I often turn to applique quilts as my go-to for a baby quilt or kids quilt. I think it is because there are no limits to what you can do with an applique quilt.
You are free to fussy cut and choose an applique shape that you would have no hope of piecing traditionally and since there are so many lovely fabrics out their with motifs for kids and babies your creativity can go wild.
Below you will find a list of fun applique baby quilt patterns, some of them are free applique patterns and some are sold on Etsy by talented quilt designers who would be thrilled to sell their pattern.
Table of Contents
What is Applique?
If you are totally new to quilting you might not know what applique is.
In short, it is when you stitch a piece of fabric on top of your background fabric rather than piecing the two together.
In traditional quilt piecing you sew two pieces of fabric right side together and then open them up to find your pieces joined. With applique, you join them by stitching the applique shape on top instead.
The stitching can be done with a straight stitch but a zig-zag stitch or a blanket stitch are also popular in applique.
You can use various methods for applique including:
- raw edge applique
- needle turn applique
- reverse applique
And within those broad categories, you will find many technique variations.
Many applique techniques require the use of fusible web or freezer paper as an additional tool to make the process easier.
The pattern writers in the list below will specify what type of applique the pattern requires and usually give you some instructions or let you know if they are assuming you have knowledge of the technique already.
If applique is totally new to you, look for the patterns that are described as ‘beginner friendly’.
The List of Applique Baby Quilt Patterns
21 + Applique Baby Quilt Patterns
This list includes free quilt patterns as well as quilt patterns for sale. I hope you find the perfect baby quilt design for you!
This is one of my free patterns for an easy I Spy Quilt that can be used as a baby quilt, toddler play blanket, or play mat. It's great for developing language skills when they are old enough to point and repeat words too!
Harebell Pattern by Amanda Hall of Monkey Buttons
The backgrund fabric for this pattern is gorgeously scrappy and timeless. Looks like the perfect nursery decoration quilt.
I Love Dirt Quilt Pattern - Nellie's Needle Quilts
My little boys would love this quilt! The diggers and construction vehicle's in this impressive looking quilt are really just applique shapes!
Rainbow Raindrops Baby Quilt – Free Applique Quilt Pattern - Scrap Fabric Love
This is another one of my free baby quilt patterns. It's basically a whole cloth quilt with some minimal but impactful raindrop applique.
Best Friends Forever PDF Quilt Pattern Applique Baby Quilt - JoAnn Hoffman Designs
This is such a stunning quilt with it's glorious background quilting that really makes the applique pop!
Your baby shower gift will steal the show when you hand this over. True art!
The circular size is perfect for a play mat as well which is more useful these days than a crib quilt.
Boho Rainbow Baby Quilt Pattern Nursery Decor PDF Pattern - Simple Sweet Shop
A lovely understated modern looking baby quilt. Looks super simple to make too - who doesn't love a beginner-friendly project?
Bunny Rabbit Quilt Pattern Digital PDF Pattern - Sandra Healey Designs
A cute bunny applique quilt pattern made of simple squares with lots of sweet touches. The color combinations you choose will make all the difference with this quilt!
This quilt is also a great size for a wall hanging.
Using baby quilts as wall hangings for nursery decor is a new trend now that sleeping advice for babies is not to use thick coverings and blankets in cribs.
Traffic Pattern PDF Quilt Pattern - Esch House Quilts
I love a quilt with lots of lovely negative space like this one. This PDF has multiple sizes including a baby size.
Scary Squares Monster Applique Quilt Pattern Easy Digital - Shiny Happy World
This quilt would make a great beginner applique quilt project.
Simple shapes with big impact make this a fun quilt to gift for babies or toddlers.
A great way to start flexing your applique muscles (just kidding you don't need big muscles to do applique!)
Icy Applique Quilt PDF Pattern - Sampaguita Quilts
How beautiful is this quilt? So striking and classy looking. This quilt will stand the test of time and become a family heirloom no doubt!
