“I Spy” (or “Eye Spy”) quilts are made from novelty fabrics. They serve a dual purpose – providing warmth and providing entertainment. Children make a game of searching for objects hidden throughout these quilts. The guessing game begins when someone says “I spy with my little eye a ____ (name of object)”.
I Spy quilts are also great teaching tools. While hunting for objects, toddlers have fun with new words describing colors, sizes, patterns, etc. The attention to detail used in this game is a skill that pre-readers need to acquire before learning their A,B,C’s. Older children can be taught to use more advanced vocabulary. For example, “I spy a chartreuse triangle with magenta galoshes” is more challenging than “I spy a green shape with boots”.
Any quilt pattern can be used for I Spy quilts. The most popular I Spy quilts are made from novelty fabric charm squares. Many quilters like to collect and trade novelty fabrics for use in their I Spy quilts. (This is a fun but addicting hobby!)
Below are examples of I Spy quilts with FREE patterns and tutorials.