Iíve been antsy about posting this, but my partner finally received so here it is.
I was recently in the Mini Art Quilt Swap
& partnered with Abbeeroad. Iíd requested a MAQ for my son, and made one for her son in return. One of the themes she picked was Super Mario Brothers and although I admit being a little bit obsessed with Super Mario myself (eh hem), I thought it would be fun to do a spin on regular olí Mario. My son is part Japanese & Iím really big on teaching/learning about different cultures and hey Mario is from Japan & all soÖI envisioned him as a samurai.
Abbeeroad & I share a love of batik, so I used a dark blue batik as the background and a lighter blue batik for the moon. I tried to keep the batik pretty simple tone on tone since I wanted the stitching to stand out, but I think it gave the moon especially a nice depth. The whole thing is appliqued (with a blind stitch) with regular olí cottons although I cheated a bit on the hands and face and used fabric pens. And then I put 3 loops on top with the idea that it could be hung on a small rod. Iím not really an artist, but the design is one I sketched myself.
I also decided from the outset to use simple sashiko to quilt it to give it more of a Japanese feel. Simple sashiko is a form of Japanese embroidery that usually uses indigo blue fabric and a thick white thread (that is a bit like sewing with all 6 strands of DMC floss at once). Sashiko can be used to embellish clothes, housewares, or quilts. This was my first go at sashiko and it really wasnít that difficult (itís a running stitch), but I think the beauty in the technique is from the contrast in dark fabric and white thread and then the different patterns you can sew in (I went with a simple clam shell). I quilted the dark blue background and then left Mario & the fireballs alone with the idea that they helped them pop out more.
I think the only thing I might change was the fabric pens & face. Prior to the fabric pen:
I tried to applique the face & hands as well several times but had trouble with pieces that small. I might do a satin stitch next time, but that isnít my strong suit.
I guess practice is the only way to get better though, eh? Anyway, the fabric pens also gave me grief the first time through as a couple reacted and caused major bleeding. I had to detach the face (as well as the hat brim) and redo it.
The messed up face before I fixed it:
But I was happy with it in the end. My husband was disappointed I sent this one off for a swap, so Iím going to have to make another one I guess.
More info on sashiko: http://embroidery.about.com/od/Embroidery-Types/g/Sashiko-Embroidery.htm