PDF Forest Friends Applique Quilt Pattern - Pamalama Jo Designs
There is so much to draw the eye of a child in this quilt - and so many opportunities to use up fabric scraps! From the strip piecing to the many colors of the cute woodland friends, you are sure to be able to make a dent in your scrap pile with this one!
Quilt Pattern Bee Quilt Pattern Bee Pattern Quilted Wall - Creative Bee Studios
This is a paper pattern - not a downloadable PDF - but the final result was too gorgeous and timeless to not include in this list.
All a Twitter Applique Quilt PDF - Talk of the Town
This is one of those quilting projects that looks antique and up-to-date all at the same time.
You'll get such a different look depending on what print fabric you use. You can go muted and traditional like the example photo, or bold bright, and modern!
Elsie Avenue Applique Baby Quilt Pattern - Sassafras Lane
What a cute little hedgehog! Love how he can be a gorgeous rainbow color or a woodland mix of browns.
Counting Sheep DIGITAL PDF Quilt Pattern Applique Quilt - The Red Boot Quilt Company
Introduce the concept of counting sheep at an early age in this cute kid's quilt!
Butterfly Blossom Cot Crib Quilt or Wall Hanging - Samski Designs Quilts
A beautiful applique quilt idea for a spring baby!
The pattern includes instructions for hand applique techniques including needle turn to avoid the raw edges but the designer also states it can be done using machine applique techniques as well.
Applique Baby Quilt PDF Pattern With Tree and Bear Appliques. - Magic Little Dreams
This simple-to-make quilt looks like it would be great for a layer cake. Use your favorite machine applique technique and you should be able to whip this quilt up in no time!
Crossword Puzzle Applique Baby Quilt Pattern - Hartwork Quilt Company
This fun quilt has loads of opportunities for personalization from changing the words to changing the fabric colors to turn it from a crossword-themed quilt to a scrabble quilt depending on your preference!
Baby Elephant Walk Quilt Pattern PDF - Pinecone Hill Quilting
Isn't this the cutest baby quilt pattern for an elephant-themed nursery?
A playful, child-like pattern that is gender-neutral and fun. The pinwheel blocks give it that touch of traditionalism and visual interest too!
Up in the Air Quilt Pattern - Terri's Quilt Shop
The backing fabric for this quilt will give you a chance to use up some leftover jelly roll strips and the simple shapes of the applique hot air balloons will make this a quick quilt to finish.
Perfect for a new baby or child's room.
Safari Slumbers Cot Quilt or Play Rug Quilt Pattern by Sue
A fun animal zoo quilt!
This photo is a mock-up but the Etsy listing has some gorgeous real quilt photos that show the potential of this cute quilt with its bright colors!
- If the pattern you are following calls for a fusible adhesive product and you haven’t used these before consider asking quilting friends (or a quilt shop) for small samples of different brands to experiment and see which one is your favorite. There is no right or wrong but many sewers have distinct preferences here. Popular brands include Heat n’ Bond, Misty Fuse, and Steam a Seam.
- If you like the ease of raw edge applique but not the frayed edges you can buy products like fray check which stops your raw edges from fraying as much.
- Don’t fancy cutting out complicated applique shapes by hand? I use my AccuQuilt cutter for many of my applique quilts. They have fabric-cutting dies in lots of fun shapes that work well for applique.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! As long as you have stitched your applique shapes on securely there is no problem washing your quilt as you would any other. If you have used a raw edge applique technique then expect some fraying at the edges of your shapes (many people like this look!), it won’t make the quilt less secure, it just gives it a loved and used look.
Now…this depends on what kind of beginner you are! If you have done lots of hand sewing but not a lot of quilting then needle-turn applique might be just the thing for you.
However, if you are totally new to sewing and quilting my money is on raw-edge applique patterns as the easiest jumping-off point for a quick-win project that will give you the confidence to try other techniques moving forward.
No! If you feel comfortable you could simply cut out a cute background fabric as the basis for your quilt top and applique scrappy circles on it to your own design (or another applique shape of course!).
Patterns are very useful if you want a particular size or look but you don’t have to use them if you have ideas of your own swimming around in your head!
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