August 31, 2021

I Spy Quilt with Low Volume Fabrics- free pattern!

I'm so happy to share this free, simple pattern today for a I Spy quilt with low volume fabrics. This is one of my favorite quilts ever!

I wanted to make a low volume quilt, but with a little more zing than just simple squares. Don't get me wrong, I love simple squares, and they work great for this I spy quilt pattern. But for this I wanted an element that brought a bit of order to the craziness of 304 different prints. (I actually do have a few repeats, but you get the point.) I love the touch of the little solid triangles on each corner, and I tried to match them to their low volume squares individually. (By the way, if you're wondering what "low volume" means, there's a definition in this post.) 

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Free Printable Version of "I Spy Quilt with Low Volume Fabrics" pattern

Fabric requirements:

(304) 5" low volume squares

(304) 1.75" solid squares

5/8 yd binding fabric

5 yds backing fabric

Start by sewing corner triangles. Mark a diagonal line across a solid 1.75" square and place it in the top right corner of a LV 5" square. Sew along the line, trim away 1/4" from the sewn line, and press out. 

Do this 304 times! I love this kind of repetitive, therapeutic sewing, especially when each square is something fun and new to look at!

Sew the squares into rows of 16 blocks (19 rows total).

Press row seams alternately, sew rows together, and press. Baste, quilt, and bind as you like!

This makes a 72" x 85" finished quilt, a really excellent snuggle size for several people, which is my plan :) 

If you're on the hunt for good low volumes, I found a few places to shop:

Low volume custom charm pack (already cut out!)

Maker Valley has quilt kits that come with 5" strips, perfect to subcut for this project. Holly is the queen of funky, spunky fabrics!

These are sweet and simple low volumes

I really like these colorful ones, they've got come cute birdies and boats. 

Not all of these are low volume, but there are some fantastic "I Spy" fabrics in there, already cut!

When I say "I Spy", I just mean anything fun little thing that's fun for kids to spot. Anything from critters and creatures, to foods and places, to cartoon and literary characters. This is a favorite section of mine, with the little Paris scene, the tea party, precious neighborhood, and Peter Pan characters. 

For my quilt, I started with a pack from Maker Valley, added lots of my own fabrics that I've collected over the years, and then my sweet friend @sewsabrina offered to send some when she saw what I was up to. So kind! She said she wanted to help the quilt reach it's full potential, and boy did she ever do that! I died over the fun prints she sent. I sent her some of mine in return, but they weren't nearly as cool to be honest. I do have lots of squares in mine that aren't necessarily "I Spy", they're just a calm low volume print meant to cool down the crazy!

Here's a dog pile of little boys who have loved looking at this quilt since I first started putting blocks on the wall. There are so many fun little details to find! It's a fun kind of memory quilt for me too, as it uses almost every low volume I've ever put in other quilts. 

I had mine quilted by @emileehathaway in this cheerful bubbly design. I don't know the name of it, but I know she got it through I love the little soft puffy pillows that each circle creates. I knew this would be a heavily used kid quilt, so I had her put minky on the back since they love that. I bound it in Kona Bonsai from my local quilt shop, but they ship too! And they have every Kona, which is awesome. 

"Especially for you" is especially for my boys. It's hard to describe the delight of this quilt in photos and words. It's just so squishy, and interesting to look at up close, and colorful! We all love it so much. 

If you're wondering about QUILT LABELS, I got my personalized woven labels here. The one pictured here is a Tasha Noel label (and looks like those are on sale!), and I also have some of these cute labels. All kept in my Caboodle, which I love so much! I also have this bigger Caboodle, which I keep buttons and other knick knacks in. 

For this post, it was my first time using my new updated version of Electric Quilt 8 to make the mockups. I love it so much! I've used 7 for years, but it wasn't the best when I switched to a Mac. This new version runs like a dream, has amazing color options, and is really easy to use. It makes quilt ideas a reality in such a snap. I'm so happy to have it! Not sponsored in any way. Since I had version 7 before, it only cost $100 to upgrade, and I found the code HELLO2021 which should work for you too. Love this program!


  1. Alli: I think a 5" square low volume exchange would be fun! What do you think?

    1. Ohhhhh this would be so fun!

    2. Did you ever do this? I just came across this site. I love the low volume idea.

    3. She is getting ready to drop a low volume I Spy kit tomorrow on her website! Look at her Instagram for pictures of the fabrics that will be included in the kit.

  2. Love this quilt!! My boys are men now but I spy was one of their favorite books to read. I might have to make one for old times sake, and for big boy spying! A martini glass or two ❤

  3. Absolutely darling quilt. I don't have any little ones right now but maybe I'll get started on one in hopes of a great grandchild one day. This is the cutest quilt I've seen for a little one. Your boys are darling.

  4. I love all the little hedgehog prints!! Very nicely done. I’ll have to give it a go after my next quilt project. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Beginning quilter question: Do you pre-wash the solid colors? Any worry about those bright colors spreading into the whites?

    1. Put some color catchers or color grabbers in when you wash your quilt. They work great! You can usually find them in the store near laundry detergent. They are small so I use several for bright colors or large quilts.

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