Pin It

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rainbow Squares I-Spy Quilt Tutorial

Rainbow I Spy Quilt

Some of you may remember the Rainbow Wheels I-Spy quilt I made a few months ago.  It's been well loved by the boys and employed for picnics all summer.  My friend Susan generously gifted to me (to be honest I think it was with a fair amount of nashing of teeth) her stash of random I-Spy squares after she starting selling her fabulous Pre-cut Spoonflower I-Spy Sets.

Which means I just HAD to make another I-Spy quilt.
I went with squares this time.  The finished quilt measures 90 X 42 inches.  Here's how to make one for yourself:


Nine 4 inch I-Spy squares of each color + 3 more of each color
2 yards of Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Ash
1 full sized bed sheet
quilt batting (at least enough to cover the quilt top + 2 inches on each side
6 yards of single fold quilt binding (click here for my bias binding tutorial)
12 inch quilters square and water soluable marker
coordinating thread
Curved safety pins (I like these)

Step 1:  Sewing a 9-patch

Using a 1/4 inch seam, place two 4 inch squares of the same color (right sides together) and sew together.  Do this two more time so that you have 3, 2 square pairs.  Be very careful to watch for correct placement on your directional prints.

Now sew one more square on each row.

Press all seams in the same direction.

Now sew the rows together to forming a large square from all 9 squares.  Then press all of the new seams the same direction.

Repeat this process 8 more times.

Step 2:  Applique

For the sake of time, I've chosen to applique each 9-patch to the gray fabric.  This quilt can also be done in a more traditional form by creating a 6 inch border around each large square.

Begin by laying out your gray fabric (make sure to pre-press).  Arrange your 9 large squares in rainbow order, 3 squares in each row.  You'll end up with 6 inches between each square and 3 inches on the side of each row.

Pin or use fuseable interfacting to secure each square in the correct place.  Cut any extra fabric along the bottom.

Now, sew around the edge of each square, pivoting at the corners.  Rolling the fabric on each side will help to manipulate the bulkiness.

Step 3:  Backing

Cut the full sheet to the size of the quilt front + 2 to 3 inches around each side.

Cut the sheet vertically down the middle and set aside.

Using the same beginning process as the 9-patch, sew each of the remaining squares into one long row of rainbow hues.  You can create an ombre effect by varying the tones from light to dark.

Now pin (right sides together) one side of the sheet to the rainbow strip.  Sew using a 1/4 inch seam.  Repeat with the other piece of sheet.

Okay, now take a deep breath.  You are half way done with your masterpiece.

Step 4:  Creating the quilt sandwich and machine quilting

Lay your backing fabric right side down on a clean, smooth floor.  Duct tape each corner to the floor.
Lay your quilt backing on top of this and then your quilt top (right side up) on top of that.

Starting at the middle square, pin through all three layers.  Continue pinning outward from the center so that the layers are pinned smooth.  I like to pin A LOT but that's me.  If you are a beginning quilter, I recommend pinning each corner of each square and a row along each "border".

Using a quilters square (I used a 12 inch square) and a water soluable marker, mark your quilting lines.  I went with interlocking squares.

Sew along the marker lines and machine or hand quilt.

Step 5:  Binding

Machine sew the binding (raw edge of binding to front of quilt), press to the back,  and either hand stitch or machine onto the quilt.  Click here for my binding tutorial.

Ta da!  You've completed your very own Rainbow Squares I-Spy Quilt.

Give your quilt a quick wash and dry to remove the marker lines and put that baby to good use.

This one is the perfect size for a small picnic blanket or toddler bed and will provide hours of I-Spy fun!

If this seems like a lot of work, check back on Monday, August 27th for more details on how you might win this quilt AND make a donation to iammommahearmeroar's very worthy charity, For the Love.

Pin It

Get Your Craft On Tuesday


  1. So cute! I really want to make one of these!!! But I've never made a quilt! This option seems manageable though!

  2. i love this! the colors, the concept, everything!! probably one of the cutest quilts i've ever seen :)

  3. Very cute!

    I'm a new follower from the hop. Hope you can stop by

  4. "Oh Boy" you make it look so easy! lol I have really been wanting to do a quilt out of old t-shirts that I don't want to get rid of but don't wear, but I wouldn't dare do it myself, I would be too scared of ruining it! Visiting you from Follow Me Wednesday link up. Looking forward to following you and your cute little blog. I blog over at See ya around!

  5. Thank you for sharing at Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you'll be back this week to link up again! Have a great weekend!

  6. So cute! I've started my own and now I am wondering how your raw edges are holding up? Did they fray. Bit and look neater after being washed? Thanks for the tutorial.

    1. This one was donate so I'm not sure how the squares have held up but I did another "applique" type quilt with circles that we use every day. It's been washed many times now. The raw edges did of course fray but with the seam right on the edge it is only minimal. I actually love it that way as it gives the quilt a bit of texture.

  7. I love this tutorial. I've started on my own and now I am wondering how your raw edges are holding up? Do they fray And look a little neater after being washed?


Question, comment? Got something to say? I want to hear from you!