Watch how to quilt an 'I Spy Quilt' (video & written instructions)

According to Janet Wickell of Home, an I Spy quilt is a quilt that is “created with pictorial or novelty quilting fabrics – fabrics printed with objects that might not be obvious from a distance but can be identified during a closer look at the quilt.”
Usually made with squares of material that have cartoon characters or other fun things on them, I Spy quilts are the perfect quilt for kids because they can spend hours searching for the hidden objects on their bedspread.
Watch the I Spy quilting technique video tutorial:
A variety of fabric squares with novelty patterns, polka dots and stripes as well as some plain ones to break them up
Sewing machine/sewing needle
Pro tip: As seen on Janet's Home article, I Spy quilts have no set pattern. You can choose whatever design you want. The things that make the quilt an I Spy quilt are the pictures on the fabric pieces themselves. You can make the quilt using snowball blocks, scrap-framed blocks, triangle blocks or just the simple square technique. For the purposes of this tutorial, we focus on the basic simple square technique to put our quilt together, but no matter which pattern you choose, be sure to lay out the pieces on a flat surface beforehand, so that you can get a good idea of how your finished quilt will look.
Written instructions
1. Decide what size quilt you would like to make, and cut out enough equally sized squares of material to cover it (you can make them as big or as small as you’d like, as long as they are the same size). Choose a wide variety of fabrics (for example, SpongeBob, princess castles, Scooby Doo, stripes, snowflakes, Dora the Explorer) to keep things interesting and to give your child something to look for in the finished quilt! You can cut these squares from your child’s outgrown baby clothes or sheets.
2. Make a block of nine squares, as shown. You don’t have to try to match any colors or choose any fabrics that “go” with one another. There is no rhyme or reason to this quilt, just fun!
3. Take two of the top three squares and put them face to face, with their right sides together. Sew along one side, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
4. Do the same with the two squares below those in your block, and repeat the process for the two squares below those.
5. Unfold the squares you just made, and use the same process (putting two blocks face to face, right sides together) to sew the leftover squares on the right to the two squares you have already sewn in each row. This will create three long rectangles.
6. Press the seams closed, to one side.
7. Sew the rectangles together just like you sewed the squares together, with a ¼-inch seam allowance.
8. Press the block again, so that everything lies flat. If you are using the simple square method, this is your final step! The first block of your quilt is finished, and you can move on to the next one. If you would like to make a more elaborate I Spy quilt, though, you can watch the full video above, or you can check out Tonya Grant’s example at
As mentioned in the pro tip, the possibilities for this quilt are endless. No matter how you choose to make it, though, your kids will spy a fabulous new quilt!