"I Spy" Fabric Matching Game ~ Tutorial

Here’s a super-fun kids game tutorial for an I Spy Fabric Matching Game.  Savannah Rose will be getting this game for her 4th birthday that is coming up on March 5th ~ I can’t wait, I think she’s going to love it!
This year I have three sewing re*sew*lutions:
1) Use up my excessive amount of fabric scraps
2) Design and sew more boys clothing
3) Dabble in the world of quilting

To start off 2012, I thought I would start at the top of the list and use some of the fabric scraps that have been invading my sewing studio.  Since I typically design and sew children’s clothing, the amount of fabric scraps is out of this world.  Big pieces, little pieces……you name it, I’ve got it…….it’s getting a bit ridiculous!

My girls are beginning to become interested in playing games.  With them being 2.5 and almost 4 years old, there aren’t a lot of games they can play together, but we’ve found that they really enjoy matching games.

I was inspired by the ‘I Spy’ quilts that many people seem to enjoy making and came up with a game version ~ the ‘I Spy’ Fabric Matching Game.  This is a great way to use up the many different fabric scraps you have lying around.  If you have little ones, they will truly enjoy playing this game.  It is stimulating, fun, and pretty much indestructible (which you know is important if you live in the world of toddlers).  There are two different ways to play so it’s great for 2 year olds on up.

‘I Spy’ Fabric Matching Game
20 4.5″ squares of fabric (2 squares of 10 different prints)
20 4.5″ squares of fabric (all the same print)
20 4.5″ squares of batting
Basic sewing supplies


Take one piece of your printed fabric, one piece of the fabric backing and one piece of batting.  You will be making a total of 20 squares, 10 of each different print.  All of the backs will be the same.
Layer your three pieces.  Place the back fabric and printed fabric with the right sides together and layer the piece of batting on top of the back of the printed fabric.
Stitch all the way around the square with a 1/2″ seam allowance, but leave a 1.5″ opening on the side.
Clip the four corners of the square.  This will allow you to turn the corners out nicely.
Turn the square right side out by pulling the fabric through the opening that was left on the side of the square.
Grab your point-turner to push the corners out.  If you don’t have a point turner, you could use any pointy edge tool (i.e. a chopstick, ect).  Point-turners are really inexpensive, so it’s a great tool to have in your sewing basket.
Insert the point-turner and push each corner out by using the pointy end.
Sometimes it takes a little work to get the corners pushed out, but just take your time.
Once your corners are turned out nicely, press each square.
Press the opening on the side under so it is in line with the rest of the square.
Top-stitch around the edge of the square using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  The top-stitching will catch the opening and sew it closed.  Press both sides to set your stitches.
Continue top-stitching all the squares until you have 10 sets of 2 for a total of 20 squares.
So here’s how to play……….
Option 1: Advanced Matching (age 4 and up)
Turn all of the 20 squares over so that the back sides are up. Place them in four rows of five.  Make sure the squares are all mixed up.
Each player takes a turn turning over two squares.  When they turn over two squares that match they get to keep them.  This method requires the child to remember where they have seen a specific pattern to find the match.  The person who collects the most matches wins!
Option 2: Beginner Toddler Matching (Ages 2-4)
Lay out all of the squares with the printed sides up.  Have each player take a turn picking out one print and simply finding the other one that matches.  Continue taking turns until all the matches have been made.  In this version everybody wins!
I think the ‘I Spy’ Fabric Matching Game is the perfect gift idea for any child.  You can make the game themed if you are not using fabric scraps – make it geared towards a boy or girl or keep it gender neutral.  You could also theme it towards the child’s interest – nature, animals, bugs, flowers, sesame street, ect…
Perhaps I’ll make a little bag to keep this version of the ‘I Spy’ game together, but we’ll save that for another tutorial on another day.
Fabric Collections used (starting from the top left):
3) Joann’s super-clearance fabric purchased a year ago
I Spy Fabric Matching Game from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com
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  1. Such a fun game! I remember having a similar game when I was wee, although mine were cardboard, how boring lol

  2. Very cute idea for using small scraps! Once you are done using them as a game, you could also divide them up into groups and give them away to be used a coasters.

