Friday, December 9, 2011

Baby Blocks Tutorial

When Baby P was born, I really enjoyed recieving gifts that were functional and cute. Toys are fun to decorate a nursery with and it's a bonus if Baby can play with them once they get a little older. I've seen soft, baby blocks and baby blocks tutorials all over the place. They are simple to construct (beginning sewists could make them) and you can make them elaborate (with embroidery or monogramming or applique, stenciling, you name it...) or as plain as you want. These particular blocks were a gift for my friend C and we used them to decorate the table at her baby shower.

These blocks or cubes have six sides (dust off that high school geometry, yo).  I did 3 plain sides (orange, yellow and gray) and 3 decorated sides. Shapes, animals and hand embroidered patterns. These blocks would be fun for babies who are just learning to grab at things, when they're really interested in patterns and contrasting colors...

(ignore the fact that there are just two of each of the colored squares, you need three each, I had already pieced together part of one block)

Here's what you need for a set of 3 soft baby blocks: 
1) 18, 6 x 6 inch squares of fabric (solids or decorated to your taste) and any other materials to decorate them-scraps of fabric, embroidery floss, sure that they are perfectly square

2) fusible fleece, I backed every square with this, it gives the blocks a little more structure.

3) polyfill (about half of a medium sized bag, I lwanted them stuffed relatively tightly so that they keep their shape)

4) Thread, scissors, machine, all "les accoutrements" of sewing :)

This square is backed with a piece of fusible fleece and I sort of "quilted it," this gives it a little texture.The other appliques are just backed with fusible interfacing. See THIS POST for tips and tricks to applique and THIS PAGE for animal templates.

Lay out the squares of each block in a cross like below. (just a heads up for later, I left my opening for turning/stuffing between the yellow and gray squares--that was the bottom back corner since the "front" of my blocks are the animals)

Now just start seaming the blocks together, taking care to leave about 1/8 of an inch unsewn at each end (be sure to forward and backstitch securely). See picture below. If you don't do this your corners will look wonky and misaligned.

They turn out all nice like this when you are done.

For the last edge--I leave a space open on the back bottom edge--sew in about an inch from each corner and then turn right sides out. Stuff the block with polyfill through the small space you left open. Be sure to stuff polyfill into the corners. Now, turn raw edges of your opening to the inside, pin and stitch the opening closed. This seam will show, but it isn't distracting if you use matching thread.

That's it!!

1 comment:

  1. May I just say from personal experience that these blocks are awesome:)