The Flag Quilt Project

It finally is summer here and it’s going to be a pleasant 4th of July. I have been working on getting out the summery things for the house (and weeding and edging the flower beds). Freshly washed and ready to hang up are my two American flag quilts.

Some time after 9/11 I felt like doing something Patriotic. I was living in Colorado at the time and had lots of quilting friends and thought they might like to do something as well, so I hatched the flag project idea. I wanted to piece American flags to display and use lots of scraps in the making of them. I had a large stash of fabrics, but my collection of white/off whites was lacking. I was sure the other ladies didn’t have enough either, so I decided we should have a square exchange.

I came up with the idea of two different sized flags. I think everyone else made the smaller size, but I really wanted the larger one as our house had huge spaces (17′ ceilings in the great room area!) and anything small was dwarfed. Each quilter who participated had to bring xxx number of reds and xxx number of whites to give to the others. These fabrics didn’t need to be solid white or red, but needed to “read” as those colors. All the ladies but Beth lived nearby, so we chose a day to assemble at my house in my wonderful downstairs studio. All the baggies of fabric squares were exchanged and the ladies started sewing. (I do have photos somewhere, but they are really photos!) They worked in pairs, and one would sew strips for a bit while the other pressed. After lunch we talked more about the design. With the strips nearly done, they had to decide whether the flag would hang vertically or horizontally, so that they could sew the star piece in the proper place. Then I showed them some ideas I had for creating stars.

I think several ladies found some really fun star fabric to use, as is. For the small flag above, which measures 20″x34″, I stenciled the stars in white and yellow fabric paint and quilted around the shapes.
For the large flag’s stars(26″x46″), I picked out white buttons from my button jar and sewed them in a star shape.

Of course I had to buy some buttons – it really took a lot to fill in the shapes. If you enlarge the photo, perhaps you can see that I also quilted more stars in the background after I got weary of sewing the buttons.

This is the perfect sort of project to make a label for, so you remember everything. It was completed for Memorial Day 2002.

Happy 4th of July and thanks for doing this with me – Beth, Louann, Karlanne, Sherry and Julie. And a happy 4th to my readers as well!!!

2 thoughts on “The Flag Quilt Project

  1. I love these 2 quilts! The buttons are precious! You did a great job and what great projects to work on together. I’m glad you shared them with ‘us.’ It’s funny-I was working on a flag quilt pattern for an extra long twin bed that can double as a wall hanging. It was supposed to be cut out by now…. Take care and have a great 4th!!!!

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