A friend’s nephew was turning one, and we were invited to the party.  Of course, I have to hand make the gift.  I looked around the interwebs, combining several ideas, and came up with these baby blocks.

Appliqued Baby Blocks, at Craftalife.comOne side spelled out Karter’s name, and two other sides showed simple designs, all done in raw edge applique. Here’s another pic:

Applique Baby Blocks, at Craftalife.comI took someone’s advice, and made the insides out of a 4″x4″x4″ block of foam.  The alternative would be to stuff them with poly filling, but then they would not really be square, but more pillow shaped.  I didn’t think they would stack.  And stackability is one on the primary traits of a good block!  I’m glad I did it this way, even though it was a bit more work.

Actually, the foam was a minor issue compared to getting all the applique shapes chosen, cut, fused on, and sewing around the raw edges with a basic zigzag.  I cut all the sides that would have images on them at 5″x5″, fused the applique on, sewed the edge, and then cut it down to 4.5″x4.5″. This meant I could be certain to center the image correctly, and also insured my fabric edges remained crisp and straight after all the raw edge sewing.

To cut soft foam, the absolutely easiest way is with an electric knife — you know, the one your dad used to cut the turkey way back when. Like this one. Draw your dimensions directly on the foam with a marker, and then cut.  Just keep the knife straight so your edges don’t go all wonky and it remains square. And you’ll never see a little wonkiness anyway once it’s stuffed into the block.

Karter’s grandma had been sick, so I also whipped up a little zipper bag for her.  It’s very simple, with a little nine-patch on one side.  The thing I liked best about this bag is that instead of batting or interfacing between the outside and the lining, I used flannel.  It gave the bag the most delicious softness. I just wanted to keep touching it. And the little yellow zipper tabs look cute. Don’t you just love purple and yellow?

Zipper bag, at Craftalife.com