So, as you can see, I finally got the blocks done. The 21-month-old for whom they were made enjoys them, prompting his mother to comment that he wasn't letting her build anything. (He's 21 months. Enjoying them means that he knocks down towers). They do spell his name in different colours, and although they look a little less crisp after he stood on them a few times, they seem to be holding up. They're based off of the blocks in the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing (they have good projects in there, what can I say). I just had major issues with their design, so I didn't really follow the size. Or the given seam allowance. Or the method for closing up. So I guess you could say that they're inspired by those blocks.
Yes, I cut all those felt letters and numbers out. (Ok, in fairness Allan did 6 of them). Yes, I sewed them all on. Yes, I cut out all the canvas, yes I did all the sewing & trimming of seam allowances & hand stitching to close them. Allan has said he intends to help with the next set a little more (we're starting them right away so that we have lots of time). However, I really doubt that we're going to change our minds on the "only ever making 4 more sets of these". If you have to ask, you're probably not getting one. At least not one with letters and numbers.