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Penelope Panda – a free applique pattern

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

The Bunches of Bears quilt pattern has thirteen different bears in it.

But you can never have enough bears! And it didn’t have a panda so I decided to make one more block – and make it free. 🙂

Here’s how to make it.

This video shows all the steps for working with fusible adhesive – if you’ve never done it before you’ll find it helpful.

Below you’ll find two video tutorials, followed by the downloadable pattern templates and complete written instructions with step-by-step photos.

This long video shows in complete detail how to assemble the panda block.

This short video just has a quick overview of how to layer the pieces together, with no additional explanation.

Step 1

Download the template pieces. If you’re using paper-backed fusible adhesive and cutting by hand, use this link to download the PDF. If you’re using an electric cutting machine, use this link to download the SVG.

If you’e using an electric cutting machine like a Cricut. . .

  • Upload the file to your machine.
  • Resize if needed. (To fit a block that finishes at 10 inches square, the image should be 7.5 inches wide.)
  • Ungroup the pieces and assign colors
    • Cut the belly and the face from the lightest color fabric
    • Cut the shoulders, ears, and eye patches from the darkest color fabric
    • Cut the eyes and nose from solid black
  • Cut.

Step 2

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Trace or print the pattern onto the paper side of the fusible adhesive.

I use printable Heat & Bond Lite fusible adhesive so I just printed out the page. No tracing!

The image has already been reversed, so just trace or print. If you’re tracing, be sure to trace the facial features and placement guidelines too. You’ll need those for Step 5.

Step 3

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Rough cut around each shape and fuse it to the back of your fabric.

Note – if you’re making your panda in realistic colors, use the large eye template pieces to make light-colored eye backings do the dark eyes show up on the dark eye patches. Use the small eye templates for your solid black eyes.

If you’re making a panda in fantasy colors, use the large eye templates for your solid black eyes, and discard the small eye templates.

There’s a video here with more information about helping make sure dark eyes show up well on a dark background.

Step 4

Cut around each piece neatly. Cut directly on the solid lines.

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Step 5

Remember back in Step 2 when I told you to make sure you traced the facial features? Now you’re going to do that. Hold the face up to a window so the light shines through it. You’ll be able to see all the dotted placement lines, and the adhesive will stabilize the fabric so you can trace on it without it crinkling up.

Trace the lines to show where all the applique pieces are placed – the eye patches, eyes, nose and mouth are especially important. The belly piece is one you can probably place well without a guide.

free panda applique pattern

Optional – trace the lines to show where pieces overlap, to help you position the ears on the head and the head on the shoulders. These placement lines are less important – you can play around a lot with the placement of these parts.

Step 6

If you’re doing Quilt As You Go (I did) then you can quilt your block before adding the applique. So easy!

Cut your background fabric and a piece of 100% cotton batting 11 inches square.

Layer the block with a piece of 100% cotton batting. Quilt any pattern you like!

Find all the Quilt As You Go tutorials here.

If you’ll do the quilting later, simply skip this step.

Step 7

Peel off the paper backing and arrange the pieces on a background block. Tuck the ears and the shoulders behind the head.

Remember -­ those dotted lines indicate where pieces tuck behind other pieces.

free panda applique pattern

Fuse the pieces in place.

Step 8

Outline all the pieces with black thread and a simple straight stitch – or choose your favorite decorative stitch.

This video has some tips for outlining those tight curves.

I like going around all the pieces three times for a sketchy, scribbly look. This post has some tips for that.

This post has tips for using decorative stitching.

This post has some information about outlining using thicker thread.

free panda applique pattern


If you’re making a one-block project, go ahead and finish it up!

If you’re making a bunch of panda blocks to join into a quilt -­ have fun!

This video shows how to trim your finished quilt blocks.

This video shows how to sew your blocks together using the QAYG method I use.

This post has tips for quilting on a cuddle fleece back.

And this video shows how to bind your quilt.

What can you do with just one block pattern? Tons of things!

Check out this page I’ve been slowly building – 100 Things to Do with an Applique Pattern. 🙂

Have fun! And share a photo of what you make! You can share it in the Shiny Happy People group or tag it with #shinyhappyworld on Instagram.

If you like this free pattern, sign up for the Shiny Happy News! Subscribers get a weekly newsletter full of sewing tips and tricks, free patterns, special discounts, and other things to make you smile. 🙂

Happy sewing!


  1. Cathy Wilson SAYS...

    Thank you, Such an adorable panda.

  2. Lila SAYS...

    This is adorable! You are so talented. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Pingback: 25+ Free Applique Sewing Patterns - Swoodson Says

  4. Cori w SAYS...

    Thanks, love this and the ideas. I would love to make this as a large blanket.

  5. Adorable! Do you mind posting one that includes its whole body sitting or standing?

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  7. Kaitlyn SAYS...

    Thank you so much for making this panda block and making it free. I am wanting to make a giant panda on top of a 36×48″ baby quilt and would probably like the panda between 20-25″ wide so I’ll be playing around with enlarging it. I also plan to use minky for the panda to make it extra soft for the little one.

  8. Liz B SAYS...

    This is a gorgeous panda but sadly the link to the pattern doesn’t seem to be working.

    • Sorry about that – the link got corrupted somehow. I’ve fixed it now so you should be able to download it.

  9. Denise Newman SAYS...

    What a gorgeous pattern. Thank you.