  3. A great idea! thank you very much.

  4. That is a supper cute Idea I love it. And will one day make it.


  5. My daughter loves matching games. What a great idea! Thank you for such clear and easy tutorials (I love them)!

  6. Will definitely ‘file this one’ for when great granddaughter is a little older! So cute!! Hugs, Doreen

  7. Oooooh I love stuff like this. Not only because it’s super cute, but also because of the functionality =)

    – Sarah

  8. Just think I could be making these now if I had been able to buy your scrap box… I’m still so sad I missed it…

  9. That is so cute, and a great way to use fave fabric scraps!!!

  10. Looks like fun! If you have an embroidery machine, there are downloads to make coasters that would work great for this game.

  11. That’s adorable! I’ll have to keep this in mind should I need a child’s gift its a great idea!

  12. OK…I love this! I’m making some for my “little” friends and grandchildren.

    Thanks for sharing.


  13. Hi Lindsay. Best regards from Germany. I love your blog and your ideas. This morning I was surprised, because I sew a small matching game last week too for a little girl. If you want you can look here


    Have a nice day!


  14. Wow! I want to do it too! Beautiful, useful, interesting!

  15. What a beautiful job! Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial. 🙂

  16. I love this, and your fabric choices are wonderful! Gonna have to make a set for my little grand daughters who are 4 and 2. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  17. This is adorable!! I will definitely make this for my kids, great way to use up spare bits of batting too!

  18. That is such a great idea!

  19. This is a terrific idea and a great way to use up scraps. Thank you for sharing it with us!!!

  20. I’ve been meaning to do this for years!!! Maybe this will inspire me to actually do it….

  21. Very cool idea…thanks for sharing! My girl loves memo so I guess something like this in pink would be a real hit.

  22. love it, so nice and perfect! Great idea!

  23. I made some and the children love it!! Thanks for the brilliant tutorial 🙂
    I’ve blogged about it here:

  24. I just bought two charm packs of berenstain bears fabric. I’m not sure if they’ve released yardage yet, but this seems like a perfect thing to use them for! And with precut charm squares you only have to cut out the backing pieces. We had this game when I was growing up in Switzerland and Germany. We called it memory.

  25. I just bought two charm packs of berenstain bears fabric. I’m not sure if they’ve released yardage yet, but this seems like a perfect thing to use them for! And with precut charm squares you only have to cut out the backing pieces. We had this game when I was growing up in Switzerland and Germany. We called it memory.

  26. This is a great idea! Great to make as a gift for little ones! Thanks for sharing!

  27. yes,
    your patherens are great, and i love your thinking, i want to join you on the facebook, give me your id or your facebook fan page url so i can be your follower.

  28. This is brilliant! I am making an I Spy quilt for my grandson, who is turning 4 in August, and he has a little sister on the way, also in August. I’m going to make this game with the leftover scraps from the quilt, now, that I had no idea what I was going to do with! Thank you so much!

  29. Anonymous says

    Wonderfull idea. I am going to make a bag to match to store them in Thanks for sharing Ruth

  30. Lindsay, thanks so much for the crystal-clear close-up photographs of this excellent tutorial. As a (very) beginner quilter, I so appreciate such detailed instructions, and these, along with your terrifically bright and cheerful fabric choices, are extremely motivating!!

  31. Hello,
    I just read your blog and found it very interesting to see your ideas. I found this website which might be helpful for some of your make-at-home crafts. Take a look at http://www.mag-print.co.uk to see if they have anything which is of any use to you in your craft activities.

  32. I’ve been trying to think of something I could make for a 3 1/2 yr old. This just might be it! Thanks for the idea.

  33. This is a great idea! Will be making up sets for Christmas for all the little ones on my list!

  34. Brilliant idea! I have TONS of scraps and my daughter LOVES putting them together. Thanks for sharing this idea, you do lovely work!!

  35. I made a set of these for my kids for Christmas! Thanks for the tutorial. Here’s how they turned out: https://flic.kr/p/pzHvbm

  36. If an urgent situation arises and you need certainly to “drive-through”, circle the menu item and
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  37. Pauline Perry says

    I too have many many scraps from making childrens clothes – I wonder how you save them? Mine are just in a big plastic bag! Do you just go through them all and cut shapes you need/want – or do you have another system? Your I Spy game is brilliant – so simple – and I have made 3 I Spy quilts and it still didn’t occur to me to make this brilliant game. Thanks for your inspiration.


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