My Neighbor Totoro Wall Quilt

This quilt was a doozy. The entire thing is based off a picture I found once on pinterest, and never saw again. My friend trusted me enough to commission me to make it- and it was a challenge! But this is definitely one of the coolest quilts I’ve ever made!

I started by drawing out the entire thing on three different layers of freezer paper. I had the top layer, the second layer of trees, and the third layer of trees. Once I finished, I traced it once more on three more layers of freezer paper to keep as a “master copy” in case anything went wrong. Then, I ironed the freezer paper onto each piece of fabric that was backed by lightweight fusible interfacing. Unfortunately, I had accidentally ordered the wrong interfacing- I wanted double-sided fusible interfacing, but ordered single-sided fusible interfacing. Me, in all my confident egotism, decided it would work just fine and went with it. (Note to self- projects like this should *definitely* have double-sided interfacing.)

After the freezer paper was ironed on, I cut out each scene using my tiny, 10mm rotary cutter. Taking each layer at a time, I went to stitch it down. This is where it got tricky (er)- each piece was one whole piece, so as I was stitching, despite being both glued AND pinned, the layers wanted to move around on me as I was stitching them down, which was extremely annoying. To try and fix this, I did the top layer a bit differently- I sprayed the whole top layer with spray basting, put it where I wanted it (tricky because it didn’t exactly line up like it was supposed to, thanks to the trees of the third and second layer moving around on me), then loaded the whole quilt on my longarm.

I used the multipoint tool to painstakingly go around the outside of the top layer and stitched the whole layer down, before finally beginning the quilting. Originally I was going to do a simple raindrop edge-to-edge design, but I wound up doing custom quilting over almost the entire quilt. The only layer I didn’t quilt was the background, and it was because I wanted that layer to look a bit puffier and smoother so it would distinguish from the other layers a bit better.

There were two layers of batting used to really help make the quilting pop, and for the binding I added a flange binding. Overall, the entire quilt took probably 20-30 hours of work. The backing is where you can really see the quilting in action.

This quilt turned out much, MUCH cooler than I ever dreamed possible, and I’m so glad I did it, even though it was one of the toughest quilts I’ve ever made!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead and happy stitching!