This is a quick and easy baby quilt pattern using simple raw edge applique.
Sometimes I find the most impactful quilts are the simplest.
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!
Finished size 42” x 55”
Table of Contents
- Fabric Requirements & Cutting Instructions
- Quilt Construction
- Finished Quilt
- Video Tutorial – Rainbow Raindrops Applique Quilt Pattern
- Top Tips:
- Frequently Asked Questions:
- Printable Quick Reference Sheet
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.
- Background fabric (see below for exact fabric requriements)
- Colorful scraps for raindrops (3″ x 3″ each)
- Fusible Fabric Adhesive (a fusible product like Steam a Seam or Heat n’ Bond will all work)
- Downloadable Template (see below) or Accuquilt Crazy Petals Die & an Accuquilt Cutter
- Fabric Scissors
- Clear Quilting Ruler
- Rotary cutter
- Sewing Machine
- Fray Check (optional)
Fabric Requirements & Cutting Instructions
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:
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.
21 3” x 3” squares of heat n bond lite or a similar iron on fusible product.
WOF x 58”.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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.
For your binding, you will need approx. half a yard of fabric if you are making 2.5” binding strips.
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.
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.
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.
Video Tutorial – Rainbow Raindrops Applique Quilt Pattern
- 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:
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.
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
Make a modern beginner friendly baby quilt for a quick finish with some raw edge applique techniques.
- 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)
- Clear quilting ruler
- Sewing Machine
- Accuquilt GO Cutter (optional)
- Follow the fabric cutting instruction to prepare your whole cloth background fabric.
- Apply fusible to the back of 3" x 3" colored scrap fabric pieces (these will be your rainbow raindrops)
- Cut out your raindrop shapes using either an Accuquilt cutter or the downloadable template provided.
- Following the measuring instructions in the post place your raindrops where you want them and iron in place to activate the fusible.
- Use your favorite raw edge applique stitch to attach your raindrops.
- 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
- Easy Stroller Quilt from 7 Jelly Roll Strips!
- Free Heart Pattern – Beginner Friendly Foundation Paper Piecing
- 17 of the Best Free Baby Quilt Patterns
- Free I Spy Quilt Tutorial (Easy Raw Edge Applique)
- Easy 9 Patch Quilt – Quilt in a Week!
- Scrap Fabric Owl Soft Toy – Free Pattern Templates & Tutorial
- Baby Colour Book from Scraps
- Making Fabric Cubes – Baby Toys, Door Stops & Ottomans!
More projects to use your Accuquilt Cutter: