Monday, 24 August 2015

Clamshells - to EPP or not to EPP?

There may be as many different ways to do clamshells as there are quilters.  I decided to try a few using my favourite Liberty blues while my Passacaglia is resting.

First, EPP

While Im happy to make my own templates for more basic shapes, I didn't feel that my compass skills were good enough.  I bought some 2 inch clamshells from Sew and Quilt .  Sewing them together was a bit awkward as you can't hold the pieces front to front in the usual way.  It went together OK but was a bit fiddly.  Here they are with the top row appliquéd to a strip of plain fabric.

Next I tried appliqué.  This involves securing the fabric round the top curve in some way.  You can sew it, gather it or glue it.  There is also a method where you iron the fabric around the template using kitchen foil.  I tried all four of these in my next piece.

You start by securing the first row to another piece of fabric.  Them you have to carefully line them up, row by row.  For me this was the main disadvantage.  With EPP, the pieces fit together naturally. But for appliqué, you have to keep measuring to keep everything lined up.  I was not entirely successful.  Here's the finished piece:

Is there a difference between them?  Well if there is, it is not a big enough difference for most non-quilty people to see. I think the EPP clams are a better shape, and are more regular, but the stitches are more visible.  They both took about the same amount of time.  

Here are some of the tutorials I looked at - they were all useful in their different ways:

Messy Jesse

Molly Flanders

Poppy Makes

These two pieces are going to be hand quilted and made into a pouch.  I'm sure I will soon forget which side is which.  Linking with Life Under Quilts for the Monday Star Count, and with Celtic Thistle Stitches New to Me.


  1. You are great with every shape! I love these blue fabrics.

  2. The liberty fabrics work so well in e.p.p. I'm impressed with your spirit of adventure and ability to work with fiddleiness (is this my own word, spell check doesn't like it) I'm afraid I wouldn't have the patience to try this but I am impressed with the results.

  3. Very interesting to see your trials. The EPP looks too awkward for me but I have found the applique method works well if you draw a grid of squares on your background to line up your clams - saves any measuring :)

  4. I didn't even know you could EPP clamshells, I thought that option was out because of the curves ... I'm pleased to see it's not :)

    1. PS ... maybe trying a ladder stitch for the EPP method would hide the stitches better? I'll add it to my (loooooooong) list of things to try lol :)

  5. I've wondered about making clamshells using EPP instead of appliqué. I like doing appliqué, but as you say, with EPP they fit perfectly. Yours look great, both of them!

  6. Your Liberties are to die for! I know clamshells are in my future, but I haven't known how to do them. Thanks for sharing both methods and the other tutorials.

  7. Hola estoy empezando mi colcha de almejas,no cuento con muchos conocimientos pero me di mañas saqué mis propios moldes y doblando con un hilo y plancha la parte superior, luego marcar el centro y alinear las almejas además hice osos panda e intercale muy fácil aún no termino el proyecto pero vale la pena ,es una colcha para bebé


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