Tuesday, January 20, 2015

the Clambake Quilt-Along!

Clambake quilt-alongYou know you want to!  Here's your chance to tackle these curves amongst friends.  We're sewing clamshell quilts in the Clambake Quilt-along.  I'll be showing you how to quilt-as-you-go clamshells, but you're welcome to make them any way you like!  Let's get started today with some advance planning.

Choose your own adventure...

{Clamshell Size}  Go small or go big?  Smaller clams are more scrap-friendly, but larger clams are easier and faster to sew.  I'll be working with 4" wide finished clamshells since I'm going scrappy.  3" is probably as small as one might consider.  Take a peak at 8" and 12" clams on Latifah's blog.  Molly Flanders looks to be working with 4" clams here.

{Quilt Size}  There are a million ways to sew clamshells.  It'll be easier to choose your technique if you know approximately what size work you'd like to make.  A mini quilt would be fun to hand sew; whereas, a queen-size quilt is probably better done by machine!

I'll be making a throw quilt finishing 56" x 68".  The width of your work should be evenly divisible by the finished width of your clamshells.  Since I'm working with 4" clams, 14 of them equals a 56" wide quilt.  For the height of your work, each row of clams is approximately half the finished width.  With my 4" clams, each row adds about 2" to the height of my quilt.  I'm planning to sew 34 rows of clams to yield a 56" x 68" throw quilt.

{Cutting Method}  Clamshells are certainly an irregular shape, so cutting them can be a chore.  If you'll be cutting by hand from a template, just emotionally prepare yourself for a long cutting phase.  It's all part of the process!  If you're working with 3-4" clams, consider using a die cutter to speed things up.  I'm using the 4" AccuQuilt Clamshell cutting die in my Go! Baby cutting machine.  Sizzix also has clam cutting dies, by the way.  Two lucky readers can win AccuQuilt clamshell dies from Sew Vac Direct.  Keep reading for details!

{Sewing Method}  Choices, choices!  If you're hankering for some hand piecing, you can join by hand via English paper piecing or via hand applique.  These techniques are appropriate for any size clam.

If you'd like to sew by machine, you can do machine applique or machine piecing.  Machine applique involves following the curve of the clamshell with your machine, layering row upon row.  This requires medium to low curve-sewing skills.  Machine piecing involves sewing curves together in a more traditional right-sides-together piecing fashion.  This requires medium to high curve-sewing skills.  If you are sewing large clams (6" and up), machine piecing may be a good choice.  The larger the clam, the less sewing skill required.  If you are sewing small clams (5" or less), I believe you'll have more success with machine applique.

I will be teaching a quilt-as-you-go method of machine applique.  It is suitable for any size clam, and especially smart for smaller clams.

{Fabrics}  Oooh, now is the time to choose your fabrics!  Clams often show off well when fabrics are fairly different from each other so that the beautiful curved edges are prominent.  If you use few fabrics or fabrics of similar color/value, expect the clams to blend a bit.  One way to give a lot of definition to your clamshells is to alternate rows of colorful clams with rows of neutral clams, as in Brigitte Giblin's example.  I will be making my throw quilt with alternating neutral rows, inspired by Brigitte. 

How much fabric?  Expect to cut each clamshell out of a square of fabric cut 1" larger than your clam's finished width.  Since my clams finish at 4" wide, I'll cut them from 5" squares.  Very charm-square friendly, by the way!  This is a fabric-hungry quilt.  I'll need about 4 1/2 yards of neutral fabric to make up the 17 neutral rows in my throw quilt.

If you're following along with my throw sized, quilt-as-you-go quilt, you will need batting and backing on hand in order to get started with the sewing phase.  For backing, buy 2 yards of 60 wide fabric or 3 1/2 yards of 42/44" wide fabric.  Or, of course, you could just piece a backing together!  You'll want a 60" x 72" cut of batting.

Goodmorning pillow

What's next?  Our Clambake has 4 phases:  Planning, Cutting, Sewing and Finishing.

We've started Planning today.  I'll follow up with 2 techniques posts to aid in your planning.  One post will link to tutorials for a wide variety of clamshell sewing methods.  The second post will give an overview of my quilt-as-you-go method for your consideration.

For Cutting, I'll link you to some free clamshell templates that can be used for hand cutting clamshells for various sewing methods.  I expect to kind of fly through cutting, since I'm using that cutting die, and then to make slow progress during the sewing phase.

