October 18, 2018

Irish Vortex Quilt Pattern - Fat Quarter Friendly!

Irish Vortex Quilt Pattern | Modern Star Quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs

Have I got a fun pattern for you today!

It can be scrappy. It can be colourful. It can even be Christmassy!

In fact, I designed this pattern with Christmas in mind. So many quilt patterns that are designed with the holidays in mind tend to be very specific to that time. But I wanted to give you an option that would look amazing as a Christmas quilt (cause the holidays are coming...eek!), but could still look great with any fabrics you have in your stash.

Versatility was key.

This mash up of the ninja star with the classic Irish chain design just fit that bill perfectly! And the Irish Vortex quilt pattern was born!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.

The Irish Vortex Quilt Pattern is now available - click here!

This idea came about at a time when I was swamped with deadlines and secret sewing, but you know when you have an idea that you’re so excited about you just have to drop everything to give it a go? That’s what happened here. In less than a week, the pattern was designed, and the first version was a WIP.

Let me show you just how fun and versatile the Irish Vortex quilt pattern really is.



Irish Vortex quilt in the wild | Shannon Fraser Designs

If you’re looking to try your hand at a solids only quilt, then check out this pinky gray version featuring these gorgeous Cotton Couture solids from Michael Miller Fabrics in the colours Pomegranate, Magenta, Pink, Nickel with the prettiest binding and backing in their Garden Pindot collection in Magenta and Nickel.

The monochromatic colourway allows the design to really show the depth and movement of the pattern. There are so many directions you could go in with this approach and the pattern includes 8 different colourways to help spark some ideas!

Irish Vortex Quilt Pattern | Modern Star Quilt featuring Cotton Couture Solids from Michael Miller Fabrics | Shannon Fraser Designs

My go-to batting is always Quilter’s Dream cotton batting in either Request of Select. Here I’ve used Request in natural cotton. It has a beautiful drape and feel to it.

Since I was crunched for time, I opted for some straight-line quilting in 28wt Aurifil Thread. This is my first time going with 2” wide spaced lines and the feel is quite yummy! It makes for a less heavy quilt, but is still perfect for snuggling.

Irish Vortex Quilt Pattern in pink ombre | Shannon Fraser Designs

Pips on Irish Vortex Quilt | Cats on quilts | Shannon Fraser Designs



It’s always fun to know what’s included in a quilt pattern. So, here’s a roundup of some of the key features in the Irish Vortex Quilt pattern:

First up is quilt sizes. Since we all have different loved ones in our circle that need quilts, the pattern includes instructions for the following quilt sizes:
  • Baby/ Mini/ Wall Hanging 24"x24"
  • Baby with Borders 32.5"x32.5"
  • Crib 36"x48"
  • Throw 60"x60"
  • Twin 72"x96"
  • Double 84"x108"
  • Queen 96"x108"
  • King 120"x108"
There's also:
  • Step-by-step graphics so you know exactly how to piece the quilt top.
  • Seam pressing chart to ensure your seams nest beautifully and results in nice sharp points!
  • Cutting options for both yardage and fat quarter friendly versions.
  • 8 quilt design colourway mock-ups to help spark ideas and inspire your next quilt.
  • A colouring page so you can plan out your own design ideas.
  • Hyperlinks to free quilt tutorials with additional tips for quilty success!



Baby Irish Vortex Quilt | Modern nursery décor | DIY baby gift | Shannon Fraser Designs

The first version I tackled was this bright and bold baby quilt using some Blueberry Park fabric scraps I had leftover from a secret sewing project.

The fabrics include Melon Plus, Shell Plus, Wasabi Trees and White Plus from Blueberry Park 3 collection and a pop of Turquoise Rough Patch from the Blueberry Park collection. The backing is a modern abstract print from Art Gallery Fabrics and I finished it off with a solid binding in Wasabi. I’ll be honest, the binding colour wasn’t my first choice. I really wanted to use the Shell Plus print, but I didn’t have enough, and I had plenty of Wasabi on hand! So, that won out 😉

Baby Irish Vortex Quilt featuring pearl cotton thread used to hand quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs

This one got hand quilted with pearl cotton thread to show you some possibilities with highlighting different elements of the quilt design. See those fuchsia stitches? I went bold and bright because I wanted to highlight the secondary pattern that emerges when you join the blocks together.  Lots of quilting options to play with here!

