Continuous Path Quilting Design
How to Quilt Clamshells in a Continuous Stitching Line
The quilting lines pictured above are in a continuous line. One single stitching line is made, without breaking or stopping, to create the whole design in the body of this imaginary quilt.
Here’s the path you’ll travel to quilt your filled clamshell quilt pattern in a single line:
This is one of the ways I stitch. There are other ways.
First, start across the top outlining the arches or seam lines of the first row of clamshell pieces, working from left to right. I recommend using quilting rulers on a domestic or longarm machine to create all the outlined curved shapes.
When you get to the last arch, change directions:
Ok, now here’s the fun part: When you reach the lower point, start stitching up into the clamshell using any design you choose. If you need a resource for design elements and ideas to fill a clamshell shape, check out the book The Quilted Clamshell. The design featured here is included in the book.
Select a design that starts and stops at the lower point.
Notice there is no lower left arch when stitching the fill design (above). Use a water soluble marked line or the clamshell seam line as your guide to contain the quilted fill design. When you’ve finished stitching the fill design, the needle should be back at the lower point.
Use rulers to travel up and over to the next lower point. Once there, you can repeat the fill design.
Ok. No problem. Keep on this arch + fill rhythm until you reach the left side. When you reach the final lower point, trace up to the left to complete the clamshell shape. Keeping your ruler in the same position, trace right back down to the lower point and into the next row of clamshells.
From here, hop back into the arch + fill motions again pausing at the lower point to create the next arch.
Ok. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I think you’ve got the hang of it.
Once you have filled the clamshell shapes on the quilt, you may find it necessary to fill in the shapes around the edges. Easy stuff, though there may be starting and stopping involved. For the main body of the quilt, though, this arch + fill works well for me.
Watch this tutorial in action on my youtube video here: