Rainbow Raindrops Baby Quilt – Free Applique Quilt Pattern

This is a quick and easy baby quilt pattern using simple raw edge applique.

Sometimes I find the most impactful quilts are the simplest.

applique baby quilt rainbow raindrops

I can get myself tied into knots following complicated patterns with lots of pieces to cut and end up not liking the end product as much as when I ‘give myself a break’ and make a fun quilt that is quick and easy.

This sweet baby quilt pattern was so much fun to make and would fit nicely into any child’s room (it is on the larger size of baby quilts – so it will last into toddlerhood!).

Applique quilts can be daunting, but not this one. This is a quick finish easy quilt with just enough raw edge applique to wet your toes but not enough to have you tearing your hair out!

This quilt certainly belongs in the category of modern baby quilts and is great for a baby when you don’t know the new arrivals gender or to celebrate a ‘rainbow baby’ after a loss.

This Rainbow Raindrops Baby Quilt is a great way to use leftovers of your favorite scraps in bright colors as you only need a 3″ x 3″ square of each applique piece.

You won’t be emptying your scrap bin with this free quilt pattern but you can give that last piece of precious fabric pride of place!

applique baby quilt rainbow raindrops
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Finished size 42” x 55”

free applique quilt pattern
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

How to Make a Simple Baby Quilt Using Fusible Applique

Below you will find a free quilting pattern with all the supplies and detailed instructions to make this handmade quilt.

Supply List

Fabric Requirements & Cutting Instructions

rainbow raindrops cutting requirements scrap fabric love
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

White or Low Volume Background Fabric:

Cut one larger piece of fabric for the background WOF; x 56” to give room to square up.

From your bright and colorful cotton fabrics:

21 3” x 3” squares which will be cut down into 21 raindrops using the printable template or AccuQuilt Crazy Petals Die 55326

The 3” x 3” squares you will cut your raindrops from should be in the following colors: 3 blue, 3 purple/lilac, 3 pink, 3 red, 3 orange, 3, yellow, 3 green

It looks nice if each of your color groupings has some variety in it, e.g. dark, medium and a light blue instead of 3 the same but the quilt will look great either way! It is probably best to avoid large prints as the raindrops are fairly small.

Fusible

21 3” x 3” squares of heat n bond lite or a similar iron on fusible product.

Backing Fabric

WOF x 58”.

Quilt Construction

Step 1: Preparing your Background

Cut one large piece of background fabric – you can use a white background, white on white print, or another low-volume print that won’t distract from your colorful rainbow raindrops which are meant to be the star of this quilt.

You will trim down after quilting but I recommend initially cutting your background fabric to WOF (44”) x 56”

Make a fold down the center of your background fabric and either press to give you a crease line to follow or mark with a friction pen all the way down the center of your fabric running lengthwise.

Step 2: Applying Fusible

Iron on whichever fusible web product you are using to the back of your 3 “ x  3” squares before cutting them into the raindrop shapes – especially if you are using the raw edge applique method that this pattern was designed with.

Consider if you have any leftover charm squares or scraggly bits leftover from fat quarters that you used most of and then tossed in your scrap pile.

Step 3: Cutting your Rainbow Raindrops

applique raindrops shape
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Cut out your rainbow raindrops.

You can either print the included template onto card stock and use it as a cutting template or you can also use the largest petal shape in the AccuQuilt Crazy Petals Die 55326.

I attached my raindrops using raw edge applique by machine. 

There are other applique techniques you can use. If you would prefer to use needle turn applique add a ¼ “ all the way around the template to give you fabric to turn with.

Cut 3 raindrops from each color family group – you can cut 3 the same or use different scraps in the same color family like I did.

Colour Groups: Blue, Purple, Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green

Step 4: Layout and Fusing

Layout your raindrops on your quilt top before ironing in place using the fusible.

The raindrops are arranged in a cascading pattern.  It is easiest to start with the middle line of raindrops and work out.

The tip of the first middle raindrop should be 9.5” down from the top of your background fabric and dead center on the middle of your background fabric. 

applique raindrops placement scrap fabric love
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

The other raindrops that run down the center should be 3.5” apart from the bottom of one raindrop to the tip of the next.

applique baby quilt free pattern scrap fabric love
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

You should end up with approx. 10” or so from the bottom of the last center line raindrop to the bottom of your background fabric.

For the other two rows hold a ruler horizontally from the first row you placed down. 

