How to Make a Flag Rag Quilt

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With this free quilt pattern make an American flag rag quilt to decorate for the 4th of July and summer. Rag quilts are easy and fun to make!

I really love the 4th of July; it’s one of my very favorite holidays. I love the summer weather, yummy food, and the inspiration of Independence day. There’s so many outdoor activities like water games, parades, and fireworks.

Last week I saw a flag rag quilt floating around on pinterest and was immediately inspired. I have actually never made a blanket or a quilt, and this was my first experience making one.

How to Make a Flag Rag Quilt

If I can make this quilt, anyone can make this quilt! It’s a simple project, and it doesn’t follow all of the quilting rules since I’m not an experienced quilter.

How to Make a Flag Rag Quilt

I figured out the measurements of a real 3’x5′ flag so that I could make a full-size one myself, and I shared a free quilt pattern of this flag rag quilt. I just love 4th of July sewing projects! I can’t wait to make other fun decorations to go with it!

kids sitting with a flag rag quilt

I still enjoy pulling this flag quilt out every single summer. It’s great to sit on outside to watch fireworks or as a throw on your couch.  I love that it’s like an old tattered flag handed down through the generations. 

I’ve also made a patchwork US state map quilt that I’m going to have out all summer! Or you can make one of these other free quilt tutorials!

folded flag rag quilt
How to Make a Flag Rag Quilt

How to Make an American Flag Rag Quilt


  • 60″ or 1.75 yards red flannel
  • 30″x25″ or .75 yards blue flannel
  • 90″x50″ or 2 yards white flannel
  • 60″x36″ or 1.75 yards flannel center
  • 60″x36″ or 1.75 yards back fabric
  • white thread
  • Free Flag Pattern – find it at the end of the post
  • sewing tools
  • sewing machine

Do you just want the pattern and tutorial as a PDF? Get the pattern and photo tutorial for just $3. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

flag rag quilt supplies

Sewing Instructions

The seam allowance is 1/2″ everywhere.

Cut out all the pieces and then lay them out in the right shape and order. All of the stripes will be layered over white flannel of the same size.

Since I’m a beginner quilter, I like to see it all lined up to be able to get all the pieces in the right place.

Start by sewing all of the short stripes wrong sides together.

layer the short strips and sew wrong sides together

*Tip* Start sewing from the same side of the quilt so that anything uneven ends up on the other side.

Straighten the edges of one side of the quilt that is uneven.

straighten edges

Layer the navy rectangle over a white piece of flannel.

layer navy over white

Sew the shorter stripe piece to the blue union piece with wrong sides together.

sew navy rectangle to short strips with wrong sides together

Layer the long stripes over the white flannel pieces. Sew the long stripes together with wrong sides together.

layer the long strips and sew wrong sides together

Straighten the edges of one side of the quilt that is uneven.

straighten edge

Then sew the two large rectangles together with wrong sides together.

sew top to bottom

Lay your backing piece with right side down. Lay your flag quilt top on top.

Safety pin through all the layers all over the quilt to secure the layers.

layer backing and top and safety pin together

Sew straight down the middle of each open seam allowance. I find it helps to use a walking foot if you have one to keep the layers from stretching.

Sew all the way around the edge 1/2 inch in.

sew along rows and edges

Trim all the edges so that all three layers match up and all sides and corners match up.

trim backing to fit

Go through and cut all the seam allowances every 1/2 inch. Get every row and all the way around the edges.

Wash and dry your quilt at least once. You may need to do it again to get the rag look you want.

wash and dry quilt

Optional: add white flannel stars to the navy rectangle. The stars will be 3.25 inch circle. Place them however you want. Cut out the excess fabric leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance around each star.

Get the Flag Rag Quilt Free Pattern

1/2 inch seam allowances are included.

flag quilt free pattern

If you make a flag rag quilt using this tutorial and free pattern, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

How to Make a Flag Rag Quilt

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I made this beautiful blanket and enlarged it, following your directions mostly and mine came out beautiful. Thank you so much it was a very simple pattern until I decided to add 50 stars that took a while, but the end result is beautiful. I added a fleece backing to it. I wish I could figure out how to post a picture here but I can’t sorry.

I just finished this quilt and it was a blast. Thank you for all the guidance and advice you posted. I can’t wait to make another one.

I’m so tech challenged. I couldn’t find the pattern for this gorgeous flag rag quilt.. Is there a printable version somewhere that I missed? πŸ˜•

Thank you for this pattern. What is the width the strips should be cut? Smiles

How is the red stripes supposed to be 60 inches but only 50 inches of fabric?

Loved seeing this. I made one a couple of years ago and with dumb luck it turned out, doing another version and happy to not have to figure it again! I will just add an inch to each piece. I did the backing to the pieces and it had a bit more interest but yours would be easier I think. Thank you

I have made a few shaggy projects so I thought I could breeze through this. I just finished the stripes And it’s all wrong. Please add to your instructions that the measurements are for the finished project. I also did not have a long enough piece of the red flannel without piecing. Your instructions say 50” or 1 1/2 yds which is not equal so I went with the longer measurement and it was 6” too short. 7” too short if you add a seam at each end. Thanks for the free pattern Though. Super cute!

I’m not sure what you mean by 1 1/2 yards is not enough for 50 inches. 36+18 is 54 inches long. I’m confused.

I had the same issue Danette had. Also, make sure the flannel you buy will give you the "lengths" you want.

I just made this with her measurments off the flag…it is incorrect. Need to add for your fringe. Dissapointed…just gotta make a boarder all the way around….so i don't waste 3 blankets

Can I do like with other rag quilts and sew the back with the front?

Yes you can just cut the back pieces like the front. I was going to do this, but didn't know exactly what I was doing and realized it too late to change it. You will need more back fabric if you do it this way.

I love this quilt but have a question. Is the backing flannel also or cotton? I didn't see it specified.

You can do whatever you'd like. I did a printed cotton woven.

Thanks for linking up. I love the quilt. Your instructions are great too. It might even be something I could sew!

Thanks again for linking up to my Red, White, Blue & You Link Party! I'm featuring your quilt tomorrow on my blog. http://www.michellepaige.blogspot.com

Oh this is super cute!! Thanks for linking up at our patriotic link-up party! I am going to remember this for next year! I love how rustic it is!

Thank you! I'm so glad I found your patriotic link-up party because it's all the ideas I could ever want in one place! I love July 4th, so I can't wait to use all the decorating ideas and tutorials!

Really cool! Love it! πŸ™‚

So so cute! I love it. Your blog is lots of fun. I can't believe I didn't find it until now.

Holla! We're your newest followers! πŸ™‚

Adorable! I have a 4th of July baby, this just might end up being a present this year. So cute!

Might I also recommend that because flannel sheds sooo much as it's washed/dried the dryer lint trap needs to be emptied often to make sure there is not a fire hazard! Your flag turned out so cute… I may have to see what I have in my stash to make one up too. Thanks for sharing.

This is adorable…love the fabrics you chose!

Very cute Heather!