Bright, Bold original quilt patterns and designs for English Paper Piecing (EPP) and appliqué

How to join your Vortex Blocks together - Part One

Or…Vortex EPP Block Tessellation Options

One of the reasons that I don’t often sell complete quilt sized EPP patterns is that I want to encourage you to explore and play with the geometry of your blocks and to find new and exciting ways to put the block designs together. 

By doing this, you can create your own totally unique project.  I find this approach suits my messy brain as I often have so many ideas on how to put the blocks together that I get overwhelmed and paralysed by the thought of choosing just one option to share with you!

In a series of posts, I’d like to share with you some of the tessellation options I came up with for my Vortex block(s):


verb (used with object), tes·sel·lat·ed, tes·sel·lat·ing.

to form of small squares or blocks, as floors or pavements; form or arrange in a checkered or mosaic pattern.

So, let’s look at the first option:


Yep, that’s right!  Don’t worry about trying to tessellate your blocks with other shapes and simply stitch them together! 

As the finished Vortex block is not a regular sized polygon (all sides are not the same length), you can join your blocks together on either one of the 2 sides like so:

Whichever side you choose to join your blocks on, you can appliqué the resulting piece onto a larger background fabric and have that “shine through”.  If you follow the basting directions given in the pattern, you will have no “ears” sticking out and the appliqué will be a breeze!

Here are some more ideas on what you can do with your VORTEX blocks

Project Idea #1 Cushion or Pillow

Included in the Vortex block pattern are the instructions for making an 18” pillow like this one that uses the LARGE block.  


You can see my Peppermint Swirl Christmas Variation here too

 Project Idea #2 Mini Quilt

I made a small rainbow mini quilt using the SMALL Vortex Block which I appliqued to an11” square of background fabric.  Simple straight line machine quilting with some big stitch quilting accents and a pieced binding.



Project Idea #3 – Christmas Wreath Placemat (14” x 19”)

Here, I have used one (1) MEDIUM Vortex block to make a table mat for Christmas Dinner.  It includes a handy pocket for cutlery and a napkin and a fussy cut hexie flower that doubles as a coaster.  I’m looking forward to making 3 more of these to brighten up what is going to be a very strange Christmas Day for many of us.


A step by step tutorial for this Placemat is available here

In the next post in this series, I’ll be looking at how to join your blocks using additional paper pieces

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