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Turkey Tracks: “Clamlicious” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  January 24, 2014

“Clamlicious” Quilt


This little quilt has been my hand project for months, over the course of, literally, hundreds of hours, so there is a bittersweetness to the moment of finishing it.

I started the quilt back in July.  The clamshells were hand-sewn.  And the quilt is hand-quilted (something I have not done for some years).  I did put the borders and binding on with the machine.


I outlined each clam shell–and didn’t worry to much about the perfection of my quilting.  This quilt is still meant to be used and loved.


The fabric was collected by Susan Barry, who was an amazing, wonderful quilter.  When she died some years back now, her fabric stash was sold at Coastal Quilters and the money made was donated to our local hospital’s cancer wing.   Susan, herself, put together this little collection of fabrics, and they drew my eye as being really nice for a baby quilt.

Here are the inner and outer borders.  I got carried away with the pleasure of hand-sewing on the pink rose trellis border and quilted the whole grid.  Mercy!


What to do for binding?  I finally went back to the blue to bring the center of the quilt out to the edges…

The backing was from my stash and chosen to be forgiving to my quilting–you can’t see it at all on the backing unless you catch the backing in a certain light that shows the stitches.  I might do the backing over in order to show the stitching as it turned out to be pretty good after so many years.  It’s like riding a bicycle.  And I use a quilting spoon and very short needles.


This quilt is as soft as butter to the touch.

It’s No. 93, so I am homing in on my 100th quilt.


Written by louisaenright

January 24, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Turkey Tracks: Sewing Update

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Turkey Tracks:  November 3, 2013


Sewing Update


The Wheels of Mystery/Winding Ways quilt top is finished.  (This light/dark block is known by both names.)

I have Bonnie Hunter to thank for the border treatment, and I think it works really well.


wheels of mystery top

I am working on piecing the back now–which is taking 9 yards of fabric right out of my stash.  YEAH!!  This quilt is finishing up at just under 90 by 90 inches.

I have yet to find a binding I like…

Here’s a close-up of the blocks:

wheels of mystery close-up

I hand pieced more than half of these blocks–and really enjoyed the hand sewing.  Indeed, I’m off on a whole new hand-sewing project list–which I’ll talk about in another post.  But these blocks sew well on the machine too.

This kind of quilt is drawn from what can only be called “deep stash”–Bonnie Hunter’s term–as there are so very many wonderful fabrics in the quilt–fabrics that have been collected for over 10 years.

The other hand-quilting project is this little clam shell quilt–made from fabrics inherited from a local quilter here who died tragically of cancer, Susan Barry.

I have two clam shell templates–this one (4 inches) and, yikes!, a smaller one.  I could not find much online on how best to sew a clam shell block.  There is a lot of excess fabric in the curve that has to be eased into its complimentary arc.  It isn’t easy.  Many on-line suggestions involve appliqueing the blocks, but I didn’t want to do that.  Clipping the curve is absolutely necessary.  Deeply clipping.  And lots of pinning and lots of easing in by hand.  One could, I suppose, sewing a basting line to ease in the material, but I did not.

This week I got the clam shells trimmed up and the borders on.  These pictures do not do this little quilt justice.  It’s pale and sweet, and just isn’t showing up well at all.

Here it is on the design wall, where it is absolutely dying with the white border on the white wall:

Clam shell top

Here’s a close-up of the blocks:


Clam shell top close-up

Here’s a close-up of the border fabrics.  I wanted something darker to set off the clam shells’ paleness.  And the little rose fabric came in the fabric mixture.  I had thought it would be the backing.  But it isn’t.  I used, instead, a white rose with green accents fabric–which I did not take a picture of here.


Clam shell border on top

I am going to hand quilt it.  I layered it together late one night–too late–I should have stopped.  And used a too-thick batting I had on hand.  I am so spoiled with Lucy the Longarm.  I have not layered and pinned a quilt in a long time.  It’s so tedious.  Anyway, I took it all apart and put in a thinner batting–and it’s hand-quilting so nicely now.

Clam Shell Hand Quilting

Enjoying my quiet nights of hand quilting and watching tv shows…

Have seen all of HOMELAND, Season 2; all of FALLING SKIES; all of SUITS; all of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK; DAMAGES, season 5; all of Kenneth Branaugh’s WALLANDER; and am up-to-date with THE GOOD WIFE and REVENGE.  Last night I watched a very young Reese Witherspoon in THE MAN IN THE MOON, which is a real tearjerker.  Now moving on to new episodes of NIKITA, but it’s starting to play out now as a series.  Am waiting for GAME OF THRONES, season 3; NEWSROOM, season 2; CALL THE MIDWIVES, season 3?; and, of course, DOWNTON ABBEY.



Written by louisaenright

November 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm