• Jennifer Sartell

American Flag Quilt Block

I dreamed up this quilt 4 years ago. It was going to be our “going to watch fireworks” quilt. I imagined quickly stitching it together, sending it off to a long arm quilter and we’d be picnicking 4th of July style in a month.

Then I got pregnant.

And all long term crafting projects were put on hold while I focused on this amazing, tiny human that we were blessed with. Our daughter is 3.5 now and I’m finding that I have more time to work on projects.

I set a goal this winter to have the top pieced by the 4th, and I just finished the last stitch on Sunday, June 28th! It won’t be quilted in time for this year, but my part is done and it can go to the quilter. (Although, I want to call around and get some prices. If it’s too expensive to have quilted, I may attempt to quilt it myself.)

This quilt is really easy to make, and had I not been a new mom when I started the process, I think my goal of a month would have been more than doable.

Basic Quilting/Piecing Knowledge

This finished quilt is 6' x 8', which is purely coincidental because honestly I just started cutting and sewing and decided sizes as I went.

To make this quilt, you need a basic understanding of straight-stitch machine sewing, rotary cutting, and ironing seams open etc. Really, if you can thread a sewing machine, and sew a straight line, you can make this quilt.

You could also easily use the flag blocks to make a single place-mat for the center of the table, or sew them in a line for a table runner. You could also cut a back, stuff it and make a flag pillow. In that way, this project could easily be finished before the first firework explodes.


The calico fabrics that I chose are reproductions from 1860 prints. I like the look of the more muted navy, rust-red, cream and tan-gold, to give it that olde-world Americana feel. I mixed each flag for a total of 9 different prints not including the borders.

It's hard for me to give a yardage amount because I went back several times to buy more fabric as I kept running out. I started out with a yard of each color and had to get more for the gold sashing.

By the time I got to sewing the borders, (3 years later...) the store no longer carried the same material, so I purchased a different print. I bought 2 yards and had plenty, with lots of left-overs (I plan to make a rag rug).

Flag Block

All seams are ¼ inch.



And that's it! 6 straight lines and you have a flag!


In my quilt I pieced a 3" border of the gold calico fabric as a sashing. I didn't cut the length for these until the flags were completed.

I also added 3" strips to connect the rows of flags.


When the main body of the quilt was done I added 3 borders.

6" white border

3" red border

4.5" blue border

When sewing a border, sew the border strips to the long sides of the quilt first. You may find that depending on your quilt size you may need to piece strips together. I do this by making an overlapped cross with the fabric, right sides together.

Draw a diagonal line and pin to keep in place.

Sew along this line.

Trim the resulting triangle at 1/4" seam allowance

and open the strip and press the seams open.

Once the sides are finished, sew the top and bottom.

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