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  • Irina

English paper piecing - Clamshells, part 2

In the previous blog post I shared my method of preparing clamshells. Here I will talk about appliqueing them onto a piece of fabric. There are many online tutorials about applique. I particularly like the most detailed one by Karen from RedBird Quilt Co.

It concerns needle turn but you unfamiliar with that technique it is a good place to start.

1. Appliqueing top row

Mark a line on the fabric with water erasable pen. Align the shapes along the marked line, making sure they are centered, and pin.

I applique my clamshells from right to left working on one piece at a time and removing pins as I go. Don´t remove the paper pieces until you applique the top curve. I have sewn more than a half through my panel when I came up with appliqueing the shapes with papers in. It is easier, faster and you can place the needle right at the edge and make your stitching less visible.

You can remove the papers one by one or on the whole row once you appliqued all the shapes. Just lift the fabric on the clamshell bottom and gently remove the paper.

2. Second row

Glue base and extra bottom curve on the right and left clamshells and mark the bottom of the paper piece. Sew clamshells together in a row and mark the center points on the top curve /as described in part 1/. If you have, for example, 9 clamshells in the 1st row, there are 10 in the 2nd, 9 in the 3rd etc.

Pin the row (with paper pieces inside) making sure that your marking is right at the point where you sewed 2 clamshells together.

When I applique the right clamshell in this row I start from the bottom of the clamshell /just below the marking/ with the paper in and the piece pinned onto fabric. Once I reach the end of the bottom curve, I take the paper out and pin it again. And continue the applique along the top curve. All other pieces are appliqued with the papers in except the first and last clamshell in this row.

Once I reach the last clamshell on the left , I don´t take the paper out until I applique the top curve. Then I take the paper out and finish the applique.

Working on one clamshell at a time while others are pinned gives you the possibility to re-adjust if needed.

Alternate the rows as described above until you reach the desired length or your panel.

3. Finishing the applique

Here you have 2 options - either to applique the rows to the end of your fabric piece so you can cut the curves on the first and last rows. Or glue baste the bottom curves on the last row and applique the shapes leaving some space on the fabric from the bottom.

For my panel I chose the second option. I am still working on it and only 2 rows are left. I will share the finished pillow on my IG account @nordiccrafter.

I hope you find this method helpful and give it a try. I would love to here it it worked for you.

Happy slow stitching!

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