Sewing With Nancy viewers often email photos of their creative works. Nancy Zieman’s team loves seeing what you create! The image of the Tumbler Flag Quilt caught Nancy’s attention and she knew you’d like to see it too. It was designed and made by Linda Coon from Louisiana, who caught the quilting bug a few years ago and hasn’t stop quilting. Linda agreed to share her quilting tutorial.
But first, let’s introduce you to Linda through a conversation she had with Nancy Zieman:
Nancy: How long have you been quilting?
Linda: I didn’t become a true quilter until a few years ago, and then I became an obsessed quilter about four years after I started quilting. My sister was visiting when we saw a quilt in Quilter’s World Magazine called Battle Warfare. We decided we would each make a quilt for an upcoming quilt retreat. A year later, I finished a king-sized version and gave it as a birthday present.
Nancy: Why did you make this patriotic quilt?
Linda: While shopping at my local shop, Bright Hopes Quilting in Mandeville, LA, I learned of their effort to make quilts for the returning National Guard Unit from Slidell. That’s what started my quilting passion!
Nancy: How did you get the idea for the design?
Linda: I thought a great use of fabric scraps would be to cut out tumbling blocks. (The fabrics leftover from my first quilt were used for part of this quilt.) My idea was to create a flag and the rows of tumbling blocks would appear as a true flag, blowing in the wind. It was magic! And, the best part was that it was so easy.

Not only was this Tumbler Flag Quilt Linda’s fourth donation to returning soldiers; she has graciously shared the design and the quilting tutorial with all of us!

Tumbler Flag Quilt Tutorial designed by Linda Coon

Supplies, Fabrics, and Notions:

  • Assorted red, off-white, and blue fabrics
  • Chaco Liner Yellow Pen
  • Grandmother’s One Patch Template: Tumbler Block
Consider using all the red, white, and blue scraps to bust your fabric stash. We think you’ll be pleased with the color-coordinated, scrappy results.

Cutting Tumblers:

Red: Cut 131 tumblers and 23 finishing pieces from 4-1/2″ crosswise strips, approximately 1-1/2 yards. 
Off-White: Cut 138 tumblers from 4-1/2″ crosswise strips, approximately 1-1/2 yards. 
Navy: Cut 55 tumblers and seven finishing pieces from 4-1/2″ crosswise strips, approximately 5/8 yards.

Tip: For easy figuring of yardage, for all of Clover’s Trace ‘N Create Quilting Templates by Nancy, please see the template package backs. We have included each block size, block quantities, and yardage for block quantities.

  • For each solid fabric tumbler, the cutting directions are the same.
  • Stack several cut strips of fabric.
  • Align the template as close to the cut end as possible.
  • Trace along each edge.
  • Flip the template, align the traced edge with the template side, and trace the other side of the tumbler shape. Repeat the process until the entire fabric strip has been marked.

  • Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut on each marked line.
  • Trace and cut the Finishing Pieces.
  • Begin by aligning the template area of the Finishing Piece at the narrow end of the strip. Trace along the template area.
  • Flip the template, align the traced edge with the template, and trace the center Tumbler shape. Repeat the process until the entire fabric strip has been marked with half-tumbler shapes.
  • Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut on each marked line.
  • Create the pieced blue and off-white strips.
  • Use a 1/4″ seam to stitch together the 1-3/4″ wide off-white fabric strip and the 3-1/4″ wide navy fabric strip.
  • Press the seam allowance towards the navy blue fabric.

  • Cut 36 tumblers from 4-1/2″ strata strips.

For the red and white fabrics, simply rotate the tumbler template 180° to nest the shapes next to each other.
For the pieced strip, in order to keep the white at the top of the tumbler shape, cut pieces in the same direction. Always place the widest part of the template along the blue fabric strip. There will be a slight waste of fabric.
  • Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut on each marked line.


  • Lay out the rows, starting and ending with a Finishing Piece.
  • Make:
Three columns of #1
Three columns of #2
One column of #3
Four columns of #4
Four columns of #5

  • Pin the coordinating pieces of each column together.
  • Offset the end ¼″—the seam allowance width. Stitch. Repeat for each column.
  • Join the block pairs with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

  • Finally, stitch the columns into a quilt top. Simple as that!

Linda finished her patriotic tumbler quilt with in-the-ditch style quilting.


Watch Grandmother’s One Patch (Part One and Part Twoon Sewing With Nancy online.

Happy Quilting,

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions. LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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