Arctic Vortex Quilt Along Week 2

Clear off your cutting table and change your rotary cutter blade, because we’re about to cut up a storm!

Arctic Vortex Quilt Along

Dates: September 27 through November 24, 2022
Duration: 8 weeks
Quilt Sizes: Tree skirt or hexagonal quilt:

  • Large: 53” x 61”
  • Medium: 47” x 56”
  • Mini: 23” x 28”


Week 1: Pick your fabrics, get your pattern, plan your coloring sheet
Week 2: Cut, label, and organize your pieces
Week 3: Make 3 Vortex Blocks
Week 4: Make 3 Vortex Blocks
Week 5: Make 12 Setting Triangles
Week 6: Assemble quilt top & Prepare to quilt
Week 7: Quilt
Week 8: Bind

Read the FAQs

Step 1: Starch and press your fabrics.

There’s a little bit of bias sewing in this quilt, which can cause a lot of frustration. Do yourself a big favor and starch your fabrics to give them some stability before you cut.

Step 2: Cut your centers

If you’re opting to fussy cut your diamond centers and triangle centers, I put together a video tutorial on choosing the right prints and planning your fussy cuts to avoid disappointment and fabric waste! “Measure twice” is not nearly enough when it comes to fussy cutting!

Step 3: Cut your strips

Check your pattern for the number of strips you need to cut, either Width of Fabric (WOF) or half-WOF if you’re using fat quarters.

Step 4: Sub-cut your strips

Once you have your strips cut, it’s time to get sub-cutting! The pattern lists all the rectangle sizes that you need to cut from your strips.

Once you have your rectangles, cut off corners at 60 degree angles.

Make sure all of your pieces are right side up when you trim the corners! If you had WOF strips that were folded in half when you sub-cut the rectangles, make sure you have them all turned the right way, or you’ll end up having some pieces mirrored. Ask me how I know!

You can use the template as a guide, and to help you cut the correct corners, but MAKE SURE YOU CUT ALL THE WAY TO THE CORNER!

It’s very tempting to skip a step and line up the trimmed tip of the template with the end of the rectangle. DON’T DO IT! I’m pretty sure I must have done this when I cut my first Arctic Vortex. This meant that some of my strips were too long, and nothing lined up the way it was supposed to. I ended up double checking every strip (after a 9-month time-out for that quilt!) and trimming them down again.

Follow the diagrams and cut the corners properly.

Step 5: Trim tips

NOW you can trim off the tips.

(If you’re new to piecing 60-degree angles, I’ll show you 2 options next week, so you might prefer to leave the tips on until you see which method works best for you.)

Step 6: Label your pieces

There are a lot of strips in this pattern! They’re named alphabetically, according to the order that you need to attach them to the block.

Step 7: Share!

Share your beautiful pile of trimmed triangles, your fancy fussy cuts, and your perfectly organized strips on Instagram using #ArcticVortexQAL

Giveaway is closed

This week’s prize is a beautiful pair of thread snips from LDH Scissors!

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Pictured above: Roy & Ursula — Photo Credit: Peter Power

In 1990, LDH Scissors was founded in Shenzhen, just outside of Hong Kong, by a young couple who simply needed better quality sewing scissors. Built with Love, Dedication and Happiness, the company has been serving the sewing community ever since. Fast forward to 2018, their son Roy and his wife Ursula have brought the company to Toronto, Canada, bringing with them the same Love, Dedication and Happiness that made it all possible. LDH Scissors is also proud to be immigrant-, female-, and family-owned!

Win a beautiful pair of Midnight Edition Thread Snips! Thread Snips cut thread exceptionally well, and are also good for snipping seam allowances, trimming edges, layering seams, and any other sewing task that requires fine, detailed control. Never clip your stitches by mistake again!

Head over to the Instagram post for details on the giveaway! Best of luck!

Don’t forget to check out all our amazing sponsors!

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