Minimalist Mario

Minimalist Mario

This project was inspired by a “contest” on a video game art forum, Spritestitch. It didn’t fare very well with the voters, but that’s ok. I made it for me and I’m really happy with it and proud of it!


This is certainly a artistic version of minimalism. I love it when a character or idea can be represented with a few lines or simple color blocking. In this case, the piece is going to be hung by itself without context so I wanted to be a little more literal and choose an item or decoration from each character I wanted to represent.

I was so into this project, I did a bad job of keeping up with project pictures, but I do have a few and I’m happy to share them.

Step one was the design.  I wanted to use tricks I learned from the Ta-Dot! quilt project so I decided to reverse applique the circles. Sure, I could have just plain appliqued them, but I like the “windowed” effect of the reverse much better than straight up applique. In the spirit of minimal, I wanted to make sure there was as much negative space as used space. I didnt want a perfect pyramid thus the extra circle on the top left. I picked some of my favorite stars from the mario series and laid out my plan:


The first problem I ran into is the problem I always run into. I had an idea of what kind of fabric I wanted, but couldn’t find it in the colors and patterns that were in my head. I wish I could tell you I only obsessed over it a few hours, but it was a lot of hours. I ended up with a few greens, browns, and tans. I laid them out with the circle cut outs and walked by them for a day or two to help decide which ones to use.


I knew I want happy with what I had selected, but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to change. I thought if I went ahead and started on the patches it would be more obvious. The patches are all made using tulle, super solvy water soluble stabilizer, zig zag stitches and tons of patience. OK, maybe the patience part isn’t true. They are lot of fun to make and watch come together. It’s like a coloring book with thread!


These were really good learning patches. One thing I learned is it really behooves me to to complete the outside of the patch before filling in the center. When I started at the top or with the details, the tulle would almost always stretch and warp and I ended up with wonky edges. The yoshi egg is a perfect example. You cant see it in the picture, but it was FAR from oval when I got to the bottom.


When the patches are complete, I removed them from the hoop. I cut them out by getting very close to the threads but not quite touching them. It leaves a small edge of the stabilizer that can be soaked right away.


I started to lay in the patches I had finished. I was pretty sure the brown fabric was my drama, but once the patches sat there, I knew it. I went back to the fabric store, dejected and tired of looking for fabric. There set the orange and I knew it would work for the border. I also knew that I was never going to get the pattern to match in the corners. I decided that that was OK, it is just going to hang over my toilet in the bathroom, I’m sure it wont be noticed.

Finally, I quilted it. After the Ta-Dot! quilting disaster, I decided I needed to go for something a little more simple. I channeled the letter ‘S’ and just kept making them in different directions and different sizes. I think it the first time I’m not dissapointed with my quilting!


I’m linking up with Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project. This is the first invite I’ve sent to for people to read my new blog. Lots of firsts this post! I hope it gets a few eyeballs. I’m certainly open to suggestions, I’m still quite new at this and finding a voice.


  1. You’re doing great! What a wonderful post detailing many awesome techniques used for this quilt. I’m a huge Mario fan, married to a Mario fan, and mother to a Mario fan so this quilt made me smile. You’re so right about “channeling” a certain shape in your head to make a design easier. Eventually you won’t have to focus so hard, but for now keep those “s” shapes in mind! Great job!

  2. That’s a really neat quilt! I would have never thought of doing that. I like it!

  3. To all thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to say a few words! @MC, I think I will make a post in the future that shows how the patches are made from the beginning all the way through.

  4. Very cute and cool project! Love the patches.

  5. Very cool concept! I’ve never seen this method of making patches before and would love to see more about it, it’s such a fun idea.

  6. The way you made the patches is really neat.


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