Remake a three-color 1940s quilt in your own patriotic prints or solids. Likely made for a member of the armed forces, the vintage quilt features hand quilting in a nautical anchor pattern.
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Quilt Collector: Susan Price Miller


  • 8-1⁄2 yards solid white (blocks, setting squares and triangles, binding)
  • 2-1⁄2 yards solid navy blue (blocks)
  • 1-1⁄8 yards solid red (blocks)
  • 7-2⁄3 yards backing fabric
  • 92×109" batting

Finished quilt: 85-1⁄2×102-1⁄2"

Finished block: 12" square

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From solid white, cut:

  • 10--2-1⁄2×42" binding strips
  • 5--18-1⁄4" squares, cutting each diagonally twice in an X for 18 setting triangles total
  • 20--12-1⁄2" setting squares
  • 2--9-3⁄8" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for four corner triangles total
  • 120--2×5-3⁄4" sashing strips
  • 120--1-1⁄4×9-1⁄4" strips
  • 120--1-1⁄4×6-1⁄4" strips
  • 120--2" squares

From solid navy blue, cut:

  • 30--4" squares
  • 120--1-1⁄4×10-3⁄4" strips
  • 120--1-1⁄4×4-3⁄4" strips
  • 30--2" sashing squares

From solid red, cut:

  • 120--1-1⁄4×7-3⁄4" strips

Assemble Center Units

1.    Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of each solid white 2" square.

2.    Align a marked solid white square with one corner of a solid navy blue 4" square and sew on marked line (Diagram 1). Trim excess, leaving a 1⁄4" seam allowance. Press seam toward solid white triangle.


3.    Repeat Step 2 to add solid white squares to remaining corners of solid navy blue square to make a center unit. The center unit should be 4" square including seam allowances.

4.    Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make 30 center units total.

Assemble Blocks

1.    Referring to Diagram 2, position a solid navy blue 1-1⁄4×4-3⁄4" strip along top edge of a center unit, aligning right-hand edges. Beginning 1" from left-hand edge of center unit, sew together pieces. Finger-press seam away from center unit.


2.    Sew a second solid navy blue 1-1⁄4×4-3⁄4" strip to right-hand edge of center unit and a third solid navy blue 1-1⁄4×4-3⁄4" strip to bottom edge of center unit (Diagram 3). Press all seams away from center unit.


3.    Add a fourth solid navy blue 1-1⁄4×4-3⁄4" strip to left-hand edge of center unit and press as before. Sew remaining portion of the first seam (Diagram 4). Press seam toward first solid navy blue strip. The center unit now should be 5-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.


4.    Referring to steps 1–3 and Diagram 5, add solid white 1-1⁄4×6-1⁄4" strips, solid red 1-1⁄4×7-3⁄4" strips, solid white 1-1⁄4×9-1⁄4" strips, and solid navy blue 1-1⁄4×10-3⁄4" strips to center unit to make a Log Cabin unit. The Log Cabin unit should be 11-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.


5.    Cut Log Cabin unit in half horizontally and vertically to make four block units (Diagram 6). Each block unit should be 5-3⁄4" square including seam allowances.


6.    Referring to Diagram 7, lay out four block units, four solid white 2×5-3⁄4" sashing strips, and one solid navy blue 2" sashing square in rows. Sew together pieces in each row. Press seams toward sashing strips. Join rows to make a block. Press seams toward solid white sashing strips. The block should be 12-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

7.    Repeat steps 1–6 to make 30 blocks total.


Assemble Quilt Top

1.    Lay out blocks, solid white 12-1⁄2" setting squares, and solid white setting triangles in diagonal rows (Quilt Assembly Diagram).


2.    Sew together pieces in each row. Press seams toward setting squares and triangles. Join rows. Press seams in one direction.

3.    Add solid white corner triangles to complete quilt top. Press seams toward corner triangles.

Finish Quilt

1.    Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2.    Quilt as desired. This vintage quilt was hand-quilted with four anchors in each setting square and one anchor in each setting triangle. Stars were hand-quilted in the corner triangles and each block has outline quilting in the white pieces (Quilting Diagram).

3.    Bind with solid white binding strips.