I LOVE this quilt and I’m confident you will too! Quilt designs are so subjective and everyone has their own tastes. Some like traditional quilts, while others prefer modern, but the American Flag is a universal symbol of freedom and bravery, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love its design. How had I not thought of making an American flag quilt? I already have a Union Jack quilt pattern (ahem, it’s been half way finished for two years) because I love the ability to bring heritage and history into the home. A symbol that my kids can see every day so it’s burned into their childhood memory.
I tried using unexpected fabrics for my colors. I certainly didn’t want to use solids (although, that might be cool too). The blue is a batik that I love. It looks very fireworky to me! I thought it was perfect and knew it was the right choice as soon as I spotted it. The red is a paisley bandana print, that is a bit predictable but totally all-American, so I had to go with it. The white is actually a bit of a cream background with sparse red toned flowers. I love the combination of all these fabrics working together. For the sashing, I used a muted gray polka dot that ties it all together nicely.
I should tell you too, this is just the top. Once I got the bug to make this, I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to get it quilted and bound, and back to me before the 4th of July. This year we’ll just use it as a picnic blanket to watch fireworks and then I will get it shipped off to The Back Porch Quilters. I will definitely do a repost of the finished product once I get it back! I do have to say, I loved the flag-like waves it was giving me when I was shooting the pictures.
*-* I’m so proud and excited to bring you this tutorial! It’s my first quilt to design fully from block to full quilt, and I couldn’t be more excited! I hope you love it and are inspired to make one too!
Let’s do this thang:
FABRIC REQUIREMENTS (finished size 75″x75″)
BLUE 1 1/4 yards
RED 1 1/2 yards
WHITE 1 yard
GREY 2 yards
BACKING 4 1/2 yards
BINDING 2/3 yard
First, I recommend that you square up your fabric before cutting into it. If you skip this step, your strips will more than likely be wonky, making your entire quilt wonky and we all know wonky = bad. Follow my tutorial HERE to keep your fabric straight and unwonky!
Cut your flag strips and squares first.
16 Blue @ 9.5”x9.5”
13 Red @ 3.5” x WOF (width of fabric)
10 White @ 3.5”x WOF
18 Grey @ 3.5” x WOF (for sashing)
Sew a red and white strip together using a 1/4” seam allowance. You will be sewing the two long edges together so your stitch line will be the whole width of the fabric (about 42”) Press the seam open. Sew 8 separate strips just like this.
Now, obviously, you need 4 more 3-strip panels, so take 4 of those 6.5” 2-strip panels from above and add a 6.5” red strip to the bottom of it by cutting up your last red long strip. Now you have 16- 6.5” panels
I don’t have a picture of all the sashing cut (sorry!) so go ahead and take 7 of them and cross cut each strip into 4- 15.5” strips, making 21- 15.5” strips. (1 will not be used)
Sew that strip to the left side of all 16 flag blocks. Take the 4 strips left over and sew them to the right side of 4 of the blocks, so you will have 4 flag blocks with both sides having a sash on it.
Take each 4 flag row and pin the long sashing to each row on the top. Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance. As you can see from above, I don’t cut my sashing down until after it’s sewn. On one of the flag panels, sew the remaining strip to the bottom of one of the rows. This will be your bottom row. Press seam allowances open.
This quilt top took me a day to make… and that was with me figuring out the mathematics AND taking breaks to feed my kids! If you are an experienced quilter, that’s what you’re looking at to get this done. Beginning quilters should take a few days (12 hours total). I have full confidence that a beginner can do this and if you have ANY questions, please contact me and I will answer you!
I think it would be a fabulous gift for a veteran or anyone who loves the flag! Think of all the special times you could use it! Veteran’s Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July. Get started now and give it as a gift for Christmas. There is also a wonderful charity, Quilts of Valor, that donates handmade quilts to veterans as they come home from war. If you are feeling extra charitable, you can always do that too!