Clam Chowder

I know, I know – I said I’d try to blog more often. Well, at least this time it hasn’t been over three months since I last blogged. In fact, it’s just under two months, so maybe I”m getting a bit better at blogging a tad more regularly.

What have I been doing? I’ve been totally engrossed in piecing clamshells.


The obsession began with this  – a Clamshell Rose block. It measures 14″ and is destined to be the cover for a piecing book. I think I may just have enough of the red to make a second one of these for the back but, if not, then I’ll use an overall floral for the back. I love the look of this – and the effects one could get, depending on fabric placement. I know I’ll eventually make a Clamshell Rose quilt, but when the Inklingo Clamshell Rose collection came out I had to play and a pink and red block seemed perfect for a piecing book cover. Those are actually 4″ clamshells along with the melon shape and the outer edge pieces, but it barely looks like a clamshell at all. I love the effect of it!

Then I really got into piecing clamshells when the 4″ Inklingo Clamshell collection was released along with collections for 2″, 2.5″ and 6″ clamshells. Of course, I’ve played a bit with the 2″ ones because they’re such a ridiculous amount of fun – small clamshells and curved piecing?? I couldn’t resist and will go back to play with them some more. But the 4″ collection really grabbed my attention because, when I looked, I realized I could make really good use of a layer cake I had and make four-patch clams. More about the use of the layer cake pieces below.


But oh, my – four-patch clams are incredibly addictive to piece. It’s absolutely impossible to make just one! In fact, I ended up making — wait for it — 95 of them!! And they’re all here in this stack.


They go together super fast and I love the look.


And the backs press like a dream.


These are the fabrics from the layer cake that I’ve had for a very long time. The pieces were washed and ready for use, but I was waiting for just the right project. And the four-patch clams were it.


After washing a 10″ layer cake piece, it measures just a thread under 10″ by 9.75″.  I looked in the various clamshell collections and found I could print 4 of the 4″ clams on each piece of the layer cake as one of the layouts was perfect for pieces that were 5″ x 9.75″.  So I cut each piece in half and got busy printing. I love that I could make such good use of the layer cake pieces with next to no waste.


This is one half of a layer cake piece that has clamshells printed on it. I’d taken pictures of a few of the layer cake pieces before I cut them in half knowing I’d eventually do this blog post. But it was only after, of course, I realized I’d cut out all but one of the printed pieces that I remembered I had wanted to take a photograph of that half piece with the clamshells printed on it. And of course, that one piece was a busy plaid so I’m not altogether sure how well the printed lines show up. I did darken the picture a fair bit, hoping that they will. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, I think the lines are pretty clear.


Once all 95 of the four-patch clams were pieced, I began laying them out. This is just a small section of what will be a top made up of 90 of the four-patch clams. I’m almost halfway through piecing the top together now. And sewing the blocks together into rows and the rows together into the top is fun because, of course, it’s nothing but curved piecing, which I so, so love.


“Some CLAMouring about your work!” is how Mr. Q. O. captioned this one.  He draws funny little clams that all seem to have individual personalities all the time. So when he knew what my blog post was about, he was off to the races.


Jake had possession of the top spot on the kitty tree.


Then Baxter. Mr. Q.O. captioned this one “Jake’s not getting up here this time!” I think the kitties may be getting a new kitty tree for Christmas.

16 thoughts on “Clam Chowder

  1. I’ve been waiting to see your Clamshell Rose block! Very nice! And pink!! LOL.
    Those cats will be fighting over who gets the top spot on the new tree! I’ve seen it happen when my daughter got a second tree for her cats. But then they will each have a top spot!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful! I love visiting your blog. The photos are wonderful. I always click to see the larger view because I don’t want to miss anything. 🙂 Your Clamshells are wonderful and Mr QO’s Clams are hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, Baxter! THAT is cat-i-tude! Have I got the diva for you!

    Good to see you in the email this AM. Was wondering if you were alive.

    We had our first snow last night. Sigh…. Mostly sloppy, wet stuff and not much left at this hour, but I guess the “fall” is over.

    Time to print some shapes and stitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clamshell Rose is very interesting, and I love the idea of four-patch clamshells! Hello to Jake and Baxter, it’s good to see you both looking so well and handsome. As for Mr Q.O.’s clams……how much fun are they!


  5. Clamshells look great. Glad to see you are still stitching. Jake looks happy to have the top of the tree. Baxter looks like he knows he looks good, just like all coons!


  6. Nice to see this posted.
    Cathi that is a very pretty block, the fabric choices are perfect! Love it.
    I’ve got the frame up and started quilting my 1930’s antique tops….
    stitching, stitching, stitching!
    Lol wish my kitties were as calm as your beauties. ..
    Baxter is still so regal.


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