I want to make a set of soft baby blocks that has a letter of alphabet on each block. How much material should I order to do this? (I may want extra, once I know the baby’s name, so that there can be duplicate letter blocks made).
The “Baby Geniuses Grow Up!” fabric panel that I used in the original How to Make Perfect Fabric Baby Blocks post is apparently out of print and getting harder and harder to find. BUT YOU DON’T ACTUALLY NEED IT!
You can make the 4″ covered fabric blocks from any fabric following these easy steps:
Cut your fabric WOF (Width of Fabric) into 4 1/2″ strips.
Then, cut these strips into 4 1/2″ squares.
Applique your letters on enough of these squares to spell out the Baby’s name, one letter per square.
The average 44/45″ wide quilting cotton will fit 9 squares per 4 1/2″ strip. So, with 2 strips (i.e. a quarter yard of fabric), you can make 3 completed blocks. Here’s a handy chart:
Number of Blocks
Yards of Fabric
To make the entire alphabet (that is one letter per block), you will need 2 1/4 yards. For any extra letters for duplicates, add yardage according to the chart, depending on the length of the Baby’s name. For little Seraphinia or little Montgomery, you are going to do a bit of extra sewing. Although some baby names can be pretty long, it turns out the average name length is only 6 letters.
You can make cute fabric baby blocks from a foam cube and six fabric squares. We used 4″ foam and an adorable fabric panel called “Baby Geniuses Grow Up!” by Linda Carlson & Diana Henage from Benartex. You can get the 4″ foam from any “big box” fabric store like JoAnn or just about any place that sells Home Dec fabrics. The green stuff is the “high density” foam – it’s more expensive but it makes a much firmer block that will hold up to lots of slobbering.
You can make these cute fabric baby blocks!
One 5/8 yard panel has 30 colorful squares (enough to make 5 blocks) featuring letters of the alphabet and adorable cartoon animals. You could also use the 3″ number squares to make smaller number blocks.
Baby Geniuses Grow Up! 5/8 yard panel
You can use any size foam, simply cut your fabric squares 1/2″ wider than your foam. You can cut your foam block to shape using any sharp kitchen knife. For best results, use long, slow strokes in one direction.
Materials: 4″ foam cube and six 4.5″ fabric squares
Note: To make nice square corners, do not stitch all the way to the edge of the fabric. Be sure to start and stop stitching 1/4″ from all edges.
Sew in 1/4″ seam allowances
Sew six squares into cross shape
So far… so good!
Fold the bottom square on a diagonal angle, then sew the side seam (where scissors are pointing). Repeat for each of the four side seams
Now you have a box with a flap top
Sew two sides of the top flap, leave one side open
Turn right side out and square corners gently with chopstick
Squeeze foam cube through opening
Stitch opening shut
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