What toddler wouldn’t love these colorful, squishable cotton blocks!? Each block takes just 6 squares made on a Zoom Loom. They are quick to do and each square can be as simple or as complicated as the weaver desires. Make them all plain weave, or all patterned weave, or a mix of patterns and colors. Choose bright primary colors or go with a nursery color scheme. Leave squares as is or embellish them with cross-stitched or appliquéd letters, shapes, or animals. It’s all up to the block designer—you!
Cotton yarn can be a challenge to weave with on a Zoom Loom, as it has no stretch. It’s worth the effort to use cotton for these blocks, though: they can easily be washed and are comfy to squeeze.
Finished size: 4″ x 4″ x 4″ for each block.
Yarn: Worsted-weight cotton yarn, 8 yds per square and 6 squares per block. I used Handicrafter Cotton Yarn from Cotton Clouds.
Notions: one 4″ cube of solid foam per block, or the stuffing of your choice.
Equipment: Zoom Loom; tapestry needle; rubber bands to hold yarn on the Zoom Loom.
Tip: Warp VERY loosely. You cannot warp too loosely. Did I mention warping VERY LOOSELY? As loose as possible.
- Warp very loosely. Use rubber bands to keep the loops on the pegs. As you weave, the warp will tighten up and you can remove the rubber bands.
- Do not pull your weft yarn tightly. Leave some ease as you weave.
- After you finish each weft row, use the needle tip to pack in the yarn—this will make room for the next weft row.
- Make sure you weave the last row of the square. It might not look like there’s room for another row, but it needs to be there. If you take the square off the loom and there’s a long loop across the top, you have missed the last row.
- Weave the ends in with a tapestry needle before you take the square off the loom.
- After the squares are finished and before seaming, place them in a lingerie bag and wash them in warm water. Dry them in the dryer on low heat and iron them flat.
The blocks pictured here have the seam on the outside to add to the rustic look, but you can work the seam on the inside instead.
Cut a length of cotton yarn in a matching or contrasting color. Thread a tapestry needle and make a knot in the yarn. Starting about 1/4″ from the edge, sew two squares together along one edge. Pull the knot through to hide it in the seam. Add 3 more squares and seam in a cube shape until 5 squares are sewn. Put the foam cube inside, or fill the cube with your preferred stuffing, and sew the last square in place. Weave in the ends.
I filled each block with a 4″ cube of solid foam, which helps them keep their shape. Use an electric knife (the best option) or razor knife. To cut with an electric knife, mark cutting lines and slowly cut straight down though the foam. To cut with a razor knife, mark cutting lines and cut though one thin layer at a time.