Monday, July 16, 2012

A new quilt along adventure!

It feels like it has been awhile since I've participated in a quilt along. But I could not pass this one by:

Super Mario QAL button

It is the Super Mario Brothers Quilt Along hosted by Angela of Cut to Pieces. So fun! I have fond memories of a weekend spent playing Super Mario Bros. 3 with my best friend when we were in high school... we stayed up nearly two days straight playing through that game together. And we never did beat it. Ha! But we had a ton of fun. So when I saw this QAL, I knew I wanted to participate.

Yesterday, I shopped the stash and chose my fabrics:

fabrics for Super Mario QAL

The only one I am undecided on is the sashing... not sure what I'll do about that one yet. But I figure I have time to decide.

The only hiccup in my preparations was in finding the suggested stabilizer, Pellon 542. It is a paper-backed, sticky wash away stabilizer. The only one I could find in any local shops was Pellon 541-- similar, but not paper-backed and not sticky. My plan was to use a basting spray to act as the "sticky." Unfortunately, I had problems.

The first issue was that without the paper backing to stabilize the stabilizer (ha!), drawing a grid was kind of challenging-- the stabilizer kept shifting and stretching in odd ways. I got the grid on there, but it was not as accurate as I would have liked. The second problem was that, though the basting spray technically worked (and didn't dissolve the stabilizer like I was afraid it might)-- it didn't work well enough. The fabric squares shifted and shimmied at the slightest handling. They were not stable enough to be able to stitch any accurate seams.

my first attempt at block one

You can see in the picture above how so the squares aren't "flush" against the stabilizer. As soon as I lifted it up to take it to the machine, squares started slipping and falling. Alas!

I know could go without stabilizer and just sew all those tiny (1.5") squares together. But knowing there is an easier, more efficient method, makes me very reluctant to sew all those tiny little seams. So bit the bullet and went online and purchased the suggested stabilizer. I decided to go with a Sulky product (Sulky® Sticky Fabri-Solvy) instead of Pellon, because it was a lot less expensive. But I feel confident it will work the same way.

Now Mario and I just have to exercise some patience and wait for it to arrive. Hopefully next week!


  1. Oh, no. I just might have to dust off my sewing machine and do this one too!!

  2. This is so cool! I play a LOT of video games :) but for some reason I skipped Mario Bros altogether. I do have friends who were big fans - maybe I need to jump in as well. Now if only someone would do a Skyrim QAL...

    Can't wait to see your progress. Such a bummer you have to wait for the stabilizer!

  3. good luck with the stabilizer when it comes. I think I would have done the same thing. I have seen that QAL on some other blogs.

  4. Awesome! I can't wait to watch the progression.

  5. Thanks for the alternate suggestion on the stabilizer! I can't find the 542 anywhere near me either.

  6. I don't suppose the Sulky worked out as well for you? I just found this Quilt Along and although I'm a little late, I still want to try it out! But I'm also having trouble finding the stabilizer. I don't suppose you also know how much total stabilizer to purchase? The Sulky I found comes in 8" x 6 yd. Roll or 12" x 6 yd. Roll and the Quilt Along specifies 12 yards, but I'm wondering which one I need to get 12 yards of. Thanks!