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
rotary cutter and cutting mat
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.
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.
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 sew your squares together with a 1/4 inch seam.
Then sew into rows of four.
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.
Sew your border fabrics onto each "middle" starting with the long sides of each rectangle and press seams open.
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.
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.
Place on your table and have fun playing dinner time I-Spy!