No woodland pattern collection would be complete without a squirrel! I know there are people out there who aren't fond of them (mostly people with elaborate bird feeders) but personally I'd rather spend my day watching squirrels than birds. Birds are colourful and fascinating, but they don't often frolic.
My first squirrel prototype (on the right) ended up looking more like a confused beaver holding an acorn, so I tried again with a new tail. The final pattern looks more like the grey squirrel. If I get around to making a second woodland animal series, the earlier design will be adapted to make a beaver.
Click HERE to download the free pattern!
This image can be resized to make anything from a tiny squirrel pin to a large squirrel pillow. Basic assembly instructions are included as well. If you would prefer a PDF version of the pattern, it's available through Craftsy HERE (but this one can't be resized).
A squirrel attacked me once. It was in Ottawa's MacDonald Gardens park, which is thought to be haunted since it was built on the site of a former cemetery. Around the time of the 1874 smallpox epidemic, the cemetery was filled to capacity and graves had to be moved. In 1911, the city removed all of the gravestones, piled the unclaimed remains into a hill, and put a pretty gazebo on top. (You can see a picture of the gazebo atop the hill here.) It's now a really nice park, and a wonderful place to spend hours reading in the summertime.
One particularly nice summer day, I went up there to do some school work under a big oak tree. A squirrel came up to me, looking really really cute. I took out a granola bar slowly, and started ripping off pieces to give him. This was during the pre-camera-phone era, but luckily I'd brought an actual camera.
This squirrel was not shy about coming closer to get snacks. Eventually, I got the brilliant idea to see if he would take food out of my hand. So here I am, holding out a piece of granola to a perfectly sensible looking squirrel.
I was excited to get a picture of this adorable moment! Instead, I got a shot of a bloodthirsty beast pouncing at me to rip off a chunk of flesh.
Everything I'd learned about wildlife up to this point should have told me this was going to happen, but I got carried away in the cuteness of the moment. Years later, an Ottawa Haunted Walk tour guide warned us about the squirrels in this park. I was able to confirm that they do indeed have a taste for blood. The next felt squirrel I make will have to be a zombie squirrel in memory of this little guy.
Looking for more free squirrel craft ideas?
How about a rosy cheeked holiday ornament for your tree? Check out these tutorials for an embroidered felt squirrel from You Go Girl, or a squirrel holding a candy cane from Imagine Our Life.
Simple squirrel silhouettes are popular appliqué designs for clothing, bags, pillows, towels, and just about anything else. Visit Ellen at The Long Thread for two patterns you can use, and instructions for attaching your squirrels with fusible webbing. There is also a sew-on silhouette template from Woman's Day magazine, and Virginia Sweet Pea offers a tutorial on how to turn it into a pillow. If you prefer a dishtowel, these instructions will show you how to make them using a template for a tote bag by Country Living. All of these silhouette templates would work really well with fabric paint too! Just draw the design onto freezer paper, cut out, and fuse the negative to your project as a template for painting.
If you have squirrely friends in your yard, consider getting (or making) a squirrel diversion feeder. These are designed to keep squirrels entertained and away from your bird feeders. They also incorporate items like miniature chairs, rotating wheels, or bungee cord for your viewing pleasure. Northwest Nature Shop even offers tips on designing a squirrel obstacle course suitable for their acrobatic abilities.
In preparation for International TableTop Day, I've decided to do something completely different for next week's Felt Pattern Friday. It should be geektastic!