The bottoms and tips of each raindrop should line up (see image).

The fattest part of the raindrops on either side of the central line should be 3” from the center on either side.

You should find that your highest and lowest raindrops are approximately 7” from the top and bottom of your fabric.

Step 5: Applique

rainbow raindrops baby applique quilt free pattern scrap fabric love
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

When you are confident about your raindrop placements iron them in place following your fusible’s instructions.

Then sew by machine to attach them. 

I stitched around each raindrop approx 1/8” from the raw edge using a stitch length of 3.

I sewed two times around each raindrop. 

You can also use a zig-zag stitch if you prefer that look.

Step 6: Quilting Design

applique baby quilt. quilting
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Baste your backing and batting in place and quilt as desired. 

I quilted a raincloud over the central raindrops and did some straight line quilting to link the colored raindrops and then I did some closer straight line quilting to either side to make it look a bit like a rain shower with some lovely colorful raindrops interrupting the storm!

applique baby quilt - quilting design
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Step 7: Squaring & Binding

Square up and bind your quilt.  It might help to fold your quilt down that central line again to make sure you are trimming equal amounts from either side of your quilt and that central line remains in the center.

quilt binding
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

For your binding, you will need approx. half a yard of fabric if you are making 2.5” binding strips.

post wash rainbow raindrops quilt scrap fabric love
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Note:  The raw edges of your raindrops will get a slight fray on them after they’ve been washed.  This is part of the charm of this method (see photo of post-wash quilt above). 

If you would prefer not to have these edges you can also hand sew your raindrops in place using the needle turn applique method instead.

Finished Quilt

Here is the finished quilt. I think. it is the perfect quilt to give any little one sweet dreams. It is a small quilt finishing at approx 42″x 55″ after trimming and squaring up.

free applique quilt pattern - rainbow raindrops
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

It is what I call a toddler size and when I give a quilt this size to new parents I always make sure to tell them it is for letting their child drag it around the house, snuggle on the sofa with and make tents with.

Otherwise, I find baby quilts often end up in a cupboard since advice to parents is not to put a crib quilt in with a new baby so they will likely not get used at bedtime until the child is in a toddler bed….thus the larger size.

free applique baby quilt pattern
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Video Tutorial – Rainbow Raindrops Applique Quilt Pattern

Top Tips:

  • Many people use freezer paper instead of fusible web for their applique patterns.
  • Use a satin stitch or double blanket stitch for hand applique when you don’t want to use the raw edge technique.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you quilt before or after the applique?

In most cases, you want to affix your applique prior to quilting the entire quilt.

However, if you are doing dense quilting – like matchstick quilting or if you are doing a custom free motion quilting design and you feel you can accurately stitch down the edges of the raindrops you can choose to applique and quilt in one step.

Does raw edge applique fray?

In general, raw edge applique does fray to a degree. Using a zig-zag stitch will minimize the fraying to a degree. Also using a fabric with a higher thread count and tighter weave, like a batik, will minimize fraying. That being said the only way to eliminate fraying altogether is to hand applique.
There are also fray check products that you can use to minimize this frayed look if you don’t like it (see optional supplies above).

Printable Quick Reference Sheet

Full view of an applique baby quilt with colorful rainbow raindrops lying on the floor.

Easy Raw Edge Applique Baby Quilt

Make a modern beginner friendly baby quilt for a quick finish with some raw edge applique techniques.

Materials

  • Background Fabric
  • Colorful fabric scraps for the Raindrops (3" x 3" each)
  • Downloadable Template or Accuquilt Crazy Petals Die
  • Fusible (like heat n' bond or steam a seam)

Tools

  • Clear quilting ruler
  • Sewing Machine
  • Accuquilt GO Cutter (optional)

Instructions

  1. Follow the fabric cutting instruction to prepare your whole cloth background fabric.
  2. Apply fusible to the back of 3" x 3" colored scrap fabric pieces (these will be your rainbow raindrops)
  3. Cut out your raindrop shapes using either an Accuquilt cutter or the downloadable template provided.
  4. Following the measuring instructions in the post place your raindrops where you want them and iron in place to activate the fusible.
  5. Use your favorite raw edge applique stitch to attach your raindrops.
  6. Quilt as desired.

Looking for more free patterns or ideas for using your Accuquilt Go? Check out some of the posts below:

Free Patterns & Gifts for New Babies

More projects to use your Accuquilt Cutter:

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