How to Make a Clamshell Quilt

beauty shot

Clamshell quilts are on the top of many of our “quilts we want to make” lists. Not only are they so modern and appealing but there are so many fun techniques for constructing them. Maybe this post will give you the motivation and know how for starting your own clamshell quilt project.

How to Make a Clamshell Quilt


The author the blog Badskirt developed her own, non-traditional technique for constructing clamshells. Using purchased clamshell templates, she cut the fabric out with a 1/4″ margin around the edges.


She then glued the edges to the template leaving it a little loose so that a needle and thread could pass through the edges. After the edges were sewn together, she removed the paper templates and sewed the clamshells to the backing fabric.

free template

Pattern Spot has a free clamshell template you can download. You can use this template to create a turned edge clamshell applique which finishes at 4” wide and tall. The template is a PDF and was designed by a quilt designer. The template has a 1/4″ margin around the edges as well.

sizzixAnother option is to skip the template process all together.  Sizzix has a die cut that will allow you to cut perfect clamshell shapes from your fabrics. Their site contains a complete materials list and instructions for this antique reproduction quilt with modern appeal.

clamshells by machine

A Squared W has a really good tutorial for sewing clamshells together by machine.
The author figured out a way to sew the clamshells together by machine after she noticed so many inspiring quilts and other projects using clamshells, but “isn’t much for sewing by hand” as she explains.


Finally, this blog post by Molly Flanders Makerie covers lots of different methods for making clamshell quilts including English Paper Piecing, Machine Piecing and an Applique Method. The author covers each method step by step and includes photos.

Have you tried making a clamshell quilt? We would love to see your creations!


This entry was posted in Helpful Tools, QuiltWoman, Techniques, Trends and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to How to Make a Clamshell Quilt

  1. Pingback: Anyone make a clam shell quilt?

  2. Thanks for Article Create Website, This very help me

  3. Ruth Graham says:

    What is EPP?

    • Nancy Dill says:

      English Paper Piecing. Google it and you should find lots of info. Ruth.

    • dorothy marvell says:

      it is sewing patches by hand you a template of choice small template for papper larger one for material the advantage of epp is that you can do it by hand and take anywhere with you hope this helps

  4. Jude Spero says:

    Sweet! Right up there with my desire to do Grandmothers Flower Garden.
    Someday! Thanks for sharing~

  5. By the way, how can we keep in touch?

  6. Stella Sternadt says:

    Nice, the cog
    wheels are spinning with all kinds of material ideas!! I would quilt more details in “the shell” love shells…. Thank you.
    Jude Spero-Would you share picture, instructions for grandma
    ‘s flower garden’?

  7. Woah! I’m enjoying the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a very good job with this.

  8. I have to voice my passion for your kindness giving support to those people that should have guidance on this important matter.

  9. Janice Sterling says:

    a friend won a clam shell quilt – i have a picture of it and name of person who made it – would love to post on here

  10. Dawn hatch says:

    Love this quilt rarely seen it is a easy quilt once you understand how it goes together. It is worth the time you put into it.

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