Applique Designs · Blog

A Day at the Zoo, Part 3

Hello quilting friends and animal lovers!

We’ve been taking a tour of the zoo recently!  If you missed our previous posts, you can read about the zoo quilts here in our first post, and here in our second post.

I really loved our first zoo quilt, but I always have to take mine in a little bit different direction.  I found this wonderful background fabric to use behind my animal blocks for a “girly” zoo quilt.  I’m not a huge fan of snakes, and I wanted to feature some animals that are on the endangered species list, so I drew some new animals to use on my new quilt, “Zoo 2.0”.

Zoo 2.0 Quilt pattern by Ms P Designs USA

What zoo is complete without a black bear?  I usually stitch around the pieces with black embroidery floss, but on this little guy, you wouldn’t see how round and fluffy he was if I had gone that direction.

Bear by Ms P Designs USA

He doesn’t look too ferocious, but I don’t think he will be in the petting zoo anytime soon!

This spring we went to visit Houston Zoo and there were three rhinos all living together!

Rhino by Ms P Designs USA

I spoke to one of the zoo keepers and they told me that the rhinos were all brothers and that soon two of them were going to be shipped to other zoos in the U.S. to, hopefully, become daddy rhinos!  I sure hope that they bring in a girlfriend for the remaining rhino brother since these prehistoric looking animals are on the endangered species list!

When I was a child, our family went to the Portland Zoo.  My parents have a picture of me with my little blond pigtails, sitting on top of one of these wonderous creatures.

Tortoise by Ms P Designs USA

Don’t you just love his smile?

While I was coming up with ideas for the new critters, we had a customer contact us to request a tiger applique pattern.  I wanted a tiger who is whimsical and friendly.

Tiger applique by Ms P Designs USA

She was very happy with the design and I HAD to include him on my zoo quilt!

One of the highlights of going to the Houston Zoo is seeing the orangutans.  Did you know that Bornean orangutans are now on the Critically Endangered species list?

Orangutan Applique by Ms P Designs USA

Several of the orangutans at our zoo love to paint!  Click this link to read more about Rudi, one of Houston Zoo’s artistic orangutans whose favorite color is pink.  The zoo staff keeps the orangutans supplied with non-toxic paints and you can often see the orangutans painting in their large enclosure.

But what becomes of the orangutan artwork?  Every two years the Houston Zoo has an auction of the paintings , donating the proceeds to  “Pongos Helping Pongos”   which supports organizations in Bornea who are working to save these wonderful creatures.

As I said earlier, we went to the Houston Zoo this spring (of course, our youngest granddaughter came too) and to our delight, there are TWO baby Asian elephants!  They are named Joy and Tilly, and they were just so cute standing next to their mommies and daddy.

Asian Elephant Applique by Ms P Designs USA

These elephants are smaller than their African relatives and are on the Endangered species list despite being highly revered in Asia.  The elephant herd at the Houston Zoo has two enclosures.  One houses the gigantic male and his harem of females (both of the little girl elephants are his babies) and the other enclosure has three “teenaged” boy elephants who are kept separately for their own safety.

Asian elephants are prey to a disease which is generally contracted when they are young, resulting in a sudden death.  The Houston Zoo led the way to find a cure for the disease, thanks to the work of a doctor from Rice University, and their breeding program has been very successful in that the babies are surviving!  The medication has been widely distributed to other zoos, as well as to groups which are dedicated to saving these majestic creatures in the wild.

Years ago, my husband and I (mostly me) discovered a fascination with chameleons.  We had a male and a female, so we let them mate.  The female can lay three clutches of eggs with just one mating.

Chameleon applique by Ms P Designs USA

It was an interesting process because the eggs take almost a year to hatch.  Towards the end of the process, I would check the tupperware where the eggs were kept and had several baby chameleons hatch out of their eggs and then crawl right onto my fingers!  Chameleons are not large creatures, so their babies fit perfectly on the tips of my little fingers. Their teeny hands tickled as they ran across my fingers.

Once my son graduated from high school, we downsized to a much smaller house which would not support the large chameleon cages or the thousands of crickets we bought to feed them (and their accompanying smell), but my fascination has not waned!  I love the way their eyes can be focused on two different things at once, wouldn’t that be a fun ability to have?

Thank you for checking out my critters from Zoo 2.0, I hope that you have enjoyed learning about them!

Ta ta for now and happy quilting!


P. S.  If you love our zoo animals and would like an assortment of fabrics to make them, you might be interested in this new addition to our Etsy shop.  We’re offering a packet of 26 hand-picked 7″ fabric squares (both prints and solids, and no duplicates) for making our fun designs.  The supply is limited, so please don’t wait too long!  Just stop by our Etsy shop and pick some up today!




One thought on “A Day at the Zoo, Part 3

  1. Thanks for the interesting information about all these animals. I watched the orangutans at the Phoenix Zoo for a while one day. There was a young one and watching him reminded me so much of how a toddler is with a human mother. They are all wonderful appliqués.


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