Friday, October 12, 2018

WOWzer Bowser :: Pixelated Lunacy

First off, this is not a quilt I'll be entering at QuiltCon!  I'm quite sure it doesn't fit the 'modern' criteria!

Second of all, a theme quilt isn't my usual thing.  If you saw a picture of this quilt you would never guess I was the one who made it!

Thirdly, I was so not looking forward to making it.  But the second I started I was so stoked and excited.  I didn't want to stop!



Let's back up!  I've been laser focused on completing quilts that can be entered in shows...mainly QuiltCon.  Much of the stress is bought on by not knowing if they will even be accepted, let alone if they are up to par with other quilts.  I haven't entered any yet, but I'm on the backside of finishing what needs to be done.  Which left me with free time and a desire to let loose and have fun!  You know, let off a little steam!

I told my daughter that I wanted to make a Mario quilt for her god-son for Christmas.  We don't have grandchildren, but this little guy and his sister are what we lovingly call our surrogate grandchildren.  Anyway, she said why wait until Christmas, his birthday is in November!  And, he would rather have a Bowser quilt than a Mario quilt!  Well, okay!  

Searching for pixelated images was the easy part!  There is a million and one out there and any would be usable in a quilt.  It doesn't have to be Mario themed, it can be any pixelated art.  The only other time I made a pixelated quilt was this one:  Pixie Ghost.  Think cross stitch!  



Did I say I wasn't thrilled with piecing this?!  I did the math and figured I would need 1512 squares.  Right?!  When I saw that number I was certain I had lost my flipping mind and bit off more than I could chew...or wanted to chew.

Let me give you the details.  The squares were planned at cutting to 2".  That means the finished size would be 1 1/2".  The quilt would finish at 54" x 63".  In the end I added two more rows to the top which increased the size to 57" x 63" and the final square total...1584!

I made a test block.  A 9-patch test block.  So, okay...I can do this.  But the trick would be getting all the seams to nest from block to block.  That evening I calculated, figured, thought and was sure I knew what the plan was.  Seriously, 9-patch blocks...that would mean I'd need like 180.  Sleep on it.  Maybe there would be an elf that will get them done by morning!

That didn't happen, but I did have a fresh outlook and a new plan!  Instead of 9-patch I'd do 81-patch blocks!  If that's a thing, I'm doing it!  This way I can have each row pressed in a different direction for the nesting effect.  Which is crucial in a design like this.  And, I was able to figure out how each seam after the rows went together would go...it's all about nesting!



Another important key to a design like this is chain piecing.  I figured if I had units of one, two and three squares I could tons of save time.  Strip piecing and sub-cutting are your very best friend ever with a quilt like this!



I cut 2" strips from the width of the fabric (WOF) in the five different colors.  However I cut the WOF in half before sewing the rows.  I figured I'd have a better chance of keeping the fabric straight and it would be easier to work with.  I pressed the seams to one side and then sub-cut 2" sections.  The process was quick and efficient.  I was ready to begin the real work...doom, despair and agony...or so I thought!



As you can see from my chart, I wrote numbers for each main 9-patch block.  After which I drew lines for the '81-patch' blocks that I would make one at a time.  I picked a block and laid out my squares.  It made it so much easier with the 3, 2 and 1 units!  I grabbed what I needed making sure the seams were going in opposite directions in each row.  

I would sew one row at a time, press the seams in the direction needed and then sew the rows together.  The other thing to keep in mind is which way your press your row seams so that they nest with the other 81-patch blocks.  




Piece by piece, block by block it all came together.  I could see Bowser unfolding before my very eyes!  Seriously I was getting psyched!  More, more, more!  The blocks were lining up, the pixelated action was happening, I am reluctant to say it, but I was enjoying this probably far more than one should!

I should also mention that I cut my teeth on Mario gaming.  Maybe not exactly... Atari Pong was really my first but I didn't want to date myself...too late I guess!  And Vincent, who this quilt will belong to loves, loves, loves Mario and it's going to be his 5th birthday.  So, something special was in order!


  

Back to the quilt.  Maybe because it's something out of my norm, or maybe because with each block seamlessly fitting together, I could not stop!  It did take four days of piecing but it was fun.  Just plain and simple fun!  I want more...I wanna do it again!  Maybe Vincents sister will love Mario too and for her 5th birthday I can make Princess Peach!  



Close up isn't quite as good as far away when viewing this quilt.  I get it, I get the pixelation and the concept of Bowser.  I didn't think I'd really get it done by Vincents birthday, and even enlisted in to bribing for my daughter for help.  Not needed!  She was willing, and even she was blown away by the quilt and how fast it came together!  As much as I would have loved to have her making quilts with me again, I just could not stop!



