Saturday, May 26, 2012

Shell Shocked!

After two years of working on my clamshell quilt off and on, I'm happy to say that its finished!

Measuring approximately 88x89 inches, it turned out a little larger than I'd expected.
All the applique and piecing has been done by hand. I even hand stitched the binding on to the quilt. There have been a few things done by machine though. Before I knew that I wanted to make the quilt by hand, I basted the edge of the clamshells using my sewing machine.
The big stitch quilting was done with orange perle cotton #8 in the clamshells and border and green perle cotton #8 on the scalloped sashing.

The sleeve and label have been sewn on just in time for the quilt to be shown at the Common Threads Quilt Show in Wichita, KS next month. I've entered it into the judged portion of the show but am wishing I hadn't because I've found so many things the judge will not like. In fact, I'm thinking of making a list of things I wish I could do over to compare with the judge's show comment form.

My quilting bee was stunned to learn that I plan to use this quilt as a wallhanging and not a bed quilt. I have the perfect spot for it - over the open staircase to our basement. I think it will brighten up that wall which I've been ignoring for the past 12 years. Now if only my husband can figure out how to rig a scaffolding over the stairs to hang the quilt!


  1. As Peter always tells me: let the judges do the judging. We are always hard on outselves because we are so close to it. Your quilt is amazing! I think it makes a better wallhanging than bed quilt - it's so bright it would keep you awake.

    it has been so fun to watch you make this quilt
    Congrats on a beautiful job. I know it wasn't always easy but you did it!
    hats off to you!

  3. WOW BEEEEAUUUUTIFUL and the colors are stunning! A major achievement!! I'll bet your fingers/hands need a break and a pampering massage. I'm hoping to see it in person at the quilt show!!

  4. Folks always say, oh bla bla quilt is on my bucket list.... well there is not much on my bucket list BUT a clam shell quilt is.... I am impressed....

    NOTE: hire someone to hang the quilt... it is a lot cheaper than a trip to the ER or the hospital...

    and it you look at Common Threads in Waxahachie, TX web site - the tour through the shop you might be able to see how they hang the quilt on a long board and use pullies to pull it up and "tie" it off on a bracket under the quilt and thus can change out the shop samples as needed.

  5. Congratulations on the finish Mayleen!!!! It looks fantastic and I think you have the perfect spot at home for it.

    Good luck with the quilt show judging but really, at the end of the day, as long as you love your quilt, that is all that matters.

  6. What a beautiful finish! I've so enjoyed watching your journey with this quilt, thanks for sharing it along the way. Any judge who finds it wanting is undereducated, blind or both.

  7. WOW, your clam shell quilt turned out very nice. I think you have also found a good place to display your labor of love. Don't fret over what the judges think of your quilt, it is your work and design and if you are happy with it is all that really matters.

  8. It turned out fabulously, Maylene! You really persevered to get it finished. I'm quite impressed that you made this primarily by hand. You're a real go-getter. I have no doubt the judges won't be as harsh as you expect. That quilt is a beauty, for sure, and it will be worth all the effort hubby will have to go to to hang it over the stairs.

  9. Hi Mayleen! This is a really stunning quilt... Beautiful!! I love the bright colors you used: just amazing... I think you found a perfect place for it!
    Kindest regards from Holland,

  10. Well done Mayleen, so very beautiful! And, you found the perfect place to hang it.

  11. Wow! Mayleen!!! What an incredible finish, your quilt is just amazing!!! Hats off to you for putting it out there and to be judged as well! If you haven't had a piece judged before it is a good benchmark. I found this when I entered a quilt very early on in my quilting life and found it a useful guide to what I had done right and what I needed to pay attention to in the future, so I saw it as a learning thing, not a critical thing! Who cares really at the end of the day, as long as you and your family love it, afterall you have put two years of your creative life into this and I'm sure it will be a treasured heirloom for generations to come!!! You should be very proud, it's a wonderful achievement, all that handwork, be proud Mayleen!!!! I hope you share some of the judges comments too, as we can all learn from each other.

  12. It is beautiful!! Congratulations on a great finish. It will be just like an art gallery hung on that wall and you can enjoy it everyday.
    Very special!!

  13. I recognized it immediately when I saw it at the Wichita quilt show. Congratulations.
    Jane in Overbrook