Happy As a Clam?

This is a little art quilt I started years ago just for fun.  It took quite a while to figure out how to make the clam and finish the quilt.

The “clamshells” were made by cutting out circles from fusible fabric and arranging them ever-so-carefully in rows.  I then fused the whole thing, and there it sat for a couple of years.  I considered adding a layer of netting, but ultimately just quilted it in waves.

I drew the clam early on but couldn’t decide how to put it on the quilt.  I considered thread sketching, drawing and coloring with pigma pens, etc.  I wanted a method that wouldn’t risk ruining the quilt if I didn’t get the clam right the first time!

Finally I read Karen Fricke’s article about thread sketching on stabilizer in my copy of The Best of Quilting Arts. (This book is an excellent resource, but it’s “old” so you probably can get it used.)  That method worked perfectly for me.  I was able to create the clam and then attach him to the quilt.  I printed the question mark on fabric and then cut it out and attached it.  For the dots going to his dialogue bubble I did, finally, have to draw directly on the quilt.

The edge is finished with satin rat-tail, a technique I learned in another class.

Quilt stats:

Name: Really? Clamshells?

Original design

Techniques: Fusible applique, machine quilting, thread sketching, drawing and coloring with permanent markers

Finished size:16″ x 16″

Quilted by me

14 thoughts on “Happy As a Clam?

  1. Congratulations on another finish! It is cute and whimsical. Clamshells is on my list of quilts to make, and I wondered whether it was necessary to cut out clamshells instead of circles. Did you find that the circles added a lot of bulk? They don’t look bulky in the photo.

    • No, they really didn’t add much bulk. Note, however, that the fabric is Michael Miller Cotton Couture, which is a very fine weave. I’ve got the clam shell template, but not the patience 😂

  2. Funny how your shy clam is ‘coming out’ during Corona!!!! She at least has her own portable home to crawl back into whenever needed.
    How fun to finally finish such a whimsical quilt…you’re really plowing through your UFOs!

  3. I love how fearless you are in combining techniques to make the quilt something unusual and special, and this one is a fine example of that. Fun to see the clam wonder about the rows of clamshells: your clever idea really makes this a fun quilt! Congrats on another fine finish.

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