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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I-Spy Place Mat Tutorial

Quilted I-Spy Place Mat Tutorial

The boys and I had such a good time playing I-Spy while I cooked dinner last night.  They could sit at the table, munch on raw veggies (yes, I'm aware that I have abnormal children who like veggies.  Don't get too jealous though.  They will only eat them raw.) and find the objects I described.  Here's how to make a set of your own.

Material For Set of 6:

4 inch squares of novelty fabrics (at least 72, but more if you want more variety in your prints)
12  (1 1/2 X 14) in. strips of solid fabric for border
12 (1 1/2 X 12) in. strips of same solid fabric border
6  12  X 14 in. rectangles of quilt batting
6 12 X 14 in. rectangles of the same solid fabric as used for the border
coordinating thread
rotary cutter and cutting mat

Step 1:

Cut each square into two triangles.  I used a quilter's triangle to cut along each squares triangle but you could also use the bias lines on your cutting mat.

Step 2: 

Lay out and arrange triangles into pleasing squares.  You will need three rows of four squares. Play around until you are happy with the layout and color patterns.  I wanted the boys to be able to play I-Spy using letter cues as well (I-Spy something that begins with . . .) so tried to make sure that each place mat had about 24 different letter pictures.

Step 3:

Once you are happy with each place mat layout,

Line up the edges of two triangles and sew using a 1/4 in. seam. 

Once you've sew all of your triangles back together, press each seam open.  This will aid your place mats into laying flat.  I can't stress how important this step is.  I personally abhor this step, but it is so necessary!

Now step back and admire your hard work.  Impressive, isn't it?  Now pat yourself on the back and get back to work.

Step 4:

Now sew your squares together with a 1/4 inch seam. 

Double check before sewing to make sure that your fabric's orientation is correct. 

Step 5:

Then sew into rows of four.

If you want a more "patchy" look, make sure to line up your seams to match.

Again, press your seams open.

Step 6:

Once you have three rows together and each seam has been pressed open, you can now sew these three together to assemble the middle of each place mat.

And . . . press those seams open.

Step 7:

Sew your border fabrics onto each "middle" starting with the long sides of each rectangle and press seams open.

Step 8:

Pin each place mat "top" to a piece of quilt batting.  Then starting with the middle diagonal, follow the diagonal lines of each square to stitch the ditch of each seam.  Make sure to stop sewing BEFORE you come to the border fabric.  And do the same along each horizontal line. 

Step 9:

Remove pins, place the right side of the now quilted top together with the right side of the backing fabric.  Pin the edges and stitch around the perimeter, leaving a small opening to turn right side out. 

Finally, stitch up the opening using a whip or ladder stitch and press each place mat. 

I-Spy Place Mat Tutorial

I Spy Placemat Tutorial

Place them on your table and have fun playing dinner time I-Spy!


  1. LOVE this idea for I-Spy!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a fantastic idea. My girls would love this. Now if only I could I'll have to beg my Mom to make some of these.


  3. What a fantastic idea! They look great! My kids love raw veg too :)

  4. This is a great idea! I could see these as a travel game as well. I'd love it if you would link this up to my next Sunday Art Therapy link party and Flickr group.

  5. What an absolutely darling idea!!! I am impressed!! I shared "I Spy" bags this week, so this caught my eye. This would be a great way to use up scrap fabric, too!! Nice job!

  6. How cute! What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!!

  7. I have lots of I-Spy's that I've been wondering what to do with (other than making a quilt). This is an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Goodness sakes! That's terrific! And a good way for me to learn to quilt..?? :-D

  9. Muito bem explicado...
    Parabéns e muito obrigada
    pela disponibilidade em ensinar..
    abraços de MF

  10. This is awesome. I have been wanting to make an I-spy quilt but that seems a little daunting. I could start with this to practice technique and get the basics down. Great idea!


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