Oliver's Favourite Things Applique Quilt

Updated: Jun 24


Here’s how I made an applique quilt for my son that features some of his favourite things as a preschooler, using the raw edge applique technique. Free applique SVG cut files included!


Disclaimer: Due to image licensing reasons, I cannot distribute the cut files for the cat and flower motifs that I actually used in my quilt. I have, therefore, designed my own cat and flower motifs to be included in the free cut files download in this post. The rest are either free images on the internet or my own designs, which I have converted to SVG format. Links to all such free sources are provided below as well as inside the download file.


MATERIALS, TOOLS & MACHINES


The quilt top is made of a variety of cotton fabrics, including quilting cotton, Japanese cotton, Taiwanese cotton, and homespun cotton. In place of batting, I used one layer of quilt backing and another layer of worn cotton batik that were once sarongs. For the backing, I used minky dot, which is the only non-cotton element of the entire ensemble. What I would do differently in my next quilt would be to use one less layer or none at all between the quilt top and the backing. My finished quilt featured in this post turned out too thick and heavy for our tropical weather.


I have not used any fusible web or interfacing under my applique pieces. Instead, I have used diluted white glue (also known as school glue - one popular brand is Elmer) to paste them on the background fabrics, let them dry, and then stitched them down with applique stitches. When the quilt is finished, I soaked it in soapy water and rinsed it as thorough as I could before throwing it into the washing machine for another wash cycle or two. This is to protect my washing machine from glue residues.


For this project, I have used the Brother ScanNCut DX to cut all my applique pieces. I have used a variety of softwares to produce the SVG cut files from the original images that I found from the internet, as well as design my own images. They include the Canvas Workspace, Inkscape and Microsoft PowerPoint.


COMPOSITION & DIMENSION


If you follow all the dimensions specified in this post, you will end up with a quilt of the same size as mine i.e. about 140 cm (W) x 190 cm (H). Here's an illustration to show the composition.


The center appliqued panel is made of individual appliqued blocks (demarcated by the fine dark lines in the above image). The sizes of these individual blocks are described in the list of the cut files further down this post.


The borders are made of 5 cm wide strips. On the left and right, there are two strips each - making each border 10 cm wide. On the top and bottom, there are four strips each - making each border 20 cm wide.


TECHNIQUES & METHODS


I used raw edge applique technique. The appliqued pieces were machine-stitched with small zigzags (1.5 mm width and 0.6 mm length) on all raw edges, and then straight stitched (2 mm length) on the inside of all the zigzagged edges. I reinforced large applique pieces with additional lines of straight stitches. On some parts, I also sewed decorative stitches for added interests. All these applique stitches are done before piecing the blocks together.


For quilting, I machine-stitched 45-degree diagonal lines 2.5 cm apart, on the background only. As for binding, I chose self-binding by folding the minky dot backing to the front and sew.


What I would do differently for my next applique project would be to increase the zigzag width to 2 mm, and perhaps experiment with the blanket stitch.


Small zigzags and straight stitches along raw edges, and reinforcement stitches on large pieces. This and all the other photos were taken after a couple of washes, so this is how the raw edges fray.



Decorative stitches in place of straight stitches.



Self-binding with the minky dot backing.


CUT FILES


The free cut files consist of 24 motifs. I have adjusted the cut files to the sizes that will produce the same size quilt as the one I made i.e. 140 cm x 190 cm. If the sizes got distorted for whatever reason, you can easily resize them to the sizes specified below using Inkscape or your cutting machine’s software.

Here’s a YouTube tutorial on how to resize SVG images with Inkscape.

The cut files were designed specifically for raw edge applique. Some shapes overlap with adjoining shapes so they can be stacked. If you really want to do needle turn, you could try adding offset to the shapes using any image editing software.


DOWNLOAD APPLIQUE CUT FILES HERE


The following list is a rundown of the cut files, their finished applique sizes, and the sizes of the finished blocks (i.e. excluding seam allowance) on which they should be appliqued. So, for each finished block size specified below, I recommend adding about 2 cm seam allowance to the background fabric so you have some flexibility to work with when you piece the blocks together.


Each graphic image below, next to the photos of my finished appliques, is a modified version of its original image, which you can view by clicking on the "Original Image Source" link provided.


FISH

Applique: 23 cm (W) x 24.5 cm (H)

Block: 25 cm (W) x 30 cm (H)

Original Image Source: KissClipart


BOOKS

Applique: 22.5 cm (W) x 24 cm (H)

Block: 25 cm (W) x 30 cm (H)

Original Image Source: CLIPART


CAT

Applique: 21 cm (W) x 26 cm (H)

Block: 25 cm (W) x 30 cm (H)

Original Image Source: Own Design (Not shown in photo of quilt)

NOTE! The whiskers will be embroidered. I used the "Triple Stretch Stitch" on my Brother A150. You can also do it by hand.


TELEVISION

Applique: 19 cm (W) x 23 cm (H)

Block: 20 cm (W) x 30 cm (H)

Original Image Source: subpng

NOTE! The screen is made up of two pieces - one white and one grey. They need to be machine-pieced with 1 cm seam allowance along the curved profile before appliqueing.


WATERING CAN

Applique: 21 cm (W) x 22 cm (H)

Block: 25 cm (W) x 30 cm (H)

Original Image Source: Own Design


MOTORBIKE

Applique: 32 cm (W) x 20.5 cm (H)

Block: 35 cm (W) x 25 cm (H)

Original Image Source: ILLUSTOON


BUS

Applique: 32 cm (W) x 20.5 cm (H)

Block: 35 cm (W) x 25 cm (H)

Original Image Source: CLIPART

Note! The windows are made up of two strips of fabrics - blue and grey. Machine sew them together along their long edges before appliqueing.


