hand quilt clamshells with this video and photo tutorial

Hand Quilting Clamshells

how to hand quilt clamshells tutorial

Looking for hand quilting variations? Well look no further! Today we’re going to cover how to hand quilt clamshells. Best of all, if you’ve already covered Baptist Fans, then you’ve got all you need to make some beautiful clamshells. Plus! This tutorial comes in video format, allowing you to see it done in real time! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the video tutorial on how to hand quilt clamshells.


Curious about my favorite hand quilting supplies? Find them all here.


Are you new to hand quilting? Check out my Hand Quilting 101 video before you get started!

1. Make the Baptist Fans template (tutorial here). Make sure that the first holes in your template’s two ends are even.

hand quilting clamshells video photo tutorial

2. Decide on the size of your clamshells, and mark the dot you’re going to use. This is just for reference so that it is easier to trace them instead of counting out dots for every clamshell. I used a small piece of post-it to make my temporary mark. Washi tape or a sticker would work well here.

hand quilt clamshells with multi size template

3. Start marking the first row of clamshells by inserting one of the mechanical pencils or hera markers into the far left dot. This is your anchor point, the one that won’t move. Insert the marking utensil of choice (chalk pencil, hera marker, second mechanical pencil without lead) into the marked dot, and move it in a semi-circle motion to create your first arc. A chalk pencil will create a mark, the hera marker or mechanical pencil will create a crease in the fabric for you to follow. Move the template so that the marked dot aligns with the end of the first arc, and repeat the motion, continuing until you have an entire row of clamshells.

mark clamshells for hand quilting
how to hand quilt clamshell design

4. With this template, you can choose to mark a double clamshell. To do this, keep your anchor point in place, and after marking the first arc, move the marking tool to another dot and mark that one as well.

curve hand quilting tutorial

5. To mark the second row, align the hole from the other side of the template in between two arcs on row 1. Align the marked dot at the top of the first row of arcs. Set your anchor point in place, and make an arc. Repeat this marking pattern until you’ve marked your whole quilt.

diy tutorial how to hand quilt clamshells
how to hand quilt clamshells on your quilt
using a multi-size template to hand quilt clamshells
marked clamshell design for hand quilting

6. To hand quilt clamshells, you’ll stitch them one row at a time. Start on one corner of your quilt, and stitch the entire row of shells. Once you reach the end of the row, travel between the layers until you get to the second row of shells, and repeat the stitch pattern until your quilt is complete.

stitch pattern for hand quilting clamshells
hand quilt clamshells how to tutorial

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What other hand quilting tutorials would you want to see? Comment below!

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