It’s no secret I’m a big fan of I Spy projects. I love ’em! As much as milkshakes in the summertime, and lately, that’s REALLY A LOT. I Spy is such a fun way to engage with kids and it has a long life of appeal – my (not yet but almost) 2yo is already a fan and my (not yet but almost) 9yo will still happily play I Spy. A range of ages 2 to 9 is impressive for any plaything. The format gets more complex as they age, but a quilt is a fantastic (and warm and snuggly) place to start. And if they ever outgrow it, hey, it’s still a blanket! Expressions Vinyl offered me free supplies to play with and I happily snapped them up to make this Modern I Spy Quilt! I was a little hesitant — I wanted to be sure that the transfers would wash and dry well before recommending this. More on that a little further down.
After picking out a variety of 5″ charm squares, I chose 11 simple I Spy-worthy graphics and sized them to fit the blocks. You can download a free zip file containing the graphics in a Silhouette file and links to their sources here. Don’t have a Silhouette? You can still use the links included in that same file to download each image for free.
I used a little less than half of a 12 x 15 sheet of flocked heat transfer vinyl (affiliate link) to cut these out. Because the shapes are so simple they’re very quick and easy to “weed”, pulling away the pieces you don’t want to transfer. Each shape is no bigger than 3″ in width or length.
I found the easiest way to press these into place was to center them in the block on the front and then flip the fabric over so that I was ironing them on from the wrong side of the fabric. In the areas where I’d pulled away the flocking to expose the shape it’s a little tacky so it sticks nicely to the fabric and doesn’t slide around. The iron made great contact with the adhesive that way and I didn’t have to worry about using a pressing cloth. The transfer backing peels away easily after it’s had time to cool.
The finished size on this quilt is just under the width of a yard of uncut fabric – 45 x 36 – so I used a yard of dotted flannel I had in my stash that I ended up super loving in the finished quilt because the polka dots show through the white space on the front. Skipping the batting and binding and topstitching the edges kept the design nice and simple.
Since the charm squares I used were all pre-cuts – meaning I didn’t do any trimming to 5″ x 5″, they came to me that way, they weren’t pre-washed. I was concerned about two things–1) Would the base fabric shrink enough under the transfers that they’d pucker or look weird? And 2) Would the transfers separate from the fabric when the finished quilt was washed and tumble dried? After one solid wash and dry cycle I don’t see any visible shrinking or puckering under the transfers, nor do I see any spots where the transfers have pulled away at all. Still completely and sturdily attached. Phew!Safe to run off and play and have fun all over it, which seems to be what this (not yet but almost) 2 year old has in mind!
Want to enter your own stash of vinyl from Expressions Vinyl (affiliate)? Enter the giveaway below!