The Handmade Home – Cherry Menlove

Cherry Menlove - The Handmade HomeToday’s guest blog is from the fabulously talented Cherry Menlove – a mum, blogger and now published author of a new book The Handmade Home. Here Cherry shows you how to make these utterly adorable fabric baby blocks. We are delighted that we also have three copies of Cherry’s new book The Handmade Home to giveaway. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog and we will pick three lucky winners from all comments received by 3oth April.

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I’m thrilled to be writing this blog post for Netmums. As a mother of twins the support that Cherry Menlove - The Handmade Homewebsites such as this provide is invaluable. I’m no stranger to blogging and have been doing so since 2006 when I started a homemaking blog from the spare bedroom of my flat in London. I lived with my boyfriend, he then went on to become my fiancé and now he’s my husband. We’re parents to twins and I even blogged my Twin Pregnancy Diary

I describe myself as a homemaker who needs to communicate (which is why I love blogging so much). I have a very strong philosophy that I believe in with all my heart; that our homes should provide us with strength, energy and love and not sap it from us. This informs everything I write about on my blog, from recipes to craft projects to all of my home makeovers. My blog and the passion I have for the home is what led me to write my first book The Handmade Home.

The book covers an entire year and is dedicated to everyday occasions. From birthday parties to BBQs and everything in between. The book covers crafts, food, flowers and the garden as well as decorative tips that anybody can follow and enjoy. This isn’t about feeling under more pressure to attain perfection but about feeling good in your home and ensuring that it meets your needs.

Today I’d love to share a craft project that I made for my twins when I was expecting and is still one of my favourites.

These handmade mini building blocks were a delight to make; not only are they relatively easy but these little beauties would make an ideal, not to mention really thoughtful, baby shower gift. And you’ll be pleased to hear that you do not need a sewing machine if you don’t have one.

Cherry Menlove - Fabric blocks

Fabric blocks step 1

  • Now cut out the fabric template.
  • Cut an incision of approx 1.5cm at each of the base corners (so your scissors meet the inner guide line), by making these incisions you will create a 1cm hem for sewing.

Fabric blocks step 2

  • Sew each of the four sides of the block up using the 1cm hem as your guide.

fabric blocks step 3

  • Make sure that the patterned side of the fabric is facing inside when you sew. We sewed our blocks by hand, but they can be sewn by machine if you prefer.
  • Once all of the sides of the block are sewn up, fold over the top piece of the fabric (make an incision into the seam at each side if necessary) and continue to sew around the top of the block.
  • All sides should now be sewn up apart from one.

fabric blocks step 4

  • Turn the block back the right way and fill with soft toy polyester filling.
  • Using a very small and tight stitch, sew up the final edge of the block.

fabric blocks step 5

  • To exaggerate and neaten the edges of our blocks, I stitched over the hems on each side of the block, once again using a very small and tight stitch.

fabric blocks step 6

  • This makes the blocks look more ‘block-like’ as they can have a tendency to soften around the edges when you stuff them.

fabric blocks step 7

  • This part does take a little bit of time, but it’s worth it in the end. It also makes the blocks a great deal more secure for when very little hands are holding (and chewing) them.

Make more blocks using different fabrics.

fabric blocks the finished projectWe have three copies of the gorgeous new book The Handmade Home to give away. To enter simply leave a comment on the blog and we will pick three lucky winners from all comments received by midnight on the 30th April. Usual Netmums Terms and Conditions apply.

If you enter any of our blog competitions make sure you check your inboxes shortly after the closing date to see if you are a winner.

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Find more craft ideas over on Netmums and also on our Netmums You Tube channel. We would love to see your crafty creations too – please do add them to our Crafts gallery

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Authors, Babies, Books and reading, Competition, Crafts, Mums, Woman - the woman behind the mum and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to The Handmade Home – Cherry Menlove

  1. Lindsay Ritchie says:

    I think I’m going to give the blocks a go. Even I should be able to manage these!

  2. HELEN says:

    those blocks are so cute…& you make them look so easy!!

  3. Laura Stitt says:

    Love these baby block, simple but very effective. x

  4. Laura Connor says:

    I love these… I’ve made knitted blankets and crossstitch pictures so far… Will be trying my hand at these on my next days off : )

  5. Elaine Lynn says:

    Gorgeous and just what I need as I am beginning to sew after mastering crochet – I wish to be a homemaking goddess too!

  6. lucy verhoeven says:

    They would make great new born gift, I think I will have a go, they would look great with letters on. Thanks for the idea!

  7. Liz Burton says:

    Those building blocks are actually next on my to-do list!

  8. Nikki Hunt says:

    These are so cute! Its great to see people now wanting to make more things at home for themselves and their families 🙂

  9. Nikki Hunt says:

    These are so cute and its lovely to see people wanting to make things for their homes rather than go out and buy them 🙂

  10. Oh, they are so sweet! I’m definitely going to have a go at these, I have some fabric in my stash just crying out to be bricks!

  11. Eleanor says:

    These are so pretty. I think I’ll be getting my sewing machine out rather than attempting to hand sew!

