Mysterious baby grab ball

Below, I have a picture of a baby grab ball that I’ve had since I was little. It’s resurfaced now that I have a little guy of my own, and I have found myself a lot more interested in it than he has. I decided I had to figure out how to make one of these suckers, and I’d like to share my method with you. I’ve selected a bright, fun fabric that babies will enjoy. This would make a lovely gift. My mom tossed most of my baby stuff, but the grab ball stuck around for decades.


(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

Kaleidoscope Wild - KAEWID

Terrace Wild - TEEWID

I had 1/4 yard of each of the fabrics. You’ll need a little batting to stuff the ball with.

The pattern

Grab ball pattern
Print out the PDF file above and cut out each piece. From your fabric, you’ll cute 12 of piece A and 24 of piece B. You can use different fabrics for A and B to add visual interest. You will use a quarter-inch seam throughout.

The process

This is the ball I’ve had since I was a baby. I found it really mysterious. Not when I had the tiny brain of a baby, but now. So I decided to decode this ball and build one of my own. By the way, if anyone knows of a different name these go by, please tell me in the comments.

This ball has an “eyeball” shape on the outer side (I’m sorry. That is the only description coming to mind.) and a more triangular shape on the sides, with a rounded edge that meets with the “eyeball” shape.

Stitch as shown in this photo. You’ll line up the curved edges of one A piece and one B piece. Stitch the curved edge. Add another B piece and stitch on the other curved edge of piece A. Now you have just the “triangle edge” of the B pieces open, so stitch as indicated in this diagram, leaving a hole to turn and stuff through. You will use a quarter-inch seam throughout.

NOTE: Make sure you start a quarter-inch from the points. See where the dots are in the diagram?

I know you are impressed by my high-tech diagrams and patterns. And my fancy terminology, like “eyeball shape.”

My camera card died on me after the first few steps of this tutorial. This picture is a camera phone pic, and I apologize for the crumminess. I lost the photos of the fabric pieces and the sewing how-to, so that’s why I made you a diagram (above).
New memory card. Yay! So, here, I’ve turned all of my pieces right-side out and stuffed them. Stuff ’em good and tight, ya hear?
Close up the open edge by turning the seam allowance in and stitching. I tried to do this by machine, but I just couldn’t because the stuffing prevented me from getting the seam under the presser foot.
So out comes the hand-sewing needle. Sigh. Slip stitch the openings shut.
All of my pieces are sewn now, and now we need to assemble the ball. the best thing is to buy some sort of heavy-duty thread. Or you could use embroidery floss. Why didn’t I think of that before? Well, I used regular thread, and so I waxed it for strength.
On the bottom right, you’ll see that I sewed four points together. On the bottom left, you’ll see what the other side looks like. I have gone through all of the triangle points with the thread, and after this picture, I pulled it tighter and secured it. So you’ll have two 4-piece units.
Now we’ll take the final four pieces and make them into a sort of circle.
I have sewn two more pieces together at the point and I’m going to join those points to one of the points on the big unit of four.
Here are two angles showing those two pieces joining the others. You’ll take those last four pieces and sew them at the points all the way around. These pictures show just two of the pieces, and we’ll keep going around.
Now we need to add the other 4-piece unit. Fit it together as seen at the right, and sew all the the points together at the intersections.


In action