This weekend, I made progress on both.
For Super Mario, I found the painter's tape, so I can cover the bed of my machine and prevent any more Sharpie marker lines from forming as the interfacing rubs over the bed of the machine. I also pressed the two blocks I had finished.
Neither of the blocks are 18.5" square. Sadly, the place squares on a grid and sew method does not ensure perfection. But I still think the shapes match up a heck of a lot better than if I was trying to do this through normal piecing methods! I also think that having the lines for all the individual squares makes the pixelated pictures look more authentic, and if I pieced them individually, I would have definetly done larger "chunks"- not cut every single block. So I'm still glad I did it the way I did, even if it still isn't perfect.
For Express Your Love, I did all the outlining, except the hair- I'm still not sure what color to do that in.
I've decided on a few of the phrases I'm going to put into the ribbons (or at least pick from), but am a bit scared of getting them there, because my handwriting is terrible, and I need to mark the words to fit the ribbons.
"Live in the now and design your future."
"Let your dreams fly free."
"Have an open and willing heart"
Live life courageously"
"Release all fear of failure"
"The future is bright and happy"
"Surround yourself with love"