Monday, March 28, 2016

Clamshell longarm quilting, with no computer!

 I want to start blogging some of my favorite quilts again,
that I've had the pleasure of quilting.
This lovely quilt was made by my sweet friend LeAnn.
She made this tumbler quilt using the Meadowbloom line from April Rosenthal. 
I have some charm packs of this line, it is such a happy colorful line!
 If you click on some of these pictures and look at the fabrics close you can
see how geometric and fun some of them are.  When I looked at it, I just knew
I wanted to do a clamshell quilt design.  I decided to use the 4" circle ruler,
because scale wise with the size of the prints and tumbler was just a great fit!
 For years and years I would see this design quilted out with a computerized machine,
and I always wished that I could do it, because I don't have a computerized machine I couldn't...then last fall when I made my sister a quilt for her mission, I knew I wanted to give it a try. 
I had quilted a couple of backgrounds before onwall hangings, but never a full quilt. 
So, I picked my circle ruler size and went for it. 
I knew from the few wall hangings that I did that I needed to start from the bottom, and
create a base or foundation to then quilt each layer on top.  I just went for it.
Then I realized I should have found the center of the bottom of the quilt and start there, then quilt from the center to the right side.  Then quilt from the center to the left side. 
That is how I have started on each of the other clamshell quilting that I've done since then. 
Trial and error right???!   The circle rulers that I use to quilt are super basic. 
They have a line going through the center vertically and horizontally.
 I used those lines to line up the clams as I went along.
If you can believe it or not, I didn't have to mark this quilt anywhere. 
 I made a short video and posted it on Instagram last fall, if you'd like to check it out click HERE. 
I explain how I line the ruler up from one clamshell to the other.  Essentially after quilting out the first full row of clamshells, I would start on the left side of the quilt by matching the left and right side of the horizontal lines on the ruler to the tops of the left and right side of the quilted clamshells, with the vertical line on the ruler centered in the middle of the dip between the clamshells.  (This is explained in the video if that's confusing...turn up the sound, I talk too quiet.)  Then I would use the edge of the ruler and quilt from the top of the left clamshell up around the ruler and back down to the top of the right clamshell, not crossing the line.  Then I would pause to move the ruler, lining it up on the next set of clams, working all the way to the right.  I then quilt up along the outside edge of the quilt so I can continue to quilt from right to on and so forth until I get to the top of the quilt.  
I would like to note because I started at the bottom then quilted and rolled the quilt
to the top...when I got to the top, the quilt top seems to be tighter than the quilt back.  You just have to loosen it a little as you go.  BUT, then it hit me when I was finishing this one, I should have pinned the quilt on upside down and started at the top...quilting of course the clamshells upside down, too.  HAHA!  So, I'm going to try this out the next time I quilt clamshells out and see how it goes.
WHY does it matter, because then I won't have to deal with quilting from the bottom to the top and have issues with the quilt top and back being taut together.  When it comes to quilting a design out, especially without a computer sometimes its trial and error until I figure out the best and most efficient way.  When I quilt this out next time I will try and make an informative video and post it on my YouTube channel.  Until then, you're welcome to give it a try on your own and see how it works. 
Either way, I still love this design!  LeAnn was thrilled!
And look at that raspberry colored Cuddle/Minky.  Love it!!!
Cuddle brand minky is available from Shannon Fabrics, sold in stores worldwide.
Thanks for stopping by!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the information! I was wondering why one couldn't load the quilt upside down and then when I got to the bottom of the post I see you wondered the same thing ;) Beautiful quilt!