HOUSE

Applique: 23 cm (W) x 28 cm (H)

Block: 25 cm (W) x 30 cm (H)

Original Image Source: CLIPART

Note! Each window is made up of two rectangular pieces - blue and white. Machine sew them together before appliqueing.


FLOWERS

Applique: 20 cm (W) x 53 cm (H)

Block: 25 cm (W) x 55 cm (H)

Original Image Source: Own Design (Not shown in photo of quilt)


CEMENT TRUCK

Applique: 31 cm (W) x 19 cm (H)

Block: 35 cm (W) x 20 cm (H)

Original Image Source: PNGGURU


POLICE CAR

Applique: 33.5 cm (W) x 18 cm (H)

Block: 35 cm (W) x 20 cm (H)

Original Image Source: Pinclipart


ORANGE

Applique: 18.5 cm (W) x 18.5 cm (H)

Block: 20 cm (W) x 20 cm (H)

Original Image Source: Clipart Art


AEROPLANE

Applique: 29 cm (W) x 17.5 cm (H)

Block: 30 cm (W) x 20 cm (H)

Original Image Source: PinPNG


KIWI

Applique: 18.5 cm (W) x 18.5 cm (H)

Block: 20 cm (W) x 20 cm (H)

Original Image Source: CLIPART


MONKEY

Applique: 23 cm (W) x 33 cm (H)

Block: 25 cm (W) x 35 cm (H)

Original Image Source: 4570BOOK


ROBOT

Applique: 22.3 cm (W) x 46 cm (H)

Block: 25 cm (W) x 50 cm (H)

Original Image Source: vippng


"OLIVER"

Applique: 92 cm (W) x 18 cm (H)

Block: 95 cm (W) x 20 cm (H)

Original Image Source: It's the "Cooper Black" font. I have explained how I found this font in my "Stuffed Fabric Letters" post. Read on to learn how to download the font and use it for cutting.


NOTE! The download link only contains cut files for the letters that spell "OLIVER". I did not create the cut files for other letters because it was extremely time consuming to just make "OLIVER" due to the low-resolution images of the font style, which you can download here. However, I have since learned of a quicker way - read on.


EDIT (17 June 2020):If you want this same font style for other letters, you can do any of the following:

  1. Download the low-resolution font images here, print, manually trace and cut out the letters; or

  2. If you are computer savvy, download the "Cooper Black" font here, and do as described in the "TIP!" below.


TIP! A much quicker alternative would be to simply use whatever font you have in your word processing software (print, trace and cut), or read this post to find out how to convert text to SVG format using Microsoft Powerpoint so you can get your cutting machine to cut the letters out.


CLOUDS

Applique: 32 cm (W) x 13.5 cm (H)

Block: 35 cm (W) x 15 cm (H)

Original Image Source: Found in many online sources. Unable to identify original source.


STAR

Applique: 13.5 cm (W) x 13.5 cm (H)

Block: 15 cm (W) x 15 cm (H)

Original Image Source: CLIPARTMAX


MUSIC NOTE

Applique: 13.5 cm (W) x 13.5 cm (H)

Block: 15 cm (W) x 15 cm (H)

Original Image Source: Own Design


PAW PRINT

Applique: 13.5 cm (W) x 13.5 cm (H)

Block: 15 cm (W) x 15 cm (H)

Original Image Source: Own Design


HEART

Applique: 13.5 cm (W) x 13.5 cm (H)

Block: 15 cm (W) x 15 cm (H)

Original Image Source: NetClipart


TRAIN ENGINE

Applique: 28 cm (W) x 18 cm (H)

Block: 29.5 cm (W) x 20 cm (H)

Original Image Source: NICEPNG


TRAIN CABIN

Applique: 22 cm (W) x 16.3 cm (H)

Intermediate Blocks: 22.3 cm (W) x 20 cm (H)

Tail Block: 23.6 cm (W) x 20 cm (H)

Original Image Source: Same as Train Engine


TIP! Notice the block widths highlighted red above? If you don't want to fuss with such precise cuts, you can just cut the background fabric with plenty of excess on the widths, say, 40 cm wide for the Train Head and 35 cm wide for the Train Cabins. This way, after you piece all the train blocks together, you are bound to have plenty of excess fabric on the left and right ends of the train applique. This will give you ample room to "slide" the entire train block left or right until it aligns with the blocks above it. All the excess can be easily trimmed later.


IMPORTANT! Whether you have cut the background fabric precisely or with excess, when appliqueing, position the Train Head on its background fabric as far right as possible and the LAST Cabin on its background fabric as far left as possible, both while maintaining sufficient seam allowance for them to be sewn to their adjacent cabin blocks. See next section on "PIECING SEQUENCE" for more details.


Note! The windows are made of two rectangular pieces - white and grey. Machine sew them together along their long edges before appliqueing.



PIECING SEQUENCE



STEP 1 :


The train's drawbars should be about 3 mm apart.



STEP 2 :




STEP 3 :




STEP 4 :




STEP 5 :




STEP 6 :




STEP 7 :




STEP 8 :




STEP 9 :




STEP 10 :




STEP 11 :




STEP 12 :




STEP 13 :



STEP 14 :

Add borders and the applique quilt top is done!




THE FINISHED QUILT


Here are more photos of my finished quilt!



I enjoyed making this applique quilt through and through. It is so far one of the most fun projects that I have done. I hope you have gained some insights from this post for your own applique quilt project!

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