Saturday, July 31, 2010

Clamshell Club!

As if I didn't have enough projects in the works, when I found out there was a Clamshell Club, I just had to join!  I've been intrigued by Clamshell quilts for awhile and the club spurred me to start!  Good thing I waited  - instructions on how to make a clamshell quilt are quite scarce!  I still can't believe it, in this internet age, but it is sadly true.  Luckily, the wonderful ladies in the Clamshell Club have been a wealth of information as I start this journey. I first found out about the club from Sue-Ann's Buddy & Me blog.  Jossie of Cybele's Patch is the hostess for this club.  She's from the Netherlands and her blog is in Dutch and English.  I feel so international! We are to post on our progress the day of each month.  So, after researching a number of different methods, I determined that using these freezer paper clamshell templates from Over the Edge Designs were the best way to go for me.  I found them on Cindi Edgerton's A Very Special Collection site.  Cindi's a doll, I ordered three packs - she sent me four.  On purpose!  Now, that's customer service!  She's got all kinds of paper foundations on her site.  I really like the idea of the iron-on freezer paper and they are economical!  It takes a lot of clamshells to make a quilt!  Each package comes with 160 templates.  Only catch is you have to cut them out. I'm doing a sheet of 8 at a time and it's not bad at all. My next decision was what fabrics to use.  I decided to go with a soft palette and realized that Charm Packs fit the bill!  I could get lots of different fabrics and there's not too much waste.  So far, my Clamshell stash includes (all Moda by the way) Martinique, Astor Manor, Park Avenue, Garden Party, Rural Jardin, Lumiere de Noel, Luna Notte and Beach Cottage. 

Here is one of the cut out templates fused to a charm square that I cut to 3-1/2".  I then made a plastic template 1/4" larger all around so I can trace my seam allowance.  Then, using my round lazy susan mat and a small  rotary cutter, I can cut out my clamshell.  So far, so good.  Then I had another dilemma.  How to baste.  I know this is a long-term project, but I'd like to finish in this lifetime, so I thought glue stick was the way to go.  I had a washable purple glue stick and began to use that.  Worked pretty good but then I thought, isn't this supposed to be permanent, so how was I going to get the papers out after the clamshells were stitched together?  So, I thought maybe I better hand-baste them.  I did about 4 (see below) and then said nope, not doing that! After some more research I found a basting glue stick that I'm going to try.  So, we'll see how that goes!


Here are the glue-basted clamshells I've finished so far...


and the hand-basted ones...

and since I couldn't wait to see how they would look sewn together I stitched a few.  The guidelines on the back of the paper templates make it easy to line them up!  This is too much fun!!


I plan to cut out a whole bunch before our vacation later this month so I can glue baste and stitch some together while we're away. I think they'll let me take glue stick on the plane o:)

7 comments:

Darlene said...

Oh, I can't wait to watch your progress with this new project! I'm intrigued but have way too much on my plate right now. Have fun!

Cybele's patch said...

The shells look gorgeous Denise. It is a bit of a struggle to find the technique that works best for you but once you found that it is so much fun. I really enjoy working on it.
Have a great vacation!
Jossie

Valentina said...

Denise, thank you for such a detailed report! I am so intrigued at your freezer paper templates. Amazing. I can see how it makes lining them up such a breeze.
I love your selection of clams. It will be so gorgeous!
Well done and enjoy your vacation! See you again soon!
greetings from faraway Cyprus (yep, you ARE international now!)
Valentina :)

grendelskin said...

Your fabrics are lovely! I'm so enjoying checking out everyone's clamshells and reading about their processes. I like your templates, looks like they took care of the hardest bits for you!

hetty said...

Love the fabrics you are using. Gluing the shells is a great idea. I am still hand basting mine. So far I have not found it too difficult. Those freezer paper templates look interesting too. Can't wait for the end of August to see your progress!

Ivory Spring said...

Oh my - this is going to be another looker!! I love those fabrics.

Thelma said...

I'm fascinated by this clam shell quilt, it's all new to me. Your description and pictures were great. I'll be following your progress, I'm a bit confused about what you do once they're finished, sew together then base onto something or just sew them together? I'll be watching your progress. I agree, a good travel or lap project. You could not have selected better fabrics, all my favorites. How perfect that charm packs are a good fit for your templates! Good Luck!