Making A Kirby Quilt

All Squares Cut

So after spending a month making stuffed animals I got it in my head to try making a pieced quilt of Kirby. Above you can see a picture of all the squares I’ve cut and the pattern I’m making. I’ve never made a quilt before, but that didn’t stop me with the stuffed animals so after some research I dove in.

It started when I was almost done with Ilo and Milo. I started looking for my next project and didn’t have a good pattern for my next stuffed animal. After piecing squares together to make Ilo and Milo making a quilt seemed like a good next step. I’d seen pieced video game quilts before (an example how-to) and it seemed achievable.

I spent some time looking at NES/SNES pixel art to try to find a good subject. I considered Mario (especially the boot from Mario 3), Lolo and Lala, Kirby, Mega Man, Bomberman, and a few other things. But while I was looking around I found the sprite for Kirby’s sleep power and decided that would be good. While looking for a good copy of the sprite I found a Sleeping Kirby Quilt by 8bitHealey on Etsy and fell in love. I kept searching and came across the Kirby Sleep Pixel Painting by RubiksPhoenix on DeviantArt, and decided to use his color scheme.

Cutting Setup I made a spreadsheet using Numbers to figure out what it would look like and how much fabric I would need. I determined that I could make a 70″x90″ quilt easily using 2″ squares (35×43) and I figured I’d like that size. I spent $55 buying the fabric and when I got home I put it in my washing machine to pre-shrink it.

That’s when I learned Accidental quilting lesson #1: you need to baste fabric or use pinking shears before washing or you’ll get a huge knot when the fabric unravels.

After fixing and drying the fabric I ironed all of it flat and started cutting squares. Between listening to Accidental Tech Podcast and watching Dr. Who the ironing and initial cutting went quite well. I spent a little under 3 hours total ironing and cutting and ended up with 214 little squares.

After Day 2The next day I spent another hour cutting fabric while listening to Isometric and ended up with a total of 787 squares of fabric, which is about half of what I need.

After a day off I decided to really fly and try to finish all my cutting. It turned out my initial estimates of how much fabric I needed were off because I ran out of the tan background color after 30m. At least I was getting faster because I was up to 1,203 squares (yes, I’m keeping track of all this). This time I was listening to Snap Judgement. I went back to the store to get one more yard of tan for $5. Since I had learned my lesson I using my pinking shears on the fabric and threw it in the wash.

Quilting Mistake #2 Accidental quilting lesson #2: pinking shears aren’t good enough. Turns out you have to baste the fabric because my washing machine is strong enough to pull the little threads out and make a knot anyway.

Fixed that, dried, ironed. Finished all my cutting after 40 minutes so now I’m up to 1,651 squares and can start sewing. I’ve still got fabric left to make bias tape but it may not be enough. I’ve decided to leave that until I’ve got the front sewed together. I also haven’t picked a color the back, I figure that can wait until I’ve got more of the front done.

A Month of Plush Animals

Group Shot

Sometime around July I stumbled across something that got me interested in the idea of making my own plush animals (also called stuffed animals, softies, and plushies). So I started doing research and finding patterns on Etsy and by the middle of August I had bought a sewing machine and started making things. Above is my (finished) output after month.

Pea Pod - Open

 Peas in a Pod

I hadn’t used a sewing machine in about 20 years but after a few test pieces to get used to moving the fabric I dove in with the Peas in a Pod pattern from Tie Dye Diva which had fantastic instructions. The long straight sections and gentle curves were easy to sew and proved to be good practice. The zipper was an interesting challenge, but the instructions were easy enough. I only made one mistake while sewing it, which is how I found out my sewing machine auto-stops when it detects a jam (very handy, probably saved the needle). I decided to go a little overboard and embroider some solid color areas for two of the mouths, which I’ve never done before. In the end I actually like the pea on the left the best even though he’s the simplest.

Blue Whale

Stuffed Whale

Next up was the Stuffed Whale from DIYFluffies. I didn’t check the size before I started making it so it ended up being bigger than I expected (and using up the last of my polyester stuffing) but it’s very cute. This contained much smaller curves and tighter intersections than the peas so it was a good ramp up in challenge. Not every seem joined exactly where it was supposed to, but it worked out great.

Uramaki Roll


California Uramaki Roll

While this little California Uramaki Roll from ShoriAmeshiko was one of the first patterns I found, I waited a bit to start on it. While the basic shape is very easy the pattern (also well written) requires appliqué and I wanted to get some sewing under my belt first with the other patterns. Getting a good looking satin stitch was a bit of a challenge, especially on the thin black lines, but it came out well. Assembling was made easier by using a 1/4″ piecing foot I bought.

Green Luma



I’ve wanted to make some kind of Luma for quite a while, but I always figured I’d end up crocheting or knitting one. As it turns out sewing stuffed animals is way faster, so I’m glad I ended up making this one. At some point I found the Luma Plush Tutorial from ClearKid and decided to try something new. While the basic shape is easy, I made an embroidery file (PES file) to embroider the eyes. My original plan was to embroider both eyes at once but it turned out they needed to me just a little too far apart for my machine.

I was pretty annoyed with the process, the software I used wasn’t very good and required a Windows VM but at least it had a demo version I could use so I didn’t have to spend all the money to buy it yet. I think I’ve learned my lesson: given my art skills I stick to pre-made files or pay someone to digitize them for me.

I’d like to make more of these guys in all the other colors of fleece I have but we’ll see if I have the time.

The Elephant

The last item in the picture at the start of this post is a little elephant. The pattern is extremely sparse, and I ended up assembling the base incorrectly. It wasn’t until after I was looking at the finished object I was able to figure out just what I did wrong. While the head is cute the body (which is supposed to be sitting) looks more like a pyramid with a triangular base.

I bought some fabric called Minky that’s amazingly soft, but it’s a real pain to work with. Every time you cut it the edges shed like crazy. I ended up using a lint roller on it every time I cut it but I still got little fuzz bits all over. Because the fabric is so slippery I also bought a walking foot for my sewing machine, and it’s my new favorite. It makes it so much easier to get fabric through the machine that I’ve been using it more than anything else.

I don’t know if I’ll try this again. I think I’d have to remake the pattern to fix the issues I have and customize the base more to my liking.

Up Next

My latest project is quite a bit bigger, it requires quilting lots of colored squares together (which I’ve got done), cutting them up (also done), then sewing everything together to make something really cute (just started). The walking foot has made it very easy, but some bits are too small to reasonably do on the sewing machine and so I’ve been getting some hand sewing practice. It also requires two narrow fabric tubes which turned into quite an ordeal. I also got the itch to try making a video game quilt by piecing bits together to copy a sprite. We’ll see if that happens.