Clamshell cushion

Ages ago, I borrowed a copy of Jen Kingwell’s Quilt Lovely from my local library. I was checking the book out to see whether I wanted to buy a copy.

The clamshell cushion was the most tempting project because I had dreams of using it to tame my scraps, so I made the templates and started cutting out bits of fabric from my scrap box. Too soon, the due date of the book came around, and I returned it to the library.

From that point, I did not have the instructions.

Clamshell (clambake) cushion made by Granny Maud's Girl

I repeated only one fabric, as far as I know.

Initially, I thought I could piece the clamshells by machine. Sewing curves does not frighten me, but the curves of these templates are a bit fiddly for machine piecing, so I recognised after one or two machine-piecing attempts, that I would have to make the cushion by hand.

For much of 2017, the pieces were cut out and pinned to a design board, but not much sewing was happening. Then, just before Christmas, I decided I was going to finish it, so I focused on hand sewing curves in any spare moment.

When I had sewn the number of clamshells I thought I needed, I realised that the panel was going to be rectangular instead of square. Without the pattern to guide me, I cut out a few more until it looked about right and kept sewing. It was still not big enough, so I cut and sewed a few more bits.

Finally, I had a square panel big enough for an 18-inch cushion. Hurrah!

Long ago, my plans had included hand quilting the cushion in perle cotton, but with so much going on in the fabrics, I changed my mind and opted for simple in-the-ditch machine quilting.

Clamshell (clambake) cushion made by Granny Maud's Girl

I used the fabrics in the two unpieced clamshells to guide my colour choices.

Some red pompom trim around the edges and a zipper on the back, and it was done.

Cushion back made by Granny Maud's Girl

Red spots and red pompoms make me happy!

Clamshell (clambake) cushion made by Granny Maud's Girl

In a happy accident, it coordinates with the hexie cushion I finished in 2016.

Clamshell (clambake) cushion made by Granny Maud's Girl

Now, I need a bigger armchair if I am to fit me and all these cushions on it.

Do I still want my own copy of the book? Yes! If I had more time, I would love to make more of the projects, especially the cushions.


18 thoughts on “Clamshell cushion

  1. It’s fab! And I agree, the back and pompom trim is perfect. I think you need to source a cushion rack, like other quilters have quilt racks. I’m thinking a tall wooden pyramid, with shelves every 5 inches or so, biggest cushions at the bottom, smallest at the top. I have the book, so any time you’d like to have it out on really extended loan, let me know and I’ll mail it over 🙂

  2. This is incredibly stylish and cute, and I admire your persistence in finishing it, even without the book! I love the pompom trim, the dots and that it coordinates with your earlier hexie cushion. Awesome!

  3. What a charming design. Your choice of fabric is delightful as well. This makes me smile just looking at it. I especially like the words “sewing kit” at the top. I’ll bet you’re happy to have this done.

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