FREE Quilting Patterns, Tutorials, Magazine

Eye catching machine applique with the Brother NQ900


Yesterday on QUILTsocial, I showed you how to prep and fuse your applique pieces to make the center of our cute baby quilt. Today, we get to use the Brother NQ900 to do the machine applique!


The Brother NQ900 sewing machine is set up and ready to sew.
Brother NQ900 sewing machine


Let’s select a stitch!

With 240 built-in sewing stitches, including 58 stitches that you can combine, it was hard to decide which stitch to start with!! Usually when I do machine applique, I use a blanket stitch because, let’s face it, my home sewing machine has a limited number of stitches available. But, after seeing the decorative stitches that Jean used on her tablerunner last month on QUILTsocial, I knew that this machine was going to give me WAY more options!


The open top cover of the Brother NQ900 showing the stitch selection chart.
The open top cover showing the stitch selection chart


So, I decided on stitch #25 in the Utility Decorative Stitches grouping. Once I made my selection, the LCD screen showed me what the stitch was going to look like, AND which foot I should use – the N foot as shown on the left side of the screen.


The LCD Display for Utility decorative stitch #25 on the Brother NQ900.
LCD Display for Utility Decorative Stitch #25


I loaded a gray variegated thread into the top of the machine, placed a prewound bobbin of DecoBob in the bottom, and I was in business. I loved how this stitch looked on the edges of the elephant!


Close up of stitching on the elephant
Close up of stitching on the elephant


For the elephant’s ear, I decided on a stitch that looked like a slanted blanket stitch – #12 in the Utility Decorative Stitches group. This stitch needed the same foot, so no need to switch it out!


The LCD display showing the settings for Utility Decorative Stitch #12 on the Brother NQ900 sewing machine.
LCD display showing settings for Utility Decorative Stitch #12


Here’s a close up of the stitch done with Fruitti #FT02 which is a blue and yellow variegated thread. Doesn’t it look awesome?


A close up photo of the Brother NQ900 stitching on the elephant ear.
Close up of stitching on the elephant ear


Since I’m such a blanket stitch nut, I decided that I better try out the NQ900 blanket stitch too! This stitch is #20 in the same group as the above two stitches and again uses foot N.


The LCD display showing the blanket stitch settings for the Brother NQ900's Utility Decorative Stitch #20.
LCD display showing the settings for Utility Decorative Stitch #20


Here it is stitched on the outside edge of the balloon heart. I used Tutti #TU30 for this stitch and really like how it looks on the green checked fabric!


A close up of the Brother NQ900 blanket stitching on the heart applique shape.
Close up of stitching on the heart shape


After stitching down all of the edges of the applique shapes, the next job was to stitch the antennae of the butterfly and the string for the balloon. I used an erasable marking tool to draw these lines onto the background fabric.


The butterfly antennae are drawn with a Frixion pen prior to stitching with the Brother NQ900.
The butterfly antennae drawn with a Frixion pen


I wanted to mimic the look of hand embroidery, so I decided on zigzag stitch #10. The LCD screen showed that I needed to change to foot J, so I did that and then loaded a black thread into the top of the machine. I shortened the width and length of the stitch by pressing the “-” buttons under the width and length indicators on the screen.


The LCD display on the Brother NQ900 shows the settings for the Utility Stitch #10, otherwise known as the zigzag stitch.
LCD display shows the settings for Utility Stitch #10 – zigzag


Here’s a close up of the butterfly antennae – doesn’t that look great?


A closeup photo of the Brother NQ900 zigzag stitch used to embroider the antennae on the butterfly.
Closeup of zigzag stitched antennae


In total, I used six different decorative stitches to finish the machine applique on the quilt. I quite like how the quilt is progressing and can’t wait to start putting on the borders! Tomorrow, we’ll add all of the borders, and we’ll start machine quilting with the awesome Brother NQ900!


This completed quilt top for a baby quilt is completed with machine applique using the Brother NQ900.
Completed stitching



This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Elephant applique adds a modern twist to this baby quilt

Go to part 4:  Jumpstart your free motion quilting on this elephant baby quilt

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website


  1. Angela Short

    It is nice how this machine works. Thanks for the series!

    • Thanks Angela! I’m really enjoying using the NQ900!

  2. Kathy E.

    This is such an adorable applique. I’d like to add a “parade” of elephants on the back of a baby quilt. Thank you!

    • Hi Kathy – that WOULD be super cute!! Have fun with it 🙂

  3. Dawn F.

    I love how the applique on this piece sets off all the pieces and fun fabrics. I have never tried applique, but it does look fun!

    • Dawn you SHOULD try to do machine applique! And using BIG applique shapes like these is GREAT for your first attempt. Have fun!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear above.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.