You may remember the Americana Flag quilt blocks I shared a few weeks ago. I’m excited to finally share the block tutorial as well as a pattern to make your own US Flags Quilt in time for the 4th of July. I decided to call this quilt Flying Flags.
I have always been a sucker for Americana folk art. This quilt is a little bit of a shout out to that inspiration. I love making flag quilts (I’ve made a bunch). I’ve had this design floating around in my head for years now, and this is the year I finally got my act together to make and share it before the 4th of July.
The block for this quilt is super fast and easy – making this quilt come together really quickly. But I also made it so that it’s easy to embellish with optional pieced star blocks if you want a little more detail in your quilt.
This quilt is also perfect for using precut 2 1/2″ strips or your favorite scraps or fat quarters. Bust out all of your red, white, and blue for a fun, scrappy patriotic quilt!
American Flag Quilt Block Tutorial
Fabric Requirements per quilt block:
- 1 Blue square 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″
- 2 Red strips 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″
- 1 White strip 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″
- 1 White strip 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″
- 1 Red strip 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″
- 2 Background strips 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″
Sew three 8 1/2″ strips together, alternating red and white strips. Press seams toward Red
Sew two 14 1/2″ strips together. Press seams toward red.
Now here’s the fun option where you can substitute a 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ unfinished (6″ x 6″ finished) star quilt block for the blue square if you want to!
You could use any 6″ finished star block here. Go here for a tutorial to make a 6″ x 6″ finished Sawtooth Star.
Sew 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ blue square to the three 8 1/2″ red-white-red strip set. Press seam toward the blue square.
Sew bottom red-white strip set to the top red-white-red unit. Press seam toward long white strip.
Sew two background 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ strips to the top and bottom of the flag block. Press seams toward the background strips.
This will give you a 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ quilt block.
Side note – if you prefer a vertical flag with the blue field in the upper left corner, you can always sew the two white/red 14 1/2″ strips on the right side of the blue.
Flag Quilt Assembly
These instructions are for a 66″ x 80″ quilt. (You could easily add wider borders to make this quilt bigger.)
Repeat the process above to make 20 flag quilt blocks.
Layout flags 4 blocks across and 5 blocks down.
Rotate every other flag into a vertical position.
Sew blocks together into rows of 4 flags, pressing seams toward the background fabric.
Sew rows together.
First border: 2 1/2″ x Width of Fabric (WOF). Sew two strips together end to end to make long border. Measure down the center of the quilt, cut strips to that length. Pin borders starting at the center and both ends, and then pinning evenly across the side. Sew in place and press seams to the border.
Repeat the process with the top and bottom border.
Use 3 1/2″ x WOF strips for outside border. Use the same process for adding outside borders.
Backing yardage requirements: 4 yards – cut into two 2-yard pieces. Trim selvage edges off one long side of each piece and sew together along those two edges. This will give you a 72″ x 84″ backing.
Layer backing, batting, and quilt top and baste together. Quilt as desired. (This post talks about basting and quilting a quilt sandwich for beginners.)
Bind – info on How to Bind a Quilt found here.
And there you go! This quilt is such a fun, fast finish. Would you believe I’m going to tackle a second version this week? I’m going to try for a ‘beachy’, washed-out faded version. (After admiring that look that many other people have made.)
My quilt was quilted by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting using an edge-to-edge Stars pattern.
For my flags I used a mix of Riley Blake basics as well as prints from my various fabric collections. The navy stripe for the border and bias binding is from my Sugarhouse Park collection. The background fabric is Riley Blake’s Aqua Linen (Cotton/Linen blend). I love the added texture it gives, but it would look great in cotton to.
Don’t have time for a full quilt right now? This block makes a fun quick mini quilt or pillow. Here is the info for an 18″ x 18″ pillow.
Pillow Finishing Yardage (in addition to fabric for flag center)
Background fabric: 1/6 yard
- cut into 1 strip 3 1/4″ x WOF – sub cut 2 pieces 3 1/2″ x 14 1/2. Cut 1 strip 2 1/2″ x WOF – sub cut into 2 pieces 2 1/2″ x 18 1/2″
Backing: 1/2 yard
Binding: 1/6 yard – cut into 2 strips 2 1/2″ x WOF
18″ x 18″ Pillow Form (I used a 20″ x 20″ pillow form for a snug, plump fit)
Make 10 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ Flag block as demo’ed above.
Sew 2 pieces 3 1/2″ x 14 1/2 to the top and bottom of flag block. Press seams toward background. Sew 2 pieces 2 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ to the sides of block. Press seams toward background fabric.
Make quilt/pillow backing using favorite method. (Here is a simple method for making a back for any pillow)
I used a green dot from my Sunnyside Ave collection for the background of this pillow. I love the way the green border gives kind of a preppy contrast with the flag block so I mocked up a version of the quilt with green background fabric too:
So there you have it! A fun, festive flag quilt variation to play with. I pieced my blocks together on Memorial Day and then took it with us on a hike that evening. I love the setting with a little purple mountains majesty as a backdrop.
Again the pattern PDF is available here if you would like a printed version with all of the fabric requirements.