Since I have a baby coming, I'm not going to plan out a schedule for my Sewing and Finishing progress.  I do plan to host some Clambake link parties where we can all share our progress, and when I may invite readers to share their own clamshell tips!  I'll keep the momentum going, but this is not going to be a quickie quilt-along.

::Giveaway::

Will you be joining our Clambake?  How would you like to win a 4" AccuQuilt Clamshell cutting die?  Sew Vac Direct has generously sponsored TWO free cutting dies.  They stock a full range of AccuQuilt dies as well as the Go! Baby and other Go! cutters.  And, pssst, this is the shop with the great customer service on my Juki TL2010Q sewing machine (love!).

To enter to win a 4" AccuQuilt Go! Clamshell cutting die, add a comment letting us know what type of clamshell project you are considering.  Giveaway open worldwide!  Winners will be selected randomly on Thursday around noon eastern time.  Good luck!

p.s.  Feel free to comment even if you can't use the AccuQuilt die.  I can always pass it onto another commenter if your name is drawn.  I'd love to know if you'll be joining the Clambake!

*******************Giveaway Closed**********************

Ok, I've just asked Mr. Random to pull our 2 winners. Congrats to comment #2, Sherron, and to #76, Ginny of Fishcreek Studio.  I'll be in touch about mailing your prize!


111 comments:

  1. This sounds like a blast. I would definitely make the smaller size if I won the cutter for less tedious work

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  2. I'd love to do a baby blanket.

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  3. I would love to make a throw sized quilt for the clambake quilt-along!!! Looking forward to this!!!

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  4. I'd make a mid-sized project, probably a lap quilt size that would be perfect for sitting in the rocking chair at my mom's cottage on the ocean where my family goes clamming.

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  5. I'd love a throw with alternating neutral rows. Yum!

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  6. I am totally in! I have been pinning lots of clamshell designs but don't know where to start. I have lots of tiny scraps, so I will shoot for a mini. Thanks for the giveaway and the motivation!

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  7. Hmmm, I'm going to start with that pillow and then I will decide. :D

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  8. Clamshells would be great to finish the curtains in kids room. I keep my fingers crossed to win this die (I just can't imagine cutting clamshells by rotary cutter!).

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  9. I have been planning to make a clamshell quilt for years - this is the perfect opportunity!
    I am making a big baby quilt for my colleague who is due in three months. This will be so much fun!

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  10. i think i am up for a wall hanging or pillow. :) this will be fun and the motivation i need to get to trying out clamshells! thanks for the quilt a long...and a chance to win the accuquilt die.

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  11. I have been planning to challenge myself with this, so i will be joining! I will have to think about how i will be sewing them together...

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  12. Interesting...I didn't want to make any quilt-along this year because there is so much I want to do already ...I have been planning a clamshell and coincidently I traced and cut my 4" Glam Clam template this morning...Might as well be part of the Quilt-Along since I am making it anyway... I'm in.

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  13. I definitely want to try a clamshell throw pillow with raw edges. I love that look!! Count me in for the quilt-along and for the giveaway for the 4 inch die. Fingers crossed. I was actually planning to cut my clamshells by hand, does that seem totally crazy? Yes? Ok, I will pick up the die if I don't win one. :)

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  14. I'd love to make latifah's glam clam quilt with the 12" clams!

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  15. maybe this is what i finally use all my Echino 10" squares on! it would be gorgeous for sure

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  16. I am absolutelly in!!!!!! I would love to improve my skills on sewing clamshells!! And have a chance to have an Accuquilt baby is awesome! Thank you for open tis awesome give away worldwide!! ��❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  17. I'd love to follow along! I'm thinking of the 4 inch ones to use some charms up! I am trying to sew only from my stash at least the first few months of this year!

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  18. I'd love to do this! I need a new table runner and have a charm pack laying around. I think I'm going to go for it!

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  19. This is going to be perfect for all my 5" charms. I am going to do the quilt as you go method. I've been wanting to try clamshells for quite some time. Thanks for hosting.

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  20. I've wanted to make one of these, but have put it off because of the cutting. If I won the die, I would join in for sure!

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  21. I think I would do the 4" or 8" clam. A die would make it so easy to cut it out!

