Liberty Quilt Block-Sampler Quilt


During the second have of the 19th century,  patriotic fabric  was printed.  Some of it was for political campaigns and some was for the celebration of July 4th.  People were given printed neckerchiefs and handkerchiefs at campaigns rallies to wear and use.  These fabrics would make their way into quilts.  I decided to add a patriotic block to the sampler quilt.  In 1876 the country celebrated the 100th anniversary of the country.  Philadelphia had an Exposition that summer and the country needed to start feeling good about themselves.  After the suffering from the Civil War and the reconstruction the country was ready to celebrate.  Fabrics with flags and lady liberty was manufactured by the yard and people bought it for table cloths. shirts, and costumes.  The country had parades and fairs on July 4th.   There were even quilts made to commemorate the event.
I didn’t have any reproduction fabric that was patriotic but I did look for a flag block.  I found this block in an issue from April 2002 McCalls Quilting  from a time that we were trying to come to terms with 911.  The pattern was designed around a Moda flag fabric.  So I partially redesigned the block to fit 12 1/2 inches square and to use some reproduction striped fabric I had.
To make this block you will need:

Four 2 1/2 inches square of navy blue star fabric.

Four 2 1/2 inches square of red striped fabric.

Four 4 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches rectangle of striped fabric.

Four 1 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches strips of red print fabric.

Four 2 inches by 4 1/2 inches strips of navy blue print fabric.

Four 1 1/2 inches by 7 inches strip of red print fabric.

Four 2 inches by 7 inches strip of navy blue print fabric.

Follow the pictures to construct the block.


I channeled my inner Eleanor Burns  and sewed the 2 1/2 inches red strip to the blue star fabric being careful to line them up so the strip was the right direction for a flag.  I chained pieced them together. Pressed open.  Then the next strep is to chain piece the 4 1/2 inches of striped fabric to the bottom of  the stars being careful to have them all going the correct direction.


Press open and sew the 4 1/2 inches red strip to the bottom and the 4 1/2 inches blue strip to the top .


Square the two sides that did not get a strip.  Pay attention to the size of the flag making sure that it is 4 inches between the 2 strips.  Make adjustments if needed before squaring up.  You should square up to 4 1/2 inches wide.  Don’t worry about the top and bottom at this time.  You are going to add the final 2 strips to the block next.


I was using scraps and just had some narrow strips from the end of strip cutting fabric that was in my scrap container.  I didn’t cut them because I was not sure how long my block was when I was cutting parts out.  The original block the flag was already made and you fussy cut it out.  Also the block was 15 1/2 inches in the McCall’s pattern.  So at that point I was flying a little by the seat of my pants.  I continued to channel my inner E. Burns and chained sewed the strips on being careful to sew them on the side that they should be.


I cut them a part and pressed them open.


Now I squared the whole block up to 6 1/2 inch square using a square up ruler. But before I trim I checked to make sure that my flag was a perfect 4 inch finished square.  If adjustment were needed you should do them now.   I lined it up so I only trimmed down the size on the red side.  Leaving all the blue I could.


Arrange the block like this and sew together the same way you would a four square patch.



14 Comments Add yours

  1. Cedar Creek Quilts says:

    I love your tutorials! I also really like the history you are adding to the quilt making! Beautiful!


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you. Women have plenty of history sewn into their quilts. It is really a history of their own.


  2. Love This Pattern and it reminds me of something my Granny would have made


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you. I enjoy the older patterns. Women used to enjoy the process of piecing the quilts together. Today we are in a big hurry to make quilt tops. Then send them off to someone else to machine quilt them. When you scrap quilt you have to stop and think about the fabrics you are putting together.


  3. Great block and a very well written tutorial . Very easy to follow. It must be all the ELLIE training!!! She is a hoot, and always makes you feel like you can make what ever she is showing. Your tutorial does the same.


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I watched her first show on TLC in the early 80’s. I have followed her ever since. That was the first time I had seen strip piecing. I learned to quilt as a kid in the 1950’s. Paper templates and scissors was what I was doing. Went right out and bought a rotary cutter. Still using the same one. LOL. Now I have a large tube of scraps to use up. Thanks for stopping in.


      1. You are welcome! Nothing likes saving every bit and piece! It’s what I do too. Good for the “scrappy look quilts”. 🙂


  4. najlaa says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog.


  5. Sandra Louise says:

    This is really cool. I especially enjoyed reading about the history.


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you. The history is what makes the block interesting and quilting has a rich history. NIce of you to stop by..


  6. Your quilts are all so pretty. I’m not sure if you’ve met one of my blogger buddies Melanie@ She makes beautiful quilts, too. You two should connect. You have so much in common. XOXO, Angie.


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thanks for stopping by and making a comment. You are welcome to come back too. I will be posting more blocks to the sampler quilt.


  7. Did you toss all the trimmings over your shoulder like Eleanor Burns too? That’s the only skill of hers that I have mastered. 🙂


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I remember her first show on The Learning Channel. They had advertised it for a couple of week before they aired it. I was working then and set my VCR to record it. It was the first time I set the new VCR to record a show in advance that actually worked. It was new technology then. It took a couple of times to catch on.

      She wore a top hat and tails for that program and the back ground stage was all white, She threw her scraps over her shoulder and I thought she was the dumbest corny person. I did learn to love her because she got better at presenting her show. She was there for a year or so and then went on to PBS where she became a star in the quilting world.

      Right now my living room looks like I have been tossing my scraps over my shoulders. I have a twice monthly dead line to meet for another on line group. Sometimes I have to rush to get it done and the place can turn upside down in the process.

      Thanks for your comment.


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