I spent some time over the weekend playing with clamshells. I chose 5 inch squares from a stack of leftover charm squares, and cut a stack of clams. I tried the traditional way of machine piecing first.
I matched the notches, and used a ton of pins and very carefully stitched, making sure that all the fullness was eased in, and no tucks were formed. I pressed the seam allowances toward the piece just added.
Then I tried a modified English paper piecing method. The first row was stitched together. Then I spent time turning the top edge to the back, using a freezer paper template that I had ironed to the back of each piece.
I spread some Best Pressed along the seam allowance of the top, and then, using a stylus to help, pressed the edge to the back with my iron. When the block was cool, I pulled the freezer paper away. When I had all the pieces ready for the first row, I used dots of liquid washable glue to attach the row, pressing the row dry with my iron. I top-stitched the row, using a narrow, short blind hem stitch, with monofilament (invisible) thread in the needle, and regular thread in the bobbin. I adjusted the thread tension so that none of the bobbin thread showed on the top.
I like both methods, but decided to use the second method to make my pillow top.
I also began cutting pieces for a new large quilt project. I am using some fabric from my stash, but also added a few yards to my stash at the end of the year to fill out my selection. The first block is a pieced 9-patch, and I have completed the first part - simple 4-patch blocks, and started on the second part - a square or diamond in a square unit. The orange/red is new - a fossil fern that called to me from the quilt shop shelf!
I'm connecting with others at Small Quilts an Doll Quilts this week.