Saturday, March 16, 2013

I-Spy...A Unicorn Quilt

I was under a bit of a deadline (self-imposed) to finish the quilts for the hospital, so I put aside some personal projects.  So even though I started this one first, it's taken a little longer to get finished.

This one is for my newest niece.  I'd been sewing the first of my 16-patch I-Spy color blocks and was falling in love with them.  I'd been sewing them together just for the fun of it and planned on making some quilts for the hospital.  I loved how they were turning out so much that I wanted to keep a few of them...but I just finished a different quilt top for I figured sending some of my favorite squares on to my brother's new baby was just as good as keeping them.

I like the way that the color groupings give a little more order to the craziness of all the different busy prints.  Because I had multiple sets of the same fabrics and I made lots of 16 patch sets before laying the patches out into a whole quilt, there are a couple duplicate prints on here...another fun I-Spy game to see if you can spot the few duplicates.
My brother and his wife choose pretty unique names for their kids that have meanings and stories behind them.

This baby will get to hear stories about unicorns as she grows up, so I thought it would be good to incorporate unicorns into the quilt as I could.  (My next job for them is to come up with a stuffed phoenix for their oldest child.)  The only trouble was that this was the only square that had a unicorn on it.

So I started having a little fun and added a few.  Try clicking on this picture to view it larger and see how many unicorns you can find.
I like the idea of it being a "double" I-Spy quilt.  It can work as a regular I-Spy quilt with tons of fun objects all over it...and it can work as a seek-and-find for all the different unicorns.

The easiest unicorns to add were the squares that already had some horses.  A little paint or fabric marker and they got a horn added.
I bought this fabric for the upcoming swap and it didn't arrive until the quilt was already layered and basted....but I pulled this corner off and removed a square so I could fit this horse-turned unicorn onto the quilt too.

I was never in Girl Scouts, but if I was, I think I would have wanted to earn this Unicorn Care badge.

Then I looked for places where I could add a unicorn to the picture.  I looked for some unicorn silhouette images on the internet and did some of my smallest freezer paper stencils ever.  (Yeah, I know unicorns don't fly through the air, but my brother said there is some unicorn-moon connection, so I added one next to the moon.  This one must be a really good jumper.)

I love this unicorn grazing with the cows on the farm.

It's hard to say if the baby or her big sister and brother will enjoy the blanket more for now.
I suggested looking for some unicorn fabric for the back, but he declined saying that the unicorn in his stories is a strong, powerful unicorn and not like the cutesy girly ones that would likely be found on fabric.  Instead he said something purple and/or with moon would work best.  We settled on this night sky fabric I had left over from Seth's solar system quilt.
There was just BARELY enough of it if I added the row of I-Spy squares at the top.  Usually I'd put the accent row somewhere in the middle of the back, but I didn't want to break up the sky too much.
I also tried a few experiment with this quilt.  I've used my inkjet printer to print on fabric for projects before...but never for fabric that was going onto a quilt.  I decided to print the moon with a unicorn silhouette onto some white muslin I had.
I'll have to have my brother let us know in a year or so how the printed moon held up under washing.  I thought this was a good project to try it out on since it will still look moonlike with the white circle on the night sky fabric, even if it fades...and since it's on the back, it's not a huge loss if it fades over time.  After the initial wash to remove the basting spray from the quilt, it still looks great.

I quilted it by machine quilting it in straight lines just off of every other seam.  I didn't want quilting lines going through the moon on the back, though, so I quilted a circle around the moon and then stopped the straight lines when they hit the circle.  I like the effect so much that I think the next I-Spy that gets machine quilted is going to have lots of circles quilted all over it.

If you're interested in participating in an I-Spy Swap, I'm not planning on doing any soon, but you can sign up to get an email when/if we do another one here.  I also ended up with a couple extra sets from our last swap, and those are here in my Etsy shop.

Please show my sponsors some love...

Urban Zoologie - Bright Dinosaurs - From Sisters and Quilters
Build Your Own Fat Quarter Bundle - 10 (Other amounts available)
Tuxedo Collection Fabric Bundle - From Sisters and Quilters

Pin It


  1. You just "flew" this quilt from awesome to A-MAZING! I can just imagine all the hours that will be spent studying trying to find all the unicorns - BEST AUNT EVER!!!

  2. Lucky little Avalon! What a wonderful project. I love the way it turned out.

  3. Really great i-spy quilt! I do love how you grouped the colors!

  4. Oh my goodness! This quilt is the bomb! Now you've got me thinking I need to do three I Spy quilts for my two nephews and niece! I think they would just love them! Now I've got to do some searching for the most appropriate fabrics for them. Thank you so much for the inspiration!!!

  5. That turned out so darling!!! Good work!!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you. I also love responding, so please make sure your Blogger account is set up for me to be able to see your email address or include your email address. I've had to stop accepting anonymous comments due to spam. If you don't have any other way to comment, you can always send an email.