The Big Baby Block

YAY!!! I created my first original pattern! This is too exciting. The fact that I get to finally develop my own tutorial is really awesome. Here is the start of it. Honestly, it is a super easy pattern, if you can even call it that. The idea was sparked by the birth of some new little ones. I was hoping to make a toy that they would love, but something different than a softie (which I do love making by the way). I figured that all babies love different textures, and that this pattern allowed lots of flexibility for creativity. No two blocks will be the same.
I really enjoyed picking the fabric. I loved the idea that scraps can be used from other projects. I then loved picking the textures that would go on each block.
Here goes...

First, pick out six designs of fabric. For this block, I used one corduroy piece, a terry cloth piece, a flannel piece, and three cotton pieces of fabric.I then cut each of these six pieces of fabric to a 10 inch by 10 inch square. I knew that I would be allowing for a 1/2 inch seam allowance on each side, so the finished project would be a 9 inch by 9 inch square.
After all the pieces were cut, I picked what the textures would be for each side.
For the first side, I used felt hearts, stitched onto the flannel fabric piece.

The second side (my favorite) was a cotton flower fabric with minky fabric patches in it. I cut out the squares and then sewed the minky fabric underneath. One tip I have if doing this is after you cut the squares out, if you cut a slit at each corner so you can fold the sides under for a nicely
hemmed edge.

The third block was an ABC cotton fabric with grosgain ribbon tabs sewed on. I took the ribbon and sewed each end onto the fabric, making a loop. Each grosgain ribbon piece was 5 inches.

The fourth block was the terry cloth block. I scored some half off chunky ribbon trim at JoAnne's today. I made an "X" pattern on the terry cloth and sewed it on using the zig zag stitch.

The fifth block was the yarn block (another favorite of mine). I used the corduroy fabric as a base. Then I used a beautiful blue yarn. I stitched the yarn on in a swirling pattern. This one feels really neat!

Last but not least, here is the sixth block. I chose some satin ribbon (babies love satin, right?). I formed these loops, the same way as the third block, only I cut these pieces at 6 inches and after sewing them into a loop, I sewed down the middle to make two loops. This is the bright pink cotton block with off white satin loops seen in the first picture. (I forgot to take a pic at this step).

Now for the most difficult piece of the project. Let me start off by saying IT WORKS OUT, I PROMISE. Sew the first three blocks in a row, right sides together.

Sew the rest of the blocks, so that there are two stacked on the top of this center block in the main row and one stacked on the bottom. You will now have one funky tetris shape. After this, you literally just sew all of the right sides together, forming a square. Keep in mind that you will be using 1/2 inch seam allowances so that your end result will be 9X9. Piecing all of the blocks together will get more difficult as you get farther in, but it WILL ALL WORK OUT!
When you get to the last block, stitch halfway down, leaving a 4-5 inch opening.
At this point, flip your block right side out.

Iron each crease. Topstitch using a 1/8 inch seam allowance around all sides of the block (leaving the side with the opening unstitched at this point). The point of this top stitch is to form a more defined square so that when you stuff it, it will look like a block and not just a ball.
At this point, use a poly fill stuffing to stuff your block. Use a pencil or wooden dowel to get the stuffing in corners. I made my block fairly firm because I feel like stuffing condenses over time, but to each their own. Then top stitch your last side. Voila!

Please email with any suggestions or questions. I would be HAPPY to answer them as this was my first tutorial and I am sure I left something out: laurynrb03 [at hotmail.com]
Thanks so much for reading and ENJOY!

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