Pip’s I Spy Quilt – Blocks 40-46

Armed with my new fabrics I made up six new blocks this week. Some how getting into the 40’s makes my target of 64 blocks seem a lot closer than it did. Now I’m having to keep an eye on the balance of background colours to make sure I keep a steady rainbow effect. It’s been hard keeping my natural tendency to gravitate towards blues and greens under control.

The new fabrics have a nice range of different images so I was able to get multiple blocks out of the same fabric without breaking my rule of no repeated images. The hedgehogs are precariously close to a repeated image, but my logic is that the different organisation of the applique circles and the inclusion of one little hedgehog in a different pose makes the two blocks ever so slightly different from each other. It’s enough (I’m getting desperate).


I really like the little pigs. The one rolling in mud if particularly cute. I’m also quite glad to be able to sneak a little bit of pink fabric in. I’m not a big fan of pink myself anyway, and the ultrasound was pretty definitive that Pip will be a boy so I didn’t want lots of pink in the quilt. However, I have got purple blocks already made up so I think one little pink muddy pig square will be ok.


Pip’s I Spy quilt blocks 37-39

I felt brave this week so I had a go at designing some of my own applique motifs rather than just using printed images. The construction of each block obviously takes much longer than just fussy cutting and appliqueing a pretty image, but I do like the finished style of my ‘homemade’ pictures.


I’ll have to have a think about some more images I could build up out of solids. Do you have any ideas? I’m struggling for inspiration this week.

This quilt is proving much trickier than I had originally envisaged. I may well end up having to shelve it for a while and give myself time to build up. New stash of suitable fabrics. Perhaps when Pip (who will hopefully have an actual name before I go into labour) grows out of baby clothes and I can then cut them up to add to the quilt. That’s what I did for my godson’s Jigsaw quilt and it really helped fill in the blank spaces.

Pip’s I Spy quilt blocks 33-36

I feel like I’ve been making these blocks for ages now. The pile of finished blocks is looking nice and tall, which is very encouraging. Also it is just so so so much fun to be making something while the recipient kicks away merrily inside my stomach.

This week I went with purple to finish up the last bits of my first round trip through the rainbow.


With 36 blocks done I’ve made a substantial dent in my target of 64. But I’m still a long way short of what I’ll need for the design. I don’t want to have to repeat any of the blocks so I think some imaginative fabric searching will be required for the second half of this quilt. Hmm…

Pip’s I Spy quilt blocks 17-24

Unsurprisingly progress has slowed a little over the holiday period. However I do now have the next 8 blocks ready to go for Pip’s quilt. I’m not sure it’s going to be finished in time for his big entry into the world, but I’ll just get as far as I can before then.


I went for green colours this week. In the huge stack of solid 5″ squares I got for this quilt it turns out that no two shades are the same. It’s really going to help with the rainbow gradient I want to create with this quilt. The challenge is going to be to find enough unique images to applique onto the rainbows. I’m starting to run out novelty fabrics and I’m getting a little worried.


Pip’s I Spy Quilt Blocks 9-16

I made good progress on Pip’s I Spy quilt this week. Whenever I caught a spare few minutes I just popped upstairs to applique another shape to a charm square.


It was a very yellow themed week. I think I must be missing the sun now the days are so short.


I absolutely love repurposing scraps left over from other projects. The flower meadow fabric was originally used to make my mother-in-law’s charging basket a few years ago. One of the things I want to be able to do with this quilt is use it to tell stories. Imagine how many bugs and insects could be hiding in those flowers while they get ready for a tea party!

Pip’s I Spy quilt blocks 1-8

You may remember earlier this year I made a jigsaw quilt for my godson. I really enjoyed making this quilt and the vibrancy of the colours really appeals.

Now that I’m pregnant with our first child (codename Pip) I’m keen to have another go at this type of quilt, this time for my baby to sleep and play on.

I’ve spent a while gathering and sorting through novelty scraps to form the pictures for the quilt. I think I’m going to be aiming to create an 8 x 8 grid of 4 1/2 inch squares with a range of motifs and images for a baby or toddler to have fun looking at and playing on.

Now I’m starting the process of creating the applique blocks. I need 64 blocks in total, so I better get going…


Basting on the table

This week I added the final row of blocks to my sister’s postage stamp quilt. Each block is 16 little 2” squares of alternating light and dark fabrics in as many different colours as I could gather from my scrap bin. There were no new purchases for the top of this quilt at all (however the batting and backing were purchased specially – shh). While making this top it was really fun to look back and remember the stories of the experiments, successes and “okay, not doing that again”s that each fabric could tell.

It’s a big quilt top at 76 x 68”. When it was all pieced I just couldn’t quite face getting down on my knees for hours to baste it on the living room floor. (I think at 5months pregnant it’s ok to look for shortcuts here and there). So I decided to try using the dining room table. We have a heat protector and a vinyl table cloth on it so I was reasonably confident I could avoid sticking pins in my nice wooden table top.

The first third was easy. Just lay out and smooth the backing, layer the batting, and then add the top. I oriented everything to the top right corner because I knew I would have excess batting and backing to cut away and wanted to maximise the usability of the scraps.

Pin regularly. Here the postage stamp design was helpful to get regular pinning spots.

Once that portion had been pinned I trimmed the excess batting and backing leaving about 2” extra all around the top to allow for shifting during quilting. Then I grabbed a strong cardboard tube that I saved from a few years ago when I ordered some curtain fabric online. It has been sooooo useful over the years for rolling large quilts and once again it proved perfect for the job. I simply rolled the basted section up and then moved it across the table so I could start work smoothing the next quilt section.

Same process again… smooth the backing fabric. Bring the batting down on top of it and smooth that out too.

Then bring the top down and smooth that as well. Pin regularly.

And repeat for the final section.

Voila!! A pin pasted quilt without an aching back and knees. Success.

Now I know I’m taking a risk just pin pasting this. I could have thread basted it or added spray basting glue as I went. The table top method didn’t prevent this, my own laziness did. I’m (reasonably) confident that my quilting pattern will enable me to smooth as I go. My first line will be the long centre spine. Then I’ll be working my way out in lines every 4 inches (two squares) on one side so I can smooth outwards as I go. The advantage of pin basting is that you can reposition if you need to as you go along. Once one side is done I’ll come out from the centre spine on the other side in similar parallel lines, again smoothing as I go if needed. Finally I’ll add the perpendicular lines (again middle out to top and bottom edges) to complete the quilting. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Fingers crossed.