Columbus, Ohio is home to a world class zoo, and I am excited that July’s block of the month will focus on this amazing location!
The zoo is a heavily themed location, with much of the architectural styling based on other locations around the world. I knew that I didn’t want to copy anything that has already been reinterpreted, so I started thinking about what comes to mind for this particular zoo. Near the top of the list is their highly successful (and ecologically responsible) polar bear breading program. In late 2016, three polar bear cubs were born at the zoo, and the photos I used for this block were from the following summer. The cubs are nearly grown up now! I am pretty sure these photos are of Amelia Grey and her mother, Anana.
I wanted a good profile angle for the quilt block, and this photo was the winner. To start the design process, I added the photo to an AutoCad document, then traced the major sections of the bear to find the shapes that would best create the form in fabric. Red lines tend to show up well on most photographs.
In the quilt the polar bear is in the top left corner, so she can overlook the city! The pattern for this block is available exclusively from Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio. I will also be doing a free demonstration of paper piecing for this block Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 1pm at the shop.
You can find out more about the polar bears at the Columbus Zoo by reading about the four cubs born at the zoo. This article talks a lot about Nora, the first cub born at the zoo, but they also talk about the three cubs born in 2016. There is also a lot of good information about polar bears in general.