Welcome to week 4 of the scrap vortex quilt along! I didn't touch this project all week, sadly. I got my blocks out this morning to take some photos for today's post. I had fun playing around with what I have done so far and I think I might put the "to-do" list aside for an hour or two today to PLAY! The vortex quilt has a way of sucking you in! (Hahahaha!)
This week is more of the same...take two pieces of the same size and sew them together. The top piece is about 11 3/4" x 16 3/4" and the bottom piece is about 14 1/2" x 16 3/4". (The only reason I mention the size is so you can visualize the scale. Your block sizes will be different that mine, no doubt. Don't get hung up on measurements at this point!) Since the patchwork pieces are the same width, and since they look good together, I will sew them up. Once again, notice the staggered seams. This is important so you lose the grid of the patchwork in the larger piece.
I like these two blocks together, but the one on the left is too short, so I will add a pieced strip to the top of the left block. I could add a single string to the top, but it would be too big compared to the rest of the pieces. A pieced string will look better. Whenever you are pairing two blocks together, you have to option of adding to the shorter block or trimming the taller block. I prefer to add pieces as much as possible, trimming only when there is 1/2" difference or less. (That's a general rule, not a hard and fast rule.)
Here I have several larger pieces completed. They range from 21" to 12" on each side. I would encourage you to spend some time playing with the pieces as if you were putting a puzzle together. Arrange and re-arrange until you get a few pieces that you like together, then sew them up. Fill in the gaps with patchwork as needed. This is such a fun and freeing way to work....at least I think so! I hope you have discovered it to be, as well!
If you would like to look back, I've linked to the previous posts below for easy reference:
scrap vortex QAL week 1
scrap vortex QAL week 2
scrap vortex QAL week 3
If you have any questions, please let me know. I'd love to hear how your quilt is progressing! Thank you for quilting along with me!
This is very addictive and fun! A great summer project!
I love watching this progress! When I have all the grandchildren's quilts done, I am going to have lots and lots of scraps...
Love this QAL! But being a newbie I don't have near enough scraps yet. I'm tempted to create some!
Love this QAL & the information you are sharing. You are always so generous. One question. Are you able to press all your seams to the side? Thanks!!
Amanda Jean, I adore this quilt and this process! Thank you so much for running the QAL as it has made me have a go. Although I like your scraps much more than mine (!) I am really enjoying working in a new way and puzzling out the fit of the different pieced bits. I think the finished quilt will be OK - though not as lovely as yours!
Can't wait to get home and sew some sections together!!! I adore all of your teeny tiny scraps, but I know that I will love my quilt just as much with my larger pieces. It's so fun to see some of these fabrics again and remember what I originally used them in. The making of this quilt is an fun, unexpected trip down memory lane for me :)
I started mine last week and it is really fun! I am also enjoying seeing how everyone is doing theirs....Instagram #scrapvortexqal 😍.
Thank you so much for this tutorial.
I'm having so much fun with this! Just getting back in to sewing after a long hiatus so this is the perfect project: no pattern, no rules, just cut & sew! Annette -- I don't have scraps either so I'm "making" my own. I have some fat quarters and I'm just chopping them up and sewing them back together :)
Thanks, Amanda, for the inspiration and the guidance!
I am loving this project and worked on it everyday for a week. Then I felt like I needed to walk away from it for a couple of days, although the pieces are still up on my design board. I'll post a photo on Instagram today. Thanks for your insight about the proportional size of the scrap pieces -- I think that may be what was causing me a little consternation. Some of my scrap pieces are too big relative to the others!
Yep, I've been sucked in .... :-) ....... I told myself 'no, resist, resist, resist.......' (despite the fact that I have plenty of scraps) since I have two quilts to finish before the end of July. Well, with a little help from a friendly challenge from a guild mate, those finishes are still in process and so is my 'vortex'. Have a slab about 40" by 30" done. Will have to put it aside for a bit as tonight starts the basting of my other projects. It has been fun to do. Thanks for the inspiration!
This is how it "felt" to me, as I've gone along, but thanks for confirming that I'm on the right track. I agree that it's so much nicer to add pieced strips. When I've added one single strip, it's very distracting from the overall appearance of the blocks. So I keep telling myself, and everyone else "small pieces." And... OH YES! I am totally sucked in! Shame on you.
I really need to do this. I recognize a lot of my scraps in your blocks! But it's a horrible time. Maybe I can do it at my own pace later? It's a beautiful quilt top.
