MACHINE QUILTING CLAMSHELLS


Clamshell machine quilting

Clamshell machine quilting

For this patchwork fish quilt I thought that clamshell quilting would be appropriate.  It is a lovely simple pattern both to design and to sew and I liked the idea of it looking like the scales of the fish.  I have machine quilted on the white fabric only as I felt that there is enough pattern in the other squares already.

 

 

 

 

Designing and marking the clamshell quilting template

Clamshell quilting template

Clamshell quilting template

As usual I wanted to use available shapes to make the quilting template, so I drew around a glass to give me a cirle of about 2.1/2″ diameter which I cut out in card.  Draw a line across the middle as this helps with positioning the template when you are marking out for machine quilting.

For this particular quilt I want the clamshells to go round the corner so I have marked the first clamshell in the corner.  This would be a good design for a border as well.  Place the template so that the centre line crosses the corner of the red square beneath it and draw around the portion that is on the white fabric.

 

Mark semicircles along the white fabric

Mark semicircles along the white fabric

Mark semi circles next to this corner shape, going in straight lines along the white fabric both to the left and the right of the corner.  If you line up the centre line of the circle with the seam between the red and white fabrics, this will give you a semi circle on the white.  Mark them so that they just touch each other at the sides.

 

 

 

Mark the second line of clamshells

Mark the second line of clamshells

The second line of marking is to give another semicircle straddling two of the semicircles from the first line of marking.  Place the template so that the centre marking lines up with the tops of the two semi circles beneath it.  Mark along both lengths of white fabric again.

 

 

 

Sewing the machine quilted clamshells

Machine quilt the first row of clamshells

Machine quilt the first row of clamshells

Completed machine quilted clamshells

Completed machine quilted clamshells

Sew the clamshells in the same way that you marked them – begin with the bottom row in the corner and sew around the semi circles on either side.  Then sew the top row of semi circles to complete the clamshell quilting design.

This is such a simple machine quilting design and as all you need is a circle template you can make it to any size that you need.

 

use a water spray to remove the marking lines

Use a water spray to remove the marking lines

Clamshell machine quilting from the back

Clamshell machine quilting from the back

I have used many different methods for marking quilts over time, but this time I have used a water erasable marker and I’m really pleased with it.  It doesn’t fade the way an air erasable marker can – sometimes before I have finished quilting! – but it can be removed really easily just by spraying water on to the quilt.

 

Here’s the machine quilting video:

 

 

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Comments

  1. Hi Rose, I finished my fish quilt topper and then had a go at your way of doing the clamshell design for the quilting.
    It’s great Rose, it’s really easy to do, as you say, drop the speed of the sewing machine down to slow. I found that did really help.
    Now the quilted topper is really lovely and my Daughter-in-Law will be very please with it when she see it, —-I know she will.
    Thank you Rose

    • Well done, Jean. I’m so glad that you found the quilting instructions helpful. Slowing the speed down gives you a lot more control, doesn’t it? Your daughter in law is a lucky lady to have you sewing for her.

  2. Thank you Rose for the video of how to quilt the fish.
    That fish was brilliant.
    Yvonne

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