Arctic Vortex Quilt Along FAQs

We’re one week away from the beginning of Arctic Vortex Quilt Along and I’m sew excited for all the fun!

Arctic Vortex Quilt Along

Dates: October 3 through November 27, 2023
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

Here are a few housekeeping items to make sure you get the most out of the event! Read carefully!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to buy the Arctic Vortex quilt pattern to participate?

In a word, yes. You can buy a PDF from my site, or grab the paper version at your local quilt shop or one of our awesome sponsors.

Can I make the quilt a different colour / bigger / smaller / scrappy / using a different technique?

Of course! It’s your quilt! I want you to make a modern holiday quilt that you will love! I won’t take off points for deviating from the quilt pattern. But I’m also not going to rewrite the pattern for every possible variation. Read the pattern, understand the techniques, and then decide for yourself if you know how to make the changes that you have in mind, including any quilt math.

Where can I buy the Stripology rulers?

You may have seen me recommend the Stripology rulers, and Stripology XL ruler for Arctic Vortex. I truly feel that the XL is the perfect ruler for the blocks in this project. I’ll be using it in any demos and tutorials as we make our way through the pattern. If you’d like to buy one, you can find it at Fat Quarter Shop (affiliate link).

Can I sew along using the Vortex pattern instead?

Not really. You can semi-join in, but after week 4 we’ll be doing things differently. Also the Arctic Vortex blocks are slightly scaled down and made with 2 strip colours instead of 3, plus the setting triangles are constructed using a different method. But you can totally make 6 Vortex blocks with us, if that’s your jam!

I don’t understand something in the pattern.

You’re probably not alone! If you have questions about something, I would love to clarify. Ask away! I have a few tips to share along the way, so hopefully those will help. Have a look at the Quilt-Along schedule in case you’re getting ahead of yourself! If you’re interested in more hands-on support, let me know! If there’s enough interest, I’ll set up an online course. I love teaching my patterns!

Is the Arctic Vortex quilt pattern beginner friendly?

If you’re a confident beginner, this quilt along will teach you how to:

  • fussy cut using templates
  • sew 60-degree angles
  • sew partial seams (you’ve probably already done them and didn’t even know it!)
  • bind 120-degree angles and the hole in the middle of a tree skirt

I would not recommend this as a very first quilt.

I don’t use Instagram. Can I share my progress on another platform?

I’d love for you to share your progress anywhere and everywhere! But if you aren’t on Instagram, you’re really missing out on an amazing quilting community. Lots of quilters have accounts just for their quilting, for quilt-alongs, mini quilt swaps, and giveaways. And speaking of giveaways, all the amazing prizes for the Arctic Vortex Quilt Along are happening over on Instagram, so if you want a chance at them, set up an Instagram account.

Fine. I made an Instagram account. Are you happy now?

First, make sure your account is public. You can still enter the giveaways if your account is private, but you’ll miss out on all the bonus entries for sharing your progress.

Second, make sure your Instagram user name is in your profile on my mailing list. The easiest way to do this is to open any email from my mailing list and click the “update subscription preferences” link at the very bottom.

How do I win the prizes?

There are NO giveaways for 2023.

Your prize is the finished quilt at the end of the QAL! Sweet!!

Each week, there will be one or more giveaway posts on my Instagram feed. Each one will have slightly different criteria. For all of them, you will need to follow me and the sponsor of that prize, and you’ll need to comment on the giveaway post. Your comment will have to answer a question about the prize. Why? Because I want you to get to know the awesome stuff that the sponsors have to offer. I’m really hoping to play matchmaker between you and some fantastic small businesses in the quilting community, so think of it as speed dating, rather than just swiping right, or left, or whatever the kids do these days. Read the individual posts for any additional requirements and opportunities for bonus entries. (Hint: the more you interact with other participants on #ArcticVortexQAL, the better!) Winners will always be chosen by random draw from all eligible entries.

I think there’s a mistake in the pattern.

If you’ve found a mistake, email me!

Giveaway is closed

I’m giving away a prize before the Quilt-Along even starts!

Early Bird Giveaway: A Fat Quarter Bundle of Reign fabric by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Ruby Star Society

A designer at Ruby Star Society, Rashida Coleman-Hale has been making things ever since she can remember. Her passion includes textiles, surface pattern design and illustration.

She studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Not sure if fashion was her calling, she traded her sewing machine for a computer and worked as a freelance graphic designer.

Her passion for sewing was rekindled in 2006 after the arrival of her first child, and she began the blog, I Heart Linen to document her re-born creative life and her life as a stay-at-home mommy.

A fabric designer as well as an author, Rashida has designed fabric for Timeless Treasures and Cloud 9 Fabrics.

Her first book, I Love Patchwork, was published by Interweave press in Fall 2009 and was awarded the 2010 PubWest Book Design Bronze Medal in the How-To/Crafts category. Her second book, Zakka Style, was published by C&T Publishing in Fall 2011 and was the 2012 International Book Awards winner in the Crafts/Hobbies/How-to category.

Rashida’s latest collection for Ruby Star Society is Reign. Here’s what she has to say about the collection:

I designed this collection during the Summer of 2020 at a time when, designing a fabric collection did not feel like a priority to me. I had no real desire to create and it seemed pointless. I’m having difficulty even putting it into words my thoughts and feelings about this collection.

It was(is)such a difficult time for not just myself, but Black people all over this country…. the planet. We were finally being seen, but for all the wrong reasons. I’m so amazed by my people and all of the things that we have managed to accomplish and overcome in this life despite being subject to a system that wasn’t built for us to succeed. Black people are Kings and Queens!

I created ✨Reign✨as a reminder to myself, my Black husband, my Black children, my Black relatives, my Black friends, my Black people that we must own our power and remember who we are. 👑

Reign will be shipping in October.

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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