I Spy Quilt Book Review

I am so excited to share with you this super fun I spy book! I first heard about this book (that the ladies from On Williams Street wrote) a couple months ago, and when I saw pictures of the blocks, I squealed out loud! When my boys were little I made an i spy quilt with different fabrics I collected and traded – but making an i spy quilt with pieced blocks is such a clever idea! You can absolutely make all the different blocks for a large quilt, or you can pick and choose blocks to make for a special kiddo, such as just the animal blocks for an animal lover.

I was offered a free copy of the book to play with, which of course I said yes to! How fun are these blocks??

This post contains affiliate links. Making a purchase through these links helps support this site at no extra cost to you.

The blocks finish at 4″, which sounds really small. But, once I started sewing them I saw that it really was the perfect size. And they don’t feel small at all. They sew together very quickly, making them a great block-a-day project to do with a group of friends. Gather up some friends who all want to make the quilt, have everyone purchase the book, and then have fun making your way through the book one block at a time.

The book comes with the printable templates you need to make all the blocks. The blocks print two to a page, which is awesome for not wasting your foundation paper.

While the blocks in the book have all been made using solids, you can absolutely pick out fun prints to use in your blocks as well. I was committed to using at least one print in each, and was using mostly fabrics from my scrap bin. It was super fun finding prints that worked for each block.

To make the blocks, or the whole quilt, you will need:

I Spy Book (For 10% off use the coupon code ISPYBLOGHOP – good through Dec 16.)
Foundation Paper for printing the patterns (Quiet Play and Carol Doak both have great foundation papers)
Add-a-quarter ruler in yellow or in pink (and you may want the add-an-eighth ruler for the more detailed blocks)

If you’ve never done foundation paper piecing before, I have a video that will take you through the basics of how Foundation Paper Piecing works. It is such a fun technique for making “non-regular” shaped blocks like this.

Some others got to check out this super fun book as well, and are sharing their thoughts – go see what they have to say!

November 30: Kimie and Missy of On WIlliams Street December 1: Audrey Mann of The Cloth Parcel December 2: Jen Frost of Faith and Fabric December 3: Bea Lee of Bea a Quilter December 4: Sarah Goer of Sarah Goer Quilts December 5: Joanne Harris of Quilts by Joan December 6: Susan Smith of Stitched by Susan December 7: Simone Fisher of Simone Quilts December 8: Lissa LaGreca of Lovingly Lissa December 9: Catalina Barcelo of Amarar Creacions December 10: Laura Strickland of Orange Blossom Quilts December 11: Laura Piland of Slice of Pi Quilts December 12: Carolina Moore of Always Expect Moore December 13: Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis December 14: Kim Niedzwiecki of Go Go Kim

Square Dance with AGF Selva

Recently, I had the chance to play with one of Art Gallery Fabrics’ new lines, Selva. This fun, jungle inspired print was perfect for a quilt that I’d been bouncing around in my mind. Ever since I stitched up the “Square Dance” quilt for the Leisure Arts “Modern Patchwork” book, I’d been wanting to make a new version of the quilt.

This post contains affiliate links. You won’t be charged any extra, but I’ll make a small commission when you click these links.

If you want to make this quilt, you can get your copy of Modern Patchwork from Leisure Arts here. or you can find it on Amazon.

The original version of the quilt is stitched up in Art Gallery Fabrics solids, and quilted using straight-line quilting. And while I do love it, I wondered what it might look like using prints instead. So, when I got my hands on Selva, that is exactly what I did!

And then of course I had to pick an exotic spot to photograph it for the lookbook. I went with the Old Mission Dam in the Mission Trails park here in San Diego. It is just a short drive away, and the scenery is just so much fun!

Of course I brought with me all the tools I thought I’d need to style the quilt in the photos – pins, tape, string – but in all my planning I forgot about proper footwear! So, I was traipsing through the trails wearing my flip-flops.

Clearly, living in Southern California has absolutely gone to my head!

It was especially precarious as I was positioning the quilt for this shot. That water on the left is not my idea of a relaxing afternoon bath!

Of course I had to take a photo of the back of the quilt. I love a good pieced quilt back, when I have the time. And those AGF solids are so great for showing off the quilting!

I really had fun with the quilting on this piece. While straight-line walking foot quilting is fabulous, I love an excuse to put on the free motion foot and quilt! And none of these designs are super complex! Just lines, loops, and pebbles.

