When the boys were little we loved the “I Spy” books. We would examine the photographs intently, looking for every little thing mentioned… “here’s an anchor”; “there’s the fourth safety pin”, “ah! found it! the fox playing a flute.” Such clever assemblages.  Such fun and care taken to devise each scene.

Recently, D. and I had a nostalgic interval while waiting outside the cast-removal area (it is gone! – the cast, that is, not the room).   We got through an entire “I Spy” book.  Even though it is one we have at home and probably read 40 or 50 times, we “read” it again with relish.

Seeing the book put me in mind of the tradition of making “I Spy” quilts for children.

Just to name a few things to be found here:
two whales; two zebras (one, a baby zebra running next to her mother, I just noticed today while quilting the stripes!);  a butterfly; one tattoo; two stores; two snakes; four tortoises; one horse; one dog;  one reindeer; three antelope; four fish; two ships and one Hawaiian boat; one pirate; a treasure map; ginkgo leaves; a passionflower; green and ecru leaves, a red daisy, two stork-like birds, four cows, two trees, one door and one large red house.

The thought of a young child “perusing” this landscape makes me very happy.

This quilt was commissioned by  Wendy Golden-Levitt.

8 thoughts on “baby-zebra-at-her-side

  1. deemallon

    thanks all — one of the things I like about using commercially printed fabrics, is their story keeps unfolding… although I have spent a lot of time with these fabrics, I keep seeing things I hadn’t seen before.

  2. Kari of Writing Up A Storm

    This is such a wonderful idea for a quilt! I love trying to find everything myself in your quilt ~ still looking! I remember seeing a quilt of squares a while back on someone’s blog where there would be two squares with a car, two with a bird, two with a butterfly, etc., and children could see if they could find all the pairs of everything. Thank you for the joy of looking!! xo Kari

  3. deemallon

    thanks Kari… I like a quilt to occupy the viewer for more than a single pass. Some quilters get VERY imaginative in making gifts for children — I’ve seen blankets where the creator came up with images for each letter of the alphabet, for example. It puts me in mind of how creating changes when there is an “intended” in mind (even when unknown, as here) — the nature of gift-giving (or “feeling into” another) actually dictates design choices. Have you ever written a story for someone? (forgive me if the answer is obvious on your blog … and PS if my boys were still at the read-in-bed phase, I would own all of your books!!) I suppose it needs saying here, too, that taking money out of the calculus makes a noticeable difference. Commissions not quite the same as making for a sale-table, where you are constantly (even when you think you aren’t!!) trying to figure out “what will sell” and trying to keep the work reasonable in terms of effort hours, so as to keep at a certain “price point”. As soon as things settle down a bit more in my life, I anticipate enjoying making pieces without the table in mind (because of paycheck — that’s a very definite bonus of a 9to5 job — yes?!).

    hope the house proceeds well!

  4. Kari of Writing Up A Storm

    Yes, I love a work of art that keeps drawing a person in to see more and more and more, and you are wonderful in making this happen. Dee, I had the good fortune to publish two children’s picture books with major publishers (Greenwillow with HarperCollins and Orchard with Scholastic). A description of my books is on a “Page” across the top bar of my blog. The second book with Scholastic, “The Secret Remedy Book” is still in print. But I published it in 2003 and have not been able to publish a third book anywhere, no matter how hard I have tried. I see myself starting to try to write a story that I think might sell, and then I feel that I’m losing my own visions, my own creativity. Oh, I know just what you mean! The changes that the agents and editors made me make on the books that got published and on all the ones that didn’t quite make it have driven me crazy. I’ve had to change a story from third person to first person, and then several weeks later change it back to third person again. There is no such change key on a computer. It take hours to make this kind of change. I’ve loved my blog because no one is telling me what to write and how to write it!! I’ve had art shows, too, and they are not for me, sitting and hoping people will buy. I’m very very shy to begin with. My husband and I are on a very fixed retirement income (we are old hippies who did not plan for being retired very well), so we need a little more income in order to make it. Truly, I would rather find a menial part-time filing job so I could make art and write stories out of my own heart and soul. I totally understand. Hang in there!! I hope you are preparing for retirement in a much better way than we did, and I hope you get the time you need for YOUR art. Bless you, bless you!! xo Kari

    P.S. I finally got a new post on my blog!

  5. Pingback: Crow flew to Canada | Dee Mallon and Cloth Company

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