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Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Final Goodbye to Mario...For Now

Ryan's quilt done!
July 2015
IT IS FINISHED!!!! My two and a half years of Mario quilt sewing has come to a close. I can't say that I am a bit sad. I have so many things that I have been planning and other quilts that I want to dig into that I am ready to move on.
I never imagined when I started on Zachary's two and a half years ago that it would be that long before the three quilts would be done. I also didn't count on a breast cancer diagnosis and six surgeries either. There are definitely perks in being deep into a project you are passionate about when you are going through a life changing event outside the sewing room.

The boys aren't the only ones thankful for my work. I am thankful that there is something therapeutic about creating something special for someone else while you ponder your own mortality and struggle to heal and move on. I told Ryan that he has gotten the best one of the three because with all the time I've had, there is a perfecting with each new quilt.

Remembering back to the first attempt, I was following the directions on the Cut to Pieces website which I was so happy to find. In search of the perfect quilt for boys after the girls' quilts, they told me they wanted a Mario Brothers bedroom. I was excited to hear that because when working on projects it is awesome to have designs that are fun. Soon though, I was disappointed to find that there were only two fabrics that I could find with Mario on them. I could use sheets but they were still expensive and wouldn't hold up as well.

So I was excited to find Cut to Pieces and although the Quilt a Long was over a year old, I knew that I was going to do it - times three! The link with the original instructions is here. I hadn't used anything like the stablizer that she mentioned but it is always fun to learn something new.
MattJoAnn's with Zachary
March 2013

Zachary and I went to JoAnn's to pick out all the official colors for each character in March of 2013. Here he is after picking out the best "Mario" red, "Luigi" green along with the other important colors, light blue for the backgrounds most importantly.

I worked through Zachary's quilt first since he was the most excited about helping to pick colors and me getting started, I used the sticky wash-away stabilizer. I didn't like it. I did like the time I got to spend putting the puzzle together with Matthew. We followed the pattern of 1.5 inch squares and sewed them together when they were all laid out.

The step after the blocks were sewn was to wash out the stablizer before sewing together the blocks to make the quilt top. For Zachary, I used red fabric for sashing. I didn't like how the blocks laid when the stabilizer dissolved so when I started in on Matthew's I positioned the different colored squares around me and the patterns and pieced them together without the stabilizer. It was much quicker for me and I liked the end result better. I continued to work the same way with Ryan's quilt and his went the quickest with the least amount of trouble.

Each boy picked the characters they wanted on their quilts so everyone of them got their own personalized blanket for their beds. With the binding I sewed their names into the stitching all the way around. I have been asked from a couple of people whether or not I would make any more if someone paid me. At first I thought "no way", but I do have extra fabric so who knows maybe I would think about it!

Zachary's Finished Quilt
Matthew's Finished Quilt


  1. Awesome job - such fun quilts! THREE of them! Impressive ! My two boys got Minecraft-style quilts for their birthdays this year, which was a lot of fun (and a lot of work - but so worth it!)

    1. I have seen those! They are awesome too! It is all tiny squares just arranged in a different order. You are right, it is fun and worth it, and we Moms do these things for our boys!