Friday, October 2

Little Totoro Baby Quilt

Little Totoro Baby Quilt for Addie, all folded up and ready to mail

I have a confession to make.  I finished this quilt some time ago, but only recently mailed it to Addie.  At this point I should call it a toddler quilt, because she just turned two years old.  While I'm fessing up, I might as well also tell you that my daughter Alina and her husband Gonzo have been married for two and half years and I still have not made their wedding quilt.  Tsk, tsk.  

Last winter, when Connie, of Free Motion By the River, asked me to pattern test for her, she sent me a wonderful pattern she designed, called Blue Sapphire.  I had just purchased the fabrics to make a quilt for my cousin's granddaughter Adelaide, and decided that they would be perfect to use in making a baby sized Blue Sapphire.  Addie's parents had decided on a gray and purple nursery, so I chose the main prints from the Lewis and Irene collection called "Make a Wish". 

Blue Sapphire was a complete delight to make!  Connie writes wonderful instructions, even going so far as to give various alternatives if you prefer different piecing techniques.  She's amazing!  As many of you know, Connie is an ambassador for Island Batik.  All of her designs work beautifully with batiks, but perhaps because batiks are almost a blender fabric, you can use her patterns for any type of fabric.            

After piecing the quilt top, I felt that my smaller version, with fewer blocks, needed to be brought into better balance.  So I decided to sew an applique' in the center.  When considering cute little grey critters, Totoro won me over immediately.  

Little Totoro applique' for Addie's quilt

My son Sam got me hooked on Japanese Anime movies.  All he had to do was get me to watch Howl's Moving Castle and I became a fan.  These movies are so very different than what I was used to seeing in cartoons.  They have a depth of meaning and an innocence that really draws you in.  Although it is hard to choose, I particularly love "My Neighbor Totoro".  Do you have a favorite Japanese Anime movie?  Perhaps "Spirited Away"?  Or "Castle in the Sky"?  Those are two more of my favorites.  I told you it was hard to choose.    

I looked at dozens of Totoro pictures, but have to say that my Totoro applique was mostly inspired by a drawing by Mira Vegas.  I liked how she made hers so small and chubby and tried to recreate that.  Perfect for a baby quilt.  My favorite scene in the movie is when Satsuki gives Totoro an umbrella, so of course an umbrella had to be added.  I think the quilt, with Connie's Sapphire blocks, now looks a bit like the beginning of a dream sequence.

Little Totoro - Blue Sapphire quilt

Closer view - you can see that I did simple wavy line quilting.  I am afraid of trying anything more difficult with Minky on the back.   

A view of the soft violet Minky backing - so very cuddly

I used satin blanket binding again.  It's a real pain in the patootie, and I never get it quite right, but persist because children love it.

Okay, time for a third confession.  I recently sent another very late gift - a baby quilt delivered to another two year old cousin.  But that is for another post.  

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