Arctic Vortex Quilt Along Week 6.5

Are you ready to quilt your Arctic Vortex Quilt?

Hold on a second. Just because you have a finished quilt top, doesn’t mean it’s time to start quilting! This week, we’re taking some time to plan and prepare first, so that the quilting goes a lot smoother. And yes, you can start quilting once you’ve taken these important steps.

Arctic Vortex Quilt Along

Dates: September 27 through November 22, 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: Choose your quilting method

How are you going to quilt your project? By hand? Using a walking foot? Free motion on a domestic machine? Longarm? Send it to a longarmer? Some combination of the above? This decision will influence all of the subsequent steps. Take stock of your preferences, skill set, budget, and available time.

Step 2: Plan your quilting

The eternal question: How Do I Quilt It? We could do an entire 8-week course on this subject (and hey, maybe I will some day!) but my favourite way to plan out my quilting is to draw on a picture of the quilt top. You can use your colouring page and pencils, a clear report cover with a whiteboard marker, or a photo of your quilt top and a drawing app. Try out a few different ideas and see what looks good and what feels doable in terms of density, complexity, and efficiency of movement.

If you haven’t planned the quilting for a triangle/hexagon quilt before, you can follow my design process as I worked through the quilting plan for Rebecca Bryan’s Solstice Modern Triangle BOM

Here are a few sketches I tried out for the quilting on one of my Arctic Vortex quilts. The last one is a modified spiral, and would work particularly well for walking foot quilting.

Step 3: Mark your quilt top

Unless you’re spray basting your quilt sandwich, you’ll want to do any necessary marking while your quilt top is unbasted, either using a hera marker, chalk, water soluble pen, or painter’s tape. (I have never spray basted a quilt, but I believe some quilters use an iron to heat set the spray adhesive, which would interfere with the marking methods I mentioned.)

Step 4: Baste your quilt sandwich

Whether you pin baste, thread baste, or spray baste, good basting is the first step to ensuring smooth, pucker-free quilting. (Technically, good piecing is the first step, but you did a great job of that!)

Make sure you smooth out all three layers, move any fullness away from the middle, and baste a little more densely than you think you might need.

Step 5: Share!

Share your quilting plan on Instagram using #ArcticVortexQAL

Giveaway is closed

This week’s prize is a $25 gift card to!

Use it to buy PDF patterns, paper patterns, or workshops (including the new Octopus Tentacle Scarf workshops I’m about to add for December!) And heads up: You can now buy gift cards in a number of denominations in my shop!

Best of all, they’re always a perfect fit.

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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