Finished Union Jack Quilt

*Drum roll…* (By a guy in a tall, fuzzy, black hat)
I am proud to finally present, after about 2.5 years under construction: The completed Union Jack Quilt.  This quilt is probably my all-time favorite quilt I’ve ever made.  I know I say that all the time, but I decided that if my house were burning down and I could only save one quilt, it would be this one. So that is saying something, right?
And I am so very well pleased with it that I even took it out for a photo shoot.  Partly to give you all a break from my ubiquitous backyard fence, and partly because this quilt is so huge, I couldn’t find any proper place to hang the full thing for display at home. 
I used this pattern, but I added three extra blocks (mainly because I couldn’t stop making them) and borders to make it even bigger.  I will say that I modified the pattern slightly because I felt like the original method wastes fabric when making the diagonal stripes of each flag. I ended up doing something closer to paper-piecing for those parts, but all the other measurements, etc. are from the Victory Garden pattern by Busy Bee Designs.  And as always, I used my favorite 50-wt Auriful thread, that makes everything turn out so nicely.
I’ve decided that inspiration for these Union Jacks is a bit of Andy Warhol meets Cath Kidston. Here are a couple of close-ups of the fabric. For years I’ve collected fabric and hoarded carefully saved some pieces for ‘just the right project.’  Well this is that project. I pulled out all the favorites and used them the best that I knew how. 

I have to give a shout-out here to my friend Aunt Spicy.  Her Union Jack pillows were one of my first inspirations to make a quilt like this.  She even shared with me a few pieces of her beloved Jennifer Paganelli’s Casey Scroll fabrics to use in my blocks, and so I lovingly think of her when I see them.  Through that initial connection we discovered our mutual love of all things British, not to mentioned some similar experiences living in the UK. We even discovered that we are descended from the same British great-great-grandparents. I kid you not. Cosmic, huh?

I was determined to use as much stash as possible for this quilt- and really did well. Because it’s so huge, I needed to piece the back, but found a good stripe that went with a big hunk of London lawns-inspired fabric, covered with red English roses, which felt very appropriate.

For those of you who have been around these parts for a long time, you are well aware of my British obsession. Here’s the scoop if you’re new: most of my heritage comes from England (and a wee bit from Scotland).  I’ve visited a few times as a tourist, but also lived there twice in the 90’s: in London for a semester as a college student (where I fell in love with that city) and later for 18 months in Manchester, Liverpool and on the Isle of Man as a Mormon missionary.  I left a piece of my heart in the UK when I came home and I still miss it every day.  My dream is to take our family and live there for a summer (if not a little longer).  I am still keeping that dream alive…one day it’s going to happen.

Amazing Image by Dieter Braun
My goal was to finish this quilt before the London Olympics start. Ace!  I started making these blocks 2.5 years ago while watching the Winter Olympics in Vancouver so the quilt has a nice Olympic connection as well.  I am so excited to watch the Olympics for the next few weeks – and I have a feeling I’m going to get very homesick…but a good kind of homesick.
Cheers my dears! You are all dead brilliant.
Now bring on the Hobnobs, crumpets and Ribena!

Comments

  1. says

    Oh WOW! What a &quot;frightfully fabulous quilt&quot; (you need to read that in a &quot;terribly English accent&quot;)<br />:-)<br />Truly beautiful and an amazing amount of love &amp; hard work you have put into it. Jolly well done! (again..use the accent!) Enjoy the Olympics,<br />love from the Midlands of England<br />xx

  2. says

    Oh, SA-WOOOON!!! I LOVE it Amy! It turned out great!!! I&#39;m just getting started on mine — well, sort of, just planning out the dimensions and pattern. I feel like it will take forever! LOVE LOVE LOVE your new quilt!!!

  3. says

    love it!!!!<br />fantabulous….<br />never had an urge to make a union jack unitl i first saw your squares…and you have awoken it in me again….maybe just a pillow…but geez…your quilt fabulous…:)

  4. says

    Gorgeous quilt, Amy!!! Like Gilly said, it looks like alot of love and hard work went into it:). I can see why it would be your all-time favorite- absolutely beautiful!!

  5. says

    The quilt is just beautiful Amy!!! I love it :) My mom is finally going back to England in September with her mother. She hasn&#39;t been back since she moved as a child. She is so excited. Apparently her old elementary school is still standing. I still get a kick out of my Grandmother&#39;s accent :)

  6. says

    I saw your union jack quilt on Pinterest and wanted to stop by and tell you how beautiful it is! My son-in-law is from England…his mum still lives there. I&#39;m working on a union jack pillow for him but it would be lovely to make something like this for him someday. <br />2 1/2 years is a long time – So what will you do with all your spare time now?<br />:)

  7. says

    I&#39;ve been reading your blog long enough to remember when you first started it. It&#39;s been fun to see it evolve. Definitely a beauty! I think I&#39;d carry it from a burning building as well and I don&#39;t even have any UK connections! :) Well done. It&#39;s stunning!

