Can you solve the clues? I-Spy quilt (pic and clue heavy)

I made an I-spy quilt and matching pillowcase for my nephew! He recently turned 13, so to make it more challenging for him, I came up with clues that he would have to solve in order to figure out what to find.

This was a really fun project, though the coming up with clues part of it took over my brain for a while. Once I was engaged, it was hard stop thinking of potential clue rhymes. My brain was like, oh, you’re sleeping? I don’t care! Wake up and dwell upon this potential riddle! I was very glad once I had all the clues written down :laughing:.

I worked on the middle of the quilt top while camping with my mom and son. It was really nice and kind of like my own personal quilt retreat!

I used my embroidery machine to do a meandering quilt stitch on the borders and did a straight line stitch around the squares. I bought the ‘I-Spy’ magnifying glass embroidery file online and used the embroidery machine to create the label.

I completed the gift with an old fashioned looking magnifying glass because, let’s face it, if you’re going to be a Sherlock, then you want to Sherlock in style (yes, I used ‘Sherlock’ as both a noun and a verb).

I plan on making more of these for my son and other nephews and niece. So, 1 down, 4 to go!

Closeups of the front:

Closeups of the back:

My quilting helper finding the gnome riding the bumblebee (clue #9):

Rolled up and ready for gifting:


Now that is something else! The clues definitely take an eye spy quilt to the next level! What a treasured gift for you nephew. I love the label on the back too :grinning:

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Wow, wow, wow … what a gift! Not only the quilt itself but the clues and thought you put into it. I hope he treasures it forever.

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What a labor of love! Goodness gracious I can’t quit looking at it

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This is amazing! What a wonderfully clever quilt.

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This is sooo cool and fun! He’s going to love it!!

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This is awesome!

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oh dear…i just spent some time trying to do the clues!!! What fun…and great clues to match the front.

I am in awe that you found so many different fabrics to use for the front…

Wonderful project…hope you have a lot of nieces and nephews so we can see a lot more of your unique quilts!

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This is such a fun and thoughtful gift! They are lucky to have such a great aunt as you!

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Wow, this must have taken forever! I love how the rolled-up package looks, with the strategically placed magnifier on it. This rocks!

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This is just the coolest!

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Congrats! Your I-Spy Quilt is one of this week’s featured projects. You are awesome!

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Wow! This may be a basic question, but how did you print the clues onto the fabric?

The idea in itself is so much fun, but then the fabric choices are just top notch! And that magnifying glass is hecka cool.

LOL A couple years ago, I got in a FB limerick battle with a friend and for days every thought in my head came in limerick form.

This is so cool top to bottom, side to side, and (of course) front to back!

Thank you all so much for your kind comments!!

That was definitely one of the fun parts of making this quilt! I wanted fabrics that would work well but wouldn’t be too “baby-ish.” I bought a lot of fat quarters, regular quarter yards, a few half-yards, and at least one full yard. The good thing is that I have enough fabric to do a lot more of these quilts, the bad thing is that I want to buy more :grin:.

Thank you!! :grinning:

I backed the fabric with freezer paper, then cut it down to printer paper size (I later bought some 8.5 x 11" sheets of freezer paper to make it more convenient), then I ran it through my inkjet printer and heat set it with a hot iron. I tried doing color and black. I found that the black would remain after being washed, but the color would not. I also tried doing some gray magnifying glasses and printed them with black ink, but they became ink smears once the water hit them. I found an ink setting liquid called ‘bubblejet 2000’ that is supposed to treat the fabric so that even colored ink becomes permanent. I bought some, but haven’t tried it out yet.

Yes! That’s how it was! It was like my brain chomped down on the need to come up with riddles and refused to release it for awhile :roll_eyes:.


It definitely took a while to fussy cut all the center squares (I cut quite a few from each novelty print so I’ll be ready for the next I-spy quilts), but the actual piecing together didn’t take too long.

I had seen a tutorial for this kind of 9-patch quilt in the past and it had the quilter piecing together small squares with the sashing and then piecing those together with the larger focal squares. So I was really happy when I came across a tutorial that showed how to make this quilt by sewing together 3 rows of 3 squares, then cutting in half across the length and the width and voila, you end up with the focal square with sashing and tiny squares already attached! It made for a pretty easy pattern!


I love this! I’m making one right now that is 80 5in squares in blocks of 4 with sashing between. The square collecting is hard. Especially since I’m making two…


Ooh, I look forward to seeing your completed quilts! Are you planning on using different images for the quilts, or will you be using a lot of the same squares?

I agree that the fabric collecting can be tough (especially with 80 squares :open_mouth:), but it’s definitely one of the more fun parts too! I plan on making 4 more quilts. I just discovered that spoonflower has a ‘fill a yard’ option that allows you to fill a yard with 42 images from various fabrics. I created this panel of quilting cotton during a half off sale. The squares are 6” each, but easy enough to cut down.


what a cool idea! I would keep it as is and use those as my quilt lines

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