Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Clamshell Club, month 1

Here is my first progress report for the Clamshell Club

Hubby helped me to make a template, and I had several false starts before finding a method that worked for me.  I am attempting to use English Paper Piecing, which I've only tried on my hexagons before.  I think I have the basic Clamshell down:

Scrappy calicoes and a neutral Kona for the background and/or alternate rows (haven't quite decided yet).  Here's what it looks like from the back; I don't know if others use that last stitch (can you see it?) or whether they keep the clamshell pinned until assembly.  I also do not know whether this will make paper removal more difficult - time will tell!  I marked the center and also 1/4 inch from the wide base to help with assembly, as per Lizard's instructions.
My first attempt at piecing them together - pathetic.  I almost didn't post this picture but I really do need help if you can offer it to me.  If any of you out there have tips on how to stitch the rows together, or can point me to a good set of instructions, I'd be VERY grateful!  I'm assuming that it gets easier after the first row - I certainly hope it does!

p.s. - update on the Rattus Rattus Fiasco:  the babies all died and the mothers ... uh ... cleaned up the mess for me.  Disgusting but convenient.  Within three weeks we'll know whether they were *both* pregnant when we bought them, and then we can settle them in permanently I hope!  In the meantime the cage is freshly cleaned and they seem to be happy.


  1. Hi,
    It's a very nice beginning of the clamshellquilt. Hoping we all get it done well.
    please forgive my bad English, I never learned it.
    Greetings and love Willie Landman
    Oet Grunn'n.

  2. You are doing great. I love the picture of the clammshell-donut. I will keep watching. Love to know where this is going.

  3. This looks all right to me Sally. The first rows can be a struggle but maybe you could have a look at my posting under the Clamshell button on my blog. I started with a straight strip of fabric. According to my pattern I should start with a row of white shells which would be cut to the top of the second row (the coloured shells). I didn't want to go through all that effort and than cutting it off again. So I went for a strip.

  4. You look like you are on the right track. Beautiful clamshells! Have you read Belinda's clamshell posting? Even though she is not using paper templates you will find some great tips.

  5. Dear Sally, what lovely clams! Seriously gorgeous.
    I think you are on the right track, for sure. I think we will be clam-experts at the end of this, you will see!
    I had a thought looking at you marked paper: What about it you match these lines on side by side clams with a few stitches. Like tacking them together. This way they would not shift? Maybe it is a silly idea, but maybe worth the try. I think Jossie's idea of using an initial strip of fabric to applique them on a smart idea. We could even mark this strip so we know where to position the clams?
    Let me know if this makes sense... :)

  6. OOOOuuu...I really like your calicos you chose!! I know you have already seen my tutorial...I hope it helps you. I would do mine in 3's or 5's and then assembly the groups to make a, I haven't sewn any 2 rows together yet so, I guess I haven't gotten to that struggle yet...maybe I will try it today.....your's is looking good!!

  7. its looking good and Cybele's patch is great for any helpful information.

  8. Thanks for your lovely comment Sally :)
    This is looking good to me, a great start to a beautiful quilt! If I were to start another one in rows, I think Jossie's method of attaching the 1st row to a strip of fabric is a good idea.