  8. says

    it&#39;s beautiful! you inspired me to buy that pattern a while back when i first saw your block progress. I still haven&#39;t started yet. seems like a lot of work. but oh so worth it!!

  9. says

    This quilt is so cool I could faint! I, too, am a British baby and have caught the Jubilee fever. I purchased this pattern a while back when you wrote about this quilt in progress. Now I can&#39;t wait to make my own!<br />Thanks for the inspiration.<br />xoxo<br />Donna

  10. says

    Another English Midlands dweller piling in!<br /><br />This is lovely, I like your fabric choices. I made a union flag cushion not too long ago. You might be interested to know the Union Jack is what it is called when out at sea, on land it is the Union Flag. Not many people here know that though!

    • says

      That is so fascinating – I did not know that! Now I&#39;ll know it&#39;s proper title whether on land or sea. <br /><br />I&#39;m loving all the hello&#39;s from Midlanders today!

  11. says

    Cath Kidston would be proud! Our ancestors would be proud! That is such a stunningly gorgeous quilt…you are just too good! The whole post made me a little teary-eyed, thanks! And it convinced me I need to get cracking on my quilt…add it back into the sewing stack…<br /><br />ps. I love all of our connections! I still think you all should visit me!

  12. says

    Oh, well done Amy! Please tell us when you are coming to visit so I can contrive a way of meeting you in person!<br /><br />I just might start sewing my own version of that quilt…

  13. says

    I loooooove your quilt!!! I love the story about your going to England on your mission and all of your British connections. That makes it more special. I grew up in Canada, so the Union Jack used to be Canada&#39;s flag until 1967 when they created their maple leaf flag. I am having a quilt along with this pattern on my blog, beginning August 6. My daughter chose the pattern and I&#39;m

  14. says

    Congratulations on a finish Amy! It really turned out fabulous, and I predict your quilt will be the inspiration for many others to make a Union Jack as well. I know it&#39;s on my &quot;to do&quot; list!

  15. says

    Good gracious, you were ambitious! Such a lovely, sentimental, and happy quilt to finish. Hooray for reaching your goal, and hoping you can bring your family to England. I feel the same way about Jerusalem. :)

  16. says

    woohoo Amy I love love love it and, in mutual union jackiness, I think I might have the big reveal of my UJ quilt on my blog tomorrow which is uncannily like yours. And, when you do come back here, make sure you come and visit me please! X

  17. says

    An exceptional quilt! The fabrics and colors compliment the pattern and vice versa. It was well worth the years of collection and construction for the creation of this masterpiece…

  18. says

    Yay, congrats on the finish, it looks fab, and very nicely timed for the Olympics, although I have a feeling I could be doing with a quilt to snuggle under at the rowing finals 2 weeks today!

  19. says

    This turned out so beautifully! And how perfect that it&#39;s just in time for the Olympics. I&#39;m a total Olympics junkie. Sadly, I&#39;ll miss this year&#39;s opening ceremony because I&#39;ll be standing *outside* in predicted high-90s weather for my best friend&#39;s wedding. Let&#39;s just say it&#39;s a good thing she&#39;s amazing in every other respect aside from her choices in wedding

  20. says

    Wow, that quilt was well worth the wait! You have a created a beautiful heirloom! Do you do genealogy? I noticed you talked about great-great-grandparents. I have British roots, but my husband is ALL Irish, so I&#39;m not sure how he would feel about me sewing a Union Jack Quilt, but I guess I can keep it on my side of the bed, ha!

  21. says

    It is stunning! As Janice said, a beautiful heirloom! I bet it is cozy. You got it done before the Olympics so you can cheer on the teams holding your beautiful quilt.I do love your colors and prints. Very well thought of. Congratulations on the occomplishment! Thank you for the pattern source. They have some nice patterns.

  22. says

    Instant LOVE! This one really turned out so well!!!! I wish I had just an inkling of the talent you have!!! Then I could turn out a beauty like that!!!

  23. says

    Absolutely gorgeous!! It makes it even more special knowing the story and all the time and love you put into this wonderful quilt!! THIS is what I love about quilting!!Congrats on a job well done!!

