Sewing soft blocks for young’uns

Ha ha ha, I started out this post with a whole philosophical paragraph about why I love hanging out with kids, but my SEO software tells me that shit a’int gonna fly.  Gotta get the keywords in the first paragraph to draw in the bots, ahem crowds… /0\.  So here it is, this is a tutorial on how to sew soft blocks for babies and toddlers.  This is a great way to use those little bits of scrap material floating around your craft cupboard.  However I spent way too much time on that philosophical paragraph to just delete it, so read more about that after the jump :).

I love kiddiewiddies.  They are tiny little reminders that life, and being alive, is truly an astounding miracle.  Being in the company of brand new little human beings allows you to forget credit card debt, failed relationships and all other blah-blah-blahness of adulthood.  Instead you get to rediscover the whole wide world all over again through new eyes and it puts the blah-blah-blah into perspective.  It is always going to be there, the blah-blah-blah is an inalienable part of life, but it does not have to define your existence.  Instead you can choose to always be curious, always keep discovering and always keep learning.  I figure if one tries out for that, the blah blah blah of life will just become tasks that need to be dealt with to make space for new things.  Things that can be over and done with in ten minutes or less.

On a side note – word, I am ranting today – if you are prone to procrastination like I am, that ten minutes or less credo is a wonderful way to get shit done.  It basically boils down to:

If it is going to take less than ten minutes to do it, do it now.

I have a suspicion that eventually it just becomes a habit because lately I haven’t had to deal with many of those pesky ‘Urgh, I’ll do it later.  Don’t have enough <insert lacking quality here>, to do it now.’  tasks.  It simplifies life immeasurably.

But enough about all that, on to the sewing tutorial.  As I said in the introduction, this is a great way to get rid of scrap material.  As long as you can cut equal sized squares from the scraps you are good to go.  Here is what you will need:

The things you need:

  • Six equal sized squares for each block
  • Some stuffing material or foam blocks
  • Needle and thread (obvs…)
  • Felt and paper shapes (optional)

The how-to:

  1. Cut your six equal sized squares, if you are using foam blocks your foam blocks will determine the size. Whatever the width and height of your blocks plus a 1 cm seam allowance.  My denim scraps allowed me 11.5  cm x 11.5 cm squares so I ended up with roughly 9 cm x 9 cm blocks.  I wasn’t going to try and find foam blocks that size so I opted to rather use unicurl to stuff them with.
    six equal sized squares per block

    Six equal sized squares per block

    And look!  Straight lines! A ruler and a marker makes all the difference :p!

  2. I used denim for the blocks so I decided to use felt shapes to add some colour to the project.  I found a line drawing online which I printed out and traced onto the felt.  Obviously you can just free hand it, but considering I have issues with getting a line straight I figured it will be easiest for me to rather trace and cut.  Sew your shapes onto the squares before you start sewing the squares together.  I used wool scraps and a upholstery needle to sew them on.
  3. Once your squares are ready arrange them in a cross shape.
  4. Pin the four squares in the middle to each other, right sides together.  When you are done stitch those babies up and remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
  5. Use an iron to press the seams flat.
  6. Pin the two remaining squares to the left and right of the second, from the bottom or the top, square of the sewn together strip.
  7. Stitch up those two seams, but don’t sew all the way through. Start and end between the two existing seams.  Remember to back stitch!
  8. At this point I obviously needed to start concentrating.  The next photo I have after the one of all the sides pinned together is one where all the sides are sewn together… 🙂  But you basically repeat step 7 on all the remaining sides except for one.
  9. Turn the cube right side out through the last open seam.
  10. Use a pair of blunt point scissors or chopsticks to pop out the corners.
  11. Stuff them puppies with your chosen stuffing material, I figure beans might be cool for smaller cubes.
  12. Use a blind stitch to close up the last seam.  Or just use a really dark material, it is VERY forgiving with regards to neat stitches!

Voilà, done with block number one.  It seems like a lot of work, but I promise by block number three you can almost do it with your eyes closed.  But rather keep them open :p

Here is little guy with his blocks, at the moment he just tries to stuff them in his mouth or bang them around in the air.  One day when he is a world renowned architect I am claiming it though 🙂

  4 comments for “Sewing soft blocks for young’uns

  1. 2014/09/18 at 14:39

    Like! These are awesome, and look very easy! 🙂

    • Vida O
      2014/09/18 at 18:20

      Yay!! Hello Nella! :p

  2. 2014/09/19 at 10:29

    Ola Chick 😀 Do you reckon it’s possible to make waterproof versions of these? No real reason, just wondering what one would use for stitching… (Or if not waterproof, then water-friendly)

    • Vida O
      2014/09/19 at 12:28

      I figure you can. Fill it with polystyrene balls for flotation. Probably going to have to look into some canvas-like material and I figure if you seal the seams with marine glue you should be good to go. Are you making bath time toys?

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