The Union Jack quilt is one that I have been asked for quite a few times. There are quite a few patterns out there and they tend to involve odd shaped triangles and inset seams and such like, so I decided that I would make a simple Union Jack. I’ve made a stylised version that has some strings of diamonds in place of some of the straight lines (amongst other changes). My tiny brain would have been unable to cope with the maths needed for the different thicknesses of the white lines, so they went by the board. My first design was going to use half square triangles only and I ended up with a podgy square thing that was not what I wanted at all. Version three (or so) that I am showing you now turned out just how I envisioned it, so I am really pleased to be able to show it to you – and it is still simple, with only squares and half square triangles!
The Union Jack quilt measures 46″ by 26″ and I have used 3/4 yard each of blue and white, with 1/2 yard of red fabric.
Cutting requirements for the Union Jack quilt
2.1/2″ squares: ninety six blue, sixty two white, thirty three red
2.7/8″ squares: sixteen squares each in blue and white, twenty one squares each in red and white
Making the Union Jack quilt
Use all the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles in the colour combinations shown above. Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line. This produces two half square triangle units. Press the seam allowances towards the dark fabric and trim the triangle points where they stick out at the corners.
The squares for the Union Jack quilt are laid out in thirteen rows of twenty three squares. It would be possible just to sew the squares together across the rows and then sew the rows together, but that would give you quite a few long seams to sew. I think that it is more simple to make the quilt up in sections and then sew the sections together.
Making the corner units
The four corners of the Union Jack quilt are the same as each other, so that’s a good place to begin. Each corner consists of five rows of ten squares. The first row is made with two red/white half square triangles, one white square, one blue/white half square triangle, six blue squares.
Row two: Blue/white half square triangle, white square, two red/white triangles, white square, blue/white triangle, four blue squares.
Row three: two blue squares, blue/white triangle, white square, two red/white triangles, white square, blue/white triangle, two blue squares.
Row four: four blue squares, blue/white triangle, white square, two red/white triangles, white square, blue/white triangle.
Row five: six blue squares, blue/white triangle, white square, two red/white triangles.
As you can see, the basic shape of each row is the same, but the number of blue squares at each end increases and decreases to give the diagonal lines. Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together. Make four of these units.
Joining the corner units together
Each pair of these corner units is joined together by a white/red/white stripe. Sew together five strips of white square, red square, white square and then sew these to each other. Make two of these – one to join the top two corners and the other for the bottom two corners.
The central strip of the Union Jack
You now need a strip to go across the middle of the Union Jack quilt in order to join the top half and the bottom half. The two sides of this strip are made using ten white squares sewn together in a row, ten red squares sewn together in a row and another ten white squares sewn together in a row. Sew the rows to each other. Make two of these strips. The central part of this strip is shown on the right. This is another part of the Union Jack that isn’t true to the original – I used a little poetic licence here! It is made with four red/white half square triangles, two white squares and three red squares. Sew these together in rows of three and then sew the three rows together.
Finishing the Union Jack quilt
The sections can now be laid out as three rows: the top and bottom rows comprise a corner unit on each side with a white/red/white strip between them. Just check that you have the diagonals correct before you sew them together.
The middle row is the two white/red/white strips with the central unit between them. You can now sew the sections together across the rows and then sew the rows together to complete the Union Jack quilt.
Lovely visit to Brecon Cathedral yesterday. What an incredibly beautiful part of the country. The textile exhibition was actually within the cathedral and it was too dark for any of my photos to show up terribly well, but it was certainly worth the visit. Did you know that the word ‘cathedral’ comes frm the Latine word cathedra meaning throne?
Here’s the video:
Thanks for visiting my blog.
Hope to see you again soon.