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  22. Oh bother I'm nearly finished my clamshell top - cut to 4" finished with my Sizzix and all hand stitched but not over papers as it takes too long. I've gone all scrappy and I love it!

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  23. The clamshell quilt is on my must-do list. And seeing that I've been on a blog and sewing hiatus for a couple of years, I'm in! I'd love a die if I only had a die cutter. Hmmm...maybe if I win the die I can justify a die cutter as an early bday present for myself! Thank you Rachel!

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  24. I have really wanted to do a clamshell! I am thinking a throw but with clamshells coming in from each end and a solid center. Something to use up my scraps.

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  25. I'm up for a pillow! If it goes well, I may try something larger!

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  26. Clamshells are on my list of things to try!! I would start with a pillow but would love an entire quilt!

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  27. Pondering a pillow or a baby quilt....

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  28. You read my new year wish list didn't you... Apart from finishing 2 angled class quilts this is my next project.

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  29. I am absolutely going to join in. I am having surgery next week, so once I am able, I will start sewing along. I want to make the quilt as you go method, probably 4 inch clams like yours. I have to consider the size. I am hoping to be able to sew again in a couple of weeks, so lots of planning time before I begin. I will be cutting my clams by hand.

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  30. I would love to win this clam die! I would use it to cut hundreds of clam shells and make it into bed quilts to use at my cabin. I have the regular cutter and would encourage everyone to get one, if they can. It saves so much time on cutting and the results are ultra precise.

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  31. I do have a cutter, so if I win a die, I would love to participate, I would make a throw quilt in girly colors! I can't imagine cutting these by hand normally! That would be so much work!

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  32. I think I would make a clam shell quilt if I won the die. Thanks for the great giveaway and chance to win. (debbie at wowilikethat dot com)

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  33. I may still be considering a lot longer, but I would like to make a clamshell quilt. Just know it may end up a clamshell pillow.

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  34. I've been planning a clamshell quilt so the timing is perfect!

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  35. I am going to make a lap quilt I think. I am involved with a AMH charm square swap and this will be perfect to use up those charms!

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  36. I'm thinking a scrap quilt. Light and maybe even girly? I just finished a giant, plaid, masculine quilt. So like the antithesis of that?

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  37. I am hoping to make an extra large sofa pillow for my daughter's new apartment :)

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  38. I would like to make a scrappy throw and I am already a lucky girl who has the clamshell die. I haven't touched it yet and I am so excited to try it (especially with guidance!). Yippee!

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  39. I think I would make pillows for the living room, something small for starters.

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  40. I'd love to make a quilt for my bed!

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  41. Hi ya Rachel,
    I am sooo game to try a clamshell quilt…and I have a Go Baby cutter! Just need the die!!!
    I would definitely make a large lap quilt(we are big peeps here in my family!)
    Thanks so much for the giveaway,
    Jacqueline in Pitt Meadows

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  42. I'm going to follow your lead, Rachel. You've never let me down, so, I'm all in!!

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  43. Hmmm maybe I'll so this and make a pillow? I haven't hand sewn much of anything but that might be fun! If I win the die it will be the perfect excuse to buy the cutter!

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  44. Mmm... Love the pillow. Maybe I'll try that! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  45. I've wanted to make a clamshell quilt for over twenty years, so your quilt along could be just the motivation I need. I'm leaning towards piecing by hand, but I'll need to do a bit more research. I would definitely go with 4 inch pieces if I was lucky enough to win the die cutter!

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  46. Ooooh I would LOVE to have this Die!!! I would make a large Throw & couple Pillows for our Family Room!!! And then one for our Son's new Home too! :)

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  47. Since this is a new shape, I'll start small, a pillow or bag.

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  48. I am intrigued by your method and will decide from there... just looking at some of the other methods make me want to run for the hills so I'm hoping your method is a fun one!

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  49. I would like to give clamshells a try, something small, like a mini quilt. I have some charm packs that would be great for a project like this! I don't really need a die though, since I don't have a cutter, I will be tackling that by hand.

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  50. I like the combination of negative space and clamshells, like shown in your pillow. I would want to cut with the die, and then press over the curved edge and do blind machine appliqué.

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  51. I'd really like to make a clamshell pillow or table runner as I love the clamshell look. I even thought of a small wall hanging for a bathroom. Hummmmm think I'd go midsize. I have some great precuts I could see in this project. Hoping I can commit just not 100% sure quite yet.

