Thursday, August 02, 2012

I Spy Polaroids

I Spy Fabrics

Several years ago, I first learned of "I Spy" quilts. They are typically intended for kids in the 1-5 age range and offer tons of educational opportunities. The basic idea of the quilt is that it is made with lots of different fabrics, all of which have nameable elements. This allows the kids to find and name the various images. There is no one pattern for I Spy quilts, as long as you are using lots of different representative fabrics, you're there.

I've always loved this idea but it really snapped into focus for me when I saw the connection with these blocks by Rachael at Stitched in Color. And so, I Spy Polaroids was conceived.

And then I might have gotten a bit obsessive and gone fabric shopping.

I Spy Quilt Fabrics

Just maybe.

I Spy Quilt Fabrics

The plan is to fussy cut my favorite bits and frame them up as Polaroids. The Polaroids will be scattered over a solid background (I'm digging Rachael's gray, but a bright color may be better for this). Then I'm thinking I'll do a border or two of rectangles cut from the same fabrics. Probably in color wheel order? Mixed with some solids?

This would allow the quilt to be used for:

*Learning words
*Telling stories about the items/critters in the Polaroids
*Memory games, finding the matching block in the borders (also good for recognizing different parts of patterns, spatial recognition since they won't be the same shape)
*Color theory (hence the color wheel order)
*Alphabet play (find something that starts with 'A')

In addition to being super cute, cuddly, and warm!

Because the smallest cuts I could buy are 1/8 yards and because on some, to get the full pattern repeat, I had to buy a bit more, I will have enough of each fabric to also do something fun on the back. Still pondering what... : )

Of course, first I have to get my Handstitched quilt to the point of being quilted. And I've still got WRS to finish piecing...


  1. I'm going to be the (rude) person who points out that in this post you sound exactly like every other mommy blogger on the something? Because obviously the public internet is the place for subtle hints. =)

  2. rofl.. my thoughts exactly Country Mouse :) But it is a super cool project!

  3. I wish I could do stuff like that, and stick with it.

  4. No baby dragons yet y'all* just my love for tiny fiddly things, a deep desire for a project (and fabric) that I could fussy cut, a love of that Polaroid idea, and a geeky appreciation for sneaky educational tools.

    For the record, there is a reason that my Blue Clear Sky is also a lesson in the color wheel. I'm a wee bit rainbow obsessed.

    *My MIL once commented that given the rate at which I finished quilts I had best start any baby quilts 5-10 years out. She had a point.

  5. Carol--The sticking with it part is easier (for me) because as you move through a single quilt you aren't doing the same thing over and over. First you piece, then layout, then join the blocks, then the backing, then quilting, then binding. Lots of discrete tasks. : )

  6. I <3 the Polaroid idea! I think it would be even more precious to give each one an embroidered title, like one word, to further the educational value. Listen to me and my teacher speak.... ;)

  7. Amanda--I thought about that and decided not to, simply because there is more than one word you can use to describe most of these and I didn't want there to be "right" and "wrong" answers. In other words, my inner hippy took over. ; )

  8. For what it's worth, if there are ever any baby dragons, I hope the Official Baby Dragon Quilt contains at least one actual tiny dragon print. It'd be a cute story someday.


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