Hi! I'm super excited to be here at Art Gallery Fabrics today to share these fun stackable, squishable fabric blocks! My name is Carolina, and you can find me most days at 30 Minute Crafts and Always Expect Moore, sharing all kinds of fun crafting and sewing projects!
My mom taught me to sew when I was 6, and I made my first bed-sized quilt when I was 13, so I've always had a passion for fabrics. And I LOVE Art Gallery fabrics - they feel unlike anything else! I don't know what kind of textile magic they do... but it makes AGF wonderful for any projects that will get a lot of touch - like these stackable, squishable fabric blocks.
I have two very active boys, as well as 3 nephews and 2 nieces. So I love having projects that I can stitch up for them. These fabric blocks are simple enough to make, but I've made them a little different than a traditional stuffed block. These blocks are stuffed with polyfill, but also have an extra layer of polyester pellets that make them stackable. The layer of poly pellets also gives more structure to the blocks so that they don't have to be over-stuffed with polyfill. This makes the blocks super squishy! Great for small hands to be able to grab.
To make the stuffed fabric blocks, here is what I used:
10 FQs of AGF, half prints, half solids
Heat N Bond
Start by cutting your fabric squares. The finished size of these blocks is 3", so all the fabric squares are cut at 3.5". Cut 12 squares for each block, 2 in each color.
If you want applique shapes on your blocks, use the leftover fabric to cut shapes. I traced cookie cutters onto Heat N Bond, then fused this onto the back of the fabric to cut out my shapes.
I then fused the shapes onto my squares. If you use Heat N Bond Ultra, you'll have a permanent hold, and won't need to stitch around the shapes to secure them.
To start, we make small "pockets" for the poly beads. Stack 2 squares of the same color, both with Right Sides UP, and stitch together using about 1/8" seam. Anywhere between 1/8 and 1/4 is fine, but it needs to be less than 1/4 so that the stitching won't show.
Stitch each pair of squares on 3 sides, leaving the 4th side open. You will have 6 pockets.
Fill the pockets with poly beads. I used two level tablespoons. This gives enough beads to give form to the blocks, but not so much that they get in the way while stitching together the blocks.
Match up two pockets along the open edge, and stitch closed. From here on out you will use a 1/4" seam, and you will add extra security to the beginning and end of each seam by going back a few stitches, and then forward again..
Stitch four pockets together in a row, each time closing up the 4th open side when attaching it. If you like, fold a piece of ribbon in half and insert in one of the seams to make a tag. I used the pretty AGF ribbon for my tag, and folded it so that the flower would show on both sides.
Stitch the fifth square to the top of the row, lined up with the first square. Again, close up the open side as you attach it.
Fold the 5th piece so that the second side is flush with the second square in the row. Stitch down.
Repeat this process until the 5th square is secured on all four sides. Then stitch together the 1st and 4th squares of the original row to finish the square.
Attach the final piece of the cube, stitching as you did the 5th square. This time, only stitch TWO sides. If you stitch 3 sides, you won't be able to turn the block. If you stitch all four... well... you won't be able to turn it then either!
Turn the block right side out through the opening you left by not stitching two sides.
Stuff the block. Do not overstuff! I used between 1-2 handfulls of Polyfill. By gently stuffing the block, you make sure that the poly beads can still move around, which is what makes the block stackable. It also makes it nice and squishable.
Hand stitch the two open sides closed using an invisible stitch.
Baby B absolutely LOVED playing with these blocks! He and his brother tossed them in the air, sat on them, stacked them, squished them, squeezed them, and loved them completely!
I couldn't help but make oodles of them.
A HUGE thank you to Art Gallery Fabrics for letting me share this fun project with you. I had a blast "thinking outside the block" and coming up with a fabric block that is just perfect for playing with! I hope you'll stitch some up yourself and see how the extra step of adding the poly beads really does make all the difference in having the perfect fabric block for small hands. And I hope you'll stop by and visit me sometime at 30 Minute Crafts and Always Expect Moore!
Now go on and show Carolina some love ... hop onto her blog, Always Expect Moore and enter to win the exact bundle used in this project.
As always to be eligible to win you must follow AGF on your fav social media platform(Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter)and Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!
Til next week!
<3 Carolina & The AGF Team