Elephant applique adds a modern twist to this baby quilt

Yesterday on QUILTsocial, I talked about my six favorite features of the Brother NQ900 sewing machine. Really, I could have gone on longer. The more I use this machine, the more features I find that I LOVE. But, I have a project that I want to share with you, a fun and easy baby quilt. So let’s get going!

Brother NQ900

We have a family member who’s pregnant, so I wanted to make a baby quilt for her new little bundle of joy. Northcott has a bunch of new kids and baby fabric lines, so I contacted Elaine and asked if she could send me some fabrics to play with. Here is Northcott’s Bundle of Love fabrics, which is just perfect for a new baby boy!

Fabrics for my baby quilt

I really wanted to try out the decorative stitches on the NQ900, so I decided to do a machine appliqued design in the center of the quilt. Since the Bundle of Love fabrics feature elephants, I decided to use one of them as my design inspiration. I’ve attached a PDF with the applique design for your use, if you’d like to make your own version.

Fusible applique pattern for the elephant baby quilt. Click on the picture to download the original PDF.

Elephant baby quilt – finished size 33″ x 40″


  • ½yd white fabric for background
  • ½yd gray fabric for borders
  • ½yd gray print fabric for applique, borders, and binding
  • ¼yd each of five other prints for applique, borders, and binding
  • 1yd backing fabric
  • batting 40″ x 45″

Tracing the applique shapes

When using fusible web, trace your applique shape onto the paper side of the product. Since the elephant is such a large applique shape, I decided to cut away the center part of the fusible web so that it was only stuck around the edges of the elephant. This results in a “softer” feel to the finished applique. In order to not waste that piece of fusible web, I traced the heart and ear shapes inside of the elephant shape.

Traced applique shapes on the fusible web

Cut all of your traced applique shapes loosely from the fusible web, and then iron each to the back of your chosen fabrics. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for your chosen fusible web product. Next, cut each of these shapes along the drawn line. As you can see in the photo below, the center of my elephant shape does not have any fusible web stuck to it. Next, peel off the paper backing.

Back side of the elephant applique

Cut your background fabric to 18″ x 24″. Arrange the applique shapes with the fusible side down onto the background, and then fuse into place.

Positioning the shapes on the background fabric

Here’s the background with the applique shapes fused in place. I can’t wait to get started stitching with the NQ900!!

The fused shapes

I found three different WonderFil threads in my stash that will work beautifully with the fabrics.

WonderFil threads to match the fabrics

Now that the applique shapes are fused and I’ve picked some threads for the elephant baby quilt, I’m ready to get stitching! There are so many amazing decorative stitches on the Brother NQ900 that I’m sure I’m going to have lots of fun doing my machine applique tomorrow!

The NQ900 is all ready to go!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: 6 features I love on the Brother NQ900 sewing machine

Go to part 3: Eye catching machine applique with the Brother NQ900

Related posts

5 quick steps to calculate yardage for quilt backing [3 styles]

4 steps to adding a floating block border to your quilt top [easy tutorial]

4 tips for adding flying geese blocks to a border with the Brother NQ900


Maria Brown April 6, 2022 - 5:47 pm
I like the elephant! Thank you for sharing>
Donna March 28, 2022 - 5:15 pm
This is such an adorable pattern! Thank you so much for sharing it. I've purchased my fabrics and will be starting on it soon and I'm so excited. I have 2 brother machines and although mine is not as fancy as yours, I can manage to get a decent stitch for applique. My other brother is the PQ1500SL and I love it for free motion quilting. This was the perfect quilt for a friend who is expecting and wants an elephant theme! So much to learn from all the great people who share their ideas on the web. You are a gem!
Carla A. Canonico March 28, 2022 - 6:16 pm
Thank you Donna for sharing your enthusiasm! We are so happy to provide exciting free quilting patterns and tutorials!
Nancy Fournier January 11, 2018 - 11:05 pm
Was looking for the pattern,read article again and realized I was just not reading it correctly,I see the sizing needed now. Thank you
Christine Baker January 16, 2018 - 12:28 pm
Awesome Nancy - I'm glad that you found it! Have fun making your baby quilt :) Christine
Nancy Fournier January 11, 2018 - 10:03 pm
I love the pattern and have downloaded the pdf for the elephant and the applique but wondering where do I find the actual pattern with the sizing for the squares around the background fabric ?
Pearl Belzer April 2, 2017 - 8:36 am
I love elephants and this pattern is adorable! Thanks for sharing
Christine Baker April 2, 2017 - 6:42 pm
You're welcome! I'm glad you like it :)
Charity April 1, 2017 - 8:31 pm
That is so cute!!
Christine Baker April 2, 2017 - 6:43 pm
Thanks Charity!
VickiT March 30, 2017 - 12:38 pm
I had to come back to this post to read more after seeing the post today. Thank you very much for the applique pattern and instruction. I have to tell you that I really love how your site does so well showing the options on a new machine you have to test and gives such a great job showing anyone who wants to know more. When I was considering the purchase of my newest machine, I happened to find your site before I went to check the machine out. Then while waiting for my machine to arrive at the dealer I purchased from, I learned SO much about my machine from reading you blog that it really helped me. I went to pick up my machine armed with more questions to have things you'd posted about so I could clarify how to use them in more detail. So thank you for the work you do posting things like you have for this Brother machine.
Christine Baker March 30, 2017 - 10:38 pm
Hi Vicki - Thanks so much for your comment! I'm so glad that the blog was able to help you with your new machine :)
Sandy Allen March 29, 2017 - 9:24 pm
Love the elephant! I have a baby quilt I need to make by October. May have to try this!
Christine Baker March 30, 2017 - 10:39 pm
Thanks Sandy - I'm so glad you like it.
Elaine O'Connell March 29, 2017 - 8:27 pm
Love the quilt pattern especially with these fabrics. inspirational!
Christine Baker March 30, 2017 - 10:40 pm
Thanks Elaine - I always find that the fabrics inspire me in my projects and this line was SO cute!!
Linda Webster March 29, 2017 - 5:25 pm
Adorable baby quilt! Thanks for the tutorial.
Christine Baker March 30, 2017 - 10:41 pm
Thanks Linda :)
Linda Williamson March 29, 2017 - 7:28 am
Great tutorial. Love the elephant.
Christine Baker March 30, 2017 - 10:43 pm
Thanks Linda - it was a very fun project :)
Janie M March 28, 2017 - 3:40 pm
Thank you for this tutorial and the templates. Sew sweet.
Christine Baker March 30, 2017 - 10:43 pm
Thanks Janie!
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