Splendid Sampler 2 - Clamshells by Helen Stubbings
I followed the instructions that were given with the block, watched a video or two on Youtube and made a right mess of it. You have to cut out a template, stick it to the back of the fabric, cut 1/4 inch around the template and then fold over that seam allowance and stick it down. Glue got everywhere and I lost the roundness completely. I couldnt get the template out so had to sort of cut it out but was left with half of it still left in.
Thought I could just do it by cutting out the shapes and just applique them to the background by machine. This did work, but it didn't look very good. I left it a day or two and then started thinking again. The clamshell shape is basically a circle with the sides cut out. I thought that if I just made circles and layered them I could get the same effect. I'm a fan of Lori Holt and she does applique shapes using interfacing so I loooked it up and gave it a try.
I drew circles onto lightweight fusible interfacing. Placed it bumpy side down on top my fabric which was right side up. Then I machine stitched all the way around the circle right on the drawn line. Then cut a small cross in the centre of the interfacing and carefully turned them right sides out. Carefully poked the edges to make a nicely rounded shape and finger pressed the edge. I layered them onto the block and ironed them in place. I then used invisible thread to handstich them in place. One problem with using invisible thread is that you can't see it! I didn't want to see the stitches when I'd finished but I would have liked to be able to see it to thread the needle! Quite a long-winded process but it gave reasonably pleasing results.
I like to make a little story for my blocks if I can and so I chose a blue background to represent sky and scrappy greens for my clamshells to make it look like rolling hills. I embroidered all three flowers in red for impact. There was a lot of bare blue sky so I embroidered a couple of little butterflies as well.
It was a long process but I got there in the end. I actually enjoyed working this one and seeing how I could get better results with a little bit more effort. At one point I was stitching away on the machine between 2 and 4 in the early hours of the morning as it was so hot and I couldn't sleep.
Time to make: 20 hours (at least) No of pieces: 10