Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Splendid Sampler II, Block 3: Clamshells

Today we start Week 3 of the Splendid Sampler 2 Block-of-the-Week quilt along.

Last week, we introduced you to the Week 2 block designed by Rebecca Bryan of Bryan House Quilts, called Milk and Cookies. 

This week, we go all the way to Australia to meet the talented Helen Stubbings of Hugs 'n Kisses. Helen's adorable and fun-to-make block is called Clamshells. Here is her version:

Splendid Sampler 2, Block 3: Clamshells by Helen Stubbings

I've never made clamshells before and really enjoyed making this block. In fact, I'm planning on making an entire quilt using clamshells!

Here is my version of Helen's block:

Before beginning, I laid out my fabrics for the clamshells. I wanted to space out the colors so that a particular color didn't touch another clamshell of the same hue.

Next, applied a thin, iron-on stabilizer to the back of my background fabric, covering the entire 7" square, and then I prepared my appliqué.

I created my clamshells using the pattern instructions and Helen's Hug 'n Kisses appliqué paper, which made the process enjoyable for me. What I especially like about Helen's appliqué paper is that it works as a stabilizer and then washes out. The sheets come in a package of 20 and each sheet measures 8.5" x 11". The leftover scraps of the appliqué paper can be saved and used in a future project.

Helen has helpful videos that explain how to use her appliqué paper, so before you know it, you'll be able to make perfect arcs for your clamshells.

After appliquéing the clamshells to the base fabric, I taped the pattern to the window of my sewing room, then taped my block on top of it. I then traced the flowers onto the face of my base fabric, and then outlined the flowers using a double strand of Aurifil Red #8260 Lana Wool thread. I like how the thread gave the outline of the flowers a nice measure of thickness and a bit of a fuzzy look. When I do redwork embroidery, I stitch my stitches tiny and close together so that there aren't any stitches sticking out around curved edges; the stitching looks smooth and rounded.

Although my block is 6 1/2" square, my vertical right seam allowance is narrow. I'll be sure to pay attention to that when I'm piecing my quilt top together so that I achieve the look of a 1/4" seam.

Please let me know if you have any questions! I hope you enjoy making this block as much as I did!

The Splendid Sampler 2 book will be available October 2018. It is currently available for pre-sale so order your copy, now!

The Splendid Sampler II: The Fabrics For My Blocks

Whether you're a novice or seasoned quilter, choosing fabrics for your quilting projects can sometimes become a daunting task.

Should I use solids, prints, or both?

What theme or style of fabrics should I use?

What colors should I choose?

How many prints do I want to work with?

I love working with prints over solids.

I love designing scrappy quilts.

I prefer not to use solids if I can help it: I'd rather find a small or subtle print to use in place of them.

I believe the number 1 reason why I prefer working with prints over solids is because they invoke visual interest.

I'm using dry cleaner hangers to hang my fabrics on so that I can work with them easier and so that they don't wrinkle.

For the Splendid Sampler 2 Block-of-the-Week, I've chosen to use an older fabric collection by Sweetwater for Moda called Hometown. I've had a fat quarter bundle of this collection in my stash for several years and was waiting for the perfect project to use it with.

As I'm cutting into the fabrics, I'm realizing that I'd like to incorporate some additional prints to add a bit more depth. So I've chosen to integrate some prints from another, older collection from my stash called Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket for Moda.

I've also decided to check out a few of my local quilt shops, soon, for a few extra additions. Adding in more prints by other fabric designers will help diversify the look of my quilt, adding even more interest for a unique, scrappy finish.