Easy Clamshell Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Easy Clamshell Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 59" x 67"
Time: 10 Minutes
Jenny Doan of Missouri Star demonstrates how to make a quick and easy clamshell quilt using 5 inch squares of precut fabric (charm packs) and the Missouri Star Drunkard's Path Circle Template Set. The fabric used in this project is "Kaleidoscope" Floral Batiks 5 Karat Jewels by Wilmington Batiks.
Supplies list

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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I have a fun project for you. Take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this great? Now we’re actually calling this the Easy Clamshell and we put the name Easy in the title because it really is. So let me show you how to do this. This is so much fun. Isn’t it great? So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is four packs of five inch squares and we have used Kaleidoscope Floral Batiks for Wilmington. And you’re also going to need a little bit of outer border out here, one and a quarter yards. It’s a nice big six inch border. We’ve got some backing here. Let me see if I can grab that quilt. There we go. Three and ¾ yards of backing on this. And we just used one of the prints in the line. You’re also going to need the Drunkard’s Path template. And this is our newer template and we’re just still playing with it, finding out all kinds of fun things we can do with it. And this is one of them. So let me show you how to make this. It’s going to make a quilt that is 59 by 67. And so it’s, you know, a fairly good size and I just think it came together so cool.

Alright so here’s what we’re going to do. First of all we have to cut our pieces and so I’m just going to do, I’m going to cut, I don’t know, I”ll probably just cut two at a time. You can cut as many as you’re comfortable with. I’m actually comfortable cutting a few more but you know, we’re just going to do two and see. Now here’s how you’re going to lay this. You’re going to put your template right in the corner just like this. And I like to keep a couple of fingers on the template and a couple of fingers off. And you just use your regular rotary cutter and you’re going to cut around like this. And then you have those two pieces. Now this piece doesn’t exactly match the curve we need so we’re going to take this piece and we’re going to line it up here right along the edge. And it’s going to be this first line right here. And this is part of the cool part that we’re actually getting both pieces out of one five inch square. So I’m going to go ahead and cut off these little ends right here. And then you just have to shave up this little bit of the curve right here. And so you can see it’s very little waste which I love. Alright I’m going to stack those on there. I’m going to do a couple more so you can see what I’m doing here. And you just want to make sure they’re straight, lined up nice and straight. And one more here. And again I’m just going to put my corner of my block in the corner of my pre cut. And we’re going to cut that out just like this. And then we’re going to just trim this one. We just have to shave a little bit off, not too much at all. So we’re going to line that up on the end. I’m going to cut off my two little end pieces right here, here and here. And then I’m just going to shave this little curve right here.

Alright now let me show you how these go together because they go together so easily and it’s just kind of fun. But when you go to make your quilt you’re actually not going to sew them first. The first thing you’re going to do is lay them out. So let me show you how to lay them out and then I’ll show you how to sew one together. So you’re going to take your pieces. And you want to make the actual clam when you lay them out like this. But as you can see on the quilt behind me, this clam here, this one has a different part than this one because they all make part of the clam next to them. That’s why you have to lay it out. So let me go ahead and show how you sew these together. So I”m going to sew a blue to a red. Actually you know what, we should lay this out and then I’ll actually sew the right one to the right one. So now what I’m going to do, I’m just going to lay a few out. So I’m going to put this one here and here’s the bottom of this one. And this is the other side over here. Wait a minute, I’ve got these going the wrong way. There we go. And then this guy comes up here. And then we’ll put one over here. And you can see how this is going to work. So here’s our light purple and then here’s our purple middle. I like to build the actual clamshell first. And then see how there’s an opening here, that’s where the next clamshell goes. And you’re actually going to lay out the whole thing before you do it because you want to make sure that you sew the right bottoms to the right tops.

So once you get your quilt all laid out you’re going to have one, two, three, four, five, six clamshells across and you have to make that top and corner. We have to make this up here so that it works. Basically what you’re going to do is you’re going to take off your very top clamshell like this. You keep your pairs together. And then this one is going to go all the way down at the bottom of your quilt. So let me show you right here. So see how this little pink one is right here, way down here at the bottom we have the top. And that actually fills it in so it has the top and the bottom and it makes the thing square. So you’re going to do the same on the side. And your corner is going to come across and it will come all the way over to the other side of your quilt over here. And so like this one right here, these are the two pieces, the half circle and the inner circle together. And then it comes all the way over here, just the other half of it. So they’ll go side to side and top to bottom and it’s just going to come together right away really nice. The key with this is really laying it out before you sew anything.

So now we have this, we’re going to pretend we have it all laid out and we’re going to start to sew. So let me sew a couple of these so I can show you exactly what this looks like. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our piece right here and I’m going to fold it in half and make a little finger crease right here. This is just going to help me line up my middle and this is the same, so a little green one. And we’re going to fold it in half and do a little crease. And then this crease is going to lay in this crease right here. Now I’m going to go ahead and start this with, with the, actually I like the concave at the bottom best and so I’m going to start right here. And see how I’ve laid these together like this. So I’m just going to take a few stitches. And then we’re going to pull it around and swoop it around. So we’re going to start here, take a couple of stitches and then I’m going to stop and I”m just going to manipulate my curves so they come together, just like this. And you can really only do a couple at a time. I watch so that my middle comes together pretty close. And I just keep sewing a few stitches, a few stitches, a few stitches. Alright and then we’ve got this last little bit right here and we’ll go press it open. Alrighty so now we’re just going to press this down. Let me move these down here. We’re just going to press this over. Whew, we’ve got us a little crinkle over there. So we’re going to press this all flat. And you can see that this curve came out really nicely. I mean it just went together really well.

Now if you’re at all unsure about this you could put a little pin in where that fold is. You can also at the very end you could use a little stylus to help you, you know, put those two together and get that last little bit through. So you could see I struggled a little bit with that. But I have some now that I’ve already sewn and we are going to lay these together so that you can see what this is going to look like. So this is going to be my top row right here. And we’re going to put them together like this, here we go. So this is my top row right here and we keep our pairs together remember so that makes our top row right there. Our next row is right here and it’s going to be the bottom halves of all these clamshells. So we’ve got it right here. We’ve got this one right here. And because we laid it out and we sewed them all perfectly, you know, it’s going to come together just great. Alright so, see how this is coming together. Isn’t this great? Alright so now see how this comes together. We always keep these pairs together, you know, so that we have two. So here’s my last row. It’s the ta-da row. Alright so now we’re going to put this like this and this one. And they just make little clamshells and it’s so much easier than you thought. There you go. Isn’t that fun? It just makes a great little quilt. It comes together quick. It’s great practice for you to try sewing those curves too. For any of you who are afraid of the curves, just try it because it can be, you know, it can be a challenge. But I think once you’ve done all the curves that it takes to make this quilt you’re going to be a pro at it. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial from the MSQC.

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