Whip up a quick and fun gift for your next baby shower with these soft rattle blocks. Each block includes a variety of colors and textures to engage a baby's senses and you can make them even more interesting by slipping a rattle insert inside.
To choose fabrics that will be pleasing together, start with a print you love. I chose this adorable piggie fabric from SuperBuzzy. Choose solids, polka dots, or stripes that pick up the colors in your print. Don't just limit yourself to quilting cottons for this project. It's nice to mix in some soft textures like minky and fleece, or even fur, to make the blocks more tactile.
Cut your fabrics into squares. I used a 4" square for these blocks. You'll need six squares per block. I fused some lightweight interfacing to the backs of the quilting cotton squares to make them a bit more sturdy so that they'd hold their shape once the blocks were stuffed.
Use a 1/4" seam allowance when sewing the squares together. Be sure to start and stop 1/4" inside the edge of the fabric! You'll need that 1/4" to attach one square to another.
Beginning with your central print, sew a square to each edge. Then sew an additional square to one of them so that it looks like this:
Use lots of pins to hold the minky and fleece fabrics in place while you sew. Thicker fabrics, and fabrics with nap, tend to shift under the machine needle so require extra pinning.
Bring the sides up one at a time and stitch them together until you have a cube.
Leave a 2" opening between two of the squares for turning and stuffing.
Clip the corners to reduce bulk, then turn the block right side out. Push the corners out (I like hemostats for this job). Stuff with fiberfill stuffing (I like fiberfill because it's machine washable, but if you'd rather a more natural alternative try bamboo, wool, or cotton stuffing). Be sure to push small bits of stuffing into the corners.
When the block is mostly stuffed, push a rattle insert into the center and nestle it in the stuffing. Finish stuffing the block. The rattle inserts are machine washable and very durable.
Close the opening with ladder stitch.
There are lots of ways to vary and customize these blocks. Here are some neat ideas:
- Make one in each color of the rainbow.
- Embroider the letters of the alphabet on each square before sewing the blocks together.
- Add a pocket to one side of each block for hiding treasures.
- Sew loops of ribbon into some of the seams for a taggie-like block.
- Put other sorts of noisemakers inside such as a bear growler.
- Cut a square of crinkly material (from a clean chip or pretzel bag) and place it on the wrong side of one square before sewing the block together. That side will make a crinkly sound when squished.
Soft rattle blocks are a quick, easy-to-sew gift for a new baby. Stack them up and knock them down, throw them in the air, and have some fun!
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