Tag Archives: mario

Tanoki Mario gets an upgrade

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So I just finished a queen sized comforter for a mom who is decorating her son’s bedroom in a Mario Theme. I am super pumped to see her final product with my blanket on the bed.  Upgrading the size of my designs is still tricky for me, but I think I did it right after some trial and error. I accidentally put too many inches to extend the sides. When I ran out prematurely, I realized my mistake. I’ve cleaned up the instructions and  it was very rewarding to see it complete. I just wanted to lay across it and bask in its size.

This is the blanket put on a full size bed and has a nice drape. The size difference between and full and queen are so minute that I’d rather just only make queens. Anyway, like what you see, check out my Etsy store! OR follow my craft progress on facebook!

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Princess Peach 8Bit Quilt

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So more than two months ago I had a contest to raise followers on my 8BitHealey facebook page. I said when we hit 100 likes, someone would earn a free quilt. The promotion actually brought in about 124 followers so I’d say it was a success. The winner was a friends girlfriend and she requested a new original design (which I was hoping the winner would do, my sorry self needs motivation.) She was very patient and although it took some time, I’m glad she was willing to wait for the product!

Although its way too girly for me, I love this project because it was the most colorful, more complex and most original design I’ve attempted. A lot of peach art is simple or unattractive, so I tried to keep the traditional style and color while adding more cute touches, like the wink, anime eyes, rosy checks, heart and pink sparkle details on her top.  The anime eyes are taken from another pixel piece, the heart is from Zelda I think and the wink I winged all on my own.  The background, while very girly, goes nicely and that’s all thanks to feedback from the facebook page (Thanks Nicholas!!) but could be easily changed to whatever the buyer prefers. I went with a making lilac fleece backing as well.

I’d like to offer a deal where if somebody buys a blanket and a pillow together, they get a second pillow free. I’m not exactly sure how to advertise this deal though. It might just have to be by word of mouth. If anybody wants to do this, contact me!!

How I make an 8Bit quilt… Finishing a project!

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I wanted to finish up this tutorial and project blog with what I do after I finish a quilt design. So with most of my quilts I finish the back with flannel.  Its for many reasons, but the main one is to keep down the cost of the quilts.  The fleece backing is a quick, soft and warm way to finish the quilt. I put the quilt piece face down and use the flatlock stitch almost all the way around the border and then pull it right side again and hand stitch the remaining hole shut. Here is a great tutorial on how to do an invisible stitch.

For this project I wanted the pillow to be firm and strong, so fleece is too stretchy and no good. I used batting and a back layer of extra fabric I have laying around. I have been working on my confidence on the top stitch of a quilt. I don’t have a lot of experience with freehand stitching the design that holds all the layers together and as for now, stick to straight lines. I did a uniform diagonal top stitch along the lilac background and I’m happy with how it came out.

This project took much longer then I had hoped. I was hoping I could quickly pump out an 8bit pillow in an hour and half so that I could sell it around $20, but as my ambitions grew, so did the time it take to complete.  I listed it on Etsy for $50, which hopefully once I get faster at producing, I can drop it down.

Check out the Etsy Listing!

How I make an 8Bit quilt.. Making it!

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Lets first detour back to how I used to do it back when I first started and didn’t have all the tools I have now.. I used to just use a cardboard square cut to the size I wanted my fabric pieces and I would cut each individual square out one at a time. Quilting Rulers are also easily purchased if you worry about cutting the cardboard the right shape. This method is NOT preferred because it easily takes a month alone to cut the squares and I find it very tedious to sew each square together one by one. I also used to lay the whole quilt out on the floor so I could easily visualize how to sew each piece together. Again, I don’t recommend it, but if you find it hard to compress the design into stacked rows and are making mistakes, this might be best at first.

OK, so back to the key design from the previous blog. I went and bought all the fabric like discussed.

Spent under $5 and part of the cost was extra lilac to finish with quilted piece into a pillow. I ended up buying a yard of lilac in case you were curious.

I use a self healing mat, a large quilting ruler and a rotary tool to cut the fabric into 1.75 inch strips of fabric. I sew the strips together to make a solid piece again. You get an accordion feel, see:

Once I sew the fabric all back together, I cut it in the opposite direction, again in 1.75 strips.

I sew the strips together in different numbers so I have variety for the quilt design. In a large blanket, I might have a pile of squares, two squares (sewn together already), three squares, ect. This allows for quickly sewing the design together instead of doing each block one at a time. I hope this isn’t confusing..

This design isn’t very big or complex so I just have a couple piles. And so I start piling all the squares together following the word document with the plan.

Row one has 16 purple squares. If you chose to cut each square out separately, you’d just stack 16 lilac squares and sew them together in a long strip. I chose to sew all my lilac together in groups of 8, so my pile just had 2 strips of 8 pieces each. Both ways add up t 16 squares.. so it doesn’t matter how you do it. Row 2 has 3 black squares, 10 lilac and another 3 black squares.Because my lilac are in strips of presewn in sets of 8 squares, I use a seam ripper to separate it into the needed set of 3.

I looked down and took a picture of my “helper.”  My pup max is always underfoot and trying to help when I’m crafting.

So I compile the design into rows that I place on large sheets of newsprint paper. It is low cost and I use it as scrap paper to write on or paint on top of. Its helpful in the quilt planning because I can stack pages of paper with quilt square on it and stay organized.

From right to left you can see Row 1, row 2, row 3, ect.. I just slowly lay out each square according to my word document plan of the design.

