Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Favorite Totoro - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Totoro's Greetings

I'm so excited to have something to show this year for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  I'd love to be at Quilt Market, but I also love seeing all the fabulous stuff people have been sewing since spring.  I usually find loads that I missed on the blogs, and new blogs to follow too.  Amy at Amy's Creative Side does a fantastic job at getting us all together in one virtual place! 

Pelargonium,  Totoro 

This quilt was made for another quilter as part of the the Doll Quilters Monthly Group. Our theme was animals, and while I love cats, and my partner Barb, of Cat Patches, definitely does, I felt somehow more of a draw to create a Totoro quilt. Totoro is a character in a Japanese film from 1988 called My Neighbor Totoro.
We have watched the film several times at our house, and the artwork is astounding, especially for an animated film.  And Totoro?  Well, he endures, and I like that.

Totoro sketches together I started by trying to sketch Totoro from some favorite movie stills I found on the internet. Totoro sketches and a tracing And then I traced a few from my computer's monitor.  Finally I sharpened them up by freehand, taped to some cardstock (recycled ads, actually ;) and cut out all the pattern pieces Totoro's pieces together I dabbed glue stick on the smallest pieces (Totoro's spots, his eyes, and nose) to the larger pieces, and then I sewed everything down to some uneven strips of Oakshott that I sewed together to make a magical, rainy forest. I love how the Oakshoot shimmers, and the rougher linen cotton blend of Totoro looks kind of furry, especially around the claws and after the wash. 

Totoro's Paw

Totoro's umbrella, eyes, and spots
 Since Barb always has lots of pictures of her garden, I made sure to send her some tomatoes in a sack next to Totoro. I love how the "asterisk" stitch didn't quite set, and the stems look pretty real for that. I had a lot of fun with the challenge of distilling this design, and I really enjoyed the drawing part of it as much as the sewing!
 Totoro tomatoes 2
 I didn't use any interfacing for the Totoro's body, but I like how fluffy he looks, rather than flat. I think it is simply a matter of preference, at least at this smaller size. I kept the quilting simple and echoed rain in the trees, letting the applique do much of the rest of the quilting.
It's hard to say what I love best about how this came out, but I think it would have to be the whiskers.  I love how hollow they look and how the straight stitch and zig zag look together to make his imaginary face look more real.  It is sketchy like the original Studio Gibley animations, but the stitches still add another dimension to Totoro.

Totoro's Whiskers

 Hope you have fun looking at all the entries and thanks for stopping by! Happy Sewing!
Lizzie in Sweden


  1. Ah, it appears that Blogger has eaten my comment!! I think this one's great. I know more than one person that would freak out and be absolutely desperate to snuggle under the Totoro quilt. Wonderful fabric choices, too.

  2. It's too cute! Love that he's using the umbrella! Great job!

  3. What a super fun quilt!! You did such a great job of figuring out how to put it together.

  4. How awesome is this? My kids have been all about Totoro this year and my toddler dressed up as Totoro for Halloween yesterday. People loved her costume!

  5. Awesome! Totoro's expression is great! And the quilt colors are really appealing.


Thanks for stopping by! I am happy for all comments and I will try to answer each one if I can!