While I rarely make the same quilt more than once, I really loved taking a quilt that I had designed, and re-making it in a completely different way! It is so fun to see what a difference fabric choices make when putting together a quilt!

If you want to grab the Modern Patchwork book, you can get it from Leisure Arts here, or you can find it on Amazon.

Nancy Zieman “Seems Unlikely” Book Tour

When I was asked to be a part of Nancy Zieman’s “Seems Unlikely” book tour, I immediately said yes. I’m a fairly new member to the Nancy Zieman Fanclub. My mother is a garment sewer, but I have always taken more to quilting. I made several garments including dresses for school dances, an 80’s shorts-and-top set in unfortunate matching fluorescent patterns, but the garment sewing classes I took back in 1996-97 were in Europe. So I missed out being introduced to Nancy and her expertise.

Though I’m new to the club, I’m not a token member. Nancy truly won my everlasting sewing love with her Create a Strap (I did a review that is best defined as a “love note” over at Craft Test Dummies). I’ve had a chance to play with her laser cut fusible appliques as well as her trace and create tablet keeper. I was able to “meet” her during a closed-circut session at Riley Blake Fabric Fest this last fall. Each one of these times I’ve had the chance to connect with her through product or experience, I’ve walked away an even larger fan.


So, enter the chance to read Nancy Zieman’s Biography, and I was all in. At about 300 pages, it is told as if you’re sitting down to coffee with Nancy. As if she’s telling you the story of where she was born, how Bell’s Palsy and multiple knee surgeries affected her confidence, and how 4H played a significant role in finding her joy.

As I’ve been reading Nancy’s book, I have found myself relating to so many of the stories. I didn’t grow up on a farm or have a smile that was higher on one side. But those are characteristics of Nancy’s life – not elements of her character.

While writing this post, I’ve put a bandaid on one child’s elbow, fixed a Lego car, and had a 20-month-old crawl over me, needing some extra snuggles. Trying to manage a career from home while raising boys and managing a household isn’t easy. But as Nancy showed, it isn’t impossible. Through the support of her husband, and the help of family, she turned her single-page flier into a booming catalog (and now online) business. Her traditional farm upbringing gave her a work ethic that helped her plow forward through adversity.

Today, women-owned businesses aren’t rare. And gals like me working out of our homes at laptops while children play not-so-quietly may not be “normal”, but it isn’t the struggle it was when Nancy began.

I’m loving reading this book. I’m inspired by Nancy’s journey. She didn’t let small spaces or small minds keep her from being successful. I wish I could tell you that I’ve read it cover-to cover already, but other commitments have kept me from getting much further than halfway. But I’m really looking forward to the second half. If you don’t already have this book on your nightstand, make sure you pick up a copy. The first half alone is enough to get you writing lists of your dreams, re-naming them goals, and start making them happen.

Thanks, Nancy, for sending me your book. I’m truly loving it. I’m sure you have many more years of amazing adventures in front of you… I’m already wondering when you’ll be publishing the next installment.

My post is part of Nancy’s Book Tour. You can comment on Nancy’s Post if you’d like a chance to win one of 20 copies that are being given away. If you’d like to read what some others have to say about Nancy’s amazing journey, check out these other stops on the tour:

February 4          Nancy Zieman          

February 5          Eileen Roche

February 5          Pat Sloan

February 6          Melissa Stramel

February 6          The Long Ladies

February 6          Tori Thompson

February 7          Amy Barickman

February 7          Melissa Mora

February 8          Shari Butler

February 8          Vicki Christensen

February 9          Carolina Moore    (you’re here now!)

February 9          Kate Mclvor

February 10          Amy Ellis

February 10          Melissa Mortenson

February 11          Ilene Miller

February 11          Liz Hicks

February 11          Rachael Pannepacker

February 12          Bill Gardner

February 12          Elizabeth Evans

February 13          Amy Webb

February 13          Lindsay Wilkes

February 14          Gertie Hirsch

February 14          Veronica Philips

February 15          Jenny Gabriel

February 15          Laura Wasilowski

February 16          Frieda Anderson

February 16          Rita Farro

February 17          Cindy Cloward

February 17          Joan Hawley

February 17          Patty Young

February 18          Nancy Zieman