Now I go pile by pile in order and sew the stacks together in order, and then each strip of rows to the next to start bringing the quilt into being. In the second picture of the collage, you can see that I try to line up the rows to match at color changes, but I don’t stress too much about the rows matching up perfectly. You can see the small imperfections in the bottom picture. I used to try and force the lines to all line up, but I found that cause an unappealing pucker to the cloth and I decided I’d rather it lay flat, then appear rumbled.

An example of the puckers you might get if you try to make all the lines match perfectly square for square. I think it’s easier to try and line up the design with a little room for error, then aim for perfection.

So as I go, I usually compare the WIP to the computer design to make sure I’m not making any mistakes. Here is the finished product. It took me about 2.5 hours to sew it all together. I’m actually going to sew a little bit more lilac around the key to make it bigger and finish it into a pillow. I’ll post it once its all done!

How I make an 8Bit quilt.. Designing it

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So I was talking on my facebook page about how I make my quilts, I thought it might be easiest to try to explain it here. I am self-taught, so I’m far from professional, but I make a strong product I stand behind and have streamlined my strategy to be as effective as possible (for me!).

First I make a design, and to do this I research old video game sprites and screen captures. I love the website: The Spriters Resource. If I need inspiration or a reference, they always have exactly what I’m looking for. I also find looking at bead artist and minecrafters works inspiring when I’m hashing out a new plan. For the example of this blog, lets say I want to make a Super Mario related pillow. I might go to The Spriters Resource and look through the different Mario games they have (stay in the old school systems and handheld games. N64 and newer consul graphics will be too complex. Ideally for a  pillow you’d want an image that is 15 pixels wide (or less). Obviously there is wiggle room, but you don’t want your design to outgrow the size of the pillow. You can always make the squares smaller to get a more complex design, but the smaller the squares the more difficult it becomes to assemble/stitch, so I wouldn’t recommend that for a beginners project. For this pillow I want to do a key icon from the Mario games.

So on the left is my plan and on the right is the sprite from the game. The image was very tiny and I just made it bigger using the image viewer so the pixels are very obvious. Then all you need to do is simplify the colors and start counting squares. A very easy way to plan your design is to just use a grid image in paint and use the fill tool color in the squares. I actual use excel spreadsheets in google documents with conditional formatting – but its kind hard to explain, so if you’d like to know more – leave a comment and I’ll email you that explanation.

So now that I have a design, I need to count each line of the quilt so that I can lay out the squares in proper order to be sewn together. This can be a little time-consuming but it’s not difficult. I have a short hand I follow and each design I create is written out like this so I can easily remake each quilt.

So the top row (Row 1) is all Lilac, so I write out Row 1: L16. (There are 16 squares of lilac)The second row says, Row 2: L3   B10   L3. (This means that on that row I’ll lay out 3 squares of lilac, 10 squares of black and 3 squares of lilac.) .. In this design I abbreviated the colors Lilac as L, Dark Yellow as G (gold), Light Yellow as Y, Black as B.  The short hand can be very confusing if you have multiple shades of the same color, or you have two colors that start with the same letter.  You will need to be creative and smart about the letters you choose so that you don’t get confused or make mistakes. Once you have the image of the design and the written out count of the rows, you are almost done with the planning period. Last tedious counting thing: You need to count all of the squares to know how much of each color you will need. In this one for example: I need 62 black squares, 59 Gold, 23 Yellow, and 144 Lilac.

I went a little more complex than I recommended with a design that is 16×18 pixels. I’m going to make each square 1.75 inches squares so that it stay pillow size. I find an easy way to measure correctly is to think about how big you want the product to be (I’m aiming for 2 feet long or 24 inches). So divide the desired length in inches by the number of squares you have in the design’s row and then add .5 inches (hem allowance).  So for this one:

(24 desired inches for pillow/18 squares per row) + .5 inch hem allowance = How big your squares should be.

The exact math said 1.8, but to make it easier I will make my squares 1.75 inches

To figure out how much fabric to buy, I divide the length of a standard piece of fabric (48 inches) by the length of the quilts squares (1.75 inches). So for this one –

48 inches/1.75 inches = 27.4

SO NOW I KNOW, I can cut at least 27 squares out of the fabric that is 1.75 inches long. So I do  little bit more math for each color. I need 144 Lilac squares.

144 squares (needed)/ 27 (squares per row) = 5.3 

Are you asking what 5.3 means? It means I need 5.3 rows of the fabric to get the right about of cloth. I round-up to 6 and times it by 1.75inches.

6 x 1.75 = 10.5 inches of Lilac cloth.

Again I round-up because asking them to cut that specific seems silly and it’s always good to have extra. So for this quilt I will need to buy

2 inches of yellow fabric,  6 inches of dark yellow fabric,  6 inches of black and 11 inches of lilac

Ok, so I’m off to buy the fabric today and we will regroup with pictures on the next steps, cutting it up!!!! (Please let me know if this is super confusing or you have any questions..)

Two Mario design comparison

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So back in December, a client requested the Tanooki design with a cloud and I wanted to put the two designs side by side for a comparison and feedback on which you like more!

I’m going to continue offering both designs, but I love the cloud and I didn’t expect that! It just makes everything feel fuller.

Different Backgrounds

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I finally completed the back fleece of the Bowser blanket. Until now, I’ve always used solid sheets of flannel, which would limit me to a 6 ft width of blanket. Because the next project I want to work of will exceed that width, I wanted to experiment with a quilted back. I’m in love with how soft and warm flannel is, so I tried a simple stairs pattern.

Having a back like this will cost more, because it takes extra time to craft. Do you like this look? Do you think it’s worth the extra cost?

Like the Bowser blanket?

Go buy it HERE!