finished Christmas present totem quilt

This quilt is based on the totem pattern by Carolyn Friedlander.  I couldn’t find any place to buy a digital version of the pattern online, so I just eyeballed it.  The quilt is pretty closely copied from a baby quilt Friedlander made.  I don’t have a particularly robust stash, or I would have matched it even more closely than I did.  I think Friedlander’s quilt called for paper piecing.  I did not do this.  I just roughly measured the size of the pieces I want, cut, sewed, and then trimmed each of the blocks to size.


For the front, I used most of the fabrics in a Carolyn Friedlander Botanics fat quarter bundle.

I also used a few blue solids, Nature Walk in Twilight and Grass from Wee Wander by Sarah Jane, Tenderness in Peach from Littlest by AGF Studio, Joie de Claire from Chic Flora by AGF Studio, Historic Tile in Teal from Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry, and Moda Solstice Constellation Icicle by Kate Spain.

The solid fabric is Quilter’s Linen in Mist by Robert Kaufman.

The binding is  Tenderness in Peach from Littlest by AGF Studio.

The back is a single fabric, Pilvi in Sky from Mormor by Lotta Jansdotter.


I used Aurifil 50 weight thread in white throughout – for piecing, quilting, and binding.


The binding is a double fold binding on the cross-wise grain (I think) hand-sewn to the back.  As usual, I botched sewing the ends of the binding together.  I seem to screw this up every time, but I always finagle it so it’s not super obvious.  I really need to figure out how to do that step.


I used a walking foot to quilt horizontal lines on the solid fabric an inch and a half apart.  I marked them in advance and just followed the markings.  For the middle section, I matched Friedlander’s quilting as much as possible.  It was a bit hard to see what type of quilting she did in places, however, so it’s not an exact match by any means.  I start out using the walking foot.  This result in a very neat-looking quilting.  Since all the lines were straight, I could have done this all the way through, but much of the quilting was only an inch before a 90 degree turn was required, and this was very slow and annoying.  I switched to a darning foot and free-motion quilted the balance.  Overall, this went quite well, though as usual, I did make a couple of obvious errors which I did not bother to rip out.

I used wool batting again.  It’s definitely harder to work with due to the extra loft, but I again loved the warm light fluffy feeling of the quilt at the end.

I hand-wrote a label and sewed it on.  Hopefully it will hold up in the laundry.

All in all, I really enjoyed making this quilt.  I really enjoyed the “carefree” piecing style that not having precise rectangles or triangles allowed.  Since I had a deadline, I went quickly and did not sweat minor errors and issues.

Now, on to the next!

One thought on “finished Christmas present totem quilt

  1. Sarah

    I love this one! Also, when people tell me they don’t know how I find time to make quilts, I’m just going to point them to you because you are churning them out even faster. 🙂

    For joining binding ends, I found this video super super helpful.

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