Union Jack quilt and bag tutorials

For the past few weeks I have been playing with those Union Jack panels from Riley Blake that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. After living in Great Britain twice for extended amounts of time, I am a die-hard Anglophile with an love for anything Union Jack. So you can imagine my excitement when Riley Blake created these awesome, pre-printed Union Jack panels.

Today I am sharing a super-simple tutorial for this “Jacks are Wild” crib-sized quilt, using the flags from the “Blue” Union Jack panel. (This post was originally posted on the Riley Blake blog.)


One option is 9″ x 11″ flags printed as panels. There’s a ‘Blue’ version with traditional colors (right), a pastel version (left) and a ‘Black’ version (not pictured).

Another version is a 36″ x 42″ giant flag. I can’t wait to come up with something for this guy.

Today I am going to show how to make this very simple, wonky Union Jack crib quilt called “Jacks are Wild” (because these flags are all slightly off-kilter).

Fabric Requirements:

12 Union Jack flag blocks (1 yard panel)
1 1/2 yards solid white fabric
3/8 yard binding fabric
1 5/8 yard backing fabric

Trim 12 flags to 9 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ (about 1/4″ outside the flag).

 From white fabric cut

  •  one strip 11 1/2″ x 42″ (width of fabric), subcut into 16 strips 2 1/2″ x 11 1/2″
  • one strip 11 1/2″ x 42″, subcut into 16 strips 1 1/2″ x 11 1/2″
  • one strip 12 1/2″ x 42″, subcut into 16 strips 2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″
  • five strips 2 1/2″ x 42″. Set aside for borders

From binding fabric cut

  • five strips 2 1/2″ x 42″. Set aside

For each block you will need two 2 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ strips and one 1 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ strip. First sew one 2 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ strip to a long side of the flag (A). Press seams away from flag. Sew second 2 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ strip (B) to short side of flag. Finally add 1 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ strip to remaining long side of flag.

 This will create your 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ block. Repeat with all flags and remaining strips.

Layout flag blocks and rotate flags to create “wild”, off-kilter design. Hint: I liked putting my block edge with no strip towards the outside edge where the boarder will go so that it would create more white space in the center of the quilt.

 Sew flags into 4 rows, pressing seams one direction, alternating to the left on odd rows and to the right on even rows. Sew 4 rows together.

 Use 2 1/2″ strips and add white outside border. Here is my favorite method for adding quilt borders.

Quilt as desired – I chose just a simple stipple pattern to give the quilt texture, but not distract from the Union Jacks – and add binding.

 If you prefer a “less-wonky” version, you could always cut out the blocks and sash them traditionally.

I’ve made a Union Jack quilt where I pieced each Union Jack. These pre-printed Union Jacks sure made the process a lot faster, but the variety of colors gives it the same visual interest.

 I also played with some of the panels to make some uber-cute, and really easy bags.

 Both bags above were made using this easy Fat Quarter Bag tutorial

Everything in the tutorial is the same, except I used a 12″ x 20″ panel and lining piece instead of 18″ x 11″. Everything else is exactly the same. These work up SO FAST. I think I’m going to make a bunch more for cute, trendy gifts for my daughter’s friends.

I’m having lots of fun coming up with a variety of uses for these Jacks. The possibilities are endless.

This quilt was quilted by my friend Monica at American Quilting. I added a striped binding that I already had on hand. This quilt is going to a friend who lived in London and just had her first baby. I had wanted to make her a Union Jack quilt, but considering the fact that it took me 3 years to finish my Union Jack quilt, I worried that it would never happen. So three cheers for the cute panel blocks for making this quilt a realistic possibility before this child starts kindergarten.

I’ve also been playing with the “Orange” pastel panel to create some quick bags, using my Easy Fat Quarter Bag tutorial. These have gone together SO FAST.

The only modification is that I used a 12″ x 20″ panel and lining fabric instead of 11″ x 18″. Everything else is exactly the same.

I made both the purse and handbag version. I’m hopefully going to whip out a few more of these quick to give to my girls friends as Christmas presents. SO cute.

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  • Reply
    December 11, 2013 at 7:24 am

    That is a darling crib quilt! I love it.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Awesome quilt and the bag is super cool!

  • Reply
    Sarah Elliott
    December 11, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Love, love, LOVE that quilt and the bag is super cute too!

  • Reply
    Missy Shay
    December 11, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Those r so cute!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Super cute. I'm going to have to make a bag for my mom. My brother went on a mission to England. She would love one!

  • Reply
    Kim @ NewlyWoodwards
    December 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I actually bought a panel of this fabric after seeing your post a while back. A friend is British and I made two super simple pillows out of the Union Jacks. They turned out so cute. Now I want to make a quilt, too!

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    December 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Great use for both panels!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    That is such a cute quilt!

  • Reply
    Kellie Cotton
    January 14, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Hi Amy! I know this is an older post but I started making this quilt for my baby nephew back in the Spring (family joke that I wanted my sister to have baby with a British accent) and I can no longer find the tutorial on the Riley Blake website. Any ideas how I can go about getting it? I was using the online tute and didn’t have sense enough to print any of the instructions! Thanks a bunch, and I totally understand if it I’m out of luck. It’s what I get for stopping in the first place!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2018 at 1:20 pm

      Good news! I found the original text of the tutorial and updated my post with the full tutorial! Which hopefully will make it easier for anyone who finds it in the future too.

      Thanks for the motivation to do it!

      • Reply
        Kellie Cotton
        January 15, 2018 at 2:24 pm

        Thank you so much!! I am gonna get back on this TODAY! 🙂

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