These baby blocks are super soft and have a handy ribbon tag on them to make it easier for small hands to pick them up and play with them. Makower’s Dragonheart collection was ideal for this project giving a mix of pictorial prints which could be fussy cut for the sides, blenders and plains ensure colourful and eye catching blocks. This is also a great project for a charm pack too as the sides of the blocks are 5 inch square.
If you wanted to personalise the baby blocks you could add applique letters or pictures to some of the sides, or you can quilt the squares for extra texture. Find our applique tutorials here. The instructions below are for making 5 blocks, cut 6 extra squares for every additional block you want to make.
A mixture of fat eighths or large scraps (in total you only need a half metre of fabric but ideally you want at least 6 different colours so each side of a block features a different fabric.) Alternatively, you can use a charm pack. I used the full Dragonheart by Makower collection.
Half a metre of Vlieseline Fusible Fleece H630
1m of ribbon
Thread – I use Gutermann Sew All
Seam Allowance – ¼ an inch
Press your fabrics then cut thirty 5 inch squares from your fabric, I cut 2 squares each from 15 different prints from the collection. I found it easiest to cut a 5 inch strip off each fabric first and then cut a couple of squares off each strip.
If you are using any pictorial prints this is the ideal opportunity to fussy cut the fabrics. This means cutting it in a way which best accents details from the prints, for example I wanted to make sure I included the knight and the dragon in the square shown above.
Cut 30 squares of fusible fleece, I folded mine and cut through 4 layers at once to speed up the cutting process. If you wish to quilt your squares you could use wadding scraps instead. The fusible fleece gives the block body, whilst keeping it soft and squishy at the same time.
Using your iron fuse the fusible fleece to the back of each square following the manufacturer’s instructions. I did 4 at a time for efficiency.
Decide on the layout for your blocks, one block at a time. Layout the squares with a long row of 4 for the side panels plus one above and one below for the top and bottom of the cube.
Sew the 4 side panels together, starting ¼ an inch from the top of the edge of the fabric, and stopping ¼ an inch from the bottom. This quarter an inch gap will make it easier to attach the top and base.
Once the side panels are attached sew on the base panel. Line up one edge of the bottom square with one side of the cube, start sewing ¼ an inch from the edge, stop sewing ¼ an inch from the end. End your stitching, cut your thread and pull the block out from under the needle. Re-position the block so you can sew the next edge, repeat all the way around but on the final seam sew right to the edge of the fabric. Your corners should meet as per the photo below.
Poke your finger into each corner inside just to check they are joined properly and there are no gaps. If you find any gaps re-sew that corner.
On the open top of your cube fold one edge in half to find the centre. Cut a 4 inch strip of ribbon. Fold it in half and clip or pin it at the half way point raw edges of the ribbon going just beyond the raw edge of the cube to ensure you catch both sides of the ribbon and baste into place. The ribbon should be placed on the fabric side, not the fusible fleece side of the cube.
Add the top panel to the cube the same way you sewed the bottom (see instructions in step 4). But on one edge leave a gap in the middle of approx 2.5 inches. Make sure this isn’t the side with the ribbon loop. I prefer to sew that side first, then leave the gap on the next side so I don’t forget to do so. Use this hole to turn through the cube so the fabric is on the outside. If it is very creased you can press it before step 7.
Use toy stuffing to fill your baby blocks up as full as you wish, I made mine quite full. Sew the gap closed using ladder stitch (we have a tutorial on the bottom of this page).
Hand the baby blocks over to a baby or toddler to play with!
This project was written by Fiona Pullen from The Sewing Directory.