I have finally completed my Super Mario Brothers quilt. I started this quilt 3 years ago with the intentions of giving it to Husband for his birthday (in April of 2013). Obviously, that didn't work out. For eleven of the blocks (Mario, Goomba, cloud, question block, fire flower, star, pipe, turtle shell, Shy Guy, green mushroom and red mushroom) I followed Angela from Cut to Pieces' Super Mario Quilt-Along.
The rest of the blocks I planned myself (Luigi jumping, Bob-omb, Spikey, Bloober, Cheep Cheep, Piranha plant, and the coins).
You can read about my progress here, here, here, here, here, and here. The last four blocks (coins, Pirahna plant, Cheep Cheep) were completed (but never blogged about) right before we started the process of moving.
Last week I squared all the blocks and added sashing around each block. None of the blocks were the same size so I added the blue border to each quilt block before trimming to 20.5".
To piece all the blocks I used Pellon Stick-N-Washaway #542 as recommended in the Quilt Along. Instead of sewing a billion squares together for one block you stick the squares to the sticky side of the interfacing and then sew rows. You can see the technique here. The purpose of this is to save time and to increase the accuracy of the blocks. Unfortunatlely, it wasn't as much of a time-saver for me. This was probably the most frustrating part of the process. Sewing the rows in one direction was fine, but sewing the rows in the second direction was a big headache. My (old) machine could not easily sew over the numerous bulky seams. Even after trimming all the seams it had issues. I had to sew over most rows twice. I made the last block with my new machine and it had no problems sewing over the bulky seams. Go figure.
I also had problems with the dissolveable interfacing. It seemed to degrade a bit over the years and it became distorted and lost some of its sticky-ness. The last 4 blocks were a bit of a challenge. I ended up spraying basting spray on the interfacing so the squares would stick.
I backed the quilt with sweatshirt fleece. I did not use batting. The quilt top was kind of heavy and I didn't want to add bulk. Also, Husband claims he doesn't like quilt because they aren't soft enough. I thought the sweatshirt fleece would make it softer. The fleece I used had zero stretch and was a poly blend. The kind that is sort-of shiny (ick). I'm not a big fan of polyester and I'm not sure how this cut ended up in my stash. Instead of wasting it I used it with the intention of this being a 'winter' quilt. The polyester will be more insulating than cotton.
To quilt I used my new machine and one of the many stitches available. I had a hard time deciding, but ended up picking this wave pattern. I didn't want to use straight lines because I was worried that would draw attention to the non-so-straight lines of the quilt blocks.
Quilting went rather well and the machine didn't have too many problems sewing over the bulky seams. I did have some problems with the spacing on the waves (wavelength, not space between rows). I'm not sure what caused that.
I also used a different stitch on the binding. I'm still not sure how I feel about the results. I had trouble with the spacing of the stitches here too.
|Contrast of spacing on binding stitch|
The "side-ways" layout of the blocks is a bit of an offense to my quilting sensibilities. It seems wrong to me. However, this layout is the best option for our bed. We have a sleigh bed and the foot board gets in the way of long quilts. Quilts generally have to be placed sideways (longer across then from head-to-toe) to fit on our bed.
This was probably the longest time I've spent on a quilt (that I completed). The process wasn't very fun; it was rather tedious. However, I am happy with how it turned out and am happy to be done.
On to the next project!