My Neighbor Totoro Patchwork Baby Blanket

As soon as we started trying to get pregnant, it was decided that whether Boy or GIrl, our Nursery theme would be My Neighbor Totoro. It’s one of my favourite animated films and I love the idea of nature being important to my little one, so the opportunity to make a nice foresty themed Totoro nursery where Totoro could possibly be joined by a range of woodland animals, seemed perfect.

As I planned and pinned away my inspirations for Bubs room, it became apparent that being in the UK, choosing a Japanese theme may not be the most convenient and cost effective choice…however, my Gran had already crocheted an amazing Totoro mobile for us (post coming soon) and I really did love the idea, so I decided I would just have to use some workarounds.

So when I found this amazing Totoro print fabric on Spoonflower and discovered that they only charge $2 for postage to the UK, it was decided, instead of spending a lot of money importing a blanket from Japan, I was going to make him a one of a kind, patchwork Totoro blanket with my own two hands…..once I found a way to cut the fabric to size and sew the blanket seeing as it had been 12 years since I last touched a sewing machine.

I checked out Pinterest for inspiration and tutorials suitable for a beginner, my post on my inspirations can be found here and as mentioned in that post the tutorial I ended up following is this one. And also sourced the rest of my fabric:

This cute one from frumble.co.uk

Aloe

and this plain fabric from plushaddict.co.uk

One of my best friends is an avid sewer so I recruited her, along with her rotary cutter, mat and ruler and we spent an afternoon cutting all the fabrics to 5”x5” squares, then I borrowed my Nan’s ”vintage” (read super old!) sewing machine, laid out my squares in the right order, took a picture to follow and got to work following the steps of the tutorial.

           Blanket LayoutPiecing the strips together

My blanket is 5 squares by 8 squares, so about 40”x25” give or take a bit due to my inexperience at sewing seams of the same width, my squares don’t line up perfectly and sewing the strips together got messy, but I don’t care as once it was all put together, it looked great and I was super chuffed with myself, it only took me a few hours and I was eager to find some backing material so that I could finish it off.

Fabric completed

I decided to get a fleece throw from Tesco for the backing material and found one that was the perfect colour, I cut it down to size, pinned it; right sides together, to my patchwork and got to work sewing a 1/4” (ish) seam, leaving one corner open so I could turn it right way out.

All backedThen after practicing my top stitch on a blanket of less importance, I pinned the corner opening, ironed the blanket and finished the blanket up with a top stitch.

I am so happy with the way this turned out as it was my first sewing project in years, and I have developed a new obsession with patchwork blankets and next plan on turning all my old gig shirts into a rag t-shirt quilt before starting work on another blanket for bub. I have my eye on this adorable Soot Sprite print fabric, just need to find some other fabrics to go with it.

We are starting the Nursery this weekend, so stay tuned for a before/after style post and also that post about the amazing crocheted mobile that my Gran made for us…here’s a sneak peek.

Totoro & Chibi-TotoroPattern sourced here.

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