  24. says

    Oh I loved reading your post..I too love all things British and I must admit to stalking your Union Jack Quilt from time to time. I even bought the pattern a month or so ago, so now to get on and build my own….Cathy

  25. says

    You know it&#39;s not a secret about how much I loved your blocks! I&#39;ve loved them since the first time I saw you working on them 2 years ago when we were on retreat together:) I&#39;ve wanted to make one of my own ever since.<br />Now that I see it in all of it&#39;s finished glory…I am even MORE in love with it!!!…yes…this should be the first quilt that you save in an emergency…it&#

  26. says

    How lovely, your quilt looks goooorgeous! I love those close-up shots of the fabrics, they&#39;re absolutely beautiful! Well done, and whoop whoop to you for your finish :)) Looking forward to the Olympics!

  27. says

    Fantabulus! I am visually and spiritually inspired by your quilt. It is so rewarding when a finished project makes such a deep emotional connection with us. It becomes even more cherished. Way to go!

  28. says

    That is STUNNING beautiful quilt!!! Everything is just perfect. <br />I think the Andy Warhol meets Cath Kidston description is so accurate!!

  29. says

    Wow-wie! That is terrific. And I did chuckle when you said this is your very favorite quilt. I&#39;m wondering if that will change when you make your next favorite. Congrats on a really wonderful job well done.<br /><br />And BTW I never get tired of seeing your finishes hanging from your fence.

  30. says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. I&#39;m kind of a &quot;lurker&quot;– I don&#39;t comment much, but this quilt! Wow! It&#39;s a true stunner! Really…. it&#39;s no wonder it&#39;s your favorite… it&#39;s just beautiful! I spent a semester in Oxford and love alllll things British, too. Perhaps I need to make one *someday* (yes– it&#39;s on that kind of list for now). Congrats &amp; enjoy…

  31. says

    I can&#39;t tell you how much I LOVE this quilt. There are no appropriate words…It is just so beautiful!<br /><br />I am British by birth but live in Canada. I adore the Union Jack – so much so that I had it tattooed on my right hip 😉

  32. says

    It&#39;s smashing! Ace! The Bees Knees! And every other British or almost-British thing I can thing of to say &quot;your quilt is fabulous.&quot; Seriously, awesomely wonderful. I love it. <br /><br />The only thing that I don&#39;t like is that now I really do need to make this quilt. I&#39;ve loved it since the first time I saw it but your quilt is my favorite. I hope I finish it by the

  33. says

    This is a gorgeous quilt and how fitting that you&#39;ve posted about it on the first sunny day in the UK since May. The weather has been dismal here! We&#39;re looking forward to the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday, and hoping the good weather stays for a while.

  34. says

    I am so giddy about your Union Jack quilt! I am going to make one for either myself or my daughter who lived there a short while. Love It!!

  35. says

    Wow, this is stunning! I love it …. I&#39;ve been wanting to make one similar to this for ages. Hopefully I&#39;ll get around to it soon! Very inspiring, you&#39;ve done a lovely job with it. Enjoy! <br />Therese

  36. says

    Yay Amy!! That is such a gorgeous quilt!<br />Beauty takes time! :o) Whenever I see something<br />British I think of you. :o) Trish xo

  37. says

    Amy, this is awesome! Your fabric choices are so fantastic and it&#39;s even better that you used so much of your stash. You really have a such a great talent. You inspire me. You are amazing. Talk to you soon hopefully :)<br /><br />Amber

  38. says

    Part of my heart is certainly in the UK too….my most recent stay was 4 months over Christmas this year. Doesn&#39;t London look just beautiful for the Olympics??? I LOVE LOVE LOVE this quilt and had been planning something similar myself so you have just inspired me more!! Well done.

  39. says

    Oh wow, this is so beautiful! I love your fabric choices and they way you have assembled it all is just perfect! You&#39;ve definitely inspired me to make something similar for my next quilt! It would be to help commemorate the last 12 years I have lived in this country as I am about to move back to my home country of Australia, bringing my British partner and our two-year old daughter with us

  40. says

    Just pinned a photo of your quilt. I bought the pattern last week and am so excited to dig in. It looks like a challenge, but hopefully mine turns out as lovely as yours. My dad&#39;s side of the family joined the church in England and the UJ has a piece of my heart :) Congrats on such a beautiful quilt!

  41. says

    I LOVE it!! I have been meaning to make a reversible UK/USA flag quilt for ever… I&#39;m British, my husband is American, and I think you have just inspired me to finally start. I was thinking I would have to do the Union Jack full size, but I love the blocks. The stars and stripes on the back can be full size, that&#39;s easy! Thanks for the pictures!

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