Here's a picture of he back seams.  It ain't pretty, but it does show you the nesting factor.  To me I think it might be the most important part of making a pixelated or postage stamp quilt.  It really does make lining up the seams so much easier.  I won't say this is a perfectly lined up quilt.  I doubt I could ever achieve perfection.  And it really isn't the point of this quilt or any quilt for me.  I just loved making it!  It's so out of character (no pun intended) for me.  It's nice to change it up once in a while regardless of your style or comfort zone.  


I plan on making a pixelated strip for the back with Vincent's name and then prepping for quilting.  I'm not sure how.  Maybe diagonal lines which would be easier and better than stitching in the ditch!  How would you quilt it?

Hopefully in another week or so I can make the final decision!

LINKING:


27 comments :

  1. LOVE this! We have a puppy named Bowser! My sons (ages 8 & 5) named him after the Boss in Mario. I can't wait to show them your quilt in the morning. It looks great!

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    1. If your kids like it, then I have no doubt Vincent will too! I don’t know why, but I enjoyed making this quilt so much…more than I imagined I would!!

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  2. Oh you sure do like a challenge, and then, in your usual style, you go out and smash it. It’s a child’s dream of a quilt, I’m looking forward to seeing how you quilt it. I’ve never entered QuiltCon or any other show, but I can imagine the stress of it all, fun is good, it’s what life should be all about.

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  3. What fun! That is definitely going to be a favorite with the birthday boy.

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  4. I think you live for challenges, hehe. Oh boy you are off on another tangent(said in the most fun loving way)! You rock!!!! Vincent is going to go wild for this.

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  5. Yes, you certainly thrive on challenges. And we're so happy you do. Such fun to watch your projects and read how you share the journey. Keep it up! And good luck with your QuiltCon entries!

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    1. It was a crazy challenge that ended up being so much fun! Who would have thought?! I’m sure Vincent will go bonkers over it…his dad will be so jealous!!

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  6. very cool! yes, I think diagonal quilting would be great.

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  7. He turned out awesome! I would quilt him with some kind of straight lines for sure. He’s the star of the show and I’d want to keep it that way.

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  8. That was quite a project! I loved reading about how you figured it all out - mind boggling... It turned out great, Jayne!

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    1. At first I was not excited, but half the battle is figuring out the easiest and best way to go about it!

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  9. What fun! I think your diagonal quilting sounds good. A simple grid would be another idea. I can see where this project would be intimidating going into it but turn into alot of fun!

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  10. That is really cute! I'm sure he will love it. I would probably free motion a meander on it to keep it simple.

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  11. Hey, you really did jump outside the box! This kid is going to LOVE Bowser! I would quilt diagonal lines ad not even necessarily on every single square. Maybe every other?

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  12. This is just the sort of challenge I enjoy (mostly!). Great job! I think stitching diagonally is must faster (and less noticeable in the wobble department) than stitching in the ditch.

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  13. I'm not sure which I'm enjoying more, the quilt or your excitement over creating it. I think both! Since Vincent's dad is going to be jealous, maybe make another for him, since you said you wanted to make more! Haha. Not sure what I'd do for the quilting, but I think Yvonne and Debbie have some good ideas.

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  14. I loved reading about this process although I think if I attempted it, it would drive me bats. I'm glad you enjoyed it though Jayne.

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  15. It looks really cool!! What a great gift. Diagonal quilting sounds great. You could also do grid quilting, or diagonal grid quilting?

    -Soma

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  16. I don't think I could do so many tiny pieces. The result looks great, though! My daughter embroidered Mario characters and I made a patchwork cushion with it.

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  17. Amazing top, that's a lot of squares! Love the way you made it, but still, doesn't sounds so easy ;) All over quilting design, like swirls?

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  18. Fabulous quilt, Jayne! Your dedication to nesting seams struck me. I usually press my seams open and then pin on either side of the ones that need to line up. Do you go completely pinless?!

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  19. Ha! That is a lot of little pieces. But it really does look great. Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

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  20. This is so fun! And though you say it’s not your usual style and colors, it still somehow has you all over it. The little owner is going to be over the moon. And thanks for sharing how you constructed it. I often have trouble visualizing how to press seams for good nesting, so I’m going to study this because I’m sure your technique can be applied to other quilt designs as well.

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  21. This quilt is so fun! What a lucky little boy to get this quilt.

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  22. FAB. U. LOUS. My kids drew up 8-bit Kirby and Link patterns for me to make pillows from a couple of years ago. They chose the fabrics and all. I made the pillows, and the kids love them, but I'm so relieved they didn't ask for quilts!

    Thanks for linking up to TGIFF.

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  23. This is super! I like how you put it together in 81-blocks. I've never done a postage-stamp style quilt myself, but just that idea makes it seem more do-able!

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  24. This turned out great! I made a pixel Nintendo quit for my brother, and I quilted it in a simple grid, I think every 3 squares.

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