Sunday, 22 April 2012

Jubilee Inspired Block Tutorial

This is my first ever tutorial, so please bear with me.  I am more of a visual learner and love all the wonderful free tutorials online.  I have learnt nearly everything about sewing from an online tutorial somehow or another.  So this is my chance to give something back to the wonderful sewing community in blogger blogland.

I couldn't find a free online block, so this is how I made my Jubilee inspired block in mostly pictures and a few words...

Materials Needed

To make a finished block size 9 inches by 14 inches approximately
  • 1 rectangle of fabric for the base of the block (mine is blue) measuring 9" x 14";
  • 2 different colour strips of fabric measuring 2" x 42"  (approx 2" by the width of fabric)**; 
  • 8 white 1" x 42" strips of fabric 
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • iron

** alternatively, if you want to use a FQ or scraps for these pieces, you need two 2"x20" strips (of same fabric); and one 2"x18" and one 2"x11" (both of same fabric).  The white 1" strips need to match these lengths as well.  

How to:

1.  Start by cutting your fabric to the sizes listed above.  Here is my main blue rectangle which measures 9 inches by 14 inches.
2.  Next up take your two long coloured strips (these will make up the crosses on our Union Jack) and sew a white 1 inch strip down either long side.  It makes it faster if you chain piece these.
 3. Press the seams open and you will end up two strips with white borders on all their long sides.
 4.  Next cut your rectangle in half diagonally.
5.  Now you are going to take whichever strip you want to make your St Andrews' cross (mine is the solid pink strip) and sew it right sides together along the diagonal cut.

Repeat for the other side of the rectangle.

Lining up tip:  When you sew the second side of the strip into the diagonal, I found it helpful to line the rectangle up face up, then slide the rectangle side over so that its in the right place before flipping it over so that right sides are together.

 This is what you are aiming for:

6.  Now measure your strip, it should measure 2 1/4".  We need to know this measurement for our next series of cuts.
 7.  Now cut your rectangle in half on the other diagonal.
 8.  From each diagonal edge, cut a strip off measuring 1 1/8" (One and One Eighth inch) off.  Thus making room for your strip which you know will end up with a width of two and a quarter inch.

You should have now cut each of your triangles down by 1 1/8" each along the diagonal.
 9.  Sew in your next strip as before in step 5, aligning carefully on your second side.  The picture below shows how the stitching line for the second side of the strip.
 10.  Trim the ends of the strips so that you have a perfect rectangle again.
11.  Now we are going to start on our St George's cross part of the flag.  Cut your block in half on the longest side so that you end up with two long thin rectangles.  To find my middle, I just fold my block in half and crease the middle with my finger.  

12.  Once again, you need to trim 1 1/8" (One and One Eighth inch) off either side of the middle of your block.  
 13.  Sew your other strip onto each side of the rectangle, ensuring that you line up accurately on the second side.
14.  Now for our final set of cuts!  Bet you feel like a seasoned pro at it already!!

Cut your block in half again this time so that you end up with two short fat rectangles.  Then cut 1 1/8" (One and One Eighth inch) from each side.
15.  Sew your last strip into the middle gap and voila...

Your Union Jack block is complete!

I hope that all these instructions make sense.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  If you make one, please link back to this tutorial if posting pics online and I would love it if you would add your pic to my Flikr group.

Many thanks


  1. Great tutorial! Thank you.

    1. My pleasure Izzy. Glad you like it xxxx

  2. Wow I'm impressed - by you and me lol!

    I really struggle with online sewing tutorials in general as I find it hard to understand what they mean when they use words I don't get and few pics, probably a combination of having twins, being a mum and age, I'd like to throw in something about my learning style but I don't think it'd wash having got a degree in science ;)

    So well done Liz - I get it and I'm not even a quilter - even more amazing! :)

    1. Thanks Sarah - that is a huge compliment.

  3. Hi Liz I have just popped over to check you out! I think your tute is great -I have had a hankering to make a Union Jack, so I have no excuse now! Di xo

    1. Oooh Di thanks.
      They are really fun to make and I would LOVE to see yours.

  4. Great tut, very cute union jack

    1. Thanks Charlotte, I am itching to make a gazillion more now.

  5. How to acurately draw a union flag can be found here

    1. Oooh thanks Liz, that is really interesting.
      I remember learning at school that one edge of the cross is thinner and did use different white strips on my first attempt but as a quilt block I didn't find it aesthetically pleasing.
      Thanks for the link

  6. Dropping in from the Small Blog Meet Up - Hello:-) It's a great, clear tutorial and I'm tempted to have a go!


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