In no time, you can create an interactive quilt using a playful mix of prints that reflect a few of your child's favorite things. To enhance the illusion that the novelty prints are actually being magnified, carefully match their background color to that of the appliqué foundations.
I Spy
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Designer: Karen Montgomery

Machine Quilter: Barb Kiester

  • 3/8 yard each of mottled lime green, mottled teal, mottled red, and mottled blue (appliqué foundations)
  • 16--7" squares of novelty prints, 4 each with backgrounds in lime green, teal, red, and blue (magnifying glass appliqués)
  • 1/8 yard each of mottled black and mottled gray (handle appliqués)
  • 1-1/3 yards bug stripe print (sashing)
  • 1/2 yard mottled green (binding)
  • 2-7/8 yards backing fabric
  • 51x72" batting
  • Lightweight fusible web

Finished quilt: 44-1/2x65-1/2"

Finished block: 8x11"

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.

Measurements include a 1/4" seam allowance. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut pieces in the following order. Cut sashing strips lengthwise (parallel to the selvage). (Download project pdf for appliqué patterns.)

To use fusible web for appliquéing, complete the following steps.

1. Lay fusible web, paper side up, over patterns A and B. Use a pencil to trace each pattern 16 times, leaving 1/2" between tracings. Cut out each fusible-web shape roughly 1/4" outside the traced lines.

2. Following the manufacturer's instructions, press fusible-web shapes onto backs of designated fabrics; let cool. Cut out fabric shapes on drawn lines and peel off paper backings.

From each mottled lime green, teal, red, and blue piece, cut:

  • 4--8-1/2x11-1/2" rectangles

From each novelty print square, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern A

From mottled black, cut:

  • 12 of Pattern B

From mottled gray, cut:

  • 4 of Pattern B

From bug stripe print, cut:

  • 2--8x44-1/2" sashing strips
  • 3--6-1/2x44-1/2" sashing strips

From mottled green, cut:

  • 6--2-1/2x42" binding strips

Appliqué Blocks

1. Using a quilter's pencil, mark a point 1-1/2" down from the upper left-hand corner and 1/2" up from the lower right-hand corner of a mottled lime green 8-1/2x11-1/2" rectangle (Diagram 1). Connect points to make an appliqué foundation with a placement line.


2. Fold a lime green novelty print A circle in half. Lightly finger-press the fold to mark the center; unfold. Fold a mottled black B handle in half lengthwise; finger-press, then unfold.

3. Place prepared A circle 1-1/2" from the left-hand edge of the prepared mottled lime green foundation, aligning circle center line with marked placement line (Diagram 2). Center prepared B handle over placement line with handle end 1/4" from the circle. Fuse both pieces in place.


4. Using black thread, machine-blanket-stitch around handle. Machine-satin-stitch on the marked diagonal line between handle and circle, then around circle to complete a lime green A block.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 to make a second lime green A block.

6. Using matching-color rectangles and novelty print circle appliqués, repeat steps 1 through 4 to make two teal A blocks, two red A blocks, and two blue A blocks; use mottled gray handles for the blue A blocks.

7. Reversing the direction of the placement line, repeat steps 1 through 4 to make two lime green B blocks (Diagram 3), two teal B blocks, two red B blocks, and two blue B blocks; use the mottled gray handles for the blue B blocks.


Assemble Quilt Top

1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out A and B blocks, bug stripe print 6-1/2x44-1/2" sashing strips, and bug stripe print 8x44-1/2" sashing strips in rows.


2. Sew together pieces in each row; press seams in one direction. Join rows to complete quilt top. Press seams in one direction.

Finish Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2. Quilt as desired. Machine quilter Barb Kiester stitched an allover loop in each block background, adding stitched bug outlines randomly. She also stitched 1/4" and 2" from the edge on each magnifying glass.

3. Bind with mottled green binding strips.