Hi! I am Lynne from Lily’s Quilts. As you might guess from this tutorial and from the abundance of union jacks on my blog and in my Flickr photostream, I am from the UK. In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a shabby chic union jack wall hanging from charm squares from the French General Fa La La line. Although this is a Christmas line, the use of the brown, red and cream charms from this line means you will be able to leave the wall hanging up all year round.
In this tutorial, I am first making shabby chic fabric from charm squares in three different colours – red for the main stripes, brown for the background triangles and cream for the skinny stripes. You could use other charm packs, grouping the colours into three groups or perhaps into warm colours, cool colours and neutrals. You could also make this wall hanging with a layer cake cut into charm squares using a pinking rotary blade cutter. I used 8 charm packs for this wall hanging because I wanted to stick with the brown, red and cream colours for the flag and will use the leftover charm squares for another project which I will be showing you later on in the year.
8 Fa La La charm packs (or two layer cakes cut into charm squares using a pinking rotary cutter blade). 2 1/2 yds backing fabric (the offcuts from making the backing can be used to bind the wall hanging).
1. Open up two charm packs and sort into colours: brown, red and cream with brown/beige patterns for this project and green and cream with green and red patterns for another project I will be bringing to you later on in the year.
MAKING THE BROWN BACKGROUND TRIANGLES
2. Cut four pieces of newspaper 13″ X 20″ which you will use as the foundation for making the shabby chic fabric.
3. Start by taking 16 brown charm squares and laying them on the newspaper in a random order until all the paper is covered. If necessary, cut one or two charm squares in half to cover the small gaps, making sure that only the pinked edges are showing. Make sure the overlap of one charm square to the next is at least 1/4″ and ideally closer to 1/2″. The brown squares need only reach the edges of the newspaper – they do not need to overhang them for a seam allowance – that is calculated into the size of the newspaper.
4. Pin all squares in place. Shorten your stitch length to somewhere between 1.5 and 2 to ensure that the sewn edges hold when cut and to help making perforations in the newspaper for tearing away later. Sew about 1/8″ from the edge of each pinked edge.
5. Press and then trim fabric to the edges of the newspaper then tear off all the newspaper.
6. Repeat for the remaining three brown rectangles.
7. IMPORTANT: read instructions carefully before cutting. You need to ensure that you do not cut four identical triangles. Cut two of the brown rectangles into two triangles cutting along the diagonal from top left to bottom right and two from top right to bottom left.
MAKING THE RED STRIPES
8. Cut one piece of newspaper 32″ X 16″ and another piece of newspaper 28″ X 20″. Cover these pieces of newspaper with red charm squares. Pin, sew, remove the newspaper, press and trim as you did with the brown rectangles.
9. Cut the 32″ X 16″ piece of shabby chic fabric into four 32″ X 4″ strips to make the slimmer diagonal red stripes.
10. Cut the 28″ X 20″ into four 28″ X 5″ strips to make the wider vertical and horizontal red stripes.
MAKING THE CREAM SKINNY STRIPS
11. Cut a piece of newspaper 30″ X 24″. Cover it with cream charm squares in the same way as with the brown and red charm squares. Pin, sew, remove newspaper, press and trim. Cut the 30″ X 24″ fabric into four 30″ X 1″ strips and ten 30″ X 2″ strips.
ASSEMBLING THE UNION JACK
12. Put the brown triangles into pairs and note on each one whether a wider 2″ cream strip will be sewn to it or a thinner 1″ cream strip as per the picture of the finished flag. Sew 1″ and 2″ cream strips along the diagonal edge of each brown triangle. Press seams open and trim following the lines of the triangle.
13. Sew a 4″ red stripe along each 1″ cream strip, taking care to ensure that spare fabric hangs off at each end. Press seams open and trim following the lines of the triangle.