During my few months of intense nesting during pregnancy, I decided to make some soft baby blocks for Babels. I’d made some of these before for a friend’s baby.
This was a scrap fabric project, I have a ton of scraps and random fat quarters of fabric, so I had most of the materials I needed already. I found a remnant piece of 3in foam at Joanns. I use the foam because it makes actual cubes when cut up. Stuffing like polyfill tends to make roundish blocks that don’t stack.
I used my rotary cutter and 3.5in square ruler to cut out a million (actual number was 126) squares of fabric. I could have stopped there with the cutting and gone on to make the block but I didn’t. I cut out 40 more squares to make appliqué numbers. I was feeling ambitious. I arranged all my squares into groups of coordinating colors so each block had a general scheme. And then I hit a wall. This stack of foam and fabric sat on my sewing desk for about a month, I actively avoided it.
Finally, I got sick of looking at my unfinished project. The appliqué numbers were a daunting undertaking. I used heat and bond adhesive. I laid all the fabric for the numbers out on the heat and bond and ironed them on. Then I traced and cut out the numbers. Doing it in this order allowed me to only have to cut each number once. I ironed the numbers on to two sides of fabric for each block. I wanted to stop there and put the blocks together because I was pregnant and tired. After consulting James, I realized I also needed to top stitch the numbers on so they didn’t pull off later.
I used a small zig zag stitch and traced each number. I made 2 sets of ten with 2 numbers per block. So this took a long time…several weeks of doing a few at a time.
FINALLY, I was ready to actually construct the blocks. I sewed all the sides together leaving an opening to insert the foam cubes and finished the seam with an invisible stitch to close them.
About half way through this process I realized I made way too many blocks (21 to be exact) for my one baby. I put half of them (one set of 10 numbers) into a care package that got sent to a friend’s baby in Japan. I had one extra block that I made with minky fabric, so I put a baby rattle inside the foam. Now it is soft and makes noise!
So far Babels likes looking at the contrasting colors. I’m hoping that he’ll like them even more once he starts to play.