  12. Nicola Grindrod says:

    Baby number two scheduled to arrive at the end if September, I may actually try and make it some if these for the little treasure. Great stuff. Thank you.

  13. Fiona says:

    Oh the blocks are so gorgeous – will definitely be trying these on the weekend for my baby daughter x

  14. Jem says:

    These look perfect for some cute fat quarters of fabric I acquired recently. Thanks for the pattern and instructions!

  15. Jayne Swift says:

    Love this idea thanks

  16. Lois Mabbutt says:

    Not heard of her before, but I’m really getting into this homemade stuff. Rather fun,x

  17. Caroline Kilgannon says:

    I’d love to make things for my youngest especially x

  18. These are a really cute and effective idea. Would look great in my young friends new baby bedroom. She will love them.She likes anything handmade. Just need to know the name now so I can add it to the blocks. Brilliant idea, really like it! XX

  19. Natalia says:

    What a unique and special gift these would make. The book and the philosophy sound great also!

  20. Buffy Baynes says:

    These look fun to make and safe for babies to play with. I will have to build up the courage to try making it.

  21. Moira Dawson says:

    These are lovely and so simple. Will make a lovely thoughtful gift for a new baby

  22. Sam Blane says:

    These are lovely! Definately a future present idea!

  23. Emily says:

    I think you can get a better quality item when you make some things your self, the blocks are a really good idea, i’m going to give them a try x

  24. Alexa says:

    I have just bought a sewing machine to make things for my baby due in September – these look like a great next project, thanks for sharing

  25. Jane Gould says:

    Loving the blocks, they look pretty simple to make too-gonna give it a go.

  26. Jennifer Pullin says:

    Absolutley gorgeous, might have a go myself!

  27. Lydia says:

    Beautiful! A lovely idea.

  28. Clare Wood says:

    Brilliant idea, and they seem much more straightforward to make than they look. Finally a use for some of the old fabric I can’t resist collecting. Agree they’d look great with letters or other motifs appliqued on, and maybe contrast stitching around the edges… but perhaps that’s over-complicating things!

  29. Zarina says:

    This books looks wonderful! I love making gifts for my friends and family (and cute little things for myself as well) and this look to provide the perfect tips and inspiration to broaden my horizon. Would love to win a copy 🙂

  30. Liz W says:

    I’ve been following Cherry’s blog since her twins were tiny, I made a pencil case from her blog as my first ever sewing project for my daughter. I’d love a copy of the book so I can make more gorgeous things for my house; my sewing skills have improved a lot since then!

  31. Tracy says:

    I am very ” into” everything homemade at the moment,from items for the home to making my own baking mixes,and I would really love to have a copy of this book to help me along the way :).

  32. Nicola Bolger says:

    I am so making these for my 13 week old son, gorgeous!

  33. Carrie Green says:

    Oh I would love this! I love making things for my house. I’ve just taken up crochet and I’m hoping to start making things for my baby which is due in December. Will definitely give these blocks a go!

  34. Beautiful! So special and unique, love these and would love to try some ideas from this book for my 2 kiddies x

  35. dustytoes says:

    These are lovely and I would love to see more 🙂

  36. Michelle Wright says:

    I absolutely love Cherry and her philosophy on the home. These building blocks are incredibly sweet and will be making them for my lovely expectant friends 🙂

  37. Amy Cannon says:

    I love these. I’d never thought to make them but don’t look too hard so definitely going to give it a go.

  38. Elsie macpherson says:

    Thanks for a guide which doesn’t use a sewing machine.i have one but seem more confident hand sewing 🙂

  39. Dawn Williams says:

    What a novel idea! I can imagine a lot of these will be given to friends who are having babies. The oversewing is good too as they will last longer. Also they are washable – which is a must!

  40. Love these! Will be giving them a go very soon!

  41. mum2ej says:

    Wow, that looks easy enough to do.I’ve never been any good with needle & thread, but Will certainly give this a go.

  42. lindsey bluff says:

    these blocks are fantastic and the book looks amazing. I am just starting out in the world of sewing and must say I absolutely love it

  43. Laura Pinson says:

    Wow. I think that I may be able to give this a go. Even if I am without any domestic skill!

  44. Rachel K says:

    What a lovely idea! I am a firm fan of Cherr’s site and the book is on my Amazon wishlist and I’ll be getting myself a copy asap! (If I don’t win one, that is!)

  45. Emma says:

    Wow! The blocks are so cute yet so simples. Am going to have to find some pretty fabric and have a go myself. Great idea, thanks 🙂

  46. Samantha Wheeler says:

    Beautiful. Would love this book. I have wanted to take up sewing (and other craft making) for a while and this would be perfect. Money is low so would make beautiful products, with less cost, yet more love x

  47. Layla Adams says:

    Awwww they are too cute! Absolutely going to attempt these for my daughter 🙂 perfect starter craft!

  48. angela says:

    What a great idea! Would love to try those blocks!

