Amish Puzzle Ball project

I had seen pictures of baby grab balls, also known as Amish puzzle balls, online & thought they looked cute. I was thinking about making some for sale in our Etsy shop as well as baby gifts. Of course the baby gifts were going to be my guinea pigs!

(finished product)

I googled various online tutorials and the process seemed easy enough. The 2 websites I used as a point of reference are Craftster and this blog, Daily Skein. I picked out some Texas Aggie fabric & used white cotton terrycloth for the contrast.

The overall pattern & concept is very easy. 36 pieces total, 12 in one fabric & 24 in second fabric. Soon I had 12 football shaped pieces ready to stuff.

I used leftover fabric scraps as part of my stuffing (trying to be green ya know) along with the traditional polyester polyfill stuff.  It didn’t take very long to stuff the footballs into shapes. I accomplished this while watching Tivo’d episodes of Psych.  Once the footballs or ovals were stuffed, I handsewed them shut (also while watching TV).  Now the pieces all looked like this.
Now came the hardest part – sewing all the pieces together. I think I might have overstuffed the shapes but they turned out okay in the long run. You sew the pointed ends of 3 pieces together to form a triangle, ending up with 4 triangles. Then you sew the triangles together & end up with something that looks like this.
That was the hardest part of the whole process. The individual pieces are approximately 6″ in length. The whole ball is 25″ in diameter. There are small openings in the sides which make this perfect for toddlers to grab & hold. The terrycloth is nice texture for little hands as well as providing a non-slip surface when tossing or throwing. I’m pretty pleased with how the whole thing turned out.  I’m going to try another one but make it smaller, around 4 inches or so.
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