More on “Scrap Vortex”

Have you located a copy of McCall’s Quick Quilts that contains my “Scrap Vortex” design? The quilt was a ton of fun to make and put so many of my colorful scraps to very good use.

I have several additional pictures of the quilt designing process which reveal an unexpected discovery and illustrate tips for making string-pieced quilts.

After making the central patchwork block, I discovered that I really like the block. The black print squares not only make the colors of the narrow strips “pop,” they add playfulness to the design that a solid black fabric could not. I think an entire quilt of these blocks would be very striking.

Tip #1: It was immeasurably helpful to place the foundation pieced strips on the design wall as I made them. I aimed to balance colors all around the quilt.

Tip #2: You can see from the photo below that I didn’t foundation piece ALL the strip pieced units. Instead, I sewed several of my longer strips together, and, after pressing, I cross-cut them to the desired width. Most of the time, the strip sets were long enough for 4 units which meant I could place one of the cross-cut pieces on each of the four sides of the quilt.

Tip #3: After adding each strip-pieced border, I stay-stitched all around the quilt. Stitching 1/8″ away from the edges stabilized the seams, preventing them from popping open during handling as I added the succeeding borders. Turning the quilt wrong side up during the stay-stitching process ensured that all the seam allowances remained flat in the direction they were pressed.


So, tell me, if you made “Scrap Vortex,” who would you make it for? I’ll choose a winner among the blog commenters on May 27 and send her a copy of the magazine.

18 thoughts on “More on “Scrap Vortex”

  1. I think this would be such a fun Ronald McDonald House quilt to make. It would give a family far from home a feeling of having something truly homemade and connected to memories. I think they would also relate to the symbolism of making something useful and beautiful out of something scrappy–I remember when we had a Ronald McD. house situation in our extended family and they were always trying to make the best out of a pretty raggedy circumstance.

  2. I think this would be the perfect quilt for one of my family members for graduation. I love the black background and have several large pieces with color in them….Don’t want anything to dark!!! Of course, if no one wants it, I’d keep it for me! Can never have too many quilts : )

  3. What a striking design Aby! Very clever! I would make this for my friend Emily. She is an amazing quilter and especially loves collage quilting.

  4. I absolutely love this quilt! It would make an adorable baby quilt. If I could upsize it to a queen it would be perfect for my guest bed!

  5. I bought a kit for a vortex using jelly rolls so I guess that’s scrappy. Need to start it next. Love your article and love quick quilts. Thanks

  6. 90% of what I make is for donation and most of these are for teens. I think this would be a very good choice for one of these. Love the background colors and I have plenty of blacks and grays to make this. As soon as I finish the 4 I’m working on right now, I am putting this pattern in the queue.

  7. As Chair of our Guild’s Community Service Committee, I would love to make it for donation to one of the organizations we support.

  8. I am excited by the amount of scraps I could use in this pattern. I would love to make it for my grandma. She loved scrappy quilts. Alas, I will think of her as I make it for a charity and maybe even watch some old Andy Griffith shows while doing it. She had a crush on Andy.

  9. I have a question regarding the cutting of the fabric into strips….it says to cut them 1/2″ – 1 1/2″…..if you cut them 1/2″ you would not see that strip at all using a 1/4″ seam allowance…can you please clarify that for me? Thank you

    • Hi Rhonda, thanks for your question regarding the width of fabric strips for Scrap Vortex. I referred to my copy of the magazine, and I agree with you that 1/2”- 1 1/2” is incorrect. Most of my strips were 1 1/2”-2 1/2” in width.

      • thank you…i actually purchased some beautiful batik fabric to use on your pattern!!!

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