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  52. FYI Rachel. I went to the link for the die--it took me to SewVac at PayPal and said "this item is no longer available." I have already made a comment to enter to"win" the die so you shouldn't count me twice--but I thought this was important that the die is not available. Sold out?
    Latifah's quilt pattern looks like a piecing nightmare to me.
    Is it possible to just use circles and overlap them, and forget about the "thong" part?

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  53. These have been on the to-do list. I like the alternating neutral idea and maybe I would try quilt as you go and make a pillow or tote bag.

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  54. I'm thinking a clamshell crib rail cover, but am not fully settled yet. :-)

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  55. I'm thinking lap size. I made a pillow in the curves class and love it!

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  56. This sounds like fun. Your quilt as you go method sounds fun to try. I would probably make a throw size.

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  57. I'm thinking of using either 3" or 4" clams, but I am not committing to a quilt size yet. I am thinking of a baby quilt about 36 x 36.

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  59. I am IN! Clamorous throw is in my plans - scrappy! Love clams and can't wait to start - thx for doing?

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  60. you have really sparked my interest. I think a small wall hanging to start would be fun. what a great giveaway, thank you

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  61. I'll be making 8" clamshell using all kinds of florals. It will be a lap quilt, size not determined yet.

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  62. I have wanted to make a clamshell project for years! Since this will be my first clamshell project I am going to make a 24" cushion.

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  63. Thanks for the QAL! I have a clamshell quilt in my future, a mini most likely, as I've been waiting for the perfect wall hanging for my sewing room!

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  64. I've been wanting to do a clamshell quilt for my son! My goal is to one day have a beachy quilt for each member of the family, to take with us to our summer beach house rentals. The clamshell for my son is going to be in solids- blues and greens of every shade doing an ombre from light to dark. Wow would the die make this easier! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  65. I have always wanted to make a clamshell quilt but never have so this would be a good opportunity to do that.

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  66. This sounds amazing. And I really wanted to try the quilt as you go methode.

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  67. I would love to make a lap size quilt so the die set would be great! I also like the idea of 4 inch finished so I could use my charm square stash.

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  68. I am in! I think I will go with a machine pieced version.
    Susanne

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  69. Sounds great. I'll keep it small.

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  70. I'm up for a slow paced quilt along, I've been hearting, fave'ing and generally loving clamshell quilts for ages now :D I think I'll look to make a lap quilt, that said if I win a die I think I'd go a bit bigger as its super easy to get carried away cutting!

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  71. I think as i'm new to curved sewing it would be a small project, would love to make them into a bag.

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  72. I would like to join in but I'm not sure what method to use. Trying to source a clamshell die locally but not having any luck yet!

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  73. I love clambake and clamshell !
    Recently I cut 145 clamshell with my hand ! for a satisfactory result.

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  74. Yes please, I'd love to join in! The quilt-as-you-go method of machine appliqué sounds do-able and I'd like to make some cushion covers for my leather lounge - 4" clams should work nicely :)

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  75. This sounds like fun - I have wanted to try this pattern but a big project seems so intimidating - but I love that pillow!

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  76. A clamshell is on my list to do someday. I guess someday has come. I think a throw would be great with the 4 inch clamshells.

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  77. I plan to join and make one similar to yours, scrappy with alternating low volume rows. Maybe twin size for me. (Yikes!).

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  78. Always wanted to do a queen clamshell quilt in florals for summer. Now is my chance! Thanks for the giveaway

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  79. I've admired clamshell quilts, but their complicated look had them pretty far down the "gotta do this" list. But a quilt along seems like the perfect time to jump in!

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  80. I am running a Tula Pink Mini Quilt Swap on Instagram and I am considering doing a clamshell for my mini using all TP fabric. I am seriously considering doing EPP and machine or hand applique for this project. Clams at 3-4" not sure about the size yet. I would love to win the die and then the decision would be made for me! It's great that your QAL and my plan worked out so well!!!

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  81. a throw sounds about right. And I'd like to use up some of the 5" squares I've accumulated.

    Machine applique sounds good to me.

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  82. I have wanted to do something with Clam Shells for a long time! I kind of think something small...with a little machine applique would be fun! Also perfect for some crazy scrap usage!!

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  83. I think I have a template not sure of the size maybe 6 or 8 inches. Sounds like a good project.

