Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blocks - Foam Part 4

Cutting cake circles out of rectangular pieces of foam leaves
little wasted corners. So here's project #4 - what to do with
the odd-shaped leftover bits..... well, what I did with mine,
at any rate. I cut cubes from them

and made baby blocks.

Bonus: I got to use up all the sweet, plain, mild-
colored ginghams and terrycloth scraps

and some of the funkier pieces in the remnant box

plus the precious, for-special-occasions-only Very Good
Wool Felt (except the purple dress applique is fleece
because I didn't have purple felt).

I've always felt that if I ever made a quilt, I'd use a lot of
white in it and maybe only one or two other colors. Since
these blocks are a bit like a 3D quilt, I used a lot of
white and gave each block a color scheme.

Several years ago when I made the sofa, I made the leftover
bits into blocks, too. I was into ribbon-tag baby toys then,
and with just the one child and all the time in the world,
the prototype blocks had ribbon tags


and some ric-rac craziness.

Some notes about making these blocks:

  1. The bigger they are, the more stable they tend to be when stacking. The 3" ones are the best.
  2. Like with the cake, I did not consider stuffing them with polyfill because I wanted them to be able to stack well (and not frustrate the poor children trying to practice this developmental skill).
  3. I've put bells in the middle of some of them, but the density of the foam does muffle the jingle. The bells work better in blocks stuffed with airy polyfill.
  4. To sew the fabric cases, I cut the foam cube first, then measured one face and added quarter-inch seam allowances all round. So the 3" cube would need fabric squares of 3.5".
  5. There are many ways of putting the fabric squares together but the method that was least stressful for me was
  • to sew four squares in a row, then join the short edges of the first and last square, to make a sort of cylinder
  • then attach the top square, sewing around all four sides
  • then attach the bottom square, sewing around 3 sides and leaving the fourth open.
  • Snip the corners, turn right side out and insert foam cube
  • and ladder-stitch the opening closed.
I found that this method allowed the corners to meet nicely.

Bit of risky self-disclosure: for a brief and dangerously 
silly moment, I also thought of sewing circles onto 
them and turning them into giant dice. 
Fortunately, the moment passed.


  1. Clever! I can't bear to waste as well.

  2. how fun! and I love how you grouped the colors and made similar sides on each die (e.g. terrycloth side, applique side, etc.)

    and what's wrong with huge foam dice? : ) If i ever make another kids game board, I think I make a huge foam die to go with it!

  3. K: Nothing wrong with foam dice! It's just that it reminded me of those furry dice that used to hang from the rear-view mirrors of cab drivers in Singapore, ha ha! I knew our Singapore readers would snort when they read that bit. Now foam dice for real game purposes are very cool!

  4. These look great! I really need to get my hands on some foam (because I don't have enough projects in the works as is, of course...)

  5. hullo,

    they look lovely. Please where did you get your foam? Yvie


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