorite part! I was able to use some of my own stash as well. 

Some of the fabric I fussy cut to get the best image, while other fabrics I used as is. I love the random nature of the fabrics as opposed to the deliberate fussy cutting that happens with my smaller I-spy quilts. I also added in a lot of my favorite geometric prints to off set the busyness of the novelty prints.

I opted not to do anything too fancy with the back--mostly because of time & resources. Andrew's mom told me that he loves red and orange and so I used a red flannel to maximize on the coziness. The red (from thread mostly) was problematic---there was bleeding (and some panicking from me), but with color catchers and a lot of washing most of it came out. As a whole it's not noticeable and adds to the handmade and lived with quality of the quilt.
It's kind of amazing how every quilt is a learning experience. There is an unpredictability that comes with making something with your hands. The fabric, thread, & machine never work how you think they are going to work. In the end, you almost always have something that you love---even with the flaws. 

The binding is a black and white stripe that reminded me of the old feed sacks. I like that it mimics some of the same geometric fabrics in the quilt and stays pretty neutral too. 

This quilt was definitely a labor of love. What I thought would be a piece of cake project ended up teaching me a lot about my craft. I'm releasing it to Andrew (and his mom) with the hope that he'll find it cozy, whimsical, and a blanket suitable for an eight year old.
I absolutely love it and hope they do too.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Turned out beautifully Denise. I'm sure it will be well loved and used. So glad you did the demo on the Scrappy Trip Along because I love how easy the block is to make. Plan to use up old floral fabrics this way when I get a chance.