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  84. My plan is to use 4" clam shells to make a scrappy sofa blanket measuring apx. 60" x 60". The AccuQuilt die would come in very handy

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  85. I would make a clam shell quilt for the loveseat on the pool patio using a seaside-beachy theme fabric

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  86. Welllllll, I have been thinking about doing this shape for a while and that AccuQuilt might just put me over the edge! I would like to make a nice new throw for my couch.

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  87. I have wanted to make a clamshell forever! I am so curious as to how you are going to it QAYG that I will say I want to do it that way. I think I will start with a little smaller project either a throw or pillow. I can't wait to see how this works.

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  88. I would like to have any of the cutting machines. The clam pillow would be fin to do with the many red, black and white fat quarters I have collected.

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  89. A great use of my scraps I am trying to pair down! I will make a large lap quilt.

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  90. I've been thinking about trying curves for awhile now! I'll start with a plan for a mini quilt for my wall and see how it goes! This sounds like fun!!

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  91. I have been wanting to make one for a long time and I am glad I found the QAL. I have plenty of scraps and I am planning to make a queen size. Thank you for hosting this.

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  92. I am making baby quilts to leave for my great grandchildren. A clamshell quilt in sweet fabrics and using the quilt as you go method would speed the process along.

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  93. I will try a throw size in the QAYG method.

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  94. I would love to do this. A clam quilt has been on my list from the beginning and I've been afraid to start. Actually, the cutting is most daunting to me, so having a die would ensure I actually do it. I wonder if we could connect local people and share dies. I'd like to go big on my clam quilt, but maybe I should try this project for the QAL on a smaller scale to ease myself in. I can't wait to learn about the QAYG method. Thanks for starting this train!

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  95. I'd love to make a quilt with the big 7" clams. I have that die for my Go! and would love the 4"!

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  96. I'd love to make a huge clam quilt with AMH fabrics. It will be gorgeous :)

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  97. I'd love to make throw with clamshells someday! Our guild is asking for mini quilts for a silent auction so maybe I can try clamshells for that first.

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  98. I downloaded the 4 in. "Glam Clam" templates from Latifah on Craftsy and before I get too far in the cutting process I decided to test the pattern today. It didn't print true size, the templates are a bit smaller and the 1/4 inch mark is not accurate so it doesn't make a nice curve when sewn together. I wonder if you have any tips on this matter?

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  99. I'd like to make a throw size quilt using a 4" clamshell, either very scrappy or in French General prints.

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  100. I just purchased the die am looking for a good project. Can't wait.

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  101. I'd like to make byby size blanket. I already have some beautiful fabrics and Glam Clam template, but cutting makes me feel overwhelmed :)

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  102. I've had a hankering for a clamshell mini quilt. This die would be a great help as I despise the cutting process.

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  103. I'd probably make a clamshell table topper or mini quilt as I've never sewn clamshells together but with a GO it probably would take a lot of hassle out of working with clamshells just in cutting alone. Offering a die as a giveaway is a wonderful idea.

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  104. I'd love to make the largest clamshell. I sew curves by machine.

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  105. I don't have a cutting machine right now, but it is something that has been mentioned for the future. I feel confident that if I won the die we would invest in a machine for it. Otherwise, I might do the larger clamshells using a template. I definitely want to use the quilt as you go method that you will be teaching, Rachel. I am very, very excited about sewing a Clamshell quilt. My favorite type of quilt is a completely scrappy one and that's what I'll be going for. I can't wait! I hope you go ahead and link us up to the templates soon because I have a feeling that I need to be cutting already! Thank you so so much for doing this quilt along! When I first started noticing quilts and thinking I might want to do that, I fell in love with a Clamshell one. I'm going to look through my pins and see if I can find it again! Magistra13 at yahoo dot com
    Beth

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  106. Id love to make larger clamshells to show up my Amy Butler prints! Great giveaway Rachel! Thank you!

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  107. Oh I have been wanting to make clamshells for ages. I'll probably make a pillow I think

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  108. Sounds like fun count me in would love to win die saves a lot of cutting

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  109. YEAH! I'm in. I need to tackle curves. I have decided to take on Latifah's 8" clams.

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  110. I'm not considering any project, but would love to be entered as a gift for someone who would love it! Thanks for the giveaway! DamianMom at yahoo dot com

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