My blocks are just not as bright as yours are Amanda but I still love this QAL. This round I am adding some HST that I made from some triangle scraps that are in my scrap basket and may add some string scrap pieces too.
I also have added some orphan blocks, but just a few. One tip I would like to pass along that I started doing today was to iron the seam prior to sewing. I use a steam setting. It keeps the blocks together during the sewing process. I also have taken up standing and sewing. Thanks for this tip. I am not sure why I have not done it before, but gets me away from sitting, it also allows me to do some exercises such as lifting a few weights. I sew 5 blocks, do a set and sew another 5 blocks. Otherwise I can spend the day sewing and not get my exercising in. I love the process and have started another vortex quilt but keeping it with the same kind of fabrics. This will be a wall hanging for my new Arizona home. We hopefully will be closing July1st.
I have been having so much fun with this quilt. Has anyone else had the feeling that their scraps are magically multiplying when no one is looking? I look at my finished blocks which contain a lot of scraps, then look at my scrap bin, still full. I may have to make more than one of these quilts!!
I love your blocks - such a large selection of color and pattern. I'm enjoying stitching along with you. Thank you for the constant inspiration.
So many pretty blocks! Your scraps are always so lovely and bright, they make me smile. :) I'm making slow progress on my scrap vortex, but slow and steady get finished some time, right? Lol.
Yes, I do press all my seams to the sides. :)
I'm really enjoying playing with my scraps for this one, I've just posted a few blocks on my blog.
Thanks so much for the motivation - I don't think I will be stopping at one quilt!!
I have 8 blocks about 10x10 done. I'm seriously enjoying everything about this quilt. Will post a progress photo on Instagram in the morning. Too dark to get a decent photo tonight by hanks for sharing this Quilt Along, Amanda!!!
I just love this type of quilt, so much to look at and is so bright and cheery!
I'm like you, I would rather add than cut. I like your rule. I will remember it!
Addicted to the vortex? Absolutely! I have dug into my smaller scraps basket that has been running over for a long time and am beginning to see a difference in that mountain.
Thank you for nudging me into this. I know this will not be my only vortex quilt.
Thanks for the inspiration and fun! I am slowly getting my blocks together. I had to smile when you said to think of this as a puzzle. That's exactly what I was thinking as I was sewing! Now if I didn't have so many WIPs...
I have started into the vortex, although my scraps are really old and boring/ugly.
Your tip about adding the pieced strips is excellent. That was bugging me about my blocks, so now I can go back and fix that :)
Thanks for the idea of adding orphan blocks. Going to try that!
Many of my scrap pieces look bigger than yours, and mine is darker. But I am loving it just the same!
The summer is so busy, that this kind of mindless sewing is perfect. When I need a break (or feel like I'm going through withdrawal from no sewing), I go upstairs and sew some scraps together without worrying about what step I am on or if I made the correct cuts, etc. Thank you!
I am loving this and am in the process of "organizing" my fabric; including the whole comic board thing. I am discovering bunches of very odd shaped fabric which is always in that "pile" and while I read your quilt vortex posts I see your scraps seem all squared of and not raggy shapes. I am probably answering my own question as I type but would still like your input...do you square up all your scraps? and when do you do that? as you finish a project or do you, like me, wind up with an incongruous mess to square up at once?
I've working on my scrap blocks and now have several made. It's been fun and I'm really enjoying myself. Question...when making a 'busy" quilt, what is your opinion on having a place for your eyes to rest? Thanks.
I really should be brave and try this! It looks like so much fun! I am afraid that my scraps are not all so lovely. Perhaps even the ones I don't love will blend in or maybe I should just pitch the scraps I don't love. But throwing away fabric of any kind, just seems like a very bad thing!!
I was working on another scrap project when I saw the first post about scrap vortex, but jumped in any how! Those scrap blocks are done now and I've spent all day Friday, (off work hurray!!) getting caught up to this step. It's a blast and I can't wait for Thurs to see how this all goes together!
This is such a great scrap-busting method. Haven't started one of my own yet; very tempted, but am halfway through a spiderweb top to use up as many strip scraps as possible (while producing more small bits, eep!). When that's done, I'm going to make one of these from all the little scraps that multiply like rabbits. Faster than rabbits. Speed of light rabbits...
A group of 4 quilting friends decided to do a vortex together so we all made twosies then traded them to get a variety of fabric scraps. We will continue to trade at each step. When we are done the quilt top it will be donated to a charity. So much fun seeing what we all have in our scrap bins!
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