Drawstring Quilt

My family and I recently visited my brother and his family in Hawaii. My brother and his wife were super-hosts and planned such a great visit for us. I wanted to take a gift and decided on a quilt for my two sweet nephews.  Over the past year or so, I collected i-spy charms – 5-inch squares of novelty fabrics. Most were found and purchased on Instagram via the #thegreatfabricdestash hashtag.  I may have purchased a few on etsy.  The remainder of the fabrics were in my stash or were picked up as remnants here and there. There are at least eight Heather Ross in here. Her little animals and images are perfect for i-spy.

drawstring quilt
Drawstring Quilt : Rainbow i-spy style!

Rather than make a standard quilt, I used the Drawstring Quilt pattern by Tales of Cloth. This is a great pattern with a clever binding method that adds a drawstring casing around the perimeter.  The quilt is perfect to use a playmat or a picnic blanket that can be cinched up and taken along as a bag, toys and all. The instructions were detailed, clear and easy to follow. The included pictures were very helpful, especially for the binding steps.   The pattern makes a hexagon quilt using strips, but was easily tweaked to use charm squares.  My layout kept growing and growing and eventually became a fairly large octagon.

i-spy drawstring quilt
For the drawstrings and backing, I used Essex yarn dyed linen blend by Robert Kaufman. I love the durability and stain-hiding that the Essex adds, especially since this quilt will likely be used outside.
drawstring quilt
The binding is a new favorite of mine – tiny black and white stripes set on the bias. It’s from the First Crush collection by Sweetwater for Moda fabrics.  I’m glad a have another yard for future projects.
i-spy quilt

Choosing the fabrics (and raiding my stash for more), tweaking the color gradient, and then endlessly swapping and moving squares around was so fun.  I can’t count how many times the layout changed.  My girls and I loved playing i-spy along the way.  I can now easily point out every marble, elephant, piece of sushi, and sunglass-wearing pig on this quilt!! The good news is, I still have plenty of i-spy charms left to play again and make more quilts!