"I Spy" Summer Road Trip Quilt Pattern


"I Spy" Summer Road Trip Quilt Pattern

I Spy Quilt
I Spy Quilt

From the Designer: "From the designer "Summer has finally arrived! With summer usually comes vacations and road trips with the family. This project is great for using up novelty prints and scraps that you might have a hard time using while practicing your perfect piecing with Janomes 1/4 Seam Foot. Take turns with the kids in the car saying, "I spy...", and pick up an object from one of the novelty prints on the quilt. They will search for the object and take turns doing the same for endless fun! This is a wonderful project to make for those long road tips."

Sewing Time: 10 hours (less if using precuts!)
Finished Quilt Size: 48” x 54”



Materials List

  • Janome Supplies Required:

    • Memory Craft 8900QCP Special Edition

    • 1/4” Seam Foot O

    • QBS Foot for Free Motion Quilting

    • Blue Tip Needle

    • Pre-wound Bobbin

    • Empty Bobbin

  • Fabrics/Notions Required (for 2 completed shams):

    • 4 yards of quilting cotton sub cut into:

      • (2) 36 1/2” x 6 1/2” (top and bottom borders)

      • (2) 55” x 6 1/2” (side borders)

      • (1) 58” x 64” (back of quilt)

    • Various novelty prints/scraps/fat quarters with different themes (seasonal fabrics are great too) sub cut into:

      • (42) 6 1/2” x 6 1/2”

    • 1/2 yard of quilting cotton sub cut into:

      • (6) 2 1/2” x width of fabric (binding strips)

    • 2 yards of at least 60” wide batting

    • Coordinating all-purpose sewing thread for piecing

    • Coordinating machine quilting thread

  • Student Supplies Required:

    • Marking pen/tailors chalk

    • Rotary cutter/ruler/mat

    • Safety pins/spray baste

    • Spray starch (if desired)

    • Iron


The crazier and more un-related the prints are, the better. This quilt tutorial is great for using up gifted fabrics or scraps that you just don’t know what to do with. You can also use a charm pack instead of cutting your own 6 1/2” squares. Feel free to play around with the size of the I Spy quilt and change the size of the borders, the numbers of squares used for the center of the quilt, etc. Just be sure to adjust the size of the backing and batting to reflect the changes made on the front of the quilt. You could also add sashing if you wanted the novelty prints to be focal points and let the eye have a place to rest amidst the craziness of the prints.

Layout & Piecing the Top:

  1. If the Janome 1/4” piecing Foot O is not attached to the presser foot, install the foot by snapping it on. This foot is amazing at keeping seam allowances a consistent 1/4” at all times by utilizing a little black guide that slides up against the edge of the fabric being sewn. Thread the machine with the piecing thread you are using. Select the needle setting D95S on the MC8900QCPSE for sewing with the 1/4” foot.

  2. Begin by arranging the 6 1/2” squares in the layout you want. You can opt for random placement, group the squares by color family, or do a dark to light placement. If you have a design wall, it will come in handy for placement, but if not, you can lay the squares out on the floor or a table top.

  3. Arrange the 42 squares in a 6 square wide by 7 square long placement.

  4. Sew each row of 6 together. Begin with row 1 and pin the first two squares right sides together. Line the edges of the pinned squares up under the 1/4” foot guide and sew with a 1/4” seam allowance.

    Tip: To save time and a little thread, you can chain piece (piece the squares together without cutting the thread each time you begin sewing a new square set). Just keep in mind the layout you wanted, or take a picture, so your squares don’t get out of order.

  5. Sew row 2 together, then row 3 and so on until all 7 rows have been pieced.

  6. Press the seams open on each row and then place them back on the floor/table/design wall in order.

  7. Take rows 1 and 2 from the layout space and pin them right sides together, matching the seam intersections. Carefully pin at the intersections so your squares line up perfectly.

  8. Take the pinned rows 1 & 2 to the sewing machine and place under the 1/4” Seam Foot, placing the edge of the fabric up against the black guide and sew, removing the pins prior to sewing over them.

  9. Press the seam just sewn open.

  10. Continue adding a row at a time by pinning the top of row 3 to the bottom of row 2 with right sides together. Again, carefully match the seam intersections and pin in place. Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance and press the seam open.

  11. Repeat step 10 with each additional row until you have sewn all 7 rows together. Press all seams open to reduce the bulk.

  12. Place one of the 36 1/2” x 6 1/2” border pieces right side down on the top edge of the top of the quilt (which will be right side up). Match the ends of the border with the ends of the top and pin in place. Sew the top border piece on using the 1/4” Seam Foot.

  13. Place the other 36 1/2” x 6 1/2” border piece right side down on the bottom edge of the quilt top (which will be right side up). Match the ends of the border with the ends of the bottom and pin in place. Sew the bottom border piece on using the 1/4” Seam Foot. Press both seams sewn in the last two steps open.

  14. Place one of the 55” x 6 1/2” side border strips right sides together with a side edge of the quilt top. Sew together with the 1/4” Seam Foot.

  15. Place the other 55 x 6 1/2” side border strip right sides together with the remaining side edge of the quilt top. Sew together with the 1/4” Seam Foot and press both seams open.

  16. Press the entire quilt top one more time, lightly starching if you desire, and set aside.


  1. Assemble a quilt sandwich with the backing, batting and top by placing the backing right side down. Place the batting on top of the wrong side of the backing fabric. Center the pressed quilt top right side up on top of the batting and backing. Keep in mind that the backing fabric and batting should be larger on all sides around the quilt top.

  2. Baste all of the layers together in the manner you choose, being careful to keep all of the layers flat and unwrinkled. This can be basted with your sewing machine; safety pins or spray baste.

  3. Attach QBS foot for free motion. To attach this foot, you will need to remove the set screw and loosen the foot holder that held the 1/4” Seam Foot and remove it. Then attach the convertible free motion foot to the presser bar and install the screw that will hold it in place. Lower the feed dogs and adjust the presser foot pressure to 5” and set the machine to “D4S”.

  4. Wind the bobbin with the quilting thread you selected to quilt the I Spy quilt. Thread the machine with matching quilting thread.

  5. Quilt the layers together with a fun design. The quilt in the images was quilted with a swirl pattern. Select a simple pattern that will show off the novelty prints or a busier, all over pattern that will make finding the objects a little more difficult.

    Tip: When free motion quilting, try to keep your quilting stitches a uniform length - not too small and not too large. You may want to practice the quilting motif before starting on the quilt. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s suggestion for quilting distance on the batting you use.

  6. Once the quilting is completed, trim the sides of the quilt to square up prior to adding binding.


  1. With the binding fabric, cut (6) 2 1/2” strips across the grain or cut bias strips and join the strips to create at least 216” in total length.

  2. When the length is complete, press the strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.

  3. Attach the binding around the perimeter of the quilt, mitering the corners and finishing with your favorite binding method.

    Now your quilt is finished and ready to be packed in the car for any dull moments that may arise on road trips. Be sure to keep utilizing the awesome Janome 1/4” Seam Foot for all of your perfect piecing needs!

  4. Your project is finished! If you love this tutorial, be sure to check out Janome.com for even more inspiration.

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