  49. I would love to have a copy of cherry mendlove hand made home so please picke Netmums

  50. caroline says:

    aww they are amazing so much better than any gift shop bought 🙂

  51. K Stones says:

    Gorgeous – what simple but lovely idea. Will have a go 🙂

  52. Laila says:

    perfect thing to make my new baby!

  53. Annie McElroy says:

    From building blogs to building blocks!… Just love your ethos on life… But especially your lemon poppyseed muffins!

  54. Karen helm says:

    Sew a few blocks and glue or sew letters (cut from felt) onto the blocks. Spell out your child’s name for a cute nursery decoration or do the complete alphabet as a gorgeous educational toy.

  55. Katy K says:

    These are great- definitely will be giving them a try. The instructions are so clear even I should be able to manage them!

  56. Donna says:

    This book sounds super, and these blocks are very nice too, I think I’ll see if my daughter (5) would like to help me make some for her little nephew (1)

  57. Alexia Browning says:

    I can’t wait to see what other projects there are on the book 🙂

  58. q b says:

    simple yet so adorable. and homemade things are def much more appreciated than store bought! thanks!!

  59. Jemma Hitchcox says:

    I’m a Textile Teacher (and Mummy) and I love how sewing & being creative is coming back into fashion. It’s really helped inspire my students and made them realise anyone can do it & it’s not just about learning how to sew on a button! #inspiringcreativity

  60. Julie says:

    It’s great people now see the value of something homemade rather than shop bought and experiencing the satisfaction which comes from creating something yourself.

  61. Leah says:

    Would love to win a copy as love crafting!

  62. Anna Mellon says:

    Love craft and always looking for ideas, I love to give handmade gifts, these blocks are sooo cute, will definitely use at some point in the future. Can’t wait for a nose in the book xx

  63. Karen says:

    These are beautiful-just need someone to make them for now!

  64. saraya69@live.co.uk says:

    Awww i love these so cute and so simple for a beginner like me definitely going to give these a go thank you 🙂

  65. Lynne Kelly says:

    I love this idea. I spent £12 on blocks the other day… This is a much better idea. If I don’t win a copy, I’ll be buying one.

  66. What a lively idea! I love the fabric too. I think I’ll have to give this a go!

  67. Tracey says:

    How lovely I love homemade things and would love to give this a go!!

  68. charlotte perry says:

    oh intrigued what else in the book looks promising

  69. Carmen says:

    This blog has made me dash out to the local market and buy some pretty material and I am now sewing my baba blocks !!!!

  70. catherine halloran says:

    simple and stunning I love them x

  71. Amanda Watson says:

    What a cute idea, definitely on my ever increasing sewing to do list!!

  72. I’ve got a box of remnants looking for a use !
    Might get crafting again tomorrow…

  73. Jenny says:

    Would love to win!

  74. Rachael Davis says:

    These blocks are adorable. I’m going to try out my slowly growing sewing skills on these and give them to a friend who’s expecting her first baby. Your “Homemade home for kids” book also looks amazing; I’m going to make the playhouse for my daughter. Thanks for the inspiration!

  75. Sally says:

    What a lovely a lovely craft ans look amazing. Would love to see more of what is inside the book.

  76. Deborah says:

    Can’t wait to try these blocks out! Just bought a handheld sewing machine and this will be perfect little project.

  77. Lou says:

    What a lovely idea – off to buy some suitable fabric to make the blocks tomorrow!

  78. i would like one please. love the blocks!

  79. Lucy bunn says:

    I’m so in love with them adorable blocks, makes me feel really inspired! Since having my little girl i would love to become more creative. Even if I don’t win this book I might just go buy it anyway 🙂

  80. Cheryl Irvine says:

    I’ve become quite interested in homemade crafts since having my daughter. I’d love to see what else Cherry has in store in her book.

  81. Vicki Harrison says:

    I can’t wait to give the blocks a try. Excellent idea and a fab way to recycle all the spare material I have.

  82. Kimberley says:

    These are absolutly FANTASTIC!!!! i love making and baking things and these look so amazing. I am deffinatley going to be giving these a try. My son is 5 so not really age appropriate being so small, but I thought I could make larger ones, in blues and greens, and he and his friends would love playing and catching and throwing these about!! Awesome idea !!! xxxx

  83. Jayne says:

    Lovely idea for a book, I would like one please!

  84. Melanie says:

    Thank you Netmums for highlighting this new book, I’m sure it will inspire lots more crafters and I will certainly be using up my fabric remnants!

  85. Sam W says:

    Love the blocks!! its a must have ago project!! 🙂

  86. Vineta says:

    Love it, love it, love it! I’m not very good at sawing, but I’ll definitely have a go, these blocks looks just too cute. Fabrics used are fab btw x

  87. Suzanne Minshall says:

    These soft building blocks are fantastic and such an original idea for a new baby gift. My children are 3 & 4 now so won’t make them for mine but will definitely make them for friends who are expecting!

  88. Anna squires says:

    Love the blocks! My home definately needs a makeover so will be subscribing to the blog xx

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