I-Spy quilts are loved by children who can spend a long time picking out the pictures and learning the words. If you search for I-Spy quilts you will see that there are many and varied types, click here.

Today I am going to do a tutorial for a Polaroid Block – a modern take on an I-Spy quilt. Just the thing if you need to make a quilt for a baby or toddler. The tutorial is for one block finishing at 6” square.

Fabric required:

Fussy cut fabric – scraps of fabric with pictures on, no smaller than 2½” square

Pale solid fabric for outline – I used Kona white

Fabric for border – I used Moda Grunge in aqua


All seams allowances are 1/4 

1.  Fussy cut 1 off 2½” square [A] from picture fabric

2.  Cut from the pale solid fabric – 2 off 1″ x 2½” [B] ; 1 off 1″ x 3½” [C] ; 1 off 1½” x 3½” [D]

3.  Join B to A on the left and right hand side – press seams towards B

4. Join C to unit at the top – press seam towards C

5.  Join D to unit at the bottom – press seam towards D

6.  Trim the block – starting with the top you want to have ½” of pale fabric measured from the seam, as below:

7.  Rotate the block and trim to ½” on the left and right hand side

8.  Trim the bottom of the block to 1″, as shown below:

9.  The block should measure approx 3” x 3½”″

10.  Cut from the border fabric 2 off 2½” x 3″ [E]; 2 off 2½” x 7½” [F]

11. Join E to picture block on the top and bottom – press seams towards border.  Be careful not to catch the seam from previous join – it helps to have the picture block at the top whilst sewing this seam, as shown below:


12.  Join F to the left and right hand side of the block – press seams towards border

13.  You have now made the block!

14.  Trim the block to required size – I tilted the pictures in my blocks to give a lovely effect.  If you want to do this then rotate your ruler slightly to ensure that you will get a 6½” block once trimmed, changing the tilt each time, as shown below:

15.  The finished block will measure 6½”

16.  Repeat Steps 1-15 as many times as you like!!  1 block could be used in a small tote or pouch, 4 blocks could become a cushion cover, 20 blocks in a 4 by 5 layout would make a small cot quilt finishing at 24″ x 30″.

Note: these blocks are leftovers from another project and are cut to a smaller size

I used this block to make the cot quilt below, which finished at 36″ x 54″:

These blocks were made to be trimmed to 4½” and I added the Polaroid camera, which is a foundation paper pieced pattern by Kristy at QuietPlay.  There are some tiny pieces in there and I was relatively new to FPP when I made it so was really happy with the result.

You can read more about the making of this quilt over here and for the Ta-Da! post you could pop over here, where you get to see the perfect backing I found for this quilt!

I hope you have a go at this fun and easy block.  It is a great block to ask for in a Quilting Bee because you can get a great variety of pictures that you may not have yourself.  It’s also perfect retreat sewing, because it can be easily chain pieced and you don’t have to think too much about it – plus you trim at the end which can hide a multitude of sins!

If you do you this tutorial to make something then I would love to know and would be happy for you to tag me on social media @cutandalter