Monday, July 23, 2007

Blocks for Babies

One of the projects I've been trying to get off the table before the new quilting year starts is finishing up a big set of baby blocks I started a few months back. The baby block is my standard baby-shower gift. They are embarassingly simple -- stuffed fabric cubes -- and yet, they are kind of cool.

A bunch of blocks.
I will give you the pattern, if you agree to send me a large sum of money every time you use it. Deal? OK: You cut out six identical squares of fabric. Sew them into a cube, remembering to leave a little hole so you can invert and stuff that sucker. Then, whipstitch the hole shut. Voila.

Baby Ira of Portland, Oregon, digs his blocks.
Infants find them entertaining to grab, and toddlers find them entertaining to throw and eventually to catch. I usually give a few of different sizes, so they can kind of be stacked in a wobbly sort of way. I put "vocabulary items," mostly animals, on two or three faces of each block, so they're good for a little cognitive work too. Parents like them, in that they look cool, they don't make any noise, and it is really hard to break anything with them.

Baby Maya of Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts, enjoys giving her block a good clutch.
Advantages to the maker are: 1) it's a good way to use a little scrap fabric and thread, (2) they cost virtually nothing to make, just a few cents for the fiberfill, and (3) they require very little skill or effort, but you still rock the baby shower by having given something handmade. I make 'em in big batches once a year or so, so I have plenty on hand that I can give to acquaintences at work when they have babies. You give something handmade to someone's kid, they pretty much eat out of your hand after that.


gl. said...

given my level of sewing skills, "sew them into a cube" is akin to "and then a miracle occurs."

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Awesome baby blocks! Good, clean fun.

Rebel said...

Those are awesome! I may have to borrow that idea for the next baby to come along!

michael5000 said...

@rebel: I hope that you will remember the part about the large sums of money.

I got a PM from Baby Maya's mom, who had this to say: "she still loves the blocks -- the other day when I wasn't paying much attention she picked one up (now I can't remember if it was hers or Nisha's) and proceeded to describe each side. Once I tuned in, it went something like this: "Pig!" "Ock-a-doo! "[translation: cock-a-doodle-doo, for rooster] "Two fish!" [translation: there are actually more fish on that side, but right now anything greater than one is two] "Moo!" [no translation needed]"

I bring this up only because this is EXACTLY how the blocks are intended to be used. Way to go, Baby Maya. You are one smart little punk, and will doubtless eventually be a senator or something.

Rebel said...

Oh sure M5K... the check's in the mail.