Thursday, July 29, 2010

July Clamshell Report


July started off real well and I finished the last half of rows one and two, for a total of 42 clamshells pieced together.  Then I basted the 21 clamshells needed for row three.  Lots of time passed by before the next 6 clamshells were pieced, and then it was time for my July report.  I know. I'm disappointed in me too! I even have a work table set up just for my clamshells, so I can get down to business at a whim.


My Quilter's Cut'n Press board is handy for keeping the clamshells straight; just wish it had a little more padding to hold the pins better.  And, speaking of pins, instead of applique pins to hold my clamshells in place well appliqueing, I am using Dritz Super-Fine Sharp Pins #110, they are longer and hold so much better. When I pin, I am just going through the fabric and not the paper template as it causes too many lumps and bumps and makes it hard to applique a nice rounded edge.


One thing I did chance since my June report was increasing my basting stitches.  This has made a world of difference.  A little more work, but worth it.  Also, I've been having a little bit of trouble getting my needle through some of the Asian fabric and I think I now know why.  No, not a dull needle, but the gold painted on the fabric.


A real pain in the bum is how stiff the paper templates make my rows of clamshells and how they keep falling off the edge of the table as I work.  Then I remember Jossie (I think it was Jossie?) saying how she rolls up her pieced clamshells as she works.  Oh yes, sooooo much better!!

As you can see, I did not take a picture of my progress to date, this way it will look so much more impressive next month!

Until next time.....happy quilting!

Karen

29 comments:

Sue-Anne said...

Dont be too hard on yourself! It's the process of making them to enjoy, not feeling pressure to get a lot done. Your clamshells look gorgeous!

Cybele's patch said...

Karen, I think you are doing very well. The shells are beautiful. The start of a clamshell project is the hardest and once you get the hang of it it becomes easier all the way. It is great to read your struggle with the shells so your clamshell friends can learn from it. I think the paper makes it rather difficult to handle the lot that is why I don't work with paper templates. Have you read Valentina's wonderful tip with the foil?
I know you will have a super quilt one day!
Have a lovely week end,
Jossie

Crispy said...

Hey it's ok if you aren't getting as much done as you thought you would....I don't think anyone is very productive in the summer, me included :0) The clam shells are lovely!!

Crispy

Meredith said...

It is amazing the difference in a new needle, new rotary blade or a sharp pair of snips. i think it is neat to read and see all of the experience you are gaining from this project. They are very pretty.

Yvette said...

Don't be disappointed! Sometimes life gets in the way of our sewing time. I look forward to seeing all your clams together.

Gisele said...

Any progress is good progress Karen. I'm enjoying reading about your process & all the different tips picked up along this journey. I know exactly what you mean about "painted" fabrics, I experienced the same difficulty in stitching my klosjes when using some of the white on white fabrics.

Cisca said...

Lovely clamshells, Karen!!!
Greetings, Cisca

Quilting in the Pines said...

WOW! Very pretty! Hang in there! It's not a race!

Marieke said...

I'm not disappinted in you! And neither should you be. Can't wait to next month to see the update! And thanks once more for winning the giveaway!

grendelskin said...

They look great! Thanks for the "hot tip" on the pins. Your progress is just fine, I think part of this project is the method - we're all finding out what works for us. For instance, I don't baste through my paper but use a single pin on the "stem" of the clamshell to hld the fabric on the template. Any new method mastered adds to future efficiency!

Funoldhag said...

Your clamshells look super! You are so right about the gold in the oriental fabric - makes it hard to needle. Batiks are a pain in the neck to hand sew, also, since they are so tightly woven. Regardless, you are doing your usual fine workmanship and will have a glorious quilt one day. :-) Carol

Mrs Quilty said...

Give yourself a break! That looks hard to do and I'm sure you have to be in the mood!!

Julia said...

Karen, I think you are doing very well. The shells are beautiful. I too found starting the clamshells the hardest . Some fabrics are harder to sew through than other, but your doing great..

Daniëlle said...

No need to apologize hihi, there are only 24 hours in a day hihi, should your shells be the only you wanted to do, they would be finished by now, I know for sure!!! The look great and definitely not easy to make so think of it as a challenge and take one step at the time!! Another step today!! Happy shell stitching! XXXD

Valentina said...

Well, Karen, I am plenty impressed already! Wow! It is going to be breath-taking. I really like your organization and see how once all is prepped it might go easier. Thanks for all the tips! You, fabulous, you!
:)

yvonne said...

Er zijn er al veel klaar en de kleuren doen het heel goed samen .

groetjes yvonne

Cathi said...

I think your clamshells look great. Don't be so hard on yourself -- it is summer, after all, and one of the hottest ever! Makes it hard sometimes to work on anything!

Elly D said...

Karen you have done better than me :) I started another block at the begining of the week just to unpick it and the first one I made in June and start all over again! I have a new full layout of what I plan to do... it will be small.. but it's all ready to stitch. :) Hopefully, I'll have something more to show at the end of August!

Anita deR said...

Karen, they are beautiful. A new passion for you.

Dolly Cloth said...

Ilove your work looks great.
Rita

pajudie said...

Sometimes life just happens to get in the way of our creativity and ambition. Don't be hard on yourself - your clamshells are beautiful and the end result will be fantastic!! I'm going to have to give them a try when I finish my GFG -
Judie

Miriam said...

I love all your clamshell fabrics.
I can't wait to see them all in your next post. Thank you for all the tips. I haven't made any clamshells yet, but I will.....one day.

Love your new blog layout! :)

Kate said...

Your clamshells are beautiful Karen as is the fabric you ar using on them...I have never done a clamshell yet..It looks hard..but who knows,,one day maybe? (In a million years time when GFQ is finished lol) xx

Anne-Mette said...

Karen, I think, you are very hard to yourself. Don't be. Unstead enjoy every little step forward. Clamshell are like a large step for me - I have never tried, but I feel soooo tempted, when I see your lovely clamshells.

Cyn ;-) said...

Nice job on the clamshells. Great fabric, too. I've done some prep work but have yet to make a stitch in my Clamshell project. *sigh*. Hope they don't kick me otta da CS Club..lol...but, You are an ispiration.
Hugs,
/; -)

Sandra Henderson said...

What a beautiful quilt this will be! Just stunning!
Enjoy the journey... :)

belinda said...

Aaahhhhh yes....our clamshells...they are not for the faint of heart are they!!! Everytime I work on mine I try something different. I think this quilt will be a constant learning experience don't you. We are going to LOVE them when they are finished though!!! Carry on girl!

Simone de Klerk said...

Don't be so hard with yourself! Your work is so very secure! You could even use the back side as front!

Robin said...

I've never seen a clamshell quilt in progress before. Very interesting! Thanks so much for sharing some of the process. It is going to be beautiful!