Monday, October 25, 2010

Yes, you need a grid

The next very important step for putting the clamshells together is one I probably would have ignored if I hadn't read the other clamshell blogs! You most definitely need a grid or some other way of keeping your clamshells straight and spaced evenly whether you intend to put them together in a straight row or another shape.

Some of the bloggers are using a fabric grid but after reading Journey of a Quilter's blog post about her grid drawn on paper, I decided to try it. I taped sheets of copy paper together to make a large enough grid for my diamond shape and started drawing lines. I'm not sure I can easily explain the lines but perhaps you can figure it out from my photos and her post.

Here I'm laying out my first clamshell diamond. Notice that not all the clamshells have turned out the same size so the grid is very important to keep them aligned. See the glue dots? I'm using a fabric glue to baste the clamshells together until I applique around each one. Just a word of warning, do not put too much glue on because it does seep through the fabric! Luckily, I had covered my paper grid with contact paper so its not sticking to the clamshells.

These are the first two diamonds on my design wall. I try out colors together until I'm "satisfied" and then transfer them to the grid to be glued together. I enjoy playing with the colors but working in my old fabrics has been frustrating sometimes. As my daughter said, "Somehow it all works together!"

These two diamonds have been hand appliqued together and more in the works!


  1. You're right the grid is a necessity but I'm not sure I have that much patience. What are you appliqueing them onto? or are they just appliqued together and are free standing?

    Hugs - Marie

  2. Wonderful, Maylene! I'd seen another person's blogpost about her problem with aligning clamshells, so by comparison, it looks like you've happened on the perfect solution.

    Your fabric combinations are beautiful! I agree with your daughter that they work well together. I'm enjoying seeing you create this. Thanks!

  3. wow, thanks for sharing the process - what a commitment, but really worth it - the quilt is absolutely beautiful!

  4. Your clamshell diamonds look fantastic Mayleen! I am pleased that the gridding is working for you.

  5. Beautiful work! I adore quilts & would love to learn to make one!