Flying Flags Quilt Tutorial

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.

Add Borders

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.)

If you would like a printable PDF pattern for this quilt, including yardage requirements, you can find it here for $3.00.

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.

The backing fabric is the red/navy plaid from Sugarhouse Park also available here.

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.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Susan Q
    June 13, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Thank you so much Amy for the beautiful quilt pattern! The timing of your post couldn’t have been better! I just finished a quilt a couple of days ago and was thinking, okay, what’s next, and then I saw your post. I do believe I can get this done by the 4th of July!! A couple of pillows with your design will get thrown in as well. Thanks again for the unplanned but fun quilting project that is going to consume the next few days โค

  • Reply
    June 13, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Your quilt is pretty amazing!

  • Reply
    Elfi Juvrud
    June 13, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Do you offer a conversion for baby quilt size? I make baby quilt for the military. Thanks.

    • Reply
      June 13, 2020 at 7:07 pm

      Oh, that is such a sweet thing to do! The block size is pretty big – you could make 4 blocks – which would give you a 28″ x 28″ center and add borders to make it bigger? Or 6 blocks to make the center 28″ x 42″ center – and again add borders to make it wider?

  • Reply
    Jan Easterday
    June 13, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Amy, your flag quilt is Amazing! Would love to make this, I think it belongs in my collection. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    sue d
    June 13, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    I love, love,love this quilt!! I guess it is because the addition of aqua(my favorite color) just makes each flag pop.

  • Reply
    The Joyful Quilter
    June 13, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    This quilt is SEW darling!! Thank you for sharing the tutorial with us.

  • Reply
    Jeanne Boswell
    June 13, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing your fun design. It’s a hit!

  • Reply
    Sharon T
    June 13, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Susie Q
    June 14, 2020 at 5:56 am

    what happen? your vertical flags have the blue in the right corner but you and protocal say left corner??

    • Reply
      June 14, 2020 at 2:20 pm

      When I made my blocks, I made them all the same direction and just rotated them. The option is provided if anyone wants the vertical flags to have the blue in the left corner. It’s really easy to customize for personal preference. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Pat Gottshalk
    June 14, 2020 at 6:33 am

    Great block and your choices of background colors is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  • Reply
    Carmen Montmarquet
    June 14, 2020 at 6:44 am

    I love this flag pattern, Thank You So Much for sharing it!!!

  • Reply
    elizabeth a hinze
    June 14, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Thank you Amy I’m going to make this I’ve been think for years about having a flag quilt for July
    and this fits the ticket
    Thank you!
    I maybe bold and try the green ; )

  • Reply
    Robby Bottom
    June 14, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Guy loves this Amy so it looks like I will have to make it. Thank you for your inspiration. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’—

  • Reply
    Catherine Carmichael
    June 14, 2020 at 11:53 am

    This is wonderful!! Thank you for sharing! Definitely going to make one or ten!!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Love it! Great work.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2020 at 9:09 am

    I love this idea, and will put this on my ever growing list of quilts I want to make. Thank you for making it customizable. I would have to make it with all the flags right side up. Maybe itโ€™s just because I was brought up in a military household, but doesnโ€™t anyone else have a problem with some of the flags being upside down?

    • Reply
      June 17, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      I totally get it! One way to look at it is that there’s no right-side-up for this version – you can rotate the quilt any direction. That said, I’m making a washed-out version and I think I’m going to make all of the quilts right-sides up for that one. Stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    June 15, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you. Every time I think I know what I want to make with Gingham Girls and Sunnyside Ave. you give us a new idea. I could do two flags for a table runner on my coffee table and still have some scraps for something else.

  • Reply
    Virginia Over
    June 15, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    I love the quilt but you should never put the flag upside down. It is a signal of distress.

  • Reply
    June 16, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    This is adorable! Iโ€™m sad I missed the kits, Iโ€™m apparently late to the party. Oh well, itโ€™s a definite must make!

  • Reply
    Elfi Juvrud
    June 21, 2020 at 6:21 am

    On closer inspection I saw the link to a sawtooth star tutorial, which includes a size chart for the star. I think, I will be able to figure out the rest. Thank you so much for the inspiration; I love this quilt.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you for posting this pattern. I made this quilt for my spouse’s Christmas gift in honor of our 20th wedding anniversary, 20 flags, 20 years! I did make them alternating with the flags either horizontal or vertical with the blue field in the upper right and it turned out great. Thanks, he loves his new quilt.

    • Reply
      January 2, 2021 at 12:10 pm

      Oh, that is so awesome! What a great way to commemorate a 20th anniversary.

    Leave a Reply

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