With the variety of clamshell rulers and tools to choose from when piecing your next clamshell quilt, I thought it was time to do a tutorial on a drafting a basic clamshell block. But playing with clamshells can be very addicting, so I ended up with 2 different clamshell blocks and five different quilts. And my head is still spinning with other ideas.
In the video, I didn't include the process to add new fabrics -- but the fabrics in the video are from the July 2022 Fabric of the Month collection from Do You EQ. The collection is Stitchy by Christa Watson for Benartex. And the file is free!
Here are the blocks from the video. They are super easy to draft in EasyDraw using the Arc tool. The key is the snap settings in the Precision toolbar and when necessary using the space bar on your keyboard to change the direction of the arc when drawing it.
Hint: If you release your hold before changing the arc direction, select undo and redraw the arc, making sure to select the space bar, before releasing the mouse at the destination snap location.
Check out a sample of quilt options from these simple blocks.
For the first quilt, just color the full clamshells in a variety of fabrics. I suggest saving before finishing the coloring for the second quilt, as it will make the 3rd quilt much easier to create and color.
Notice that once you hide the quilt patch lines, you can see the alternate clamshells that appear in every other row.
To create the illusion of full clamshells in the alternate spaces, make sure to uncheck the boxes to show quilt and block patch lines when exporting the image.
When piecing this version of the quilt, you will want to use the center template from the block and ignore the corner pieces for those alternate clamshells.
You could also alter the basic block to obtain templates for the half blocks at the edges and top and bottom.
By playing with Symmetry you can create different arrangements of the block. This particular arrangement also produces full clamshells. However they are rotated when compared to the Clamshell Quilt 2.
For quilts 4 and 5, I decided to create a block that used a orange peel unit in the alternate spaces. To achieve that look, add the orange peel to the first block. This is also a great option for playing with Symmetry in the Quilt worktable.
I am looking forward to seeing what you create with these two clamshell blocks. There are so many more options that what I presented.
But Wait -- There's More
In Tech Know Quilters I cover a number of different ways to create and work with clamshells in your quilts.
In the Tech Know Quilters Membership program, we first touch on creating clamshell blocks during the Mix and Match Medallion Borders class. The clamshell border I included in the class was inspired by a number of medallion quilts I saw during Quilt Market in Houston many years ago. One of the tricky parts in using a clamshell border in a rectangular quilt design is the potential need to include an inner borders to ensure the clamshell size stays the same on all four sides.
Here are a few examples of these clamshell borders from class participants.
After some encouragement from Tech Know Quilter Master's members, I decided to create an entire class for them on clamshell quilts. Tech Know Quilters members are eligible for the Masters program after completing 12 months of Tech Know Quilter classes. Masters members receive fewer lessons each month, with more time to devote to their own projects and challenges.
The group got very creative in applying the concepts from the class as you can see by the photos below. They found it so much fun to move beyond traditional clamshell quilts.
And can I share a secret? None of the clamshells in these quilts are EasyDraw blocks.
Drop me a noteif you have completed over 12 months of Tech Know Quilters and are interested in learning more about the Masters program.
You can learn more about the regular Tech Know Quilters membership program and sign up for the wait list for the next open enrollment period here.
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.