Pearl cotton thread can be tough to find, so I’ve put together a list of resources for you here

I even attempted my first big-stitch hand quilted binding – super cute, right?! Which I now have a tutorial in the works for you! Stay tuned for that coming your way soon!

Irish Vortex Quilt Pattern | Modern baby quilt | DIY gift ideas | Shannon Fraser Designs



Forest Fable Irish Vortex Quilt block | Modern Star quilt | Scrappy quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs

For all my scrappy quilt lovers and fat quarter bundle stockers, this Forest Fable version is for you!
This fat quarter bundle, designed by Shauna Scicluna for Leutenegger (some yardage still available here) had been sitting in my fabric stash for quite awhile and I thought it was perfect for an autumn quilt.

Forest fable bundle + Chambray Brussels washed linen from Rober Kaufman | Irish Vortex Quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs

It got paired with this gorgeous Chambray Brussels WasherYarn Dye linen from Robert Kaufman, which added some nice cozy texture.

This one still needs to get basted and quilted, but it shows just how awesome the pattern can look by dipping into your scrap fabric stash or finally busting open one of your coveted fat quarter bundles 😉

The pattern also includes instructions specifically for using fat quarters. Gotta love a fat quarter friendly pattern!

Forest fable Irish Vortex quilt top | Shannon Fraser Designs | Scrappy quilts | Fat quarter friendly



If these weren’t enough to inspire your creativity, check-out the gorgeous versions my pattern testers made:

Ombré by YT Handcrafts 

I’ve been loving seeing this ombré version in pinks and dusty yellows come together by Kenzie of YT Handcrafts. It’s totally making me want to snag an ombré fat quarter bundle and get cutting!

Fireflies by Wren Collective  

Who doesn’t love fireflies?! Doesn’t it just bring back fond childhood memories from nights spent in the wilderness? And this version by Rachel of Wren Collective is giving me all the happy campfire vibes, without the need for sleeping in tents 😉

Orange Crush by Flip & Co 

Flip is such an amazing quilter and knows how to pair fabrics! Just check out this orange, white and linen combo. Yummy!

Landscapes by A Little Patchwork

Ange of A Little Patchwork is working on a beautiful version featuring Cotton & Steel's Imagined Landscape fabric collection. The mix of florals and organic geometric prints is just stunning, and I can’t wait to see this one come together.   

Coral Punch by Frieda Tong 

You know my love for coral and seeing Frieda pair it with florals just takes it to the next level.

Halloween by Izzy of Dizzy Quilts Blog 

How fun is this orange and black themed version by Izzy of Dizzy Quilts Blog. And did you catch the fun quilting she did in the black? Perfection!

For more inspiration, be sure to check-out the #irishvortexquilt on Instagram! 

This pattern is so addictive, I’ve already got a Christmas themed version in the works featuring the Home for the Holidays collection from Michael Miller Fabrics.

Not only does the Irish Vortex quilt pattern include a ton of different colourways to inspire you, but it also includes a colouring page so you can plot out ideas based on your favourite colours and prints.

Even more fun than all the ways you can put your own spin on this pattern is just how quick it all comes together. You can totally pull the quilt top together in a day or two, depending on which size you decide to make! She’s that fast to make. So, grab the Irish Vortex quilt pattern here and make your very own version today!

Happy quilting!



PS I’m knocking this one off my Q4 FAL list

Never miss a post - sign up for the weekly newsletter here.

This post uses affiliate links. For more info, visit the 
FAQ page.

Other posts you might like:


  1. I look forward to seeing the Christmas themed version you have in the works. Congratulations on your pattern release!

    1. Thank you so much, Yvonne! I think the Christmas one will be really fun! Plus, it’s sure to get me into the holiday spirit 😉

  2. Yay for the pattern release! I had so much fun testing this one for you and I love all the other versions here!

    1. Aw, I’m so happy you had a great time making her, Izzy! And I love seeing everyone’s interpretation too! I think that’s one of the best parts about quilting – we each bring our own spin to a project 😉

  3. What a lovely design, Shannon! So many options. I love this!

    1. Thank you so much, Brooke! Gotta love having lots of options in a quilt pattern 😉