My local quilt shop offers a fun way to win a fat quarter. Hidden within a handful of the store’s bolts are petal-shaped pieces of fabric. If you’re at the cutting table and one of the petals falls out of a bolt you’re buying from, you get to pick a free fat quarter. The funny thing is, you could already be buying lots of amazing fabric, but somehow the prospect of the fat quarter is extra exciting. After all, it’s free, and you get to pick whichever one you want! I’ve encountered a petal just once in my years of shopping there, and I think I spent more time laboring over which fat quarter to choose than I did the many other fabric decisions I made that day.
I didn’t want to pick something practical, though. I wanted something different from my innate fabric tendencies. So I chose Lush Foliage, from Pat Bravo’s Hyperreal Garden line for Art Gallery Fabrics.
That fabric provided the inspiration for the palette behind my latest project, a clam shell journal cover.
This is my first stab at a clam shell anything and my first project for the Curves Class I’m taking at Stitched in Color. I used Steam-A-Seam 2, because I had some on hand, to adhere the clam shells to the background fabric and then top-stitched the clam shells.
The class project was actually a pillow, but Curly and Moe (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent) are hell-bent on destroying the pillows in our house, so any pillow—let alone one with raw-edge applique—has a limited shelf life. The journal cover was a more practical option for me.
I don’t know what it is about me and purple these days. I’ve been using it a lot (here and here), in part because I had a few yards of a purple fabric from Amy Butler’s Love line and in part because the purples I’ve been encountering are especially lovely—more eggplant and plum than everyday purple. I chose fabric from Lizzy House, Tula Pink, and Robert Kaufman’s Quilter’s Linen line to flesh out my collection of clam shells.
Fellow Curves classmates: If you’re interested, I used this journal tutorial, also from Stitched in Color, to transform my clam shells into a cover. I started with 18 clam shells and used a background that was larger than the square for the pillow project. Once the clam shells were securely stitched, I cut that fabric down and used more Hyperreal Garden to make my fabric rectangle the size specified in the tutorial. (Between the clam shells and those extra pieces, I used almost the entire fat quarter. You can see some of that added fabric in the picture of the journal back, below.) The Steam-A-Seam 2 did add some bulk to the seams but not so much that I would do a second cover differently.
What are your experiences with clam shells? I enjoyed this project; the raw-edge applique was nice and easy. If I did another clam shell project, what would you recommend?
Linking up to Let’s Bee Social, Keep Calm Craft On, Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, Finish It Up Friday, and Sew Cute Tuesday ...