I Spy Block Tutorial {Teenage Version}

March is my month to be queen for Bee Inspired.  I have chosen an easy peasy block using just two fabrics.  This rectangle block is used by permission from a fellow Greenville MQG member, Didi at DidiQuilts.com.

I’m calling it a Teenage I Spy block.

Finished size 8 x 12, (unfinished 8 1/2″ x 12 1/2″)

I spy block

My local traditional guild is making charity quilts for girls of all ages up to teenage who are living at a home for children.  The plan is to give each girl a quilt which they can then take with them when they are old enough to leave.  I want to make a larger lap quilt for a teenager.

Fabrics – Block Center   

For the block center anything goes.  Feel free to use novelty prints,  low volume prints, or anything that inspires you.

Fabrics – Framing Fabric

For the frames or borders please use solids in the following colors:

Pink, Purple, Blue, Aqua, and Gray – Feel free to use lights, mediums and darks in any shades or tones.

My only prerequisite is that I would like for the fabrics to be prewashed.  Prewashing is easy if you follow my tutorial for prewashing a small amount of fabric.

Cutting the Fabric

From the novelty fabric used for the center of the block, cut:

(1) rectangle 4 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

From the framing fabric, cut:

(4) rectangles 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ 

I spy parts


Sew (1) framing rectangle to each of the long sides of the central rectangle.  Press seams towards the framing fabric.

Tip:  When sewing the framing rectangles onto the central rectangle, sew with the framing rectangles on the bottom.  That way, if the central rectangle was cut on the lengthwise grain, the framing rectangles will has less opportunity to stretch as you are piecing.

I spy sides

Sew the remaining (2) rectangles to the top and bottom of the block and press the seams, again, toward the framing fabric.  And, tada, you are done!  Here are some I Spy blocks I have made.

I spy blocks 2.jpg

Feel free to make a many as you like, because I will need 42 blocks which will make a lap quilt in a 6 x 7 block layout measuring 56″ x 72″.  I’m looking forward to seeing what you make.


16 thoughts on “I Spy Block Tutorial {Teenage Version}

  1. Looks like we both chose March. Not sure how that happened! Oh well, I hope no one minds. Everyone, you can take your time making my block if that helps.


    • Silly me! I just looked back and we had scheduled two for March. Thank goodness. I thought I might have stepped on your toes Paige and I felt just awful for having accidentally published early yesterday. I just couldn’t figure out how to schedule the post and I thought I could find it on the Publish button, but it just published. Anyway, I simply love your block! I’ve been collecting novelties for years!


      • Sorry, Jennifer! I had planned to remind folks that we have 2 queens for March but February got away from me and I forgot!


      • I think it’s funny that we both forgot and thought it was our fault. That’s what I love most about this bee. We are so considerate of each other. Anyway, I don’t mind sharing with you! This will be fun. And as I said, bee members can take their time with mine if they want. The quilt is for me eventually so no rush. Your block looks simple and fast, so expect a bunch!


  2. This is going to be fun to dig through my scraps and see what fun prints I can come up with. 🙂 I am not normally a pre-washer (due to not having my own machine 😦 ) So this will be a great learning experience for me. Off to your tutorial now…


  3. I will have to wait until I get home in April to make the March blocks as I don’t have any fabric with me that will work….sorry! But I will catch up!


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