Monday, January 31, 2011

Nickel I Spy #2

Here's my Nickel I Spy #2 quilt.  Two down, about 10 to go.  I say about 10 to go because if it takes me long enough, some of our grandkids will be too old for an I Spy quilt.  This version is a little trickier to make if you don't have a large assortment of I Spy fabrics to choose from.  Each diagonal row is a certain color so you need to have the right amount of 5" charm squares for each row.  Another option would be to alternate light and dark rows of fabric instead of making each row a different color if you don't have enough different colors of I Spy fabrics.  I will probably have to do the same thing myself for one of my grandkids. 
Also, don't be afraid to mix in some other fabrics.  I used a couple of flannel I Spy fabric squares in this quilt.  Children like to feel the different textures of fabrics.

Even though I have been referring to diagonal rows, I did not construct this quilt in rows.  I used the same 9-patch construction that I have used in previous blog posts of my quilts.  There are nine 9-patch blocks in this quilt.  That's 81 nickels (5" squares).  It finishes at about 41"X41" which I think is a good size for a young child to drag around.

Nickel I Spy #2

I decided I wanted an allover quilting design for this quilt.  Linda of L&R Designs used a pantograph quilting pattern called  "Bubbles" and a variegated thread.  I love the way it turned out!  Here's a close-up-

For the back of the quilt, I used a fabric that I had purchased online to use in my I Spy quilts.  When I received the fabric, I realized that the motifs were too big for nickel squares.  That's one of the problems of ordering online. The next problem was that I had only ordered a yard and the quilt was 41"!  Sooo, I pieced the backing.  Here's what it looks like-

I was lucky enough to have two fabrics that I feel work well together.  So the backing has plenty of things for kids to spy with their little eye and I used up some of my fabric stash instead of buying more.  Well, at least I didn't buy any more for this quilt.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nickel I Spy #1

I call this quilt Nickel I Spy #1 because I need to make a bunch of them.  My husband and I have 20 grandchildren between the two of us. More than half of them are young enough to get an I Spy quilt and I don't want them all to be the same pattern.  So we'll see how many I can come up with.  That will be a challenge within this challenge.  I guess that answers the question about whether or not I'm crazy!

Nickel I Spy #1
There are only 9 blocks in this quilt.  I used the same basic 9 patch block that I used in my Nickel Row quilt but changed it a little for the corner blocks.  It measures about 41" X 41" and uses 81 5" squares.

I used a polyester batt in this quilt so that I did not have to quilt it very much.  I didn't want a lot of quilting that would take away from the objects in the fabrics.  Linda of L&R Designs used a wavy quilting design to outline the rows.  Did you know that a wavy line is stronger than a straight line of stitching?  Straight lines can pop their stitches more easily.  Here's a close-up of the quilting design-

The backing fabric I used ties in with the I Spy theme also.  It looks like writing on a chalk board and there are things that kids can spy with their little eye.  I wonder who will get this one!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nickel Row quilt

Here is the fourth quilt pattern of my Double Nickel Quilt Challenge.  I call it Nickel Row.  I used scraps of the same Kaffe Fassett fabrics that I used in my Nickel In A Box quilt from my last post.  This quilt goes together very quickly and without long rows of strips to sew.  Can you figure it out?  It's made up of nine patch blocks!  The placement of light and dark fabrics creates the look of rows without having to construct rows.  It's great for using fabric left from another project or for using some of those charm packs you've been collecting. 

A variegated thread was the perfect choice for the quilting.  It works well with the many colors and patterns of the fabric.  Linda of L&R Designs used a large meander quilting design that does not compete with the busy print fabrics.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to construct the block used in this quilt-

For each block you need-
 3-5" squares of light fabric 
 6-5" squares of dark fabric 

Sew 3 squares of light fabric together.  Sew 2 sets of 3 squares of dark fabric together.

Sew your 3 strips together alternating dark and light strips and your block is complete.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Nickel In A Box quilt

Here's the third quilt pattern of my Double Nickel Quilt Challenge.  I call it Nickel In A Box and is offered as another FREE pattrnContrast is the main design element in this quilt.  You need contrast between the center of the block and it's outer border and you need contrast between the blocks to get this graphic look to work.  I have contrasted the colors of the fabrics as well as the scale of the patterns in the fabrics though simply contrasting the colors of the fabrics can be enough.   

This quilt uses a variation of the same block pattern as the quilt shown in the first and second posts. These three quilts are a good example of how color placement within a block can totally change the look of a quilt.  See comparison below.

Nickel In A Box
                  Bright Shiny Nickels 
Just A Nickel
 Nickel In A Box 

The first 2 quilts do not have any added sashing or borders as it appears they do.  They are constructed using the same block as the third quilt.  All three are super fast and easy. They are a great way to use scraps or pre-cut charm packs.

This quilt is small enough that I quilted it myself on my home sewing machine.  I stitched horizontally and vertically following the outline of the block and then stitched in both directions again lining up with the center of the block to create a nine patch grid.  Here's a close-up-

I made the binding for this quilt out of coordinating scraps also.  I used scraps that were the full width of fabric long and just pieced them end to end until the strip was long enough. Here's a closeup-

Here is a quick tutorial on how to construct the block used in this quilt-

For each block you need-
 1-5" square of fabric for center
 2-5" squares of contrasting border fabric 
 2-5"x14" strips of contrasting border fabric (or use 3-5" squares sewn together for each strip)

Sew contrasting fabric squares to each side of the center square and press your seams away from the center square.

Sew your 3 strips together and your block is complete.  Press seams to outer strips.

This quilt is a variation of my FREE quilt pattern posted HERE

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just A Nickel

Here is the second quilt pattern of my Double Nickel Quilt Challenge.  This quilt uses the same block patterns as the quilt shown in the first post.  However, the blocks are rearranged to create the look of borders and sashing.  No trying to get a border to fit in this one!

This quilt was made by Linda of L&R Designs from my pattern called Just A Nickel.  She calls her version Leftover Blues because she used leftover blue squares from another project. Instead of using a solid white fabric for the background she used scraps of white on white fabrics.  I love the effect of the scrappy background. 

For the quilting design, she stitched the length of the quilt and spaced the quilting lines at random widths as you can see in this photo of the back of the quilt. Notice how the back is pieced with even more leftover squares!  Can you see the blue squares shadowing through to the back?  Keep this in mind if you are using a white backing fabric if you don't like the look. 

For more quilting design ideas, visit Linda's web site lrdesignsquilting

Here is a quick tutorial on how to construct the main block used in this quilt-

For each block you need-
 2-5" squares of assorted fabrics
 1-5" square of background fabric 
 2-5"x14" strips of background fabric (or use 3-5" squares sewn together for each strip)

Sew print squares to each side of the background square and press your seams to the print squares.

Sew your 3 strips together and your block is complete.  Press seams to center strip.
Two more variations of this block are needed to construct the quilt as shown.  This quilt is a variation of my FREE quilt pattern posted HEREYou need to rearrange the blocks to get this look or you can get a free download of the pattern simply by posting a comment on this post by 1/5/11 and sending me your e-mail address so I can send you the pattern.  You can contact me at