Forest QAL - Red Panda Pattern.16
Joanna and Julianna love paper piecing. Last year, they organized the Sew Out Loud quilt along. This year, they've taken that piecing to a whole new complex level with the Forest Quilt Along. This time they've created patterns for flora and fauna to rock your socks. Although it was a new style for me, I jumped at the chance to be a guest block designer. My pattern is for a red panda which we met in the zoo. If you haven't seen them before, you can read about them and see a video on my blog post about my trip to Canberra. They are so endearing and sweet.
My red panda paper piecing pattern is by far the most complex pattern that I've written to date. It's not for the faint of heart. With 21 pieces in the tail section alone, it is quite a feat to piece. But when you finish, there's a lot of bell ringing and pumping your first in the air. I worked the pattern twice and admit that it was a satisfying thrill putting it together. I felt like I accomplished something each time. If you want to give it a try, remember to take your time and enjoy the process.
Download the PDF.
The PDF includes all of the relevant information about the pattern. Seam allowances are not included so you can scale the pattern up, if you'd like to make a full size quilt. I think she'd look great at 40 inches. Perhaps a museum size at 40 feet?!
I'd like to thank Joanna and Julianna for inviting me. I'd also like to thank Jeannette for pattern testing. Finally, I'd like to thank the J and n keys on my computer for not giving out on me during all the email and thank yous.
If you haven't visited her website before, Jeannette is quite prolific. In addition to all of her own projects, she owns a longarm business and has quick turnaround time. Her panda is the one on the left which looks great in the habitat fabric. I love how the blue in the tree complements the colors in her panda.
I thought I'd share the combined photo of all three pandas - Jeannette's on the left and the two I pieced on the right. Initially I pieced the one on the right, but wasn't satisfied with my fabric choices. I was unhappy with the ears and the muzzle. I also decided to do a subtler version where the tree was less prominent than the panda which led to the middle panda. I've shared them all, because I always think it it fascinating to see how print and color can change the feel of a pattern.
I know some people doing the QAL are going for color accuracy, others are using vibrant and playful colors. For those who are aiming for accuracy, here are some reference photos I've taken of red pandas at both the Canberra Nationa Zoo and the Mogo Zoos in Australia. You'll see a fair bit of color variation among the three of them.
Of course, you could go crazy with the pattern. If you pieced it in grey and black and adjusted the nose slightly, it could look a bit like a raccoon. I can't wait to see the colorful versions that others come up with!
I hope you enjoy the pattern. If you have any questions, feel free to ask here or in the Forest QAL flickr group. Happy Crafting, --amy