Clamshell Pattern Posted!

Latifah Finished Projects, Modern Quilt, Pattern, Quilts 15 Comments

Finally! It took a little longer than I wanted it to but, I just posted the patterns for the Machine Pieced Clamshell Quilt that many of you have been waiting for. It is called the Glam Clam Quilt and it’s available in both an 8″ or 12″ clamshell version. You can find them both on Craftsy and they are both free!

The 8″ is here:

And, here’s the 12″. Note: the 12″ is available to print out on both letter and legal paper. Letter paper is easier to come by. But, the templates on the legal paper don’t have to be taped together as much.

Traditionally, most clamshell quilts are sewn by hand. I have the highest admiration for those of you who love handwork but, I’m a pedal to the metal machine piecing kinda girl. So, when I wanted to make a clamshell quilt I knew I had to find a way to machine piece it. I’ve made three clamshell quilts so far and have two in the making and I must say, I’m sorta in love. I’ve got a reputation for loving circles and curves and so I guess it makes sense that I love clamshells too. Anyway, I looked and looked for large chunky clamshell templates and instructions on how to piece them by machine and couldn’t find any. So, of course I dove in to make my own. The main template Template D, is in itself is pretty standard. But, the most important templates are Templates A, B, & C. They are the templates that help you to build the top row on which all other rows are built. It makes the process SO much easier! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll remember Template B as the thong pattern piece. :) You’ll know what I mean when you see it.

The larger the curve the easier to sew, right? Clamshells are no different. 8″ is small enough to have a variety of fabrics but, stay easy to piece. And the 12″ template just makes a fun bold quilt. So, you’ll have those two to pick from.

A couple tips before you get started:

  • Be VERY accurate in your cutting. I’m speaking from experience here. I cut out EVERYTHING to make Neon & Neutral and it didn’t fit together! I wanted to cry. OK. I might have. Then, I just took a deep breath and re-cut out everything. So take your time. And, I found that it’s easier to be accurate with scissors.
  • This is a pattern where 1/4″ seam allowance IS important! Thankfully, you can use your 1/4″ foot to piece this. While I say it’s important, it doesn’t have to be perfect – mine weren’t. Just try to be as close as possible.
  • Pin, pin, pin. I am a self professed lazy anti-pinner. Don’t tell anyone but, Neon and Neutral was made without pins and Neon and Neutral II was made with pins and I must say II is much more square. :) I added tabs to the templates to make pinning and piecing easier.
  • A lot of the steps in the pattern are about keeping the pieces in order and putting them together logically. It makes for a longer pattern but, it makes for a less painful quilt in the process.

Enjoy and please share your clamshell quilts with me!

Because of the pinning and sewing curves, this isn’t the quickest quilt to put together but, it is SO worth it. And, the 12″ goes together quicker and easier than the 8″. It is bold and fun. But, the 8″ is so great and lends to the ability to have a greater variety of fabric and to add more texture and interest in the quilt.



Comments 15

  1. Pingback: Quilting Is My Therapy The Glam Clam Quilt » Quilting Is My Therapy

  2. pinksuedeshoe

    I recently saw this quilt on elisabeth bew’s instagram feed and fell in love with it! I can’t wait to make one! She posted about making a 4″ clamshell, and I was wondering if you would mind emailng me the template? I want to make a throw pillow (well, euro size) before I jump into a whole quilt because I’ve never pieced curves before. If it turns out you can bet I will be making more of these! Your pattern is great and your instructions make it seem so doable. THANK YOU!

  3. mathea

    I have never ever considered making a clamshell quilt before – too old-fashioned and fiddly I thought…
    But that was until today – your 8 and 12″ versions are stunning and the idea of machine-sewing them – hm, I’m tempted!

  4. Latifah Post

    Hey Bruinbr, the 12″ was uploaded as a zip so that’s likely the problem. It’s a zip because it includes two versions of the 12″ pattern. One that can be printed on legal paper and one on letter paper. The one on legal paper requires less piecing of the templates but, I understand not everyone has legal paper so I presented the version on letter paper as well.

    So excited you’re taking the class at Sew Modern! It should be fun!

  5. Bruinbr

    Thank you so much for these patterns! I’m having trouble downloading the 12″ pattern though on my iPad. I’ve tried opening it in safari and chrome, but I’ve had no luck. The 8″ pattern opens up right away and I can view it in iBooks, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong with the 12″. Sorry if this is a dumb question!

    I can’t wait to take this class with you in August! :)

  6. Becky

    for posting your patterns. I’ve got both sizes downloaded and can’t wait to get started on a clamshell quilt of my own.

  7. Maureen from Ventura

    Thank you so much!! I have been obsessed with this quilt since I first saw a photo of Neutral and Neon during QuiltCon!! It’s truly amazing.

  8. Maria

    I loved Neon and Neutral since the first time I saw it so thank you greatly for this free pattern! You are so generous and the best, Latifah. Thank you!

  9. Julie Pickles

    Thank you so much for your generosity!! I’ve been wanting a clamshell quilt for awhile, but like you I didn’t want to handsew the dang thing! This is just perfect, thank you so much!

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