Easy I Spy Quilt Pattern With Snowball Blocks

I Spy Quilt
Janet Wickell

This I Spy quilt block pattern was originally used for a quilt block exchange in our quilting forum. The smaller scale of the 6" quilt blocks is perfect for kids' quilts but can be used for a project of any size.

If you don't need an I Spy quilt switch the fabrics entirely to create a completely different look -- my Floral Snowballs quilt pattern is one example, but the theme choices are endless.

Choose Fabrics for the Block Centers

Use I Spy type fabrics, fussy cutting to place the motif within the area that makes up the central body of the quilt block. For instance, if your fabric depicts a cowboy, be sure to cut it so that the cowboy's arm or leg isn't chopped off within a seam allowance. The targeted motif doesn't need to be centered but should be completely visible in the frame if possible.

Some types of fabrics depict multiple objects within the area that will be visible in each quilt block. You may still need to fussy cut those fabrics, but positions of objects might not be as important.

Fat quarters of fabric are a good choice for the I Spy Snowball blocks and many prints offer multiple objects to choose from, helping you make more than one cut from each fabric.

Fabrics for Snowball Quilt Block Corners

Choose coordinating, very dark tone-on-tone fabrics or solid fabrics for the corners of your Snowball blocks. The corners of each block needn't be alike. In fact, altering the corner triangles will likely create more interest in the finished quilt.

Cutting Instructions for Each Quilt Block

  1. Cut one 6-1/2" square of I Spy or another print fabric for the Snowball block center.
  2. Cut four 2-1/2" inch squares of a coordinating, very dark tone-on-tone or solid fabric for the corners of the Snowball block.

Make the I Spy Snowball Blocks

Mark a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on the reverse side of each small square. A hera marker or white chalk or lead pencil works nicely if you use the dark fabrics suggested.

Use the instructions and illustrations in the Joyous Celebration quilt pattern to make each Snowball quilt block. The block sizes are different, but the quick piecing technique that's used is exactly the same.

You may already be familiar with the method used to create the quilt blocks. Here's a quick overview of the technique.

  1. Position a small square in each corner of a 6-1/2" square, fabrics right sides together and all edges aligned. Orient the marked diagonal as illustrated in the link above.
  2. Sew a seam directly on each marked line to add a square to each corner of the I Spy Snowball quilt blocks. 
  3. Press the block to set the seams.
  4. Remove the excess fabric, cutting through both layers and leaving about 1/4" beyond each seam.
  5. Flip the corner triangles right side up and carefully press seam allowances towards the corners.
  6. Make additional blocks as needed to create an I Spy quilt. A quilt six blocks across and seven blocks down (42 quilt blocks) would finish at about 36" x 42" (without borders).