Monday, May 18, 2020

Ultimate I Spy: It's Cool to be Square blog hop

When Carol from Just Let Me Quilt put out the call for her It's Cool to Be Square blog hop, I had a couple possible projects in mind.  What I really wanted to use was a quilt that's been a UFO for at least 3 years and it seemed unlikely that I could finish it in time, but I always had it in mind as my goal, my stretch, to finish it.  After all, it has 306 squares--that must qualify, right?!


So what is this monstrosity that you are looking at?  I'm calling it the Ultimate I Spy Quilt.  See, I've had a thing for I Spy quilts for many years now, since before my son was born.  I've made many, including a twin size each for my son (predates blog), my niece, and my mom


Our bed was the only bed in the house that didn't have a quilt I made on it.  Part of that is I hate making large quilts, but more of it was that I never knew exactly what I wanted to make.  When I was working on my niece's I Spy (back in 2016!) I realized that I love I Spy quilts so much, that was what I really wanted.  I asked Husband and he agreed.


I've done many I Spy swaps over the years and almost all of them swapped 5" squares, so that's what I have the most of.  I did the math and I would need 306 squares for my queen-sized I Spy adventure.  I kept track of objects in a spreadsheet to avoid duplicates as much as possible. Many have personal significance: there are at least two fabrics I bought in Alaska on our honeymoon, there are some in-jokes and favorite things and fabrics that represent people in our lives, including a firetruck for the Fire Monkey, of course!


Because it's so large (99" x 95") it was difficult to get a good picture.  But doesn't it look great on the bed!  I just love looking at it!!





The sashing is Kona Steel. I bought it when I first started working on this and when I got to the end, I didn't have enough for the binding. I'm trying not to buy fabric and I was worried about dye lot variation, so I knew I'd need something else for the biding.  I really liked the dark blue cross-hatch wide back fabric I bought for the back, and when I laid it out I had enough to bind from the backing fabric.  I had never done that before.  I found this tutorial helpful. I didn't love the technique and wouldn't do it again on a quilt this large, though maybe on a smaller quilt I would have an easier time making it look neat.

I found Waldo!
This was on my list for earning my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Gail of Quilting Gail. I will also link up with Tish of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland for her next UFO Busting linkup.  In my quest to finish 52 projects this   year, this is finish #16.




Be sure to check out all the It's Cool to be Square projects this week!  And if you're like me, you're singing the hit by Huey Lewis & The News as you hop: It's Hip to Be Square!


40 comments:

  1. Beautiful quilt! Large quilts are a pain to deal with, so I can understand why you put off finishing it--but they are worth the effort in the long run, aren't they? Congratulations on your finish, and thanks for sharing!

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  2. Your quilt is fabulous! Congrats on finishing it. It definitely looks great on the bed!

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  3. Beautiful quilt, Emily! Such a great 'I spy quilt' and a wonderful achievement!

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  4. Your I Spy is wonderful, so fun that it is made of memories. I often use the backing fabric for binding, but I cut the strips from it and bind as usual. I can't do this turn from the backside method as the quilting usually goes off the edge as I am quilting on the longarm.

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  5. Awesome finish, Em!!! Wow, what an accomplishment! That will give you hours of entertainment, finding squares, remembering, making up stories. Love the big, happy smile on the glamour shot, too!!!

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  6. Great finish and lots of fun learning in this one it seems. I am like you, no quilt on my own bed, but king size is soooooo huge. Way to go!!!

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  7. Congrats on your UFO finish for the hop! Looks like the perfect quilt for your bed Emily:)

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  8. Woohoo for the UFO finish for the hop, and what fun to have all those fabrics with memories in the quilt. It looks great on the bed, by the way!

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  9. This quilt is a win win in so many ways - I spy, for you, a ufo and on your bed!! I am always surprised when quilters don’t have quilts on their beds. You did it - hooray.

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  10. wow this is lovely. i love all the different fabrics that make it an "I Spy" quilt. it is such a happy quilt. thanks for sharing and inspiring.

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  11. Goodness...I sure hope you can complete 52 projects in a year; you have a great start. This square quilt is wonderful and I can see many hours of joy looking at quilt. YOU are so cool!

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  12. Hi Emily, What a fabulous quilt filled with lovely fabrics. Definitely tons of squares and spying fun.

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  13. Way to go finishing this in time. It is a great project.

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  14. What fun fabrics to look at, which is a perfect I Spy quilt.

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  15. The Kona sashing is perfect to bring some unity to the tremendous variety of the I Spy patches.

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  16. Yay for the big bed! It finally got it's quilt and you look marvelous on it! Great job.

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  17. Beautiful, big I Spy quilt ! Great choice of sashing. Thank you for sharing ... :) Pat

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  18. That is a really wonderful quilt! I love the simplicity of your design, but I bet every time you look at it you see something different! Really perfect for this blog hop, too.

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  19. I love the picture of you on the bed with the quilt. This is such an impressive project. I look forward to the day I can see it in person. It's amazing to think that it has 114 more squares than my quilt with a hundred and ninety-two.

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  20. Congratulations on your 16th finish for the year! One step closer to your PhD! Your quilt is wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. I love I spy quilts. So many beautiful and fun fabrics to study here. Thank you.

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  22. I love, Love, LOVE your eye spy quilt! So cheerful & colourful! I'm sure that Fire Monkey will spend hours on your bed playing eye spy with you! :-)
    And Congratulations on finishing your UFO!!!
    Happy Quilting! :-)

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  23. congratulations Emily. Its wonderful. I think you should have a bowl next to your bed with 305 pieces of paper, each with a block description and each morning pull one and find the block. Ti will be a fun way to start each day.

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  24. Woohoo on a UFO finish! Looks awesome and what a fun quilt.

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  25. The Kona Steel really makes this quilt.

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  26. I bet there are many happy memories in that pretty quilt.

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  27. Oh my gosh, this is just the cutest! I love that dark gray background on it, too. You look adorable stretched out on the quilt. Thanks for being a cool blog hopper!

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  28. Beautiful quilt, congratulations on the finish!

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  29. this is great Emily, a smile that's well deserved!

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  30. How wonderful for you to get a finish out of this blog hop! I bet you are overjoyed. We can see it on your face.

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  31. Yep! This DEFINITELY fits the theme of the Hop. Congrats on your Ultimate iSpy finish!!

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  32. So funny, it took me a few years to make a quilt for my bed.
    The Kona steel really does fit with your decor.

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  33. This definitely qualifies for a square quilt! Such fun fabrics! It looks great on your bed.

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  34. Love this! I could look at it for hours with all of those fabrics!

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  35. What fun! I love scrappy quilts that are made from fabrics that hold a memory. Yours is perfect, and so many squares. Thanks for sharing!

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  36. Hugely (pun intended) Fabulous Finish, Emily!!! This is so fun - so much to spy and enjoy. And although it looks very good on the bed, you look good enough to eat :-D Stay safe, dear friend. Hugs to you!!!

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  37. Oh, what a fun project! And the blue binding looks great! Interesting, how you I notice more of the blue in the quilt after seeing the blue binding. Congrats on its finish!

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  38. What a fun quilt! I agree, the blue binding does draw the whole quilt together.

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  39. What fun! I'm not a sane quilter (I crazy quilt tho') but have to say an Eye Spy is one I wouldn